Your Rights When You Appeal

We appeared live on Facebook with Managing Attorney Thomas Nichols from Disability Rights Arkansas to answer your questions and discuss your rights when appealing a Medicaid decision. Watch because this video is full of helpful information from beginning to end!

Thomas refers to a presentation with more information on appeals that you might want to view.

When filing an appeal, you have resources in the state to help you. Even if you can’t afford it, you can find quality lawyers or law advice. Make sure to contact:

Also, we reference Rights that we listed in a previous post. Make sure to read it.

2018 Election Info

It’s election season! In fact, early voting for primaries has begun. That means it’s time for you to do some homework and make decisions about which issues are most important to you. Sometimes your values on different issues may clash, which is why it’s important to rank one of them as most important to you.

Medicaid is a hot topic. We’ve seen a lot of change, and depending on the officials we elect, we may see even more. That’s why it’s important to be informed about election deadlines, requirements, and the candidates.


Your first question might be:

Who’s running?

Click here to find out.


Next you’re probably asking:

What are the deadlines?

Elections for the office of Arkansas House of Representatives will take place soon!

  • candidate filing deadline – March 1, 2018.
  • primary election – May 22, 2018.
  • primary runoff election – June 19, 2018.
  • general election – November 6, 2018.

All 100 House seats are up for election in 2018. Arkansas state representatives serve two-year terms, with all seats up for election every two years.

Elections for the office of Arkansas State Senate are also happening soon.

  • candidate filing deadline – March 1, 2018,
  • primary election – May 22, 2018.
  • primary runoff election – June 19, 2018.
  • general election – November 6, 2018.

A total of 18 seats out of the chamber’s 35 seats are up for election in 2018.Arkansas state senators serve one two-year term and two four-year terms each decade.

Arkansas will also hold elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Auditor, and Treasurer on November 6, 2018. The candidate filing deadline was March 1, 2018.

The 2018 U.S. House of Representatives will hold elections

  • candidate filing deadline – March 1, 2018,
  • primary election – May 22, 2018.
  • general election – November 6, 2018.

Arkansans elect representatives to the U.S. House, one from each of the state’s four congressional districts.


How can I be informed about the candidates?

As candidates are campaigning, make sure you take every opportunity to inform yourself. Know what questions to ask!


Have I met the requirements to vote?

Voter Registration

To register to vote in Arkansas you should provide one of the following:

  • The Last Four Digits of your Social Security Number
  • Your Arkansas Driver’s License Number

If you do not have any of these IDs, you can provide a copy of one of the following with your registration application:

  • Current and Valid Photo ID
  • Government Issued Document that shows your current name and address
  • Utility Bill
  • Government Check
  • Bank Statement
  • Paycheck that Shows your current name and address

You can alternatively provide one of these documents when you vote to complete your registration.

Voting In-Person

In Arkansas, you need to show a valid ID to vote. You can use any ID from this list:

  • Paycheck that shows your Current Name and Address
  • Current and Valid Photo ID
  • Utility Bill
  • Bank Statement
  • Government Check
  • Government Issued Document that shows your Current Name and Address
  • Veteran Health ID Issued by US Department of Veterans Affairs

Where should I vote?

Find out.


Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

What if you don’t agree with your Assessment results?

Even though many people may not need to appeal, several of you have asked before about how to appeal your Independent Assessment if you aren’t satisfied with your tier placement. We asked DHS for the appeal policy.

Watch for more resources on how to appeal, tips, and what your rights are!

DHS says that below is the information that you will receive with your Independent Assessment results packet.  Each person will receive this notice after his/her IA has been scored.  These results packets began going out Friday.  Some individuals began receiving PASSE services prior to the receipt of their results packets. 

 If you do not agree with your assessment results:

You, your representative, and your provider have the right to request a hearing.

Requirements for the request:
  1. the request must be received at the DHS Office of Appeals and Hearings’ address below no later than (date calculated from notice mailing date [35 days + mailing date])
  2. Please put your request for a hearing and for any services in writing. With your request, please include a

copy of this letter and mail it to:
Arkansas Department of Human Services
Office of Appeals & Hearings
P.O. Box 1437, Slot N401
Little Rock, AR 72203
Division of Medical Services

If you ask for a hearing, these are your rights, per DHS:

  • You may go to the hearing
  • You may be represented by a lawyer or any other person you choose
  • Before the hearing, you have the right to see your record and any other evidence to be used at the hearing
  • You have the right to present your own evidence
  • You have the right to bring your own witnesses
  • You have the right to question any witness against you
  • You have the right to request, if applicable, certain current services continue “as is” pending an appeal decision if your request is received at the Office of Appeals and Hearings’ address listed above by (date calculated from notice mailing date [15 days + mailing date])

You may be able to get free legal aid.

If you need legal help, DHS sends these recommendations:

 DHS also recommended the following link might be helpful to review:  http://humanservices.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/occ/DHSPolicy1098.pdf to understand the process.

Watch for more resources on how to appeal, tips, and what your rights are!

MSL has attended presentations by other community resources such as Disabily Rights Arkansas who have explained in more detail what to put in your letter and tips you might need. One very important thing to do is MAKE SURE TO KEEP EVERYTHING MAILED TO YOU AS WELL AS ALL ASSESSMENTS OR THINGS THAT COULD BE USED AT THE HEARING. We will be collaborating with these other organizations to release more resources as soon as we can!

 

What to Ask Candidates About Medicaid

This year as political candidates are running for election or re-election, they will be asking for your vote. Since our elected officials determine the fate of Medicaid funds, it’s important that we all place informed votes when the time comes. If/when these people ask for your vote, be prepared to ask them some questions in return!


Cuts to Medicaid:

Currently, it seems that Medicaid is taking big hits to funding in all areas.

  • Do you believe that Medicaid needs further cuts?
  • How would you improve Medicaid spending without cutting it?
  • What is your position on adding more restrictions — such as work requirements or enrollment freezes — to programs like Medicaid?


Coverage for All Children:

Today, 96 percent of children in Arkansas have health coverage because of ARKids, funded by Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It ensures over half of children in the state have a reliable source of coverage that their families can afford.

  • How will you protect health coverage for children?


Special Needs & Disability:

Arkansas has a good reputation for providing for special needs populations. However, recent actions seem to move toward what surrounding states are doing, which is not acceptable.

  • How would you protect the funding for special needs and disabled people?
  • Currently thousands of people are waiting for needed services. What ways do you see to move people off of the DDS Waiver Waiting List faster to get the services they need?
  • Would you move this population to managed care if the current PASSE system doesn’t work?


Behavioral Health Needs:

The Behavioral Health options in this state are lacking, especially when it comes to timely treatment state-wide for someone with those needs.

  • How would you improve Behavioral Health treatment options for those on Medicaid across the state?
  • Would you move this population to managed care if the current PASSE system doesn’t work?


Access to Health Care:

In addition to coverage, it is important that families can get the high-quality health care treatment they need. Currently, people struggle to find a doctor who will accept Medicaid to treat them, or they don’t have transportation to the next available provider. By putting the right policies in place, we can improve access to care for all Arkansans.

  • How will you ensure that all children and families in Arkansas have access to high-quality health care?
  • How can you get more providers all over the state to accept Medicaid patients?

Arkansas Works:

Up to 300,000 adults have access to a ordable health coverage because of the state’s Medicaid expansion program, Arkansas Works. This program uses Medicaid funds to enroll eligible adults in a private insurance plan at little or no cost to them.  It has also helped hospitals and doctors who were treating patients that were unable to pay for care.

  • What is your position on providing affordable coverage to adults who are low-income earners?
  • Now that a work requirement is being enforced, what job-training and educational resources do you think the state should provide?

Please press these issues and make sure that the people you vote for will work for you!  Submit more questions!

Pulaski County Nonpartisan Candidate Forum

This resource is from Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families

Join Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhoods, League of Women Voters of Pulaski County, Arkansas Community Organizations, Citizens First Congress, and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families for a nonpartisan candidate forum on April 28th to find out where candidates stand on the issues most important to you. Audience members will have the opportunity to submit questions for the candidates at the event.

When: 1-5 p.m., Saturday, April 28
Where: M.L. Harris Auditorium at Philander Smith College,
900 Daisy Bates Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202

Confirmed races:
-State Senate District 30
Senator Linda Chesterfield
Andre Pendleton

-State House District 33
Tippi McCullough
Ross Noland

-State House District 36
Representative Charles Blake
Darrell Stevens

Don’t know your district? Find out here. Just click the search button and type in your address.

Stay connected for updates, including additional races that may be included.

Don’t forget our guide to questions you might want to ask!

One Therapy Rule – Part 1

MSL has done some research on a change coming our way. You may have heard of it – the “One Therapy Rule,” formally known as the EIDT Program. Watch this video and stay tuned for your opportunity to take action.

Latest DHS Notice: AR Works Changes

This notice was released by DHS today!

From April 2-8, individuals who receive their health care benefits through Arkansas Works and are 30-49 years old will be receiving letters in the mail that contain a reference number to link their online accounts to the Access Arkansas Work Requirement website.

The website, which launched over the weekend, is where beneficiaires will report work, job training, education and other activities if they are subject to the work requirement. It also is how they will report and update activities that could qualify them for an exemption. Individuals can begin linking their accounts and reporting exemptions now.

DHS is phasing in the work requirement starting June 1. People who are subject to the requirement as of June 1, and must begin reporting work activities, will be notifiedt in May.

To assist beneficiaries in creating these online accounts, and to let them know where to find their reference numbers, DHS produced the video below (also found at https://youtu.be/pkfct7Px3MQ). The video also has been posted to the Arkansas DHS Facebook page (@ArkDHS). Feel free to share this video and update your audience regarding the information in that message.

We encourage all beneficiaries to create and link an online account to the website before they are required to start reporting work activities.

A sample of the notice that beneficiaries will be receiving over the next week can be found here: https://bit.ly/2JaXfrs. Please contact Marci Manley at marci.manley@dhs.arkansas.gov if you have questions or need additional information.

Work Requirement News: Exemptions by Age

News from the Kaiser Family Foundation

“In 8 of the 10 states w/ approved or pending waivers as of March, #Medicaid #workrequirements would apply to all or most older nonelderly adults. #AR & #WI would exempt those age 50+. #AZ would exempt 55 and older and #IN & #UT would exempt 60 and older.”

kaiserf.am/2GITTxz

The PASSE System – How to Take Action

Updated: 4/10/18 12:10pm

The PASSE system was voted in by our legislature last year, and now the time has come for us to see the changes.

If you need a reminder, the PASSE stands for Provider-led Shared Savings Entity, and they will be managing the care for tiers 2 & 3 of behavioral health and developmental disability services.

DHS has begun to assign people to the 4 licensed PASSEs after each person’s Independent Assessment is complete.

MSL is actively working to get you more information on the PASSEs themselves. The information we have so far is listed below. If you have a question, you can call the DHS PASSE expert in your area. See the list.

These changes may be happening to you or a loved one, but you can do these 7 things to help yourself in this new process:

1. Make sure your provider knows about the PASSE and everything it involves.

Update: DHS said this week that they are in the process of setting reimbursement rates for providers – the actuary process. Because of that, some providers will not know what you mean when you mention the PASSE to them. Their business office may know and may be waiting on these rates before making any decisions. However, you can still take this information to your provider and/or to the business office.

The top 2 packets are ones that DHS has distributed to providers. Don’t assume yours has received it. Every provider you use needs to be sure they understand this. The 3rd is a collection of contact information of all PASSEs specifically for providers to help them join. Take care of yourself, and take these to every provider you see.

  • A Family letter to take to your providers that explains this for you
  • Resource that was sent to PCPs
  • Resource that explains PASSEs in depth
  • Resource that explains how to join
  • Give them the contact information below

Some have been concerned whether ACH is covered. This is the response:

“State supported hospitals UAMS and ACH will be enrolled with every PASSE. Many doctors are enrolled through their networks but may not know that yet. You can call every PASSE and interview them so you are making an informed choice.”

2. Get to know the PASSEs.

*MSL has requested websites for all – check back for updates.

Arkansas Total Care
Empower
Summit (Arkansas Provider Coalition)
ForevercARe

3. Join a PASSE Advisory Committee.

Every PASSE must have a committee of individuals and caregivers affected by the PASSE to give them feedback on what’s truly happening, especially if that doesn’t match what’s supposed to be happening. Use the contact info above to send your request to join a council.

4. Remember, you have choices.

Once you have been assigned a PASSE, you have 90 days to change to another. Call your PASSE, and make sure they include your providers. If they don’t, use the info above to find a PASSE that better suits you. We will continue to provide more info as we can!

5. If you feel lost, take some time to catch up.

What is a PASSE? Will you be affected? MSL has been following the PASSE from the very beginning. Take some time to catch up and read all about them.

6. Keep MSL informed.

If you learn anything, especially from a specific PASSE, share it with us! If you have any problems, MSL works to solve those for you. Please let us know by:

7. Think about how you’re feeling now, remember that at the next vote.

Our legislature voted this into effect. We called, we emailed, and we visited – all to let them know what we need. If you feel that this good for you, remember that, and perhaps send a note to let them know. You might want to vote for your representatives again. If you feel they didn’t listen to you or didn’t represent you well by voting for this, you should send them a letter to let them know. However, you also have the power to change who is in office. Make sure you place an informed vote. See how your local Representatives or Senators voted on Act 775.

PASSE Q&A Follow-up

DHS recently hosted a FB live about the PASSE to answer our questions, but some of your questions were not answered at that time. The images below show DHS’s follow-up answers to some of the questions.

For those of you who would like to go back and watch the Facebook live video from January 19, click here.