Susie Walton Explains the Changes to Arkansas DDS

Integrity’s Program Supervisor breaks down the details of the recent changes in DDS. 

This month, we sat down with Susie Walton and had a conversation about the latest news in Arkansas’ DDS changes. If you haven’t been able to figure out what all the fuss is about, take a look at Susie’s answers as she sheds some light on this subject.

1. What is your role at Integrity? Tell us a little about what you do. 

I am the training coordinator and program developer for Integrity, Inc.

2. Please explain the changes in DDS in a way that we can all understand. What does it really mean?

In a nutshell, the changes mean that new people will be added to your care team to oversee case management. Here is why:

Arkansas has been attempting to address the mounting cost of health care and creating a Medicaid service delivery system that provides coverage and saves costs.  In 2017, the Arkansas General Assembly passed House Bill 1706 (Act775), which created the Provider Led Organized Care.

This system allows for providers to join together to create Provider Led Arkansas Shared Saving Entity (PASSE). The concept is the PASSEs will be owned (51%) by providers with the remainder (49%) owned by a managed care company (MCO). Arkansas has reported the state will have to have at least 2 PASSE’s in the state to ensure consumer choice.

3. What do the changes mean for those with developmental disabilities, special health care needs, or those receiving support from waiver services?

Starting in October 2017, the PASSE will start to assume full financial responsibility and will begin to assume full case coordination.  Your provider will continue to provide Direct Care Supervision. The provider will also help secure staff, address day to day issues, provide information to Care Coordination, assist in writing the Person-Centered Plan, just as they are doing know.  Your provider will no longer be providing Case Management Services.  This will be done by the PASSE.

4. But what about the changes happening now?

Starting July 1, 2017 each recipient of Waivered Service will have an assessment completed (these will be done in batches). This assessment will determine their level of care. Information regarding this assessment tool can be accessed directly here. There will be 3 levels:

Tier 1 (limited)

Tier 2 (extensive)

Tier 3 (pervasive)

In December of 2017, you as the consumer will be placed into a PASSE that your current provider can be associated with.  You will be given a choice to change PASSE within first 90 days.

The PASSE will also help to develop your Person-Centered Plan.  You will still have choice about who attends this meeting and their input.  During the year 2018, most of your services and interaction with your provider agency will remain the same.  You will simply have some new people on your team.

The overall effect of the day-to-day support you receive will not be altered. Your appointments with medical professionals, etc. will be run through your care coordinator with the PASSE.

5. What do these changes mean for Integrity?

The changes for Integrity are big. In October 2017, the PASSE will begin to assume case management services and by November of 2018 will assume full responsibility for case management, which will become care coordination. Our Adult Development Program is undergoing changes with this new assessment and new limits of number of minutes each individual can receive therapies (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy).  Integrity, Inc. is currently planning to adapt and make adjustments as needed as we move forward in this world of managed care.

Moving forward, I encourage everyone (consumers, staff, parents and guardians) to get informed.  Ask questions and look online at the state Medicaid website and Developmental Disabilities Services for the most up-to-date information.

If you would like more information about the new changes in DDS in Arkansas, don’t hesitate to reach out to Integrity, Inc. As your waiver care program and community-based service provider in Little Rock, we are here to help. Please contact us at 501-406-0442. 

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