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Provider Accessibility Initiative

About Provider Accessibility Initiative (PAI) and Barrier Removal Fund (BRF)

Sunflower Health Plan is partnering with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) to assist our providers with removing barriers to accessibility at their practice by creating the Barrier Removal Fund program. The goal of this program is to increase the percentage of participating providers that meet the minimum federal and state disability access standards by providing grant funds.

We are excited to inform you that the Barrier Removal Fund is in its seventh year and is expanding to Kansas. Below is a link to the Request For Proposal (RFP), which will allow you to apply for grant funds for accessibility improvements at your practice.

Sunflower is committed to providing equal access to quality health care and services that are physically and programmatically accessible for our members with disabilities and their companions. “Physical access,” also referred to as “architectural access,” refers to a person with a disability’s ability to access buildings, structures, and the environment. “Programmatic access” refers to a person with a disability’s ability to access goods, services, activities and equipment.

We appreciate all the efforts of every provider serving our members, while addressing areas of inaccessibility.

We look forward to receiving your completed RFP by June 28, 2024, for consideration. The determination for grant awards will take approximately two months. Please note there are instructions included in the RFP regarding requirements and submission details.

If you have any questions about the Barrier Removal Fund or RFP, please contact Jenny Sichel at Jenny Sichel at NCIL at or call 201-563-2342 or toll-free at 844-778-7961.

Thank you for helping Sunflower to create a health system that promotes “universal access for all.”

Frequently Asked Questions

The goal of the PAI is to increase the number of Sunflower Health Plan providers that meet minimum federal and state disability access standards by:

  • Improving the accuracy, completeness, and transparency of provider self-reported disability access data in all products and all markets nationwide by integrating “minimum accessibility” standards into the provider application, credentialing and directory processes; and
  • Giving participating providers in three pilot states competitive access to grant dollars through a Barrier Removal Fund (BRF). Providers that apply and are chosen for BRF awards receive an on-site disability accessibility review completed by a local Center for Independent Living (CIL) and funding to remediate priority disability access barriers.

  • Sunflower Health Plan is proud to partner with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) on the administration of the BRF. NCIL is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities.
  • NCIL provides technical assistance to Sunflower Health Plan and helps coordinate a local BRF Committee that selects BRF awardees. NCIL also coordinates with local Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to conduct the on-site accessibility reviews of BRF applicants, provide training, and distribute grant funds to BRF awardees to remediate priority disability access barriers identified by the local BRF Committee.

  • It's the right thing to do. Studies show that Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities receive less preventive care due to inaccessible exam rooms and/or diagnostic equipment;i
  • Federal laws and regulations require that MCO providers have disability access and that MCO provider directories include a complete and accurate description of provider disability access.ii

Fill out the online application.

Participating providers that meet all of the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • See Sunflower Health Plan members at a physical location; and
  • Are accepting new Sunflower Health Plan members; and
  • Are in the Sunflower Health Plan provider directory.

Non-participating providers with single case agreements or other contracts, and providers (par and non-par) located in hospitals, segregated environments, and institutional settings are not eligible.

June 28, 2024, 5:00 p.m. (ET). Sunflower Health Plan reserves the right to extend the deadline.

We do not have information regarding future applications surrounding accessibility improvements at this time.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept additional applications beyond the deadline.

Changes or edits can be made through the final submission date of June 28, 2024, 5:00 p.m. (ET).

You will receive a confirmation email when you submit your application. You may also contact Jenny Sichel at NCIL at or call 201-563-2342 or toll-free at 844-778-7961.

You will receive an email from Jenny Sichel at NCIL at You will also be informed if your application was not selected for funding.

Contact Jenny Sichel at NCIL at or call 201-563-2342 or toll-free at 844-778-7961.

Award amounts will vary based on the specific number of BRF grants awarded and amount of each grant will depend on the total number of applications received, the impact applications will have on Sunflower Health Plan disability access network adequacy, and the number of Sunflower members with disabilities impacted. There is no funding cap, however most grants to date have been in the range of $500-$20,000.

Sunflower Health Plan will cover the cost of the accessibility site review, technical assistance, and approved modification(s). Any additional costs are the responsibility of the awardee.

Yes, include all items for which you are seeking funding.

Yes, please submit separate applications for each site where you serve members.

This is a reimbursement grant, so grantees will complete purchases and improvements and invoice NCIL for actual costs incurred, up to the approved amount. If grantees cannot afford to pay for the work ahead of time, we will consider requests to pay vendors or contractors directly.

BRF dollars granted by the Sunflower Health Plan BRF Committee are for the participating providers in Kansas only.

You must remain in the network (and in good standing) for one year following grant funding or full repayment [or return of equipment] will be required. If you leave the network after 18 months, you will repay 50%. After two years, fully-funded, no repayment will be due.

Contact Jenny Sichel at NCIL at or call 201-563-2342 or toll-free at 844-778-7961 to further discuss your concerns.

The initial decisions are final. The provider is responsible for any additional costs.

Contact Jenny Sichel at NCIL at or call 201-563-2342 or toll-free at 844-778-7961.

Additional information (PDF)


[ii] The 2016 Medicaid/CHIP Managed Care Final Rule states that: 1. MCO providers must provide physical access, accommodations, and accessible equipment for consumers with physical or mental disabilities by July 1, 2018 (42 CFR Section 438.206(c)(3)); 2. Provider directories must indicate the following for all physicians, hospitals, pharmacies, behavioral health providers, and LTSS providers: linguistic capabilities, completion of cultural competence training, and whether the provider’s offices, exam rooms, and equipment accommodate individuals with physical disabilities by July 1, 2017 (42 CFR Section 438.10(1)); and 3. State network adequacy standards must consider the ability of MCO network providers to ensure physical access, reasonable accommodations, culturally competent communications, and accessible equipment for Medicaid enrollees with physical or mental disabilities by July 1, 2018 (42 CFR Section 438.68(c)(1)).