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March 9, 2012

Open Line

DIDD Team,

Hope everyone had a nice week. Below, are various items I’d like to share:

  • Call for Help:  Recent tornadoes and storms Tennessee experienced have caused considerable damage and even affected a few employees’ homes. The financial impact and devastation natural disasters leave behind is extensive and we know it can happen to anyone. In times such as these, DIDD is fortunate to have a team that unites to help our own. Several staff and I have discussed the possibility of taking up a collection for those in need of assistance. With over 2,000 employees, a small voluntary contribution of $2.00 can be donated for help during hard times. If any employee is interested in this endeavor, please contact Susan Moss at susan.moss@tn.gov. All money collected will be given to employees for damage-related repairs or other disaster-related expenses. Any contributions made are highly appreciated!
  • West Tennessee Resource Center:  The West TN Resource Center (WTRC) staff and offices are now in one location. WTRC will host an Open House in the Baker Building on Thursday, March 22, 2012 from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. The staff extends an invitation to all to tour their facility and speak with them at informational booths. Tours will be conducted from 12:00 to 1:00. Informational talks and light refreshments will follow from 1:00 to 2:00.
  • Provider Agreements:  For providers with current agreements, there will be in the near future, an amendment that will cover changes in several areas of the current agreement. This new amendment will need signatures as would a complete agreement. For new providers, the provider agreement will look slightly different than the one providers currently have. Some changes are simply language-based due to new sensitivities to more person-centered language and some are updates, such as the Department's new name.

    Other changes will be more substantive, such as the one reported a few months back in previous editions concerning newer and lower limits on liability amounts now required when the provider agrees to carry adequate liability and other appropriate forms of insurance as an independent contractor.  These changes and additions have to be approved by TennCare before they can be incorporated into existing agreements or new ones. Therefore, future Open Line articles will delve much deeper into each and every one of the more substantive provider agreement changes once TennCare has signed off and the new amendment is ready to be distributed to all providers for signature.
  • Hospital Attendant Reminder:  DIDD funded hospital attendant services may be provided in an acute care (medical/surgical) hospital when it is medically necessary. It is the responsibility of the residential or personal assistance provider to ensure there is a hospital attendant during a hospital stay for people who need this assistance and do not have immediate family members or friends who can provide it. Consideration for a hospital attendant should be given when the person has a recent history of behavioral issues that place the person or others at imminent risk of harm or that have resulted in significant damage to property. Consideration for a hospital attendant should also be given when the person is not capable of alerting hospital staff when assistance is needed. While natural supports should be used first whenever they are available, DIDD funded hospital attendant services may be accessed through the Regional AOD when necessary.
  • Monthly Review Clarification:  There continues to be some confusion surrounding the frequency of the ISP review process and the format to be used for the review. Monthly reviews should continue for all providers. Chairman Redden's committee proposed a standardized form to be used for the review process and providers are free to begin using this form or to continue the use of their own format. The committee is meeting to review the feedback provided regarding the new form. When the feedback has been compiled and integrated, the revised form will be shared with all providers. Once the form has been finalized, it will become the required DIDD monthly review form that all providers will use.
  • DIDD Internal Goals:  The Department was recently recognized by the Governor’s Office of Diversity Business Enterprise (Go-DBE) as one of the top agencies in state government with diversity participation greater than $1 million dollars for Fiscal Year 2011. Each department of the Tennessee Executive Branch is required to set agency internal goals in four (4) subcategories: minority-owned, woman owned, service-disabled veteran owned, and small business enterprise per Tennessee Code Annotated. DIDD recently met with the Go-DBE to establish our goals for Fiscal Year 2012-13.

    We are requesting all providers collaborate with us to assist in achieving our internal goals for the current fiscal year. If you believe you meet eligibility requirements of being “at least fifty-one (51)% owned and controlled in the daily operation of a business as a minority-owned, woman business enterprise status, or make less than $30 million annually and have less than 30 employees,” you should contact the Go-DBE at www.tn.gov/diversity and register for certification.

    In addition, DIDD Office of Civil Rights will be surveying our provider network during the next two weeks. Once the survey is sent, we are asking all providers to return the completed DIDD Service Provider Ownership Survey to the Office of Civil Rights before April 3, 2012.
  • House Budget Hearing:  DIDD will present its Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Recommended Budget to the House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee at 2:30 p.m. on March 12th. If interested, the hearing will be streamed live at http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/.
  • Statewide Focus Groups:  Please feel free to attend this month’s focus groups. This is a great opportunity for learning self-advocacy and problem solving. All meetings are from 12:00-2:00 p.m. and lunch is provided. Everyone is welcome and staff may accompany persons supported. The following are dates and locations:

March 12, 2012- Greene County Skills, Greeneville, TN
March 13, 2012- Community Action Committee, 2247 Western Avenue, Knoxville, TN
March 13, 2012- Clover Bottom Developmental Center (basement of One Cannon Way)
March 15, 2012- Support Solutions of the Mid-South (Main Office)

Have a great weekend!