Tax Reform Bill: How to Contact AR Senators


Watch the video above to get all of the contact information to get contact information and tips.

Other helpful links:

https://www.npr.org/templates/event/embeddedVideo.php?storyId=567758536&mediaId=567762951

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 Assessments vs. Developmental Screen

MSL was live on FB to give some news on the Assessments and Screeners being implemented by DHS. 

Developmental Screen

The Developmental Screen and Independent Assessments are different. The Developmental Screen is for children who are being referred to a developmental preschool or day habilitation center known as a DDTCS or CHMS (such as Easter Seals, Peds Plus, Access, or Friendship). The doctor would send out the referral, and this Screen would be done by a third-party to determine the eligibility for this type of center. This assessment should be fairly short, less than an hour. This Screener is set to begin on December 1, 2017 for certain centers and then expand out to the entire state by February 1, 2018.

Your Primary Care Physician should have received training on the new Developmental Screen, but if they don’t know about it, you can give them this training that DHS has already distributed. https://afmc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/PROREL_Webinar_BehavioralHealth_and_DevelopmentalDisabilities_20170908.pdf 

Independent Assessments

Independent Assessments are much longer Assessments that will be given to specific people who fall under Tier 2 and 3 need level of both Behavioral Health Services and Developmental Disability Services. 

These Assessments have already begun, and when yours is scheduled, you should first receive a letter. 

To get more information, tips, and even the full list of questions on the Independent Assessments, check out this recent post: https://medicaidsaveslives.com/2017/11/17/independent-assessment-be-prepared/

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:


IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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.


THINGS THAT CAN HELP

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 https://www.medicaid.state.ar.us/general/programs/passe.aspx.

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:

Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 8.24.12 AM


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

Understanding the House Tax Bill

Taxes affect our daily lives, and the House is working on a bill to “reform the tax code.” If taxes are drastically altered, it won’t just affect our personal taxes; Medicaid funding could be affected as well. For example, Senator Cotton called for the repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate through tax reform. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of what’s happening.

A House committee released the bill, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” this afternoon, and it’s a very long read. 

This is just a first version. They will revise the bill and try to pass it through the House by Thanksgiving to send to the Senate in order for it to take affect by January 1, 2018. 

Take the time to try to understand it and respond if necessary. Here are a few articles to help you understand what’s going on:

Make sure you understand this for yourself, and contact your U.S. Senators with your questions, concerns, and comments!

    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:

    Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 10.20.51 AM

    Input Needed: INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENTS

    Next week, our Founder Lainey Morrow will be meeting with DDS Director Melissa Stone, BHS Director Paula Stone, and Optum (the company doing the Independent Assessments).

    They are going to answer our questions about Independent Assessments and explain the whole process. What questions would you like for Lainey to ask them?

    Also, they plan to provide training on the IA process, so you can know what to expect. They’ve asked for feedback on which method each one of you would prefer. This doesn’t mean they promise to provide it in that way, but they want your input.

    Use the form below to send your questions and input. If you don’t see an option that fits you, add your own.