Oregon I/DD Advocates Testify to Senate Committee on eXPRS State Payment System Implementation Concerns

Senator Sara Gelser, Chair of Senate Committee On Human Services and Early Childhood

Senator Sara Gelser, Chair of Senate Committee On Human Services and Early Childhood

On Tuesday, Oregon Support Services Association’s Executive Director Katie Rose testified to a Senate committee regarding the state’s roll out and implementation of its payment system, eXPRS.

Additional testimony was provided by Margaret Theisen (CEO of the state’s largest brokerage Full Access), Chris Burnett (Executive Director of Oregon Rehabilitation Association,) Gary Zenzen and Chris Schwartz (from provider organization Partnerships in Community Living,) Lilia Teninty (Director of Oregon’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Program,) and Don Erickson (Chief Operating Officer for Oregon’s Aging, Disability, and Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities Programs.)

The five advocates testified to the Senate Committee on Human Services and Early Childhood: Senator Sara Gelser, Senator Michael Dembrow, Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, Senator Alan Olsen, and Senator Jeff Kruse.

If you’d like to learn more about the issues surrounding the implementation of eXPRS in brokerage and county services statewide, click here to watch a full video of the testimony.

If you’d like to read testimonies from some of the participants, follow the links below.

Katie Rose Testimony 02.10.2015 eXPRS
Margaret Theisen Testimony 02.01.2015 eXPRS
Chris Burnett Testimony 02.01.2015 eXPRS

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State Delays eXPRS Implementation and Employment Rate Changes to Fall 2014

Late Friday afternoon (05.30.2014), Interim DD Director Trisha Baxter released the following statement to the I/DD community:

“As you are aware we have many priorities that we are focusing on, all with a July 1 implementation date. We have heard from many of you that these converging priorities are causing angst, stress and strain on you, and on the system. We, as well, are discovering the complexities of handling so many moving parts all at once.  As such, based upon feedback from many of you and weighing our internal priorities and commitments with SEIU, CMS and others, we have come up with the following strategy to delay portions of the work and to stage implementation in a more manageable way.  Additional information will be coming out over the coming weeks about the details behind these strategies so please pay close attention to emails and other communications over the coming days.

First, July 1 is a milestone for new employment services to be offered. These services are included in the Medicaid waivers that will be submitted for approval with a July 1 effective date. These new services will still be offered as of July 1. July 1 was also a targeted date for implementation of a new rate structure for employment services for both the comprehensive and support service system. The new rate structure will be finalized next week, however, at the request of multiple providers, we will hold off on implementation of those rates, with the exception of the rates for the new services, until September 1, 2014. The new services, which include Discovery and Job Development will be paid at the new outcome based rates. All other services will continue to be paid at the current, daily rate. This additional time will allow providers of employment services an opportunity to analyze how the new rates will apply to their service arrays. Additional information about the rate transition schedule, and expectations for tracking, billing and reporting of services provided during July and August will be coming shortly.

Additionally, we have been challenged to provide training to the large number of personal support workers, CDDP and Brokerage staff, and other providers on the new plan entry and claims process within the eXPRS system. In order to allow more time for training and other associated activities, we are delaying the implementation of Plan of Care functionality to September 1, 2014 as well. We will be working with partners, including SEIU and providers, to develop an implementation plan from September 1 forward, beginning with employment services. The delayed schedule and restaging of activities is important to assure successful implementation, but it does not deter or alter the strategic or programmatic outcomes the changes are designed to achieve.

There is much work to be done over the upcoming months to ensure that individuals experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities continue to receive services and that those providing the services are paid accordingly. We thank all of you for your continued work with us as we pull together plans for full implementation. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.”  – Trisha Baxter

State Looks to Reduced Rates for Supported Employment and Day Program Providers; Community Responds

On May 9, 2014, during a monthly meeting with brokerage directors, ODDS staff shared potential rate decreases to providers of Supported Employment and Day Habilitation (ATE programs). The proposed reduction would occur across the comprehensive and brokerage systems and go live as early as July 1st, 2014. 

Last week, the Oregon Support Services Association, the Oregon I/DD Coalition, the Oregon Rehabilitation Association and the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities each submitted letters to state leadership asking the state to reconsider any rate reductions. We all await responses and will update you once we have additional information on the direction the state decides to take on this important subject. 

As always, the brokerage association will continue to advocate for appropriate payment to providers of these essential services – particularly during a time of need for increased provider capacity and better employment outcomes for Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Stay tuned.

– The OSSA Communications Team
OSSA Executive Director Kathryn Weit
Margaret Theisen
Larry Deal
Katie Rose

 

State Announces Payment Systems Change Delay; Provider Enrollment Agreements Still Needed

Dear Providers,

Yesterday, newly-appointed ODDS Interim Director Trisha Baxter announced that Oregon is putting the brakes on its move to centralize payment to providers of brokerage services.

The new target date for the change is July 1st, 2014, pending agreement between the State and SEIU.

For quite some time, there has been great concern amongst brokerages, providers, and customers regarding what has been a rather rocky implementation process. Payment to our essential provider base must be top priority for our community and system. We applaud ODDS’ move to delay for solid planning and pledge to work with the Department on development of a thoughtful and thorough approach to this transition.

That said, all providers still need to turn in their Provider Enrollment Application and Agreement. Regardless of how long this process takes, one thing is certain: you will need a provider number to do business in Oregon. It’s in your best interest and in the best interest of your customers that you take this important step now.

To recap:

  • Continue to send your timesheets and invoices to the appropriate brokerage as you always have. We’ll continue payment to you until at least June of 2014.
  • 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. The state should then follow up with you and provide you details on how to sign up and sign in to the eXPRS payment system.
  • 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.
  • Additionally, all providers must have a criminal history check completed every two years.

Thanks for your work and support of our community. Stay warm out there!

Best,

– The OSSA Communications Team
Larry Deal, Katie Rose and Margaret Theisen

11/26/2013 Update on Provider Payment Changes and Provider Enrollment into the State’s System

Dear Providers,

There continues to be a lack of timelines and details regarding 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 understand is this:

  • Due to the lack of a transition process presently, payment will not be coming through the State effective January 1st, 2014  
  • Brokerages 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.  You also need to be sure your criminal records check has been completed within the past two years.

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. Please email the State for assistance on this matter.

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.

– The OSSA Communications Team
Larry Deal, Katie Rose and Margaret Theisen

 

Notice to Providers Regarding Issues with State Payment System Changes and Processes

bingonumbers-564x272Dear Personal Support Workers, Domestic Employees and Independent Contractors,

Recently, there have been some mixed messages regarding the new State payment system and the Provider Enrollment Number you will need in order to access it – including what you need to turn in and to whom you should submit those items. Many of you have reported getting conflicting information from one contact person to the next. Once the brokerages were alerted to the issue by calls from providers, we quickly made contact with leadership at ODDS (Office of Developmental Disabilities Services) and the OHCC (Oregon Home Care Commission) to address the communication breakdown and resulting misunderstandings.

The continued message from ODDS is that Brokerages will maintain local control of provider payments until December 31, 2013, with payments moving to a consolidated system run by the state on January 1, 2014. If this message changes, we will work to get that update out to you. This Friday, the thirteen brokerages are meeting with ODDS and OHCC and we will work together to develop a workable plan to get everyone on the same page and get you the information you need.

In the meantime, please hold tight. Your payments will not be affected at present and we will do our best to release information that’s clear and consistent.

Thanks for your patience and support during this time of great transition. And thank you for the essential work you do for our those we serve and the community at large.