Authors Posts by Carol Ferenz

Carol Ferenz



Wednesday, January 27, 2021 • 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST)

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A new presidential administration brings the opportunity to revive discussions around the innovation of disability services delivery systems, including exploring value-based payment models—those that move away from traditional funding models in favor of paying for the accomplishment of particular outcomes.

As we contemplate how services might evolve with the new administration, presenters in this webinar will compare and contrast different states’ reimbursement models in intermediate care facilities (ICFs) for individuals with intellectual disabilities (IID). Panelists from Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas will share an overview of their states’ rate structures and discuss upper payment limits, provider taxes, funding during the pandemic, emerging trends, and more.

A recording will be made available for registrants.


  • Sandy Frizzell Batton, Providers Alliance for Community Services of Texas
  • Jeanne Duncan, RHA Health Services, Inc. (North Carolina)
  • Cindy Leleux, The Arc of Acadiana (Louisiana)
  • Ashley McKinney, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
  • Catherine Thibedeau, Independence Advocates of Maine

Registration Fees

  • ANCOR Members: $59
  • Non-Members: $139

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

ODP Announcement 21-005 releases information regarding updated protocols for the Health Risk Screening Tool (HRST). The accompanying document is an update to the previously released protocol for the HRST. It contains information regarding expectations and timelines and reflects changes in the process since the initial protocol was distributed. Additionally, it provides guidance regarding the roles and responsibilities for those who are expected to use the tool.

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is holding two joint presentations with HRS, Inc. for supports coordinators (SCs) regarding the tool and the updated protocol. These sessions will review ODP’s expectations related to the use of the HRST as well as provide thorough instruction on the use of the tool.

Sessions are as follows:

  • Thursday, January 21, 2021 • 9:00 am – 12:00 pm • Register here
  • Thursday, January 28, 2021 • 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm • Register here

Assistance can also be obtained by contacting HRST Support or HRST Clinical Support.

The National Guardianship Association, the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Law and Aging, and the National Center for State Courts have developed a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document for guardians about consent for the COVID-19 vaccine for residents of long-term care facilities. This updated FAQ document includes responses to common questions from guardians regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. It supplements the previous September 2020 FAQ document.

More information can be found here.

On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that propels innovative technology so that Medicare beneficiaries have access to the latest, most advanced devices. This action represents a step forward that will help smooth the Medicare coverage pathway for innovative products, resulting in faster access to new devices for America’s seniors.

The final rule will provide the nation’s more than 60 million Medicare beneficiaries with access to the latest medical technology at a faster rate than ever. Under current rules, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of a device is followed by an often lengthy and costly process for Medicare coverage. The lag time between the two results in innovators first spending time and resources on FDA approval and then subsequently spending time on the Medicare coverage process. This causes undue burden for innovators and could delay access to these potentially life-saving technologies during the existing Medicare coverage determination process.

Read the press release here.

The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) report, led in collaboration with ASPE’s Office of Health Policy, provides potential approaches to expand and strengthen the entry-level health-care workforce in the United States with a primary focus on the following occupational categories: licensed practical nurses, medical assistants, dental assistants, hygienists, home health aides, certified nursing assistants, and personal care aides, community health workers, and peer specialists.

This report was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the pandemic has had a significant impact on these front-line workers, has reinforced their importance, and has revealed new opportunities going forward.

Read the brief here.

Date of Data Extraction: 01/14/2021

This report is produced using data on COVID-19 that is self-reported by ODP providers and Supports Coordinators. ODP began capturing this data in mid-March 2020.

COVID-19 Suspected means that a person has been tested for the COVID-19 virus and is awaiting the test results OR a test has been ordered by a health care practitioner, but the person has not been tested yet.

COVID-19 Confirmed means that a person was tested for the COVID-19 virus and test was positive OR was diagnosed with COVID-19 by a health care practitioner even if no test was completed.

Tested Negative means that a person was tested for the COVID-19 virus and test was negative.

COVID-19 data for individuals with an intellectual disability or autism is captured using the Enterprise Incident Management (EIM) system. Data is captured for individuals who:

  • Reside in a private Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability;
  • Receive Home and Community-based (HCBS) Waiver services;
  • Receive base-funded services; or
  • Reside in ODP-licensed settings but do not receive HCBS Waiver or base-funded services, e.g. are private-pay or whose services are funded by another state.

Data for Pennsylvanians with an intellectual disability or autism who are not known to ODP (i.e. who do not fall into one of the above categories) is not captured.

COVID-19 data for staff persons who support the individuals identified above was captured using an email resource account maintained by ODP through June 10, 2020. From June 10 forward providers report staff COVID-19 data via a web-based form developed by ODP. “Staff” include any staff employed by the service provider. Supports Coordinators who have no physical contact with enrolled individuals since mid-March are not included.Notes:

  • The amount of time between testing for COVID-19 and obtaining the test results may be as much as 7 days.
  • It takes 24 hours for data submitted through EIM or through the resource account to be available to ODP for aggregate, statewide reporting.
  • Data is not validated against Department of Health records.
  • Data on confirmed, tested negative and deaths is cumulative.
  • Effective June 10, 2020 ODP transitioned to a web-based tool for the reporting of Staff COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 Data for ODP licensed residential settings and private ICFs by county can be found here.

COVID-19 Data for State Centers is updated daily and can be found here.

The Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP) Examination will continue to be available at in-person testing sites with a new testing partner, Kryterion. To provide a fair and consistent environment for all candidates, the exam is delivered using standardized procedures. It also follows strict protocols.

Access Kryterion Support where there is 24/7 help with scheduling, technology, and examination support.

All testing centers have social-distancing protocols in place and are taking extra measures to ensure cleanliness and safety.

Testing centers will also provide you with a computer, have a reliable internet connection, and will have the software downloaded to the computer.

The plan is to make virtual proctoring available beginning in March 2021!

Online proctoring (OLP) will be a convenient option for test takers who have the space and technology to test from their homes or offices.

The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) is asking all providers of intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) services (regardless of membership status with ANCOR) to participate in this survey.

We know that technology has always been crucial to delivering high-quality supports, and that recognition has been amplified by the need to connect from afar during the pandemic. While ANCOR is as committed as ever to helping our members identify emerging trends and promising practices related to technology, we cannot do this effectively without your input.

Therefore, ANCOR has collaborated with the State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Project, administered by the University of Colorado, to survey I/DD service providers in an effort to identify promising practices and strategies to enhance technology use by people with I/DD and their families across the US. We are also looking to investigate the emerging use of technology solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to advocate for modern technology policies, research, and practice.

Please complete the survey as soon as possible and no later than January 31, 2021; this deadline will enable us to share our findings with you this spring.