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Supports Coordination Organizations Forum Overview
May 22, 2008

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is hosting four forums to facilitate discussions with Supports Coordination Organizations (SCO) regarding changes and implementation requirements that become effective July 1. The Central Region session was May 20. Southeast Region is May 27,Bridgeport Training Center, King of Prussia; Northeast Region is May 29, Luzerne County Community College, Nanticoke; and Western Region is June 16, PaTTAN Pittsburgh. Pre-registration is required via email (ashuey@pattan.net). An electronic copy of the sessions and registration is available from Linda Drummond.

PCPA has contacted ODP regarding the relevancy of their PROMISe/state treasury information sessions to SCOs. OPD indicated that these sessions would be useful since SCOs are considered service providers under the waivers and will be billing the state treasury. The schedule for these sessions (electronic copy with directions also available from Linda Drummond) is:

  • May 28, Northwest Tri-County IU#5, Edinboro,
  • June 4, Philadelphia Education Center, Philadelphia, and
  • June 13, Luzerne County Community College, Nanticoke.

Jeff Petraco, director, ODP Bureau of Supports for People with Intellectual Disabilities (no official notification of this name change from the Bureau of Mental Retardation has been received), started the May 20 meeting with an overview of the SCO changing role which includes more data entry requirements due to the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS), Individual Service Plan (ISP) completion, and changes throughout the year. The bureau is making decisions regarding allocating additional resources to assist in the transitions from program funding to fee-for-service. He emphasized that payment-ready ISPs are critical to the direct service providers to begin implementation of services and receive payment.

Patty McCool, director, Division of Community Services, facilitated discussion on provider qualifications, rate setting, the provider agreement addendum, and meeting challenges. Highlights, comments, and issues:

  • The rate setting process was difficult to complete including comparing units and productivity to adequately reflect agency needs, rates based on face-to-face with consumers but supports coordinator roles now requiring more data entry, confusion that travel time is not billed as a unit of service but factored into the cost projections per federal regulations (42 CFR Parts 431,440, 441), and SCOs found rates developed by using new process were much higher than previously funded.
  • Medicaid provider agreement issues related to county-run supports coordinators (SCs) trying to determine who was responsible to actually sign the contract were raised. ODP will issue a clarification on this.
  • SCOs are not all receiving answers or information from ODP regarding policies, rules, instructions, and who to contact for assistance (Administrative Entity – AE or regional ODP). PCPA requested that ODP indicate on mailings for information sessions, trainings, etc. who should attend. SCOs will continue to coordinate the ISP team process with AE authorizing the plan and services.
  • Staffing continues to be a challenge and ideas discussed included adding more SCs and reducing caseloads, use of clerical staff to do data entry, use of laptop computers when developing the ISP with the team, changing caseload structure from specialized to blended which allows offering consumers choice of SC, and that many SCs are leaving positions due to emphasis on clerical/data duties and not hands-on with consumers.
  • SIS assessment requirements for SCs to attend trainings and individual client assessments are an additional time requirement on top of existing duties. ODP-required trainings place time constraints on the SCOs to offer their staff other trainings of relevance such as working with the county office of assistance.
  • SCOs are uncertain on how to develop and implement satisfaction surveys now required in the agreements. ODP has a final draft of a survey form which should be disseminated in the near future. SCO needs to determine the dissemination and collection process.

Deputy Secretary Casey’s April 3 letter regarding waiver payment details on the transition to fee-for-service for waiver funded services provides information to assist SCOs. A copy is available from Linda Drummond. ODP contacts for SCO issues:

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