The PASSE System – How to Take Action

Updated: 3/10/18 9:00am

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.

  • 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
Summit (Arkansas Provider Coalition)
  • Gateway Healthplan
  • Their HANDBOOK (rules, your rights, and information)
  • Network Provider Directory
  • Michael McCabe
  • 400 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 1700 | Little Rock, AR 72201
  • 1-855-544-8744

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.

Live Q&A with DHS about PASSEs

MSL took your questions to DHS, and they answered live on Facebook. This video has several good demonstrations and answers that you might need to see. The PASSEs will start taking clients in February 2018.

Watch the video:

New Medicaid Dental Plan

Updated 1/3/18 09:30

 You may have received a letter telling you that your Dental plan has changed. That’s because Arkansas Medicaid has moved their dental coverage to managed care. There are 2 companies: Delta Dental and MCNA. You will be assigned to one, and you have 90 days to switch.

We requested information on the change,  and this was DHS’ response:

The Arkansas Department of Human Services is changing its dental program. Beginning January 1, 2018, two companies will provide dental coverage for families enrolled in Medicaid. Those companies are:

  1. Delta Dental of Arkansas
  2. Managed Care of North America (MCNA)

There will be no changes to the dental services that are covered. Families will be assigned to one of the two companies in December 2017 and will get new dental cards and a welcome packet in the mail for each enrolled family member.
If members want to switch to the other company, they will have 90 days to do so. 
Families can begin scheduling appointments for covered dental services after January 1, 2018. Information about what is covered will be in the welcome packet.
Clients living in Human Development Centers, individuals enrolled in the Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), and individuals who are eligible for Medicaid only after incurring medical expenses that cause them to “spend down” to Medicaid eligibility levels will not be enrolled in a dental plan.

It is important to note that as new beneficiaries apply for Arkansas Medicaid benefits, if they qualify for dental benefits, it will take between 15 and 45 days for them to be assigned to a plan and for the plan to complete the enrollment process.  

Then we requested information on the difference between the companies, and this is what DHS said about the new dental plans:

The benefits are identical and the number of dentists in each network is very close to the same (within 1%). The only real difference I can recommend is for the client to check to see if their preferred dentist is in the network to which they were assigned. If confirmed, I suggest they stay with that plan. If not, they should check with the other option to see if their preferred dentist is in that network and they will have until the end of March to change plans if they want to.

Both companies are very good at what they do and have been excellent partners for us to work with.

We also asked DHS to address the rumor that ACH Dentists won’t be covered:

Delta Dental AR has 12 of 17 dental providers at ACH credentialed and in the network. The other five have submitted their applications and are undergoing the credentialing process with the expectation that they will also be admitted to the Delta network. They added that MCNA has also had a meeting with ACH, so we can hopefully expect them to cover ACH dentists as well.

After the new year, DHS sent us more clarifying information on the providers who are included:

[We want to] share the details below to demonstrate how very close the dental provider counts are between the two managed dental care organizations now serving Medicaid clients. MCNA received slightly fewer enrollees due to assignments happening by family (keeping family members in the same plan) but the total number of providers in each network varied by 1 last month. Both companies are continuing to enroll providers including ACH.

On 12/15/17 (the last phase of the auto assignment period) a total of 610,945 beneficiaries were assigned to our two dental managed care companies as follows:

  • MCNA – 304,789
  • Delta Dental of Arkansas – 306,156

As you know, there will be some movement as beneficiaries work through their 90 day choice period.

As of 12/20/17 the two MCO’s have contracted with, or have contracts pending for the following number of dental providers:

  • MCNA
  • Contracts complete – 646
  • Contracts pending – 60
  • 706 Dental Providers

  • Delta Dental of Arkansas
  • Contracts complete – 673
  • Contracts pending – 34
  • 707 Dental Providers

Are you thankful for Medicaid?

Author: Lainey Morrow, Medicaid Saves Lives’ Founder

It’s customary this time of year to count our blessings, and there’s one in particular that millions of Americans shouldn’t forget: Medicaid. 

If you’re a recipient (or know a recipient), think for a second what your life would be like without Medicaid.

My little girl qualifies for TEFRA because of her diagnosis, and she’s thriving because Medicaid gives her treatments like therapy and medicines that we simply can’t afford. Medicaid not only helps her day-to-day, but it’s also giving her a future where she may someday be able to live on her own and provide for herself. Because of Medicaid, she can climb stairs, say that she wants a drink, draw a line, feed herself with a spoon, and sit quietly with other students around a table. When I think of life without Medicaid, I see many who would be crushed under personal debt and suffering without hope.

If you’re thankful for Medicaid, please tell those who make our state and national policies, especially if you need to continue receiving it.

This is the perfect time of year to let our lawmakers know that we’re thankful for Medicaid. Why? Because it’s improving and even saving lives! I ask you to take a moment, and write your elected officials a note. Even better, include a photo. Tell them why Medicaid is important to you. If writing several is overwhelming, just start with one. 

You can also post on social media about why Medicaid is important to you using the hashtag #thankful4Medicaid to help others see why Medicaid is so important.

We need to tell everyone the great things that Medicaid does and who it helps. People need to hear this positive message. By sending notes, calling, and posting on social media, we are clearly communicating that we still need Medicaid, and we’re directly asking the people in charge to continue funding Medicaid for us.

Let’s flood our government with letters and calls this holiday season!

Arkansas Only

Contact any elected official in the US!

Independent Assessment: How to Be Prepared

Every single person who is a Tier 2 or Tier 3 and receives Medicaid services for a Developmental disability or a Behavioral health issue will undergo an Independent Assessment. This means you need to understand what it is and what will happen. MSL has gathered some resources to help you be prepared:


First of all, you’re probably asking, which Tier am I in? Click the link to find out!

If you are Tier 2 or 3, you will receive a notification letter about your assessment. It may come from a company you don’t recognize, but make sure to look for a letter and read carefully for the words Independent Assessment. Once you receive a letter, you will soon receive a phone call to schedule a meeting.

You are allowed to take people with you in these assessments, such as a parent or provider. The assessment itself can take from one hour to three hours. It is critical carefully consider and answer the questions because they determine your Tier placement.

Once your assessment is finished, you will have to wait to receive results. Once they are compiled, both you and your primary provider will receive a copy.


DHS has released the following resources to assist you or a loved one in preparation for these Independent Assessments. MSL has gathered it all in one place for you:

  • Read the full assessment itself in PDF form
  • View a presentation to explain the DDS changes
  • View a presentation on IAs for providers
  • Read the training that has been sent to PCPs

The two power point presentations may be of help what is taking place within the DD service system.  Additional information may also be found at the following website

Click on each image to access the resource.

The Full Independent Assessment people will get:Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 11.34.00 AM

Presentation for Individuals, Families, and Staff:

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 11.45.56 AM

Presentation for Providers:

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 11.56.46 AM

Training that was sent to all PCPs:

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 12.00.05 PM

Previous related MSL posts:

Independent Assessment Manuals



What Tier Would I Be Placed In?

Certain people who receive Medicaid through Developmental Disability Services and/or Behavioral Health Services will be contacted about an Independent Assessment – only Tiers 2 and 3. Read the following situations to decide where you might fit:

Developmental Disability Service Tiers

Tier 1:
Individual receives DD services under the Medicaid State Plan (DDTCS, CHMS, therapy, etc.), but does not meet ICF/IID level of care eligibility

Tier 2:
Individual meets ICF/IID level of care eligibility, but does not currently require 24 hours/day of paid support and services to maintain his or her current placement

Tier 3:
Individual meets ICF/IID level of care eligibility and does require 24 hours/day of paid support and services to maintain his or her current placement

Behavioral Health Services Tiers

Tier 1: Counseling
Time-limited services provided by a qualified licensed practitioner in an outpatient setting to assess and treat mental health and/or substance abuse conditions

Tier 2: Rehabilitative
Home and community-based services with care coordination including a full array of professional and para- professional services for individuals with higher needs. Services provided by certified behavioral health agency staff members.

Tier 3: Residential
Services provided in residential setting for individuals with the highest need

Providers: Here’s Your DHS MMIS Resources HQ

The new MMIS system, which is what they at DHS use to pay Medicaid claims and more, went live on Wednesday. Since then, many providers have reported issues with the system. MSL is working with DHS to help your comments and concerns be heard. 

Here are all of the resources so far that DHS has shared to help solve your issues.

Here is a training webinar to help you:

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There is a list on their website that you can access.

The following is a list of all the posts that they have done on Facebook collected in one place:

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 2.10.38 PM

Watch the Facebook Live in which a team of DHS staff and DXC staff attempted to answer questions live. Lainey with MSL collected provider questions and delivered them to the panel.

They weren’t able to answer questions in detail, and hopefully they will do that in the webinar on the morning of 11/8/17. If you can’t attend the webinar, they are recording it for you to be able to view later.
During the facebook live session, DHS shared the following links:

  • You can learn how to upgrade PES: HERE
  • To reach out to us to address those common syntax error, call the local number is 501-376-2211 and the 800 number is 800-457-4454.
  • Need to know how to get a trading partner ID? Go HERE
  • Hub for MMIS news Click HERE.

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Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 3.37.36 PMScreen Shot 2017-11-07 at 3.37.49 PM

Updated PASSE Information

Click the image below to receive comprehensive, updated information on the PASSE systems (as of October 2017). The deadlines have been updated, and if you were wondering what the purpose of the model is, here’s your chance to find out!

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 9.36.43 AM

Three PASSEs were officially certified on October 18: Arkansas Advanced Care, ARkansas Total Care and Empower Healthcare Solutions. Read more about them in the image below:

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