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Blog Archive for December 2015

We have been working with CeltiCare Health Plan to alert the their provider network about the SNAP ABAWD rule and, in particular, how the federal "unfit for work" standard differs from the other disability-based programs for which their providers are often asked to provide medical documentation. CeltiCare Health Plan serves a significant portion of the 18-65 year old childless population, and thus were a perfect match for this informational outreach effort. Yesterday, CeltiCare sent out an eblast and fax with the ABAWD SNAP information.

Since you are all likely removing the plastic wrap on your 2016 calendars - literally or virtually - here's some important dates to plunk into those uncluttered calendars:

SNAP Coalition Boston Meetings in 2016

All 10 of the Boston SNAP Coalition meetings the 4th Tuesday of each month from 10 to Noon. All of them are held at St Francis House, 39 Boylston Street, 6th Floor, Boston MA. Here the dates:

Many provisions of Chapter 258, a 2014 law addressing access to substance use recovery services are taking effect in 2015.

1. An updated provider bulletin from MassHealth clarifies that pursuant to the new law, effective Oct 2015, neither MassHealth nor its managed care plans can require prior authorization for acute treatment e.g. admission to a detox facility or for clinical stabilization services . The treating clinician's judgment on medical necessity rules at least for acute care and  the 1st 14 days of clinical stabilization.

At yesterday's SNAP Coalition meeting which DTA Commissioner McCue and Central Office staff attended, folks raised concerns about the ongoing problem of dropped calls in the midst of talking with a DTA worker. Advocates also raised concerns that many DTA first available workers (FAW) said they could only discuss "one case at at time"  and told advocates they must call back and wade through the phone queue again.

Thanks again to all who were able to attend the Boston SNAP Coalition meeting yesterday and share in a robust discussion of how to protect some of our most vulnerable low income residents. As DTA noted in the meeting, roughly 28,000 individuals are facing the 3 month time limit in 2016 unless we can help them claim exemptions or work/training options. We are writing to provide you with additional information to help you help your clients.