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October 19, 2012

Open Line

This edition of Open Line includes information I want to share with you:

  • The Gathering:  On October 17 and 18th the Second Annual Tennessee Gathering of Person Centered Practices was held at Fall Creek Falls State Park.  The purpose of this event was to gather all the people who have been involved in the Person Centered Organization project since 2008 to share learning, celebrate success, reflect on the project and plan for the future.  On day 2 we had a special guest speaker, my wife Pat Henry, who shared personal stories that emphasized the importance for people to have positive control over their lives.
    I would like to thank all of the providers, ISCs, self-advocates and state employees who took time out of their busy schedule to attend and to recognize the following organizations for their participation: The ARC of Davidson County, Buffalo River Services, Compass Coordination, DAC Support Coordination, Greene County Skills, Greene Valley Developmental Center, East TN Homes, East TN Regional Office, Community Network Services, Community Connections, Orange Grove Centers, Prospect, Michael Dunn Center, Rochelle Center, Pacesetters, Neighborhood Network, ISC of CDC, Middle Tennessee Regional Office, DIDD Quality Assurance, Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities and the West Tennessee Regional Office.
  • SIS Training:  All three regions had a wonderful turnout for the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) training last week.  Provider agencies, ISCs, and Regional/Central Office staff received valuable information about the SIS and the SIS Report. I would like to thank the training staff from each Regional Office and Ascend Management Innovations for coordinating these well-attended sessions.
    The most frequent request was for the PowerPoint to be posted on the DIDD web site.  You can access the PowerPoint at the following link: http://www.tn.gov/didd/vault/provider_agencies/resources/Power%20Point%20for%20SIS%20Training.ppsx
  • Employment Presentations:  Serena Lowe, Senior Policy Advisor at the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, spoke at the September 14 Employment Conference.  We tried to email her presentation to conference attendees last week.  Because of its size, many email systems were not able to receive it.  We have now posted all the presentations on our Employment First web page at http://www.tn.gov/didd/vault/EmploymentFirst/index.shtml.
  • Middle Region Family Informational Meeting: The most recent meeting was held October 4 at Clover Bottom Developmental Center, One Cannon Way. A special thank you to the Therapeutic Services Unit of MTRO.  With their help, the Intake Unit was able to provide a number of vendors and resources to the families in attendance.  Vendors included Cecilia Melo-Romie, Barbara Buell, Mickey McGee, Jackson Mobility, Holland Medical, Martin McGrath of United Cerebral Palsy, Tennessee Regulatory Authority, The Arc, and Melissa Childers of Choices.  Michelle Jernigan of Tenncare provided informational materials as well.
    The families expressed genuine appreciation for the information provided.  The middle region plans to hold these meetings at least twice a year.  The next meeting is slated for March 2013.  A number of people have already expressed their interest in participating.
  • Greeneville Focus Group:  This month’s meeting is October 25 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Greene County Skills in their conference room (130 Bob Smith Blvd). Everyone is welcome and discussion will center on the ISP.  Please RSVP before October 24 to Chaneth.Quemore@tn.gov  or jwinters@thearctn.org as lunch will be provided.
  • Developmental Disability Planning & Policy Council (DDPPC):  The DDPPC met on Wednesday, October 17, in Nashville. Chair Dan Steffen facilitated the meeting and Dr. Thomas Cheetham, Director of DIDD Health Services presented the department’s health care plan as well as updates on the department’s budget process, legislative proposals, provider manual draft, accreditation, and employment. I answered questions from the Council members concerning the lawsuits and Dr. Scott Modell, Deputy Commissioner of Policy and Innovation answered questions regarding the Statewide and Self-Determination waivers.
    Minutes of this meeting will be placed on the DIDD website at https://apps.tn.gov/pmn/index.html, enter "Dept. of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities," in the department section and all DIDD related meetings will be displayed.
  • Conference Presentation:  Dr. Scott Modell and Noel Hengelbrok wrote a paper titled, “Systems Safety in State Service Delivery Systems.”  Mr. Hengelbrok presented the paper at the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) Conference this past Wednesday in Phoenix, Arizona.  The presentation discussed the complexities of state service delivery and how the complexities affect safety.  Importantly, the presentation highlighted the department’s initiative to incorporate this model of safety into its systems to ensure the safety of all persons supported.
  • Internet Redesign:  After successful implementation of the DIDD Intranet redesign on October 1, 2012, the Office of Communications and External Affairs has turned their attention to a structural redesign of the DIDD internet with the following goals in mind:
    • The structure will reflect the Organizational Framework for the Department
    • Businesses that partner with DIDD will have greater and easier access to the information they need to succeed
    • Consumers will have greater access to information in a friendlier, more intuitive environment.
      If you have any suggestions for the DIDD website please send them to Jeff Goodwin, our webmaster, at Jeffrey.Goodwin@tn.gov.
  • DD Waiver: Discussions regarding the Developmental Disability (DD) Waiver continue, specifically how to secure funding options during tough economic times.
  • 2013 Budget Hearings: Budget Hearings for fiscal year 2013 are coming up soon with DIDD’s tentatively scheduled for November 10. As soon as the schedule is finalized by the Governor’s office, we will distribute information on how to access the hearing online.
  • DIDD Billing Discussion:  As a reminder, DIDD will be hosting a web conference to discuss changes in the billing processes that have occurred over the past several months.  The purpose of these meetings will be to share information on recent and upcoming enhancements to the billing process, and to allow providers to share feedback and discuss any outstanding issues.  The meeting details are included below.  Due to limits on the number of participants, we have broken these meetings up by region. 


TIME (Central Time Zone)



9:30 AM – 11:30 AM

East Region


9:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Middle Region


12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

West Region

NOTE: In order to attend the web conference, participants will need an internet connection and a computer equipped with either internal or external speakers.   
Instructions for Joining the Web Conference:
To join the meeting, participants should enter the link below in their web browser:
http://stateoftennessee.adobeconnect.com/didd_billing_forum/  Select the option to enter as guest, type in your agency’s name, and click on the option to enter the meeting room. You may be prompted to install an Adobe Connect Add-In, which may take a few minutes to download and install.  You may also need to temporarily disable your pop-up blocker. If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before, you can test your connection before the meeting using the link below: