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Provider Accessibility Initiative

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

Equal access to quality health care and services that are accessible for our members with disabilities and their companions is a priority for Sunflower; and we recognize that some our partnering providers may not always have the financial resources to make your practices more accessible (such as purchasing an accessible exam table or scale, renovating your bathrooms, or supplying materials in braille).

As one of our valued providers, we invite you to apply for a grant from the National Barrier Removal Fund (BRF), which is jointly administered by Sunflower, Centene, and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL). In addition to receiving funding to remove disability access barriers, grant recipients also get tailored training and technical assistance from NCIL, local Centers for Independent Living (CILs), and Sunflower Health Plan. In exchange, grant recipients must implement the disability access modification(s) they received funding for, and provide a picture and/or success story after the modification(s) are made.

To be considered for a BRF award, please visit the NCIL website at www.ncil.org and complete the online application before 5:00 pm on Friday, April 26, 2019. A list of the application questions, information about eligibility and allowable projects may be found below.

If you have any questions about the Barrier Removal Fund or RFP, please contact Tim Fuchs at: tim@ncil.org or 202-207-0334 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 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 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 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 at www.ncil.org/kansasbrf.

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

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

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

April 26, 2019, 5:00 PM CT. Sunflower 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 April 26, 2019, 5:00 P.M. CT.

You will receive a confirmation email when you submit your application. You may also contact Tim Fuchs at NCIL at tim@ncil.org or call 202-207-0334 or toll-free at 844-778-7961. 

You will receive an email from Tim Fuchs at NCIL at Tim@NCIL.org.You will also be informed if your application was not selected for funding.

Contact Tim Fuchs at NCIL at Tim@NCIL.org or call 202-207-0334 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 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 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.

Fund disbursement is usually within 30 days after notification of funding award and contract execution.  Provider contracts will need to be signed prior to receipt of funds.

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

You must remain in the network (and in good standing) for 1 year following grant funding or full re-payment [or return of equipment] will be required. If you leave the network after 18 months, you will repay 50%. After 2 years, fully funded, no repayment will be due.

 

Contact Tim Fuchs at NCIL at Tim@ncil.org to further discuss your concerns.

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

Contact Tim Fuchs at NCIL at tim@ncil.org or call 202-207-0334 or toll-free at 844-778-7961. 

Additional information

[i] https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/OMH/Downloads/Issue-Brief-Physical-AccessibilityBrief.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)).