On 11/29/2017, Integrity’s Executive staff had a meeting for our staff regarding the current state of the Managed Care roll out for long term services and supports for the individuals receiving services through the current Developmental Disability Services administered Waiver Program.
Several key points were addressed as we understand them now with regard as to how it will impact our staff and consumers and the care provided by Integrity going forward. Below is an over view of the information presented and includes answers to some of the questions presented by our staff during the 3 meetings.
Changes will be coming now through 2019 (and likely beyond) via a Provider-led Arkansas Shared Savings Entity (PASSE) which will cover Mental Health and DDS Services. These PASSEs are Arkansas’s form of managed care. This new managed care model has not been attempted elsewhere and is being vetted and work out during the roll out process. The Arkansas Legislature created the concept of a PASSE which is a managed care company with 51% ownership by an Arkansas based provider (or providers) of services. The other ownership is with a traditional managed care organization.
We are just now starting to see the trickle-down effects of all of these changes. One of the first changes that will be most noticed is the absence of the traditional position of Waiver Case Manager. That position will now be called Care Coordinator. The Care Coordinators will first be working with the agencies they currently work for, but over the next year before 2019 those positions will roll into the PASSE agencies, and they will at that time be PASSE employees. Care Coordination will be phased in and away from the Case Manager over the next year or so.
Direct Care Supervisors and Direct care positions will remain the same for the time being. Consumer needs will continue to exist, and our staff will continue to meet them. Again, the good news for Direct Support Professionals is that the consumer needs will continue and our staff will still have the most important roles in meeting those needs.
The second change we are starting to see is in a new mandatory Independent Assessment which will be used to determine the recipient’s level of need and appropriate level of service. Optum is the company our state has contracted with to administer and score the assessments. Some of our direct care staff will likely be asked to attend and participate in the assessment with the waiver recipient. With the current time line provided by the state, the majority of our consumers will likely be assessed beginning in the Spring.
We will provide webinar training for out staff and families as to what will be covered in the assessment and how the assessment works so that the assessor will get a true and accurate picture of the individual’s level of need.
Lastly, some of you may notice that training requirements have shifted and been lessened in some instances. There is a considered move at the state level to consolidate licensing and reduce duplication of work. We may see an outcome of this being a consolidation of services to a case care and support role. For example, supportive living and personal care could be combined and called something new. In order to be prepared for this, Integrity will begin cross training field staff to be personal care qualified for those who are not already qualified. In the future, it will make you more marketable as an employee and we will be better able to meet all the needs of our consumers in a more efficient manner, which is a highly valued outcome in the world of managed care.
The easiest way for our staff to stay in contact with us is by checking your emails often. For the last several months, we have been sending emails to our staff to keep them up to date on important issues and developments. As always, should you have specific questions, please contact us at the office. In the meantime, we continue to appreciate the work every one of our staff do in and the impact it has in the promotion of independence in our consumers’ lives. Thanks to each of you, and stay tuned…