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July 19, 2013

Open Line

July 19, 2013

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

clipSpotlighting Persons Supported: Dwight resides in Pulaski and receives Supported Living services from Warm Hearts Care. Prior to receiving Supported Living, Dwight lived with his mother who remains very active in his life.  In a recent Circle of Support (CoS) meeting, Dwight shared during the “Opening Rounds” section that “What was Important to Him” was to go swimming.  Dwight uses a wheelchair.  Through the efforts of his CoS, his House Manager Brenda, took Dwight to a local park to enjoy swimming.  The picture on the right reflects the joy Dwight felt when his dreams were put into action by his CoS.  Dwight’s ISC, Clenetta Perry of CDC has done an excellent job using Person Centered Practices with the CoS.  This outcome has positively influenced Dwight’s life.  Congratulations to Dwight and his CoS!

clipEmployment Success Story:  Bill participates in Emory Valley Center’s Supported Employment program.  On May 15, he began employment with Comfort Inn as Houseman Facilitator.  Emory Valley President Jennifer Enderson, shared that Bill loves his job and is excited to work each day.  Bill works 20 hours per week, 5 days a week.  His job duties include keeping the lobby, stairwells, conference rooms, elevators, parking lots and restrooms clean, as well as vacuuming halls, checking fire extinguishers and taking the garbage out. Bill is pictured at right and was recently named Comfort Inn’s Employee of the Month.

Heightened Federal Oversight of Personal Care/Personal Assistance Services: The Medicaid Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently shared this information regarding fraud and abuse in personal care/personal assistance services.  We share this not to alarm anyone, but to ensure everyone is aware of the intensity to which this issue is regarded by the OIG.

The past two weeks have been an extremely active period for prosecutions against personal care attendants and beneficiaries across the country.  In all, 45 Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) and beneficiaries were arrested or sentenced in unrelated investigations by federal and state law enforcement agencies in six states.  Most notably, 29 individuals have been indicted in Alaska, another 10 persons in a self-directed program in Southern Illinois (with more arrests expected), and there was an arrest of a Massachusetts woman who was paid more than $230,000 for self-directed care services purportedly provided to her brother.  Links to various press releases on this issue are provided below:

Medicaid Press Release
Arkansas Medicaid Fraud
Massachusetts Medicaid Fraud
Louisiana Medicaid Fraud

Customized Employment:  On July 18 and 19, Michael Callahan conducted his second series of Customized Employment training. The training was held at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center with participation from parent advocates, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), Rochelle Center, SRVS, The Arc, Department of Labor and Workforce Development and DIDD. Attendees were provided with a thorough overview of Discovery and activities that provided hands-on learning. Opportunities to begin creating employment profiles by using samples and guides with activities, made learning fun and easy. Visual resumes were also included in the training and are vital components of Customized Employment. If your organization is interested in learning more about Customized Employment, please contact Amy Gonzalez, State Director of Employment and Day Services at Amy.Gonzalez@tn.gov.

Patricia Hill Award:  A reminder that 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.

DIDD Training Update:  A reminder for all agencies to finish their bulk download sheets as soon as possible. The download of historical training data from CDS into Relias will begin soon.  Please be advised that learners are being loaded alphabetically, not by agency, so trainers may start seeing learners but this process will be slow as there were so many records to combine due to multiple ID issues.  The classroom events and “on track” records are going to be a separate download so not all of a learner’s training will show up at the same time.  Older records are being sent to Relias so training assigned in CDS after March 15, 2013 will not be included in the initial training records loaded at this time.  We appreciate your continued patience.  Training webinars for those with supervisor rights and sub-portal administrators will be offered at the dates and times below:

July 22: Supervisor Permission Overview of Functionality (2:00 PM CDT/3:00 PM EDT)
July 26: Sub-Portal Administrator Functionality Overview with Q&A (9:00 AM CDT/10:00 AM EDT)

Greeneville Focus Group:  The next focus group is July 23 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the Greene County Skills Conference Room.  The group will compile a community resources handbook.  Friends, support staff, ISCs, and others are welcome.  Please RSVP by July 22 to Chaneth.Quemore@tn.gov or jwinters@thearctn.org.


~ Debbie