[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Skip to Content

May 11, 2012

Open Line

DIDD Team,

Below, are various items I would like to share:

  • Planning & Policy Councils/Committee Volunteers:  All five of the Planning and Policy Councils (PPC) have had at least one meeting and work has begun.  The Statewide Planning and Policy Council will have its next meeting on May 16th and is expected to make recommendations to DIDD regarding waiver definitions and our five-year strategic plan, as they are both items our staff is currently finalizing.

    Ms. Jahnil Ancheta, whom I appointed to the Developmental Disabilities PPC, has regretfully turned in her notice as she and her family are moving.  We wish her well and appreciate her stepping up to serve.  This does create an opening for a children’s advocate on the DDPPC.  The attached memo seeks volunteers from outside DIDD for any committee, including the DDPPC, so please submit it as directed if you are interested in this opening or any other opportunities.
    Committee Volunteers (WORD)


  • Informational Meetings:  DIDD would like to invite you to a series of Informational Meetings.  Please make every effort to have your agency well represented with your program operations staff as we will be sharing important information regarding program service delivery.  Please visit the following link for the agenda, meeting dates, and locations: Informational Meetings


  • National Quality Management Project:  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) recognizes the critical role that performance and outcome data play in the management, operation, and funding of state developmental disabilities systems.  ADD is taking an unprecedented step in building the capacity of state developmental disabilities (DD) agencies through the National Data Measurement Project.

    The purpose of this project is to expand the National Core Indicators (NCI) performance measurement system.  The NCI system comprises over 100 key outcome indicators that are designed to gather valid and reliable data across five broad domains: individual outcomes; family outcomes; health, welfare and rights; staff stability; and system performance.  Through this project, funding is being made available to assist state DD agencies in covering the costs of the first year of data collection with the expectation that the state will continue to participate in NCI in subsequent years.  The department is pleased to announce the awarding of $43,200 to participate in this project by the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disability Services (NASDDDS).  The funding was awarded for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2013.  The department was informed that NASDDDS will issue the formal announcement of funding for next year’s program in March 2013.

  • Contract Renewal:  The contract between DIDD and TennCare for administration of our three HCBS waivers will be renewed as of July 1, 2012.  TennCare has indicated that there will be some changes in this agreement; one area where there will be increased focus is the area of Program Integrity.  This area covers activities to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse within programs that are funded by Medicaid and Medicare.  The increased focus is based on new federal rules and regulations concerning Program Integrity.  As we receive additional information from TennCare, we will continue to update everyone.


  • Licensure:  As noted in last week’s edition, the Department’s bill affecting licensure will soon be enacted.  This means DIDD will assume responsibility for licensure of the entities we have provider agreements with.  The DIDD Office of Risk Management will expand to include licensure.  The logistics of this transition are being worked out with the Department of Mental Health and as details are finalized, we will pass them on to the provider community.  If you have questions between now and then, you can contact the Director of Risk Management, Lee Vestal, at 615-253-8733 or Lee.Vestal@tn.gov.

  • Community Visit:  Today, I visited the Chattanooga Regional Office with Senator Bo Watson and met with John Craven, East Tennessee Regional Director, and his staff.  Thank you to all who facilitated and for the warm reception.  After, I toured the Tri-County Center in Athens, TN with Representative John Forgety.  Members of The Athenian Daily-Post accompanied.  Special thanks to Senator Watson and Representative Forgety for taking time out of their schedules to learn more about our Department.  My sincere appreciation also extends to Pam Perdue, Executive Director of Tri-County Center, and her staff for their assistance in coordinating and arranging the day’s events.  It was a very enjoyable visit.  


  • Trousdale School:  This week, I had the opportunity to visit with 27 students from the Trousdale School in Cleveland, TN.  The students were visiting the Tennessee State Museum as part of a two-day field trip to Nashville and invited me to join them on one of their outings.  During our discussion, I was very pleased to hear all 27 students were employed.  I’d like to thank Shannon Clark, Executive Director for the Trousdale School, for the opportunity to speak to the students and learn more about the exciting things going on there.

  • Person-Centered Thinking: Earlier this year, I issued a challenge through Open Line to all providers who contract with DIDD.  The challenge was to have all staff trained in the two day Person-Centered Thinking training by the end of 2012.  We are thrilled to announce that The Arc of Davidson County has trained 100% of their ISCs.  This commitment to help improve services and therefore the quality of lives of people we support is very impressive.  Congratulations to the Arc of Davidson County.  The Department is looking forward to seeing the fruits of your labor.


  • National Nurses Week:  Please join me in recognizing National Nurses Week and the hard work and commitment of nurses to the health of people we serve as a Department.  Each year Nurses Week is celebrated from May 6th to 12th.  The dedication and caring of nurses helps Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities live healthier, fulfilling, and rewarding lives.

  • Michigan Mental Health and Aging Conference:  This week Dr. Cheetham was in Lansing Michigan, at a conference now in its 24th year.  He presented a whole day workshop titled, “Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Addressing Physical and Behavioral Health Care Concerns.”


  • Centralized ICF Billings:  This week, a memo was issued to the West Tennessee Regional Director detailing that effective July 1, 2012, all ICF billings will be initiated from the Central Denied Claims Office.  The memorandum completes the notification of regional staff on the centralization of ICF billings.  The implementation of this effort stems from a recommendation in the Governor’s Toto-Bottom Review to centralize DIDD fiscal services.


  • Rescheduled Hearing:  The Arlington Hearing that was set before Judge McCalla on the “Defendants’ Updated and Amended Motion to Vacate All Outstanding Orders and Dismiss the Case” on May 8, 2012, has been rescheduled by Judge McCalla for June 18, 2012.

  • DIDD Litigation:  This month has been a difficult one for DIDD, as we have dedicated most of our time to lawsuit issues.  Unfortunately, this has taken away some efforts to spend time on our most important priority: persons served.  In the coming months, we hope for resolution and the ability to move forward.  We will ensure everyone stays apprised of our progress.