Skip to main content

OHCA Policies and Rules

317:30-5-276. Coverage by category

[Revised 09-11-23]

(a) Outpatient Behavioral Health Services.  Outpatient behavioral health services are covered as set forth in this Section, when provided in accordance with a documented individualized service plan medical record, developed to treat the identified behavioral health and/or substance use disorder(s), unless specified otherwise.

(1) All services are to be for the goal of improvement of functioning, independence, or wellbeing of the member. The services and treatment plans are to be recovery focused, trauma and co-occurring specific. The member must be able to actively participate in the treatment. Active participation means that the member must have sufficient cognitive abilities, communication skills, and short-term memory to derive a reasonable benefit from the treatment.

(2) In order to be reimbursed for services, providers must submit a completed Customer Data Core (CDC) to OHCA or its designated agent. The CDC must be reviewed, updated and resubmitted by the provider every six months. Reimbursement is made only for services provided while a current CDC is on file with OHCA or its designated agent. For further information and instructions regarding the CDC, refer to the Prior Authorization Manual.

(3) Some outpatient behavioral health services may require authorization. For information regarding services requiring authorization and the process for obtaining them, refer to the Prior Authorization Manual. Authorization of services is not a guarantee of payment. The provider is responsible for ensuring that the eligibility, medical necessity, procedural, coding, claims submission, and all other state and federal requirements are met. OHCA does retain the final administrative review over both authorization and review of services as required by 42 Code of Code of Federal Regulations 431.10.

(b) Children.  Coverage for children includes the following services:

(1) Bio-Psycho-Social Assessments. Psychiatric Diagnostic Interview Examination (PDIE) initial assessment or Level of Care Assessment. The interview and assessment is defined as a face-to-face interaction with the member. Psychiatric diagnostic interview examination includes a history, mental status, and a disposition, and may include communication with family or other sources, ordering and medical interpretation of laboratory or other medical diagnostic studies. Only one (1) PDIE is allowable per provider per member. If there has been a break in service over a six (6) month period, then an additional unit of PDIE can be prior authorized by OHCA, or their designated agent.

(2) Psychotherapy in an outpatient setting including an office, clinic, or other confidential setting. The services may be performed at the residence of the member if it is demonstrated that it is clinically beneficial, or if the member is unable to go to a clinic or office. Psychotherapy is defined as a one to one treatment using a widely accepted modality or treatment framework suited to the individual's age, developmental abilities and diagnosis. It may include specialized techniques such as biofeedback or hypnosis. Psychotherapy is considered to involve "interactive complexity" when there are communication factors during a visit that complicate delivery of the psychotherapy by the psychologist. Sessions typically involve members who have other individuals legally responsible for their care (i.e. minors or adults with guardians); members who request others to be involved in their care during the session (i.e. adults accompanied by one or more participating family members or interpreter or language translator); or members that require involvement of other third parties (i.e. child welfare, juvenile justice, parole/probation officers, schools, etc.). Psychotherapy should only be reported as involving interactive complexity when at least one (1) of the following communication factors is present:

(A) The need to manage maladaptive communication (i.e. related to high anxiety, high reactivity, repeated questions, or disagreement) among participants that complicate delivery of care.

(B) Caregiver emotions/behavior that interfere with implementation of the treatment plan.

(C) Evidence/disclosure of a sentinel event and mandated report to a third party (i.e. abuse or neglect with report to state agency) with initiation of discussion of the sentinel event and/or report with patient and other visit participants.

(D) Use of play equipment, physical devices, interpreter or translator to overcome barriers to therapeutic interaction with a patient who is not fluent in the same language or who has not developed or lost expressive or receptive language skills to use or understand typical language.

(3) Family Psychotherapy is performed in an outpatient setting limited to an office, clinic, or other confidential setting. Family therapy is a face-to-face interaction between a therapist and the patient/family to facilitate emotional, psychological or behavioral changes and promote communication and understanding. Family therapy must be provided for the benefit of the member as a specifically identified component of an individual treatment plan.

(4) Group and/or Interactive Group psychotherapy in an outpatient setting must be performed in the psychologist's office, clinic, or other confidential setting. Group therapy is a face to face interaction between a therapist and two or more unrelated patients (though there may be siblings in the same group, just not siblings only) to facilitate emotional, psychological, or behavioral changes. All group therapy records must indicate group size. Maximum total group size is six (6) patients for children four years of age up to the age of 18. Groups can include up to eight (8) individuals for members 18-20 years of age. Group therapy must be provided for the benefit of the member four years of age or older as a specifically identified component of an individual treatment plan. Multi-family group therapy size is limited to eight family units.

(5) Assessment/Evaluation and testing is provided by a psychological technician of a psychologist or a LBHP utilizing tests selected from currently accepted assessment test batteries. For assessments conducted in a school setting, the Oklahoma State Department of Education requires that a licensed supervisor sign the assessment. Eight hours/units of testing per patient (over the age of three), per provider is allowed every 12 months. There may be instances when further testing is appropriate based on established medical necessity criteria found in the Prior Authorization Manual. Test results must be reflected in the service plan or medical record. The service must clearly document the need for the testing and what the testing is expected to achieve. Testing for a child younger than three must be medically necessary and meet established criteria as set forth in the Prior Authorization Manual. Justification for additional testing beyond allowed amount as specified in this section must be clearly explained and documented in the medical record. Testing units must be billed on the date the testing, interpretation, scoring, and/or reporting was performed and supported by documentation.

(6) Health and Behavior codes - behavioral health services are available only to chronically and severely medically ill members.

(7) Crisis intervention services for the purpose of stabilization and hospital diversion as clinically appropriate.

(8) Payment for therapy services provided by a psychologist to any one member is limited to eight sessions/units per month. A maximum of twelve (12) sessions/units of therapy and testing services per day per provider are allowed. A maximum of thirty five (35) hours of therapy per week per provider are allowed. The weekly service hour limitation will be calculated using a rolling four (4) week average.

(9) A child may receive psychological testing and evaluation services as separately reimbursable services.

(10) A child receiving Residential Behavioral Management in a foster home, also known as therapeutic foster care, or a child receiving Residential Behavioral Management in a group home, also known as therapeutic group home, may not receive individual, group or family counseling or unless allowed by the OHCA or its designated agent.

(c) Adults. Coverage for adults is the same as for children. For group therapy, groups can include up to eight individuals for adult members 18 years of age and older.

(d) Home and Community Based Waiver Services for the Intellectually Disabled.  All providers participating in the Home and Community Based Waiver Services program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities must have a separate contract with this Authority to provide services under this program. All services are specified in the individual's plan of care.

(e) Individuals eligible for Part B of Medicare.  Payment is made utilizing the Medicaid allowable for comparable services.

(f) Nursing Facilities.  Services provided to members residing in nursing facilities may not be billed to SoonerCare.

Disclaimer. The OHCA rules found on this Web site are unofficial. The official rules are published by the Oklahoma Secretary of State Office of Administrative Rules as Title 317 of the Oklahoma Administrative Code. To order an official copy of these rules, contact the Office of Administrative Rules at (405) 521-4911.