2021 Summer EditionA WORD FROM THE COORDINATORS: We hope that you are enjoying the great outdoors. As the pandemic winds down and life starts heading back to “normal” there will be some adjusting along the way with respect to getting back into typical routines, restarting services, and learning how to navigate new systems and modifications. We have learned a lot over the past year, and it will be interesting to see whether we can capitalize on the positives and improve the negatives.
Quote of the Day: “Just because it is allowable, does not mean it is approvable” All services and supports must meet waiver criteria.
Kerry and Hanna COVID 19 NEWS & CDCS IMPACTS:
Expiration dates on COVID related exceptions related CDCS are subject to change. Currently, the following is the direction and timelines we have been given:
- Peacetime Emergency Expiration: The current MN peacetime emergency expired 7/1/2021 and the federal health emergency expires 7/20/21 which will impact how we are currently operating.
LEGISLATIVE/SEIU UNION UPDATES:
- Allowing remote support for HCBS waiver services- If you were utilizing staff or services via phone or video chat, this option is expiring "no later than 6 months after the end of the public health emergency.” An exact date will be communicated by DHS. At that time, you will need to go back to in-person visits only.
- PPOM/Spouse 40 hour lift If you are a parent of a minor or spouse and were approved to work more than 40 hours per week due to the pandemic and staffing shortages, this is set to expire 60 days after MN peace time emergency, which translates to 8/30/21. Please work with your team to adjust your plan and find other staffing options.
- Modifications to Background Study requirement- Any new staff hired during the pandemic will be notified by their FMS regarding the deadline for completing the Net Study 2.0 Background Study. Date of completion is to be determined.
NEW FORMS & TOOLS:CDCS Acknowledgement Form
- 7/1/21 increases to AC/EW CDCS Budgets: The Minnesota Legislature authorized a 0.04% increase to EW and AC Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS) monthly case mix budget caps. Because of the small percentage increase to EW and AC budgets, EW and AC CDCS case mix A and L budgets will not change. You should have received an addendum form from your case manager, calculating your increase. You need to complete the bottom portion of the form and return to your case manager. If you have not received this, contact your case manager.
- Payroll tax increase for non-parental staff increased from 9.45% to 9.5%. There is no need to change this on plans until renewal time as this has a very small impact on the budget. Your FMS will notify you if any shift of funds needs to occur.
- DHS is currently seeking approval from the federal government (CMS) for minimum wage and benefit increases. More information will follow upon approval.
(on the website
): The purpose of this form is to acknowledge that if you are a staff person for a person on a medical assistance program in or outside of your home AND you yourself are also MA funded services, you cannot be paid to provide support in the same area of need that you yourself are receiving help with. When this is the scenario, job descriptions may need to be more specific in order to protect both parties from false accusations of fraudulent behavior. Complete with case manager.Alternative Provider Billing Form
(on the website
). When using a licensed service on CDCS (e.g. employment or behavioral services), it is helpful to complete this form and give a copy to the FMS and the licensed agency in order to communicate the number of hours/units, how you would like to receive your bill, who to contact for changes/questions, and to encourage timely billing. Your case manager will give you the rates to include on the form and the support planner may assist you in completing the remainder of the form.FMS Agencies At A Glance
(on the website
): If you are new to CDCS or would like to learn more about the different FMS Agencies and what they have to offer, this is a quick look at what each FMS’s strengths and features may be. Contact information is included. PROGRAM UPDATES & REMINDERS:Temporary overtime expiring:
During COVID, in certain situations, temporary overtime was approved. This could have been related to the loss of staff during COVID-19, school closings/loss of summer programming, closure of day programming, etc.
- For plans with overtime for Paid Parent of Minor or Paid spouse, no hours over 40 will be paid out by the FMS after the current end date of 8/30/21.
- For plans with overtime for Unlicensed Support Staff (includes Paid Parents of Adults)- Continued overtime will need to be reviewed and handled on a case by case basis. Generally, overtime is not approved because it is not cost effective. Other staffing/programming should be pursued. Ask your case manager for assistance.
Now an allowable service within CDCS. This is a staffing option where the same personal assistance staff person works with more than one CDCS participant at the same time and who has entered into an agreement to share CDCS services. See CDCS Policy
for more details. The required form is DHS-6633D. A joint schedule with all participants and staff must be submitted with the plan including a snapshot of specific times everyone could be working so that we can get a good picture of the staffing pattern and determine whether it is approvable. You must differentiate between which job tasks can be done in a “shared” capacity and which task are more 1:1. NOTE
: Support Planners should use the Shared Services Checklist (on the website)
for all needed information. Some FMS’ prefer to split the hours at the full wage between the plans, and some like to put the full hours on the plans and split the wage. Ask your FMS how they want you to set this up.Paid Parents of Minors and Spouse reminders:
Unlicensed Support Staff must be hired through the FMS
- The number of approvable hours is determined by performing personal assistance activities that cannot “be an activity a spouse or parent of a minor would ordinarily perform or be responsible to perform;” and “must assist the person with tasks beyond what is considered ordinary responsibility.” You may be required to specifically detail these out if there is a question about how much of your time is typical and how much is “beyond ordinary.”
- As best you can, don’t bunch hours together on time sheets. Hours should reflect when you actually worked (should not be during the times of the day that are typical parental responsibility times depending on the age of the child).
. Staff that are primarily working with the participant on activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living must be hired through the FMS to ensure staff are following medical assistance, waiver, and SEIU union rules.Licensed Therapies:
There are now DHS enrolled music, art, & recreation therapists available. If using these therapists, they must be on the CDCS plan as a licensed service (Independent Living Skills Therapy under the Treatment and Training Category). Complete the Alternative Provider Billing Form (on the website
). Enrolled providers can be found at www.mnhelp.info
and do not require an Alternative Treatment Form. Non-enrolled therapists still require an Alternative Treatment Form to be completed annually.MnCHOICES Assessments are a bit behind for renewals.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, your new assessment and/or budget amount may be a little behind schedule. No worries…just use last year’s budget and you can change it when the new assessment and budget is determined.DHS promotes the use of technology.
Your team will be talking to you about whether there are any technology needs that can help him you be more independent or safer (not for comfort and convenience). If so, we want to help you obtain this technology. Examples include alarms on doors, cameras, GPS locators, remote controls for everyday household items, remote support services, etc. Think about it.Home Modification materials are scarce and expensive.
With the current economy, some materials (e.g. vinyl, lumber, paint, etc.) are backordered and have drastically increased in cost. If you have a project underway, it may take longer to complete, and estimates/bids may increase.Essential Oils are back
. Essential oils may now be approved if it is a part of aromatherapy, the Alternative Treatment Form has been completed, and progress is being followed by a trained professional (e.g. chiropractor, certified aroma therapist, etc.). Please, be aware that waiver funds cannot be used for duplication.Waiver Reimagine is coming
. DHS has embarked on a venture to strategically combine the 4 disability waivers (DD, CADI, CAC, BI) into 2 waivers depending on the setting the person lives in (community vs. residential). This will help to simplify and streamline waivered services to allow for more self-direction and service options. You will no longer have to choose to self-direct (CDCS) vs. utilize traditional licensed services only. You will have access to ALL services. To date, only those on the traditional waiver have been affected with some changes to services. It is estimated, CDCS will not be affected until around 2023. The budget methodology is currently being looked at and will eventually be updated. If you would like more information and input please go to https://mn.gov/dhs/partners-and-providers/news-initiatives-reports-workgroups/long-term-services-and-supports/waiver-reimagine/faq/
. RECOMMENDED RESOURCES (from current participants):Technology Resources (incl. devices, lending library, etc.):New Provider Resources:
- Somali Speaking FMS staff at GT Independence. Somali staff Arwa Ahmed speaks both Somali and English. Also serve people that speak Amharic.
- Spanish Speaking Support Planners:
- Saira Gudiel w. AB&B Services
Claudia Hernandez w. ABCA