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



MSL Live on KABF 88.3

Lainey, our Founder, is going live tonight at 5pm on KABF 88.3 with 4 other panelists to talk about the state of Arkansas healthcare! We hope you’ll join her:

  • call in: 501-433-0088.
  • email questions/ comments:
  • Listen

Panelists are:

  • Marquita Little, Health Policy Director, AACF
  • John Sufna, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UAMS
  • ShaRhonda Love, Executive director at Arkansas Minority Health Commission
  • Dianna Varady, Director, Arkansas Autism Resource and Outreach Center
  • Elaine Morrow, Founder of Medicaid Saves Lives

Speak Up Arkansas is a one-hour show which hopes to convey an “around the kitchen table” informal discussion that will give you needed information and perspective. The show and panelists hope you’ll call or email to ask about where or how to access services and learn more about navigating the systems.

The show usually starts with each panel member having 5 minutes to provide information about the particular focus area of their health practice, program, or policy work. This is a chance for all listeners to learn about the importance of health care and healthy practices, what services might be available, or what actions they can take to engage or learn more.