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

November 2, 2012

Open Line

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

Announcement:  As many of you are already aware, Ms. Julie Huber has resigned her position as Director of Employment and Day Services and accepted a similar position in Oregon.  In addition to many other accomplishments, Julie has been instrumental in spearheading the effort to ensure that all persons within the DIDD system who wish to find meaningful and gainful employment are afforded that opportunity.  While Julie’s departure will be bittersweet, we are excited to continue our relationship with her through the State of Tennessee’s participation in the EFLSMP Grant, of which Oregon is also a participant.  The department would like to thank Julie for all of her efforts and wish her the very best in all future endeavors. 

If interested in applying for this position, please visit http://www.tn.gov/didd/vault/newsroom/announcements/DirectorofDayServices.shtml for a complete job description.  With the department’s renewed emphasis on supported employment, we look forward to finding a candidate who best matches the qualifications for this vital position.

SRVS:  This week, I was honored to present the keynote address at SRVS 50th anniversary celebration.  Dr. Cheetham also accompanied.  I discussed some personal experiences, my view of the current state of disabilities services, tremendous advances seen over the years, as well as the challenges ahead in the intellectual and developmental disabilities field.  Upon the program’s completion, a time capsule was buried to be uncovered on SRVS 75th anniversary.  Special thanks to SRVS for allowing us to participate in their celebration and congratulations on achieving this important milestone!

UT Boling Center:  This week, I also visited the Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities in Memphis with Dr. Cheetham.  The Boling Center, part of the University of Tennessee, is one of Tennessee’s two Universities Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs.  Dr. Bruce Keisling, Associate Director of the Center, and members of the staff did a great job of discussing some of the important work they’re doing in the areas of interdisciplinary training in health disciplines, promoting community service programs, research, and dissemination of knowledge.  I learned about some of the unique programs, including work to support families, and shared my thoughts about continued collaboration with DIDD and current initiatives of the department.  Thank you for a great visit.

UT Knoxville:  I ended the week attending a board meeting at the UT College of Social Work in Knoxville and met with Dr. Karen Sowers.  As DIDD continues to strive for innovative methods to improve our service delivery system, we are examining ways to collaborate with outside entities like UT Knoxville and provide outreach to the community.

Promotional Appointment:  The department is pleased to announce the promotion of Laura Key to Director of the DIDD Fiscal Accountability Review Unit (FAR).  Laura has served as Auditor 3 in the FAR Unit for several years.  Prior to working for DIDD, Laura worked for 18 years at Tennessee Tech University, leaving with the title of Assistant Director, Property & Contracts.  This experience will serve Laura well as she assumes direction and supervision of the FAR Unit.  In addition to these duties, she will continue to be directly responsible for a small number of FAR reviews.  Please join me in welcoming Laura into her new role.

Loaned Executive Program:  Betty McNeely, Executive Director of Journeys in Community Living, was the first participant in the program that began October 23.  Ms. McNeely expressed that it was an interesting, enjoyable, and well-organized experience.  “I was impressed by the variety of issues your senior staff deal with on a daily basis and with some of the innovative projects they are working on such as the AT Clinic and Safety Systems development in particular.  Everyone made me feel welcome and I appreciated them asking for my input on some of the issues being discussed.”  We are pleased Ms. McNeely enjoyed her time in Central Office and look forward to welcoming next month’s participant, Tyler Hampton, of SRVS.

Honoring Veterans Day:  On November 7 at 9:00 a.m., Governor Haslam will host a Veterans Day event sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, at Legislative Plaza to honor state employees who are also veterans.  We are proud to announce that Elease Jenkins, IDD Program Director for DIDD, is one of the honorees.  Ms. Jenkins enlisted in the Army in 1981 and left with the rank of Private First Class.  Among the other honorees are Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder (Department of Veterans Affairs) and myself.  Commissioner Grinder is an Operation Enduring Freedom combat veteran who retired from the Tennessee Army National Guard as a Colonel with over 35 years of service.  I am honored to have served as a Vietnam War veteran.  In observance of this national holiday, please take time to thank the men and women who have greatly sacrificed for our country.

Budget Hearing:  The department’s budget hearing with Governor Haslam is scheduled for Thursday, November 8 at 2:00 p.m. (CDT).  The 2013-2014 DIDD budget includes a 5% reduction plan.  Live coverage will be available at: http://nowuseeit.state.tn.us/mediasite5/Viewer/?peid=aa522fa8df504ce1b773d3d0249c3d1b1d

Provider Billing Discussions:  Last week, DIDD held a billing discussion forum for each region.  We appreciate everyone’s participation, and the positive feedback that we have received from those who attended. 

A copy of the PowerPoint presentation from the meeting can be viewed at http://www.tn.gov/didd/vault/provider_agencies/resources/DIDD%20Billing%20Forum.pptx along with a summary of questions and answers from all three meetings at http://www.tn.gov/didd/vault/provider_agencies/resources/IPF%20FAQ.docx

We have also received several emails to the DIDD_Monthly.PRA@tn.gov email address with specific examples of issues, which we are currently researching.  We will respond individually to those who have submitted issues through email, but will also include an update through Open Line, for any issues that are brought to our attention.  Next week, we will also publish an overview of the presentation material in a narrative format, so that providers who were unable to attend can have access to the same information.

Money Follows the Person (MFP):  Through the Money Follows the Person program, DIDD is working to give persons living in ICF/IID’s and Nursing Facilities the opportunity to transition to home and community settings.  In the last year, DIDD has successfully transitioned 16 persons into home and community based settings. 
As a part of this program, DIDD is required to report all hospitalizations and short-term facility stays to TennCare within five business days of admission.  Additionally, DIDD is required to report to TennCare within five business days of their discharge of hospitals or other short-term facility stays.  Hospital and other short-term facility stays do not count toward the person’s 365 days in the MFP program.  This reporting requirement allows TennCare to remove the days spent in hospitals or other short-term facility stays from their 365 days.  To assist DIDD in meeting these requirements, we ask that all providers who support a person enrolled in the Money Follows the Person program immediately and within 24 hours of an admission or discharge from a hospital or other short-term facility stay, to report this to your regional intake unit.

West Region: Janet Neihoff at Janet.Neihoff@tn.gov  or 731-423-5889 or 731-217-4088  

Middle Region: Darla Goad at Darla.Goad@tn.gov or 615-231-5289

East Region: Melanie Ruiz at Melanie.Ruiz@tn.gov or 423-787-6954

Certifications:  Derrell Lankford, Tony Pena, Dana Scott, and Laura Doutre successfully completed certification for the Personal Outcome Measures workshop last week.  In addition, Laura completed the inter-rater reliability testing to conduct Personal Outcome Measures interviews.  Congratulations for continuing to build internal capacity to ensure DIDD success in becoming accredited.

Personal Outcome Measure:
  This week’s Personal Outcome Measure focuses on People Participate in the Life of the Community.  The key issue is that people take part in a wide variety of routines and special activities that occur in the community.  To have this outcome present, we should ensure:

  • There are opportunities to meet others and broaden experiences
  • Generic community resources are used (doctor, restaurants, retail stores, etc.)
  • Type and variety should match that available to others

in the same community when options are limited