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Community Health Worker (CHW)

Revised: 08-14-2018

  • Eligible Providers
  • Eligible Recipients
  • Covered Services
  • Noncovered Services
  • Billing
  • Definitions
  • Legal References
  • Overview

    A community health worker (CHW) is a trained health educator who works with Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) recipients who may have difficulty understanding providers due to cultural or language barriers. CHWs extend the reach of providers into underserved communities, reduce health disparities, enhance provider communication, and improve health outcomes and overall quality measures. Working in conjunction with primary care providers, CHWs can bridge gaps in communication and instill lasting health knowledge.

    CHW services are a diagnosis-related medical intervention, not a social service.

    CHWs providing diagnosis-related patient education services to enrollees of managed care organizations (MCOs) must contact the MCOs for enrollment requirements and coverage policies.

    CHW services that provide patient education for health promotion and disease management are covered if provided under the supervision of a physician, dentist, advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), certified public health nurse (PHN), mental health professional or registered nurse.

    Eligible Providers

    Providers must have a valid certificate from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) demonstrating that the applicant has completed an approved community health worker curriculum. CHW providers must enroll and be screened following the MHCP provider screening requirements at the time of enrollment and once within every five years to maintain their enrollment.

    Enrollment Criteria

    MHCP requires CHWs to enroll so they are represented on a claim as the provider who provided the services. During the enrollment process, Provider Enrollment will assign the CHW worker a Unique Minnesota Provider Identifier (UMPI) if the CHW does not have a National Provider Identifier (NPI).

    CHWs interested in enrolling must submit the following signed and completed forms:

  • MHCP Provider Agreement (DHS-4138) (PDF)
  • MHCP Enrollment Application (DHS-4016) (PDF)
  • MHCP Applicant Assurance Statement (DHS-5308) (PDF)
  • Attach a copy of your MnSCU CHW certification to the application form. Fax all signed and completed forms to MHCP at: 651-431-7462.

    Currently enrolled CHWs must inform DHS of their affiliation with dentists, ARPNs, certified PHNs or mental health professionals by completing and faxing a signed Individual Practitioner MHCP Provider Information Change Form (DHS-3535) (PDF).

    MHCP Provider Enrollment will process the request within 30 days of receiving the signed and completed application, agreement, and applicant assurance statement and will screen the applicant. Provider Enrollment will send notification to the applicant to notify them of the outcome.

    Enrolled CHWs are considered a non-pay-to provider but must be listed on the claim as the individual who rendered the CHW services. CHWs must provide an eligible MHCP enrolled billing provider with their UMPI or NPI, so the eligible billing provider can submit claims for their services.

    Eligible Billing Providers

  • • Advance practice registered nurse (APRN)
  • • Clinic
  • • Community health clinic
  • • Critical access hospital
  • • Dentist
  • • Family planning agency
  • • Federally qualified health centers (FQHC)
  • • Hospital
  • • Indian health service (IHS) facility
  • • Mental health professionals
  • • Physician
  • • Public health nurse clinic
  • • Rural health clinics (RHC)
  • • Tribal health facility
  • Provider Type Home Page Links
    Review related web pages for the latest news and additions, forms and quick links:

  • Eligible Recipients

    Medical Assistance (MA) and MinnesotaCare members are eligible to receive education services provided by a CHW.

    MHCP members enrolled in the Minnesota Family Planning Program (MFPP) are not eligible to receive CHW services.

    Covered Services

    MHCP will cover diagnosis-related patient education services, including diabetes prevention and pediatric obesity treatment provided by a CHW with the following criteria:

  • • MHCP requires general supervision by an MHCP-enrolled physician, APRN, certified public health nurse, dentist, mental health professional or non-enrolled registered nurse
  • • A physician, APRN, dentist, certified public health nurse or mental health professional must order the patient education service(s) and must order that a CHW provides the service(s)
  • • The service involves teaching the patient how to self-manage his or her health or oral health effectively in conjunction with the health care team
  • • The service is provided face-to-face with the recipient (individually or in a group) in an outpatient, home, clinic or other community setting
  • • The content of the patient education plan or training program is consistent with established or recognized health or dental health care standards. Curriculum may be modified as necessary for the clinical needs, cultural norms and health or dental literacy of the individual patients
  • Noncovered Services

    MHCP does not cover social services such as enrollment assistance, case management or advocacy delivered by a CHW.

    Required Documentation

    The CHW education service is based on units of time. Include the following in the recipient’s record:

  • • An order for services signed by an MHCP-enrolled physician, APRN, dentist, mental health professional or non-enrolled registered nurse or public health nurse working for an enrolled organization. The order must specify the number of units ordered and whether group or individual services
  • • Documentation of the patient education plan or training program used by the CHW
  • • Documentation of periodic assessment of the recipient’s progress and need for ongoing CHW services
  • • Documentation of the following:
  • • Date of service
  • • Start and end time for the service
  • • Whether the service was group or individual and if group, number of patients present, summary of the session’s content, and the CHWs signature and printed name
  • Billing

  • Follow these guidelines when submitting claims for CHW services:
  • • Submit claims electronically using the Professional (837P) claim form
  • • Use the hospital’s, clinic’s, physician’s, APRN’s, public health nursing organization’s or mental health professional’s National Provider Identifier (NPI) as the pay to provider
  • • Use the following procedure codes:
  • • 98960 self-management education & training, face-to-face, 1 patient
  • • 98961 self-management education & training, face-to-face, 2–4 patients
  • • 98962 self-management education & training, face-to-face, 5–8 patients
  • • For groups with more than 8 patients, use 98962 with the U9 modifier
  • • Bill in 30-minute units: limit 4 units per 24 hours; no more than 24 units per calendar month per recipient
  • • Bill separate lines for each day service is provided (only one calendar month of service per claim)
  • • Enter appropriate diagnosis
  • • Enter the non-pay UMPI or NPI of the CHW, who provided the services, as the rendering provider
  • The billing provider must meet the same documentation requirements listed above. The documentation must support the number of units billed.

    Federally qualified health centers (FQHC) and rural health clinics (RHC): Bill using appropriate electronic claim format.


    Providers must bill the enrollee’s MCO for patient education services provided by a community health worker.


    Community health representative (CHR): Community-based health care providers who provide health promotion and disease prevention services in their communities and have completed an Indian Health Service (IHS) funded, tribally contracted or granted, and directed program of training.

    Community health worker (CHW): A health worker who is a trusted member or has an unusually close understanding of the community served, which enables the person to provide information about health issues that affect the community and link individuals with the health and social services they need to achieve wellness.

    Legal References

    Minnesota Statutes 256B.0625, subd. 49 (Community health worker)
    Minnesota Statutes 245.462
    , subd. 18 (Mental health professional)
    Minnesota Statutes 245.4871
    , subd. 27 (Mental health professional)

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