USDA Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals (DCM-F/RP) Demonstration, School Year 2019–2020

USDA Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals (DCM-F/RP) Demonstration, School Year 2019–2020

Published: Mar 16, 2022
Publisher: Alexandria, VA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Policy Support
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Clients
USDA
Authors

Claire Smither Wulsin

Liana Washburn

Kelsey Chesnut

Key Findings
  • DCM‑F/RP resulted in substantial numbers of students directly certified to receive free or reduced-price meals based on Medicaid data. In SY 2019-2020, more than 1.2 million students were certified for free meals, and 240,000 students were certified for reduced-price meals through DCM-F/RP. These students would not have been directly certified in the absence of the demonstration.
  • These changes in certification outcomes were not, however, consistently associated with changes in participation or reimbursement rates.
  • State administrative costs decreased over the course of the demonstration, and only three states reported administrative costs for DCM-F/RP above $5,000 in school year 2019-2020.

The demonstration of Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals (DCM-F/RP) enhances benefit coordination by allowing authorized states and school districts to use information from Medicaid data files to identify students eligible to receive meals for free or at a reduced price, such that eligible students can be certified for meals without the need for household applications. Fifteen states participated in the DCM-F/RP demonstration. The current report examines outcomes related to certification, participation, federal reimbursement, and state administrative costs in school year 2019-2020 and over the course of the demonstration.

Summary

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