Practice Support Update Blog

Medicaid Communication Access Reimbursement

Nov 17, 2021 4:30:00 PM / by Practice Support Team

The Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DSDHH) has partnered with the Division of Health Benefits to establish a pilot initiative for communication access services for patients (and companions) who have Medicaid and Health Choice. 

The goal of this initiative is to improve communication access for individuals who are Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing in approved healthcare settings. Through this initiative, healthcare providers can register to be reimbursed for communication access services such as American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART).  For more information about this pilot service please reach out to the Medicaid Communication Access Coordinator at or (984) 884-1093.


By registering, offices will receive the following:

1. Personal Sound Amplification device called a 'Pocketalker'

2. Box of clear masks

3. Training and Education

4. Reimburse for communication access like providing sign language interpreters

Additional information from David Litman at NCDHHS:

  • We can retroactively reimburse you for interpreter costs from when this pilot started on January 26th, 2021 for patients who have Medicaid in approved settings. Think of this as a one time catch up for first time registrants.
  • The patient must have Medicaid.  However, we can also reimburse for companions.  For example, if a hearing patient has Medicaid and the spouse attends the appointment is deaf we can reimburse for interpreters.
  • While the patient must have Medicaid, your office does not have to bill Medicaid for your service.  Some people have dual insurance (Medicare and Medicaid).  If your office bills Medicare we can still reimburse for interpreter because patient has Medicaid.
  • We do not tell you who to hire.  We are here to support your work, but if you already have a relationship with an interpreter you like to use no problem.
  • We can reimburse if the service is provided on-site or remote.

More about this opportunity :  NCDHHS FAQs


Tags: Medicaid, Medicaid Managed Care, Primary Care, communication

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