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July 12, 2013

Open Line

July 12, 2013

This week’s edition includes important information I want to share with you:

Governor Haslam Visits DIDD Central Office:  Last week, Central Office welcomed Governor Haslam for a visit with DIDD staff and a tour of the Frost Building.  Governor Haslam had an opportunity to personally greet employees and thank them for their service to the State of Tennessee.  We enjoyed his visit and were honored he could join us.  I’d also like to thank Central Office employees for their warm reception and professional representation of DIDD.

Middle Tennessee Regional Office (MTRO) Appeals Division:  After 14 years of service at MTRO, Pam Romer of the Appeals Unit resigned effective July 9 to oversee the Family Support Program at The Arc Davidson County.  We would like to thank Pam for all her hard work and dedication over the years and wish her well in her new position.  Debra Ball and Donna Bridges have now been assigned to work in the MTRO Appeals Unit.  If you have any questions specific to the Appeals process, please call Debra Ball (Debra.Ball@tn.gov) at 615-884-6090 or Donna Bridges (Donna.R.Bridges@tn.gov) at 615-231-5031.

Employment Data Collection Process:  As Tennessee continues to move forward with data collection efforts needed to demonstrate efficacy of employing people with disabilities, we are suspending the monthly employment data collection process effective immediately. Providers will not be responsible for submitting data in July. The temporary discontinuation of data collection is being implemented to allow us to use the information we've currently gained to provide focused improvement in the collection process. Once the new collection procedure is finalized, a thorough overview of instructions will be shared with providers. If additional training is needed, requests can be submitted for technical assistance. I want to thank all provider agencies who continue to support efforts to increase integrated employment options for persons within our service delivery system.

DIDD Capital Projects:  This week, Deputy Commissioner Jordan Allen presented three capital project requests to the State Building Commission.  All three of the following projects were approved by the Commission: Greene Valley Essential Maintenance, West Tennessee Regional Office (WTRO) Essential Maintenance, and demolition of the cottages on the WTRO campus. Greene Valley Essential Maintenance consists of electrical and mechanical upgrades, in addition to reroofing the cottages and gymnasium.  WTRO Essential Maintenance includes mechanical upgrades to the HVAC system in the Baker Building and demolition of the cottages involves destruction of former residential buildings that remain unused.

Supports Intensity Scale (SIS):    ICAP has officially ended and SIS® is now in full swing. To ensure the success of the SIS® assessments, we want to remind providers of their roles and responsibilities in the process.

Providers should designate a single liaison that SIS® assessors will contact to schedule assessments. This liaison will work with the appropriate person(s) in their agency to determine the best date, time, location, and respondents for the assessment. The liaison should not direct the assessor to call the various Program Coordinators and/or House Managers when scheduling, but rather should contact the assessor once the assessment time/location is arranged. Please return phone calls to assessors in a timely manner and work with them to ensure that assessments are scheduled in a timely manner.

It is important to remember that the SIS® assessment will take approximately 1.5 – 2 hours to complete. Two respondents who know the person well and can speak to the person’s support needs throughout the day will need to be present for the duration of the assessment.  When the person receives Residential, Day, and/or PA services from multiple agencies, representatives from each supporting agency are to be present for the assessment and should work together to ensure a convenient time for everyone.  Respondents can be staff, family, or natural supports.  While the person is not required to attend the assessment, DIDD requires the assessor to at least, meet the person face-to-face prior to the start of the assessment.

Agencies are to work with conservators and/or family members wishing to attend assessments but whom have limited means to travel due to poor health, lacking transportation, distance, etc.   It is the expectation that agencies will meet at the person’s home if necessary for all to be in attendance.

We realize that these assessments require much planning, time, and effort from agencies across the state and truly appreciate your cooperation and assistance. If you have questions or concerns you can contact Holly Wood, IDD Division Manager of Ascend Management Innovations at  hwood@ascendami.com or Barbara DeBerry, DIDD Director of Residential Services at Barbara.DeBerry@tn.gov.

DIDD Training Update:  This week, Relias sent a list of over 400 duplicate learners that have been entered into the Relias system. All duplicate learners have been deleted, as a learner can only be assigned to one agency. If you are missing learners who belong in your agency, please contact DIDD.ISQA@tn.gov and do not add them back.   Work also continues on a solution for sharing employee training histories.  Relias is committed to an automated solution by October.  Please review the new training tab on the DIDD website here for coursework crosswalks, new forms for requesting learner “Moves,” recorded webinars and training information. We continue to work on consolidating CDS training records and transferring records to Relias. If requested, please give the learner a copy of his or her CDS transcript until the Relias transfer is completed.  Live webinars on the new Relias Learning Management System (RLMS) functionality resume next week with the following schedule:

July 16: “Supervisor Permission Overview of Functionality in the New RLMS” (1 PM CDT/2 PM EDT)
July 17: “Sub-portal Administrator Functionality Review in the New RLMS” (12 PM CDT/1 PM EDT)
July 18: “Supervisor Permission Overview of Functionality in the New RLMS” (10 AM CDT/11 AM EDT)

clipGreene Valley and East Tennessee Community Homes:  The people at Greene Valley and the East Tennessee Community Homes really know how to throw a Block Party! On a recent Wednesday evening despite the looming storm clouds, tents went up, tables and chairs were placed, and the band arrived to set up its stage.  The sun finally peeked out of the clouds and the announcement came through that the party was on!  Almost instantly, people gathered around to enjoy JB and the Wild Honey Band as they sang favorite tunes from yester-year.  Little Eva’s “Do the Locomotion” spurred people out for some street dancing. The Frigid Frog enticed everyone with shaved ice and ice cream. Cotton candy was seen on more than a few faces, and several people sat for some unique face art.  The block party was deemed a huge success which was evident from the smiles and laughter seen and heard throughout the evening.

Community Conversations:  TennesseeWorks hosted a Community Conversations event in Jackson on June 25 to brainstorm ideas for increasing integrated employment opportunities and helping people with disabilities find and keep jobs.  Over 90 people attended who were all very engaged in recognizing barriers and producing solutions.  TennesseeWorks is compiling information provided at the meeting and will share it with everyone as a tool to utilize.  Daryll McGuire, Vice President of the STAR Center, facilitated the meeting.  It was a great event!

TennesseeWorks will be hosting the following upcoming events:

The Lawrence County Community Conversations will be held Tuesday, July 16 from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at Providence Hall.  Tommy Lee Kidd will serve as facilitator.  If interested, please register here or call their office at 615-322-4999.

The Memphis Community Conversations is scheduled for August 1 from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at SRVS (3971 Knight Arnold).  If interested, please register here or call their office at the number listed above.

TennesseeWorks is still in the planning phases for the Murfreesboro, Greeneville, and Chattanooga events.  If you would like to be involved, please contact their office or e-mail Sarah Harvey at sarah.harvey@vanderbilt.edu.   TennesseeWorks is a collaboration supported in part by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and funded through a grant from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD).  We are very grateful for their continued support in Tennessee’s employment efforts.

Policy Publication Notice:  The following policies have been published and are available for review for providers here and DIDD employees here.  Please inform individuals who do not have access to e-mail.

80.2.3 Investigation Review Committee
80.3.10 Individual Rights and Responsibilities
80.3.11 Case Management Services While on DIDD Waiver Waiting List

2013 Title VI Self-Survey:  This survey is now available here and is required to be completed by all providers. Please return completed surveys to Annie Bernard at Annie.Bernard@tn.gov.

2013 Partnership Promise:  If you are enrolled in the 2013 Partnership Promise, please remember that Monday, July 15 is the last day that you can complete your Promise.  In order to successfully complete the Promise, you must have completed the online Wellness Assessment and one Wellness Activity.  You must self-report the Wellness Activity by logging into your wellness account and completing the reporting form, or by clicking here , then clicking on “2013 Partnership Promise”, then “ParTNers for Health wellness activity”, then “Online”. 

You must also keep your phone number and address current in Edison.  If you fail to complete the Wellness Assessment, self-report the Wellness Activity, and keep your phone number and address current in Edison, you will be transferred from the Partnership PPO to the Standard PPO effective January 1, 2014. This will cause you to have to pay higher insurance premiums and co-pays.

If you are participating in the Partnership Promise and your spouse is a dependent on your insurance, your spouse must also complete the Promise.  Failure on the part of either you or your spouse to complete the Promise will cause both of you to be transferred from the Partnership PPO to the Standard PPO effective January 1, 2014.

If you have already completed your Partnership Promise, you may have received a card in the mail indicating this.  If you have not received the card and want to verify that the Partners for Health program records show that you have completed the Promise, you can check by calling 1-888-741-3390, pressing “1”,  then pressing “1” again.  You will need to enter your 8-digit birthdate (mm/dd/yyyy) and 8-digit Member ID number from your Caremark card when prompted to do so.  Please contact your Human Resources office if you have any questions.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Competencies (KSAC) Development:  The department’s Human Resources division is currently working on developing knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies for the class specifications of Developmental Services Program Coordinator 1, Developmental Services Regional Monitor, Respiratory Care Therapy Director, Therapeutic Equipment Worker, Dental Hygienist, Occupational Therapist, and Speech and Language Pathologist.

KSACs have already been developed for the Case Management Program Specialist, Habilitation Therapist, Developmental Services Program Coordinator 2, Facilities Surveyor, IDD Program Specialist 1, IDD Program Specialist 2, IDD Program Specialist 3, Habilitation Therapy Technician, Developmental Technician Supervisor 1, Developmental Technician Supervisor 2, and MH/IDD Institutional Program Director classifications.  These classifications now need competencies developed.  The subject matter experts for these classifications have been identified and will be contacted so that competencies can be completed.

Free Electronic Resource:   The Southwest Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center has published a free handbook which provides basic information about disability rights. Authored by Jacquie Brennan, it includes topics such as employment, public accommodations, transportation, and housing.  To view the complete handbook, please click here.

Available Services Table - State Fiscal Year 2014:  Please click here for a list of available services and payment rates assigned to these services.  This table incorporates the new .90% provider rate increase.