Expanding Medicaid Skilled Professional Medical Personnel and Nurse Advice Lines

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued guidance allowing State Medicaid Directors to expand the pool of skilled professional medical personnel (SPMP) they may employ to include certain additional behavioral health professionals, such as Marriage and Family Therapists, Mental Health Counselors, and Professional Counselors. This expansion will allow states to claim higher administrative federal match and help bolster state resources to provide appropriate behavioral health care coverage and service delivery. The guidance also informs states that they may claim administrative federal match dollars for nurse advice lines, a tool that builds a lifeline between coverage and critical health services, particularly in rural areas.

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