42 CFR 435.904 - Establishment of outstation locations to process applications for certain low-income eligibility groups.

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§ 435.904 Establishment of outstation locations to process applications for certain low-income eligibility groups.

(a)State plan requirements. The Medicaid State plan must specify that the requirements of this section are met.

(b)Opportunity to apply. The agency must provide an opportunity for the following groups of low-income pregnant women, infants, and children under age 19 to apply for Medicaid at outstation locations other than AFDC offices:

(1) The groups of pregnant women or infants with incomes up to 133 percent of the Federal poverty level as specified under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(IV) of the Act;

(2) The group of children age 1 up to age 6 with incomes at 133 percent of the Federal poverty level as specified under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(VI) of the Act;

(3) The group of children age 6 up to age 19 born after September 30, 1983, with incomes up to 100 percent of the Federal poverty level as specified under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(VII) of the Act; and

(4) The groups of pregnant women or infants, children age 1 up to age 6, and children age 6 up to age 19, who are not eligible as a mandatory group, with incomes up to 185 percent of the Federal poverty level as specified under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(ii)(IX) of the Act.

(c)Outstation locations: general requirements.

(1) The agency must establish either -

(i) Outstation locations at each disproportionate share hospital, as defined in section 1923(a)(1)(A) of the Act, and each Federally-qualified health center, as defined in section 1905(1)(2)(B) of the Act, participating in the Medicaid program and providing services to Medicaid-eligible pregnant women and children; or

(ii) Other outstation locations, which include at least some, disproportionate share hospitals and federally-qualified health centers, as specified under an alternative State plan that is submitted to and approved by CMS if the following conditions are met:

(A) The State must demonstrate that the alternative plan for outstationing is equally effective as, or more effective than, a plan that would meet the requirements of paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section in enabling the individuals described in paragraph (b) of this section to apply for and receive Medicaid; and

(B) The State must provide assurances that the level of staffing and funding committed by the State under the alternative plan equals or exceeds the level of staffing and funding under a plan that would meet the requirements of establishing the outstation locations at the sites specified in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section.

(2) The agency must establish outstation locations at Indian health clinics operated by a tribe or tribal organization as these clinics are specifically included in the definition of Federally-qualified health centers under section 1905(l)(2)(B) of the Act and are also included in the definition of rural health clinics under part 491, subpart A of this chapter.

(3) The agency may establish additional outstation locations at any other site where potentially eligible pregnant women or children receive services - for example, at school-linked service centers and family support centers. These additional sites may also include sites other than the main outstation location of those Federally-qualified health centers or disproportionate share hospitals providing services to Medicaid-eligible pregnant women and to children and that operate more than one site.

(4) The agency may, at its option, enter into reciprocal agreements with neighboring States to ensure that the groups described in paragraph (b) of this section who customarily receive services in a neighboring State have the opportunity to apply at outstation locations specified in paragraphs (c)(l) and (2) of this section.

(d)Outstation functions.

(1) The agency must provide for the receipt and initial processing of Medicaid applications from the designated eligibility groups at each outstation location.

(2) “Initial processing” means taking applications, assisting applicants in completing the application, providing information and referrals, obtaining required documentation to complete processing of the application, assuring that the information contained on the application form is complete, and conducting any necessary interviews. It does not include evaluating the information contained on the application and the supporting documentation nor making a determination of eligibility or ineligibility.

(3) The agency may, at its option, allow appropriate State eligibility workers assigned to outstation locations to evaluate the information contained on the application and the supporting documentation and make a determination of eligibility if the workers are authorized to determine eligibility for the agency which determines Medicaid eligibility under § 431.10 of this subchapter.

(e)Staffing.

(1) Except for outstation locations that are infrequently used by the low-income eligibility groups, the State agency must have staff available at each outstation location during the regular office operating hours of the State Medicaid agency to accept applications and to assist applicants with the application process.

(2) The agency may station staff at one outstation location or rotate staff among several locations as workload and staffing availability dictate.

(3) The agency may use State employees, provider or contractor employees, or volunteers who have been properly trained to staff outstation locations under the following conditions:

(i) State outstation intake staff may perform all eligibility processing functions, including the eligibility determination, if the staff is authorized to do so at the regular Medicaid intake office.

(ii) Provider or contractor employees and volunteers may perform only initial processing functions as defined in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(4) Provider and contractor employees and volunteers are subject to the confidentiality of information rules specified in part 431, subpart F, of this subchapter, to the prohibition against reassignment of provider claims specified in § 447.10 of this subchapter, and to all other State or Federal laws concerning conflicts of interest.

(5) At locations that are infrequently used by the designated low-income eligibility groups, the State agency may use volunteers, provider or contractor employees, or its own eligibility staff, or telephone assistance.

(i) The agency must display a notice in a prominent place at the outstation location advising potential applicants of when outstation intake workers will be available.

(ii) The notice must include a telephone number that applicants may call for assistance.

(iii) The agency must comply with Federal and State laws and regulations governing the provision of adequate notice to persons who are blind or deaf or who are unable to read or understand the English language.

[ 59 FR 48809, Sept. 23, 1994]

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