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June 22, 2012

Open Line

DIDD Team,

Below, are various items I would like to share:

  • Changes to Billing Process and Increased Billing Frequency:  DIDD regrets the effects that the one week delay in payment will have on our service providers.  We are hearing the concerns being expressed by our valued provider network and we are listening.  This billing process change is intended to increase the capability and options for our providers to manage their businesses by providing increased potential payment opportunities.  This process change is designed for the benefit of the provider community to allow providers to make better decisions for their business through better cash flow management due to decreased delay for payment from the point at which services provided and expenses incurred.  Despite these intentions, DIDD understands and sincerely regrets the financial strain on providers for the one-week delay in payment due to the complexities of this process change.
  • Community Visit:  This week, I had the opportunity to visit Mur-Ci Homes, an ICF/ID.  Representative Sherry Jones accompanied and we toured the day program and cottages on the property.  Special thanks to Executive Director Terry Kopansky and his staff for their hospitality, time, and coordination of the day’s events.  It was a great visit.
  • Draft Supplemental Employment Report:  Attached, is the 2012 Draft Supplemental Employment Report (PDF). The report is a compilation of employment-related data on two age groups: people who are 62 and older and people who are 21 and younger.  However, that data represents the stories and experiences of the people DIDD supports.  In East Tennessee, an 81-year-old gentleman is working.  On the other side of the age spectrum, a 9-year-old girl in West Tennessee is already thinking about what she wants to do when she is old enough to work.  Both of these people exemplify the power of employment; you’re never too old to work and never too young to start contemplating the answer to the question of, “What do I want to do when I grow up?”
  • Middle Planning and Policy Council (MPPC):   The MPPC will conduct its second meeting on July 13th from 10:00 am-2:00 pm CST at Evergreen Presbyterian Ministries, 1st Floor Conference Room.  Evergreen is located at 6050 Dana Way in Antioch.  The meeting is open to the public, space permitting.  If requiring ADA assistance, please contact Virginia Harris at (615) 231-5436.
  • Receiving Open Line:  We recently had several responses from providers who are not receiving Open Line.  Last week, it was not released.  In the future, we will notify everyone if an edition will not be issued.  Executive Directors and management staff, please share Open Line with those who may not have computer access.  For those wishing to be added to the distribution list, please contact Holly Tramil at holly.tramil@tn.gov.
  • Retirement Celebration:  As most of you are aware, Fred Hix, Assistant Commissioner of Fiscal & Administrative Services, is retiring next month.  To wish Fred well in his next venture, DIDD is hosting a celebration at Clover Bottom on June 28th.  Please view attached flyer for additional details.
  • Harold Jordan Center:  The Harold Jordan Center had a successful visit by the Quality Review Panel to monitor for compliance in Sections IV, V, and IX in the Settlement Agreement.  Positive comments were made in the exit session regarding the changes to create meaningful daytime activities in the community for people supported.  Also, improvements were noted in person-centered planning, the Quality Assurance process, and the observable way that 1st Amendment rights are supported.
  • Clover Bottom Developmental Center:  On June 19th, I joined Dr. Stacey Dixon in facilitating a meeting with family members for the people supported at Clover Bottom Developmental Center (CBDC).  Plans for the building of four-person ICF/ID homes in the Nashville community were shared as part of the ongoing move toward closure, which is expected in 2014.  Groundbreaking for the first four homes is expected by late summer.  Family members responded positively to the plans for the homes and the opportunity for a forum to discuss closure planning.  Many family members voiced appreciation of the improvements in operations, person-centered planning, and meaningful day activities that they have observed at CBDC over the last year.
  • Strategic Plan for Health Care:  Over the past several months, Dr. Cheetham has been across the state listening to what providers have to say about a Strategic Plan for Health Care, one of our Department's goals in the Customer Focused Government plan.  To date, he has met with 240 people at 14 meetings, and some future meetings will be detailed in subsequent editions.
  • American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities:  This week, a poster by Dr. Modell and Dr. Cheetham was presented at the 136th Annual Meeting of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Charlotte, NC.  The poster outlined the connection between policy, practice, and research in the new DIDD; this was the conference’s theme.
  • Person-Centered Practices:  DIDD and the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities are pleased to announce the expansion of Tennessee’s Person-Centered Organization initiative to three new sites this year.  Please watch for upcoming announcements.