SCDHHS Behavioral Health Policy Updates for July 1, 2022

The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) is announcing updates to several behavioral health policies. The updates are described below and are effective for dates of service beginning July 1, 2022.  

Change in the Child and Adolescent Level of Care Utilization System (CALOCUS) Guidance

The CALOCUS assessment will be replaced by the Child and Adolescent Level of Care/Service Intensity Utilization System (CALOCUS-CASII) assessment in the Rehabilitative Behavioral Health Services (RBHS) and Licensed Independent Practitioner Rehabilitative Services (LIP) provider manuals. Replacing the CALOCUS assessment with the CALOCUS-CASII assessment follows the recommendations of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Association for Community Psychiatry. The new assessment also has streamlined language and updated descriptions of anchor points, dimensions and service intensity levels. 

Providers already certified for the CALOCUS assessment or the Child and Adolescent Service Intensity Instrument (CASII) assessment will not need further training since the assessment is compatible with the existing online platforms and scoring algorithms. Providers who need to obtain certification on the CALOCUS-CASII assessment can complete training through any authorized provider, including the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. All new certifications of a passed competency test must be submitted to SCDHHS for final approval prior to administering the instrument to beneficiaries. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass the competency test.

Updated policy language will be available in the RBHSand LIP provider manuals by July 1, 2022. 

Flexibilities for Therapeutic Childcare

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) will be added as an approved evidence-based practice used in therapeutic childcare. CPP is an intervention model for children 0-6 years of age who have experienced at least one traumatic event and/or are experiencing mental health, attachment, and/or behavioral problems. CPP aligns well with the philosophy of therapeutic childcare and will continue to enhance this service. 

Updated policy language will be available in the RBHS provider manual by July 1, 2022. 

Changes for Notifications Related to Therapeutic Foster Care

SCDHHS will no longer require the use of a universal application to assign therapeutic foster care levels. Therapeutic foster care level assignments will be handled through the South Carolina Department of Social Services. 

Updated policy language will be available in the RBHS provider manual by July 1, 2022. 

Signature Requirement Changes for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) and Physician Assistants (PA)

An APRN and/or PA working at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health or the Medical University of South Carolina will be able to approve individualized plans of care and service plan development clinical service notes if the practice agreement between the APRN/PA and the physician/psychiatrist authorizes this practice. Practice agreements for an APRN must adhere to South Carolina Code of Laws Section 40-33-34. Practice agreements for a PA must adhere to South Carolina Code of Laws Section 40-47-195. 

Updated policy language will be available in the Community Mental Health Services provider manual by July 1, 2022. 

Serious Occurrence Reporting Additions for Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTF)

The following will be considered a serious occurrence that must be reported to SCDHHS and the state-designated protection and advocacy system:

  • Crimes against a resident;
  • Confirmed or suspected cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation;
  • Medication error with adverse reaction;
  • Hospitalization as a result of an accident and/or incident;
  • Severe injury involving the use of restraints;
  • Fire; and,
  • Resident left without notification or elopement.

Currently, only death, serious injury and suicide attempts must be reported. This policy change will align reporting requirements across state agencies as the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control already requires these incidents to be reported as a serious occurrence.

Updated policy language will be available in the Psychiatric Hospital Services provider manual by July 1, 2022. 

Please direct any questions or concerns regarding the policy changes described in this bulletin to the SCDHHS Office of Behavioral Health at behavioralhealth004@scdhhs.gov.

Thank you for your continued support of the South Carolina Healthy Connections Medicaid program.

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