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Mental Health Provider Travel Time

Revised: 09-20-2016

  • Overview
  • Eligible Providers
  • Eligible Recipients
  • Mental Health Provider Travel Time Covered Services
  • Noncovered Services
  • Billing
  • Legal References
  • Overview

    Mental health provider travel time allows providers to bill for traveling to the recipient to provide covered mental health services in a place other than the provider’s usual place of business. Provider travel time covers only the time the provider is in transit to and from the recipient by the most direct route. It does not include any stops or variations in the route. Only variations resulting from posted detours or blocked routes may be included in claims for mental health provider travel time.

    Eligible Providers

    Mental health providers are eligible to bill for mental health provider travel time.

    Eligible Recipients

    To be eligible, recipients must have an individual treatment plan (ITP) specifying why the provider must travel to the recipient’s home, place of work or other setting to provide services.

    Covered Service

    Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) covers provider travel time when:

  • • The recipient has an individual treatment plan (ITP)
  • • The ITP indicates the need and reason for mental health services to be provided outside the provider’s normal place of business
  • • The mental health service being provided to the recipient is covered under MHCP
  • Beginning Location

    For mental health provider travel time, if the provider begins the trip at his or her home, MHCP fee for service (FFS) will reimburse the lesser of the following:

  • • The distance between the provider’s home and the recipient
  • • The distance between the provider’s usual place of business or office and the recipient
  • For example, if the provider’s home is further away from the recipient than the provider’s usual place of business, then MHCP will reimburse only the time for the provider to travel from the usual place of business to the recipient. This policy applies for the return trip as well.

    Multiple Visits

    When traveling to consecutive recipients’ locations on the same day, only count the accrued travel time from the beginning location to the first recipient in the first recipient’s progress note, and then travel time from the first recipient location to the second recipient location in the second recipient’s progress notes.

    The return trip to the provider’s place of business is billable to and from the last recipient if the provider returns to the usual place of business at the end of the day.

    Documentation Requirements

    Documentation (progress note) must be in English and legible, and must include the following:

  • • Start and stop time (with a.m. and p.m. notations)
  • • Printed name of the recipient
  • • Date the entry is made
  • • Date the service is provided
  • • Origination site and destination site
  • • Who provided the service
  • • The electronic source used to calculate driving directions and distance between locations
  • • Linked to medically necessary mental health service delivered in a location other than provider’s usual place of business
  • See Minnesota Statutes 256B.0625 for documentation requirements for all other covered transportation services in MHCP.

    Noncovered Services

    MHCP does not cover provider travel time for the following:

  • • Recipient transport (even if to a covered service)
  • • Site-based programs (such as day treatment)
  • Mental Health Targeted Case Management (MH-TCM) (travel time is included in the monthly rate)
  • • Case managers or case manager associates
  • • Site-based program providers such as ACT, day treatment, IRTS and crisis residential facilities
  • • No shows
  • Billing

    Refer to the following billing requirements:

  • • Bill travel time using MN–ITS 837P
  • • If the provided service was authorized, bill the travel time on a separate claim
  • • Enter the treating provider NPI number for each line item. If the individual provider is a mental health practitioner, MHBA, or mental health rehabilitation worker, bill using the NPI number of the supervising mental health professional with the appropriate modifier when necessary
  • • Use the appropriate place of service code. The place of service may be a recipient’s home, the work place or other setting as defined in the recipient’s treatment plan
  • • Use modifiers when appropriate. Enter the number of minutes of travel time in the units field
  • Mental Health Provider Travel Time

    Procedure Code

    Brief Description

    Unit Length

    Service Limitations


    Provider Travel Time

    1 minute

    Bill the travel time on the same claim as the provided service.

    Bill actual number of minutes spent in transit, do not round up.

    Legal Reference

    Minnesota Statutes 256B.0625, subd.43, Mental Health Provider Travel Time

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