11/25/2013 Update on Provider Payment Changes and Provider Enrollment into the State’s System

Dear Providers,

There continue to be hold-ups on the State’s move to take over payment to providers of brokerage services.

Representatives from the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services promise there’s continued work on a solid plan, but as of right now they have produced no clear plans or feasible timelines. What we do know is this:

  • Payment will not be coming through the State effective January 1st, 2014
  • We will continue to provide your payment until an appropriate plan is developed and agreed upon.

Given the amount of work left to do during implementation, our best guess is a transition several months into the new year at this point.

If you haven’t sent in your Provider Enrollment Agreement, do so now. This is an essential action on your part, regardless of changing timelines.

If you have turned in your PEAA and have received no response back from the State, contact them directly at DD-MH.OHCC@state.or.us. (We initially thought we would be able to send out emails for those who had provider numbers, but the information we have received from the State isn’t in a format that allows us to do so given our limited resources.) Please email the State for assistance on this matter.

Many of you have received requests for W4s, I9s, and Direct Deposit forms. (Oddly, this request also went to Independent Contractors, a designation of providers who do not utilize W4s or I9s in their business practice.) Stranger still, we understand that you’re being told to submit items to brokerages. We have already processed these forms during your initial qualification and we cannot process them a second time. Please send your W9s, I9s, Direct Deposit forms directly to the State at:

            Email:            info.exprs@state.or.us
Mail:               DHS – ITBSU
ATTN: eXPRS User Enrollment
500 Summer Street NE E-12
Salem, OR  97301

Finally, provider organizations who need a provider number should be hearing from the State shortly. We are aware of a transmittal being developed and have heard it should be out within the next week or so.

Unfortunately, the State has not provided a phone number to field your questions. If that changes, we will update you and share the resource. We will continue to update you as we have more clear information. Thank you for your continued patience during this process. Rest assured that your payment will continue to come through us in the interim while these bureaucratic and procedural tangles are dealt with.

 

Update for Providers Regarding Provider Numbers and Forthcoming Payment Changes

numbersDear Providers for Customers of Independence Northwest,

I’m writing to give you a general update regarding upcoming changes to provider payments. There’s been a flurry of activity around this topic in recent weeks and here’s the latest as we know it.

As you know, the State of Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities Services plans to take over payments to brokerage providers in the near future. The deadline has changed multiple times and their current public target is January 1st, 2014.

In preparation for this change, all providers must obtain a Provider Number. In order to receive a Provider Number, you must turn in a Provider Enrollment Application and Agreement (Word or PDF). The Provider Number will allow you to go into the State’s payment system and make your claims. Without this number, you won’t be paid.

Many of you have contacted us via phone, email, on Facebook and in-person concerned because you submitted the required paperwork, yet you’ve heard nothing from the State. Communication and direction has been spotty, for sure.

Here’s how INW can help.

A day ago, the thirteen support services brokerages received a spreadsheet from the Oregon Home Care Commission. This spreadsheet contains the names and contact information for about 3,400 providers statewide. It includes assigned Provider Numbers. We are currently in the process of sorting through the list to determine which providers are attached to Independence Northwest.

  • If your name is on the list, we will email you your Provider Number early next week. (Some providers are getting email notifications with their Provider Number from the Home Care Commission and some aren’t, so you may receive this info twice.)

 

  • If your name is not on the list, we will email you early next week and tell you that the State has not assigned you a Provider Number yet. This may be because you didn’t submit a PEAA or perhaps the State hasn’t processed your PEAA yet. We have no way of knowing which is the case (or if there are other variables), so concerned providers will need to follow up with the State at that point by emailing DD-MH.OHCC@state.or.us. At this time, the State has not provided a direct contact person or phone number. If that changes, we will update you.

We expect to receive updated Provider Number lists from the State from time to time, but don’t yet know what the frequency will be. As we receive those lists, we will update you where applicable.

If you haven’t submitted your Provider Enrollment Application and Agreement, please don’t delay – do it today.  As of right now, less than half of the Personal Support Workers in the State have been assigned Provider Numbers. It’s essential everyone is assigned a number on or before Monday, December 2nd, 2013. We can’t let a bureaucratic change affect payment for essential services to adults with I/DD.

Brokerages will continue payment (at the very least) through the end of 2013. As deadlines shift, we’ll keep you informed. You will continue to send your invoices and time sheets directly to your customer’s Personal Agent, as before.

To Recap:

  •  If you haven’t sent in your Provider Enrollment Agreement, do it now.
  •  If you have turned it in and we send you a notice saying the State hasn’t included you on its list, contact them via email at DD-MH.OHCC@state.or.us.
  • Continue to send your timesheets and invoices directly to us at Independence Northwest. We will notify you when the State is formally taking over payment. Even after the State takes over payment, you’ll still send proof of services to us for review.
  • The State will take over payment to you sometime in the new year. They are planning trainings and support for providers to get acclimated to the eXPRS system. Hold tight, information forthcoming.

We promise to communicate changes with you quickly to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. We are continuing our series of customer and community forums and welcome you to join us. It’s a great place to discuss the changes with other community members and get the latest details. I also encourage you to Like us on Facebook and subscribe to the Independence Northwest Blog to get updates as we have them.

Thank you for the essential work you do for our customers, their families and the community at large.

Best,

Larry Deal
Executive Director

PS – Provider organizations with current eXPRS log in information need not be concerned with this notice. As I currently understand it, provider organizations who are awaiting a Provider Number and eXPRS log-in will be contacted in the next week or so by the State.

Paid With Brokerage Funds? You’re A Mandatory Abuse Reporter

Are you currently paid to provide supports to an adult receiving brokerage services? If so, you are a Mandatory Abuse Reporter and have certain legal responsibilities. If you have reasonable cause to believe an adult with developmental disabilities has been abused, or that any person with whom you come in contact in your job has abused an adult, you must immediately report the abuse.

Abuse includes but is not limited to: abandonment, financial exploitation, involuntary seclusion, neglect, physical abuse, restraint (not approved in a behavior support plan or by doctor’s order,) sexual abuse or verbal abuse.

If you believe any of these things or another concerning/suspicious event has taken place, you must:

  1. Report the situation to the Community Developmental Disabilities Program in Washington, Clackamas or Multnomah counties. This is required by law.
  2. In addition, you must immediately file a report with local law enforcement if you believe a crime has been committed. This is required by law.
  3. Write an incident report and submit it to the individual’s Personal Agent at Independence Northwest.  This is required per your signed service agreement with the INW customer(s) you serve.

Please note: Mandatory Abuse Reporters are not limited to reporting only potential abuse and crimes against people with developmental disabilities. Reporters must also call in any issues involving, children, seniors (people 65 and older,) people with mental health issues and people with physical disabilities. You do not need direct evidence and it is not your responsibility or role to investigate the claim, but you have a legal obligation to pick up the phone and make a report as soon as possible.

Incident Reporting
Additionally, you have a responsibility to report in writing/via phone to Independence Northwest when you have seen, heard or been told about the death of a brokerage customer; when there has been police, ambulance or fire department response; with regard to criminal referrals, medical hospitalizations, emergency room visits, psychiatric hospitalizations or any other incidents that are unusual for the individual/are of concern. You must do so within 24 hours of hearing of/witnessing the event.

When in doubt, report!

Washington County:
Business Hours: 503.846.3150
After Hours: 503.291.9111

Clackamas County:
All Hours: Report directly to Bryan Pollard: 503.557.2874

Multnomah County:
Business Hours: 503.988.3658 (Ask for Adult DD Protective Services Screener)24 Hour Crisis Line: 503.988.4888

Department of Human Services:
If you are unsure who to report adult abuse to, please call the state at1-800-232-3020

Child Abuse Reporting:
Multnomah: 800-509-5439
Washington: 800-275-8952
Clackamas: 971-673-7112

Click here to read a brochure on Mandatory Abuse Reporting in Oregon.

An Open Letter to Independent Contractors

January 18th, 2012

Dear Independent Contractors and Support Services Provider Community,

In the last month or so, brokerage employees have received a number of inquires regarding the future of independent contractors in support services. The common thread is a rumor that brokerages either have stopped or plan to stop qualifying independent contractors entirely. We’ve even heard from some providers that “brokerages are doing away with both independent contractors and domestic employees.” These rumors are unfounded and without merit and we are issuing this written statement in an attempt to prevent their further spread.

Community Pathways Inc., Inclusion Inc., Independence Northwest, Mentor Oregon Brokerage, Self Determination Resources Inc. and UCP Connections have taken no steps to quit qualifying independent contractors. We continue to qualify providers of all types. That said, we are seeking clarity on the conflicting rules and expectations of the various governmental bodies who oversee brokerages and determine the validity of independent contractor classification. The input of these agencies is ongoing and additional understanding of their expectations and of our legal responsibilities will undoubtedly inform the ways in which future providers are qualified.

Often, it seems as if brokerages are perceived as creating policies that are in fact created by state and federal authorities. For instance, brokerages don’t set provider rate ranges (the state does that) and we don’t make rules about what providers can be paid for (federal Medicaid authorities do that). And while we don’t create those policies we have a contractual obligation with the Department of Human Services to ensure compliance with those rules and to assure their proper implementation. This has become increasingly difficult over time as the number of conflicting governmental statutes continues to grow.

If things shift in terms of qualification criteria or other state or federal requirements, we will do what we have always done: communicate. We have spent many years nurturing, advocating for and enhancing provider and resource capacity in the metro area. We’ll continue to do so. Is there a possibility the way we must qualify providers will change? Sure. Do we know what those changes might be? Not at present. But if and/or when things do change, we will be in contact. We are partners in this process and we have the same aim: to provide exceptional service to our joint customer base.

Please forward this information on to those you know who might be misinformed on this topic. Thank you for your continued work with our shared customers. The work you do each day makes an enormous difference in the lives of thousands of Oregonians in our community.

Best regards.

Jennifer Bickett, Community Pathways Inc.
Larry Deal, Independence Northwest
Sarah Knight, UCP Connections
Howard Miller, Inclusion Inc.
Dan Peccia, Self Determination Resources Inc.
Katie Rose, Mentor Oregon Brokerage

2012 Funds Distribution Dates and Payment Information for Providers

A Message for Independent Contractors and Provider Organizations Qualified with Independence Northwest:

It is the policy of Independence Northwest to pay all invoices on a net 30 basis. (This means that we will disburse funds within 30 days of receiving an invoice from a provider.) As a result of this policy we do not adhere to particular invoice due dates or pay dates. However, for independent contractors and provider agencies to be paid in the first cycle of checks each month, we recommend they have their invoices to our office by noon on the following dates in 2012.

Friday, January 6th
Tuesday, February 7th
Tuesday, March 6th
Friday, April 6th
Monday, May 7th
Wednesday, June 6th
Friday, July 6th
Tuesday, August 7th
Thursday, September 6th
Friday, October 5th
Tuesday, November 6th
Thursday, December 6th

A note about postal delivery and direct deposit: We have been offering direct deposit to the entire provider community since August of 2010 and it’s been a great success. It helps us process payments faster and ensures your money lands in your bank account sooner. But now there’s a new reason to consider direct deposit: As you may have read in the news, budgetary cuts to the US Postal Service are expected to result in a significant slowdown of domestic mail. Local mail that previously arrived in one day may soon take three to four days to arrive. In anticipation of this change Independence Northwest is strongly urging all providers to sign up for direct deposit. All providers are being mailed a copy of this letter along with a direct deposit form.

Thank you all for your service to our community. Here’s hoping for a productive and
rewarding 2012.

Ron Spence
Operations Director
rspence(at)independencenw.org

National Disability News Resource

Disability Scoop is the first and only nationally focused online news organization serving the developmental disability community including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fragile X and intellectual disability, among others.

Five days each week Disability Scoop sifts through the clutter to provide a central, reliable source of news, information and resources. Plus, Disability Scoop is the only place to find original content and series like “Scoop Essentials” that take an in-depth look at what lies beyond the day’s headlines.

What Can Brokerage Services Pay For?

One of the most common questions we hear at brokerages is “What can I use my support services funds for?”

Each customer enrolled in a brokerage has a certain benefit level (an amount of support services funds to which they are entitled and may use to purchase needed services). Before any support services funds can be accessed, we first must look for natural supports in the community. This means we look to services like Vocational Rehabilitation, school districts, the Oregon Health Plan, Independent Living Resources and other organizations who offer services to individuals with disabilities first. This allows for maximum benefit to you, the customer and ensures the appropriate use of brokerage services, a taxpayer funded program.

All services purchased with Support Services dollars are what is known as a “social benefit”. A social benefit is a service “solely intended to assist an individual with disabilities to function in society on a level comparable to that of an individual…who does not have a disability”. The benefit can never:

  • Duplicate services and benefits otherwise available to citizens, regardless of disability (such as paying for a college class since people with or without disabilities must pay college tuition.)
  • Provide financial assistance with food, shelter or clothing
  • Replace any other service that is available elsewhere in the community (also known as “natural supports”) like Vocational Rehabilitation or services from a school district
  • Exceed the amount in the authorized Individual Support Plan.

To read more about specific types of support services options, check out the list below. Your Personal Agent can assist you with better understanding services available to you.

Chore Services

Community Inclusion Supports

Community Living Supports

Environmental Accessibility Adaptations

Family Training

Homemaker Services

Occupational Therapy

Personal Emergency Response Systems

Physical Therapy

Respite Care

Special Diet

Specialized Medical Equipment and Supplies

Specialized Supports

Speech and Language Therapy

Supported Employment

Transportation

2009 Metro Area Brokerage Resource Fair Vendors

DSC02063Last Friday, the metro area brokerages (Independence Northwest, Inclusion, Mentor Oregon and The Arc Brokerage Services) held the 2009 Resource Fair. The fair was an enormous success. We’re still tallying the attendee count, but it will likely surpass 400! Special thanks to all the vendors who came and presented their resources to metro area brokerage customers. You can check out their services below.

211

Autism Society of Oregon

Bridges to Independence

Child Development and Rehab Center

DePaul Industries

Disability Accomodation Registry and Safety Zone

Disability Compass

Disability Rights Oregon Work Incentives Program

Disabilty Rights Oregon Help America Vote Act Project

Eastco

Edwards Center

Families Supporting Independent LivingGenerations X and Y

Good Shepherd Communities

Goodwill Industries

Happy Trails Riding Center

Independent Police Review

Making Magic Tours

Mentored Learning

Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services

NAMI  Multnomah

Off The Couch Activity Night

On the Move

Oregon Office on Disability and Health

PASS

Port City/Project Grow

Portland Community College, Culinary Assistant Program

Quiet Waters Outreach

Ridewise

SDRI

Self Advocates As Leaders

Special Olympics Oregon

The Companion Program/Adventures Without Limits

TNT Management Resources

Trips Inc

*NOTE: Not all vendors listed above provide services that can be paid for through Support Services funding. Some are natural resources and others are available through private pay.  Check with your Personal Agent if you have questions.

09/25/09 Training – Supporting Individuals with Sexual Offending Behaviors

September 25, 2009Supporting Individuals with Sexual Offending Behaviors
Presented by Jim Haaven, MA, Portland, Oregon & Steve Mussack, PhD, Eugene, Oregon

Jim Haaven will open with a discussion around best practices – evidenced based approaches including (but not limited to):
*    Importance of sexual awareness training
*    Effective teaming for “wrap around” support
*    Risk management tools
*    Supervision.

Steve Mussack will follow with   recommendations for direct support staff and programs focusing on therapeutic practices on the milieu, increasing communication between program and therapy, and methods for support providers to feel supported.  A panel presentation will be facilitated by Dr Mussack.  The panel discussion will focus on community integration, job placement, legal issues, and overcoming neighborhood mentality.

Host: OTAC – Oregon Technical Assistance Corporation
3886 Beverly Avenue NE
Suite I-21
Salem, OR 97305
Phone: 503-364-9943
Fax: 503-364-1939
Check in at 8:00 am
8:30 to 4:30

Lunch on your own (11:30 – 12:30)

The ONLY local site for this video conference: Oregon State Office Building,  800 NE Oregon St., Portland (45 seats available) **There is no registration fee for this training series** Registration: ** There is no registration fee for this training** Complete 1 registration for each participant by the following method:

To register to attend this training, please visit our website at <http://www.otac.org/gro/training-registration?template=gro&gt;.
If you are registering five (5) or more people, please send an email to Jessica at jkaton@otac.org <mailto:jkaton@otac.org>. She will collect your information and register your group.
You will receive an email confirmation containing the venue’s address and a link to directions, so please enter your email information.
Registration will close on September 17, 2009.
If you have any questions please contact Jessica Katon at 503-364-9943, x 41 or by email at jkaton@otac.org <mailto:jkaton@otac.org>.