Maryland Medicaid Pharmacy Program changes are effective January 1.  Please see the Preferred Drug List for the latest information.

Public Behavioral Health System ASO Transition

Effective January 1, 2020, Optum Maryland will replace Beacon as the administrative service organization (ASO) for Maryland’s public behavioral health system.  Before then, you need to:

1) SIGN UP FOR TRAINING with Optum—go to .

2) REGISTER with Optum—look for a provider alert when the portal is live (expected Dec. 16th).  Existing authorizations will transfer to Optum, but providers still need to register to continue authorizations and  submit claims.

3) PREPARE for payment—make sure your “Pay To” or “Remit To” address in Medicaid (MMIS) is 100% accurate and ensure that your provider file in Medicaid (through ePREP is up to date.

For  questions, please see the FAQ page on the transition website, call 1-800-888-1965, or email

Click here to access Optum Provider Training & Education Recordings


Maryland Medicaid ORP Provider

The Medicaid program notified the MPS that Ordering, Referring, and Prescribing (ORP) provider enrollment is available for those who contract privately with patients.  This is instead of enrolling as a rendering provider (and accepting Medicaid contract terms).  The ORP option accommodates psychiatrists who have private pay arrangements with patients while Medicaid pays for prescriptions.  This is somewhat similar to opting out of Medicare but, according to Medicaid Provider Services, there is no 2-year minimum requirement, e.g. someone can sign up as ORP one week and then change to a provider the next.  A signed written agreement with the patient would be best practice.

Providers must enroll as ORP (or as one of the rendering provider options) for prescriptions to be paid by Medicaid.  Once this requirement is fully implemented, if you have not enrolled, payment for prescriptions will be rejected at the pharmacy.  This requirement is due to Section 6401 of the Affordable Care Act and Code of Federal Regulations section 42 CFR § 455.410(b), which prohibits state Medicaid agencies from reimbursing for ordered, referred, or prescribed services when the ORP practitioner is not enrolled in the state Medicaid program.

Begin ORP enrollment at  There is some screening; for example, a current medical license is required, as for enrolling as a provider, but there is no provider agreement and no contractual relationship with Medicaid.  The ePREP process may be confusing so there are webinars (under “Past Webinars,” see links to slides and recording for “ePREP for Ordering/Referring/Prescribing (ORP) Providers”) and other online resources.  Enrollment instructions help get into the portal on the correct path, but continue as appropriate to your situation.  The rest of the steps depend somewhat how you complete the form.

Please contact with questions about ORP policies or enrollment.  For many ePREP issues and questions, the call center can get things sorted out quickly. Common issues include password reset requests, user profile setup, and other technical guidance. Try the call center with specific questions or technical issues.  1-844-4MD-PROV (1-844-463-7768) Monday – Friday 7AM- 7PM  but closed on State holidays.

Should that be insufficient, personal assistance with ORP enrollment is available – please email Brenda Logan at to request an appointment.  A minimum of one hour is recommended, especially if online materials and the webinar have not already been viewed.

After initial enrollment, the provider will need to upload when the medical license renews and revalidate every 5 years.

A third option is available to psychiatrists via ePREP:  they may also enroll as solo practitioners, which is like a rendering provider, except the provider can receive direct payment from Medicaid instead of needing to be affiliated with a reimbursable group.

Please note:  Each year many Marylanders enroll in Medicaid as one of the options on the health insurance exchange established under the Affordable Care Act.  Be sure to ask all private pay patients whether they use Medicaid to cover their medicines.  If so, you must be enrolled as ORP to enable reimbursement.

Medicaid and CHIP Scorecard

The Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Scorecard includes measures voluntarily reported by states, as well as federally reported measures in three areas: state health system performance; state administrative accountability; and federal administrative accountability. Click here to view the Maryland profile.  Of note, Maryland’s Medicaid and CHIP enrollment has increased over 50% since the ACA rollout in October 2013.  For more information, please review the fact sheet.

Medicaid Mail Reminder

The Maryland Medicaid program automatically disenrolls Medicaid enrollees whose mail is returned due to an invalid address (a regulatory requirement of the federal and state government).  A fact sheet describes the process, identifies specific consumer types who are excluded from disenrollment, and provides information on how an enrollee can report address changes.  Patients must communicate address changes to the state to protect their Medicaid status.

Parity Rule for Medicaid and CHIP

On March 29, 2016 CMS announced final regulations to strengthen access to mental health and substance use (MHSU) services for people with Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, aligning with protections already required of private health plans under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.  The final rule maintains state flexibility regarding managed care while guaranteeing that Medicaid enrollees can access MHSU services in the same manner as medical benefits.  Plans must disclose information on MHSU disorder benefits upon request, including the criteria for determinations of medical necessity. The final rule also requires the state to disclose the reason for any denial of reimbursement or payment for services with respect to MHSU disorder benefits.  For more information, review the 1425-page final rule or go to the Medicaid Behavioral Health Services webpage.

Clozapine REMS

The FDA Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program can be found at the Clozapine REMS website.  Important: Prescribers need to be certified to participate in the Clozapine REMS program.  To obtain certification, click here.