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May 10, 2013

Open Line


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

Provider Agency Billing Responsibility: Throughout our long association, DIDD and provider agencies have cooperated in ensuring the best possible outcomes for persons supported. However, I need to remind providers of their responsibility in two areas to ensure that the system continues to work as designed.

These areas concern provider involvement in the Circle of Support for persons supported and provider responsibility for accurate billing.

It is the duty of the provider to assist in maintaining financial eligibility by working with the six Department of Human Services (DHS) counselors assigned to the DIDD person’s county of residence. DHS counselors handle yearly financial eligibility re-determinations. When any changes in income, earned or unearned, or resources occur, it is the responsibility of the Representative Payee to immediately inform the appropriate DHS counselor of these changes.

It is also the responsibility of all providers to become involved in the Circle of Support in order to maintain awareness of any changes to the person’s financial eligibility and to ensure their data is current; and that those persons do not lose financial eligibility at any time that would cause a disruption of waiver services and create denied waiver claims.

Below is an excerpt from the Provider Manual:

1.5.h. Annual Re-determination/Reapplication and Ongoing Financial Eligibility for Medicaid Waiver Services: Providers who are involved with managing or assisting in management of personal funds must track resources and be aware of changes in income that could affect Medicaid eligibility. Providers serving as the representative payee for a service recipient must complete the required forms and interview for annual re-determination/reapplication within the specified time frames to avoid discontinuation of Medicaid-funded services.

Any change in the financial circumstances of the person supported must be communicated to the DHS counselors immediately. If you are unsure of a person’s assigned DHS counselor, please contact the Regional Office administrative unit for the DHS information.

A second area of proactive provider responsibility affecting billing, is cost plan changes. Provider agencies need to be aware of the level of services being provided and to immediately notify the appropriate DIDD regional office of any changes to that level of service so cost plan corrections can be made timely.

As we build the Project Titan system and continue to maintain and upgrade the legacy information systems, your active involvement is vital to smooth operations and timely payments.

Community Visits: This week, my wife Pat and Susan Moss, Deputy Director of Constituent Services, visited the adult services program in Fairview operated by Waves. Jennifer Krahenbill, Executive Director and her staff provided a tour and talked about their participation in the Special Olympics Area Games which were recently held in Fairview. Several of the persons supported arrived later after their Next Chapter Book Club meeting and told their guests about the story they were reading. Eric Wilson of Franklin who is an aspiring photographer, took photos (that will be shared at a later date) of the event. Eric works at Publix Supermarket when not photographing flowers, animals, mountains, people, etc. Thank you to Jennifer and her Fairview staff for an enjoyable visit.

Later in the week, they visited with Dave Krikac, founder of Our Thrift Store in Franklin. Dave and his wife Sandy were honored at an appreciation luncheon hosted by DIDD and held at the Governor’s Executive Residence in January. This store is unique in that it has created twenty plus ongoing jobs for young adults with disabilities. One-hundred percent of their proceeds go back into the Gear Foundation’s services allowing them to expand their programs and create more jobs as they grow in size and scope.

Our Thrift Store provides opportunities beyond cloistered environments. Based on a partnership with GetCertified and their customer, Dan Post Boots, the foundation launched Our Fulfillment Center in a facility located two doors down from Our Thrift Store. Our Fulfillment Center focuses on delivering fulfillment and packing/shipping services to a wide variety of organizations and businesses. Young adults with disabilities are being training in a variety of diverse jobs, such as eBay Store Sales-Packing and Shipping, computer refurbishing-repair and sales, large scale assembly-packing, and shipping and retail product support for Our Thrift Store, to name a few. Pat and Susan visited with many of the employees and were shown the operation from the moment a donation is received until the moment an item is sold. It was a great experience. Thank you Dave for providing real hope for an independent life and creating an environment that is warm and friendly. Please visit their website at www.ourthriftstore.org.

clipMiddle Tennessee Community Homes Progress: The ICF/IID homes on Tulip Grove Road are near completion of being framed. The difference in the new home model can now be distinguished from the original ICF/IID homes. They are expected to be dried in with roofing, windows, and doors within a few weeks. The two homes on Earhart are three weeks behind schedule of the Tulip Grove homes due to weather and soil conditions of that particular tract. Pictured at right, is one currently under construction.

DIDD Training Update: Relias is working closely with provider agencies and has completed the download of staff for 19 agencies so far. Additionally, we are on track for some agencies to go live next week. We are expecting all agencies to have their bulk download spreadsheets completed and returned this month, and for all agencies to go live by June 1. Relias reminds you to please not add the learners in your Manager Zone to the bulk download spreadsheets, as they are shared and you are not the primary employer. However, you can add any missing employees that are not secondary shares.

All agencies now have access to enroll new learners. Here, is the link to the Tennessee recorded webinar with Relias on enrolling new learners.

We also encourage training administrators to add the following webinars to their schedule for next week. Each will include a Q & A to help agencies at any stage of the transition process.

Tuesday, May 14: “Bulk-load Completed, What’s Next” (9:00 AM Central, 10:00 AM Eastern)

Wednesday, May 15: “Bulk-load Completed, What’s Next” (1:00 PM Central, 2:00 PM Eastern)

We want to remind all agencies that the last day to work in CDS will be Friday, June 21. After this date, we will terminate all rights and do the final sweep to capture all trainings completed in CDS so we can attach histories to the user ID’s in the new system. Rights to add learners in CDS have already been terminated, but if you need assistance, the global administrator at the help desk should be able to assist you with CDS and Relias questions. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) section is now active on the right side of the main window within the Elevate site (both sub-portals and the main Tennessee site) under the Welcome to Elevate announcement. Currently, we have FAQ’s posted on the Bulk Download process here. We will continue to add questions as needed.

Regulatory Relief Taskforce: Regulatory Relief is a taskforce comprised of contracted Providers, Independent Support Coordinators, TennCare representatives, and DIDD staff. Per Tennessee Code Annotated 33-5-110, the focus of the taskforce is to review regulations of residential and day provider agencies contracted by the department and make initial recommendations with regard to relieving expensive and unnecessary regulations.

On Monday, the quarterly Regulatory Relief meeting was held at Evergreen. Topics discussed included an update on the provider manual, medication administration curriculum, Intensive Behavior Residential Services, Semi-Independent Living Services, and Accreditation. Additionally, the workgroup for Individual Support Plans provided an update on their progress.

Over the last quarter, providers who participated on the Regulatory Relief taskforce submitted a list of six recommendations to the group. These recommendations are currently being reviewed by DIDD for consideration. The next taskforce meeting is scheduled for August 5, 2013.

Project Titan Update: Many of you have attended meetings over the last two months related to Project Titan, which is an effort to replace DIDD’s existing computer information systems. We hope these meetings have been informative and beneficial to you, and we appreciate your participation. As discussed during these meetings, DIDD has added a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page here.
We will continue to add to this list as questions come up, and hope this will provide answers to many of your questions. If you have questions that you would like answered, you can submit them by email to DIDD.Titan@tn.gov.

Currently, DIDD is still in the planning and design phase for this project effort, and we are on schedule to begin implementation efforts for the initial phase near the end of the summer. During the initial phase, we will focus on Service Planning which includes all of our processes from the point of initial contact through service enrollment. The targeted completion date for Service Planning implementation is late fall of this year.

clipParent Guardian Association: Family members, friends, and staff gathered on May 5 in the Greene Valley gymnasium to honor folks as they received their achievement awards from the Parent Guardian Association (PGA). This was the 35th Annual PGA Achievement Awards Day at Greene Valley. Twelve persons were nominated to receive honors emphasizing their determination to overcome many challenges and their success in attaining personal goals. First place winners received $10 and a gold medal; second place winners received $5 and a silver medal. Greene Valley Advisory Council members Larry and Mike (pictured at right), led honorees and attendees in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and in singing God Bless America.

Patricia Hill Award: BGC, Inc. is accepting nominations for their 2nd Annual Patricia Hill Award. This honor is given to a person with a disability who displays honesty, humility, empathy, and ethical principles. Nominations will be accepted until October 31, 2013 with the award given in December. To download a nomination form, please click here.

Next Steps at Vanderbilt Accepting Applications: Are you or do you know a student with an intellectual disability between the ages of 18 and 26 who would benefit from attending Next Steps at Vanderbilt? The application deadline for the 2-year college certification program on Vanderbilt's campus has been extended to May 31, 2013.

What is the goal of the Next Steps at Vanderbilt Program?
The goal of the program is to broaden the career options and opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities in inclusive, age-appropriate settings on a college campus, which lays a path for the students to have the outcomes we all value: a career, close relationships, and enjoyment.

Who can attend Next Steps at Vanderbilt?
Young adults seeking admission should be between 18 and 26 years old, have completed their high school studies, and have a strong desire to go to college to learn skills that will enable them to live more independently. They need to have families who support this goal. For more information on Next Steps at Vanderbilt, please visit: