UPDATED: Your rights in the PASSE

We have been asked to update this post for clarity. These are your rights, but we don’t want anyone to lose services. So please see the updates below.

The PASSE system has been going for almost 45 days now. We don’t have many more days of the “transition plan” where our plans are supposedly covered as they were before the PASSE took over. Doctors are saying they won’t join, and some providers are saying they haven’t gotten paid. Some people were put into the PASSE system, and they want out. They’re being told that they can’t get out, but there are things people can do.

You have rights!

(1) There is a lawsuit you can join.

If you feel you’ve been wronged by the PASSE system, contact Thomas Nichols at Disability Rights (tnichols@disabilityrightsar.org). He will want to know specifically how you’ve been wronged:

  • have you ever had to pay out of pocket for a service?
  • have you lost providers and have no other choices in your area?
  • has the PASSE denied to pay for a medicine or forced a new co-pay?
  • has the PASSE denied a service you were getting?
  • have you tried and tried to contact your care coordinator with no response?
  • is your PASSE unreachable? have they returned your calls?

(2) You can opt out of the PASSE. (BUT)

If you call to opt out of the PASSE, you will lose access to the services that only the PASSE program provides.
– You will lose your Waiver slot if you are a person with the DDS Waiver or Wait list. This should be a careful decision because a lot of people have waited a long time for these services.
– If you get BH services, you will not be able to get those higher level services you might need.

Yes, there are ways you can opt out of the PASSE. BUT you need to be careful and protect yourself. Dropping out may solve a problem for you now, but it may cause you a problem later. Make sure you ask all of the right questions (see below). You might still be able to get what they call “State Plan Services,” but you won’t be able to get the “Community & Employment Supports Waiver” or the “Arkansas Community Independence Waiver.” Depending on how you qualify for Medicaid, you might not get any services at all.

DD

If you’re with the Developmental Disability side, that means you are giving up your waiver slot. You might be giving up some services you might need. Also, the way you qualify for the DD Waiver is different than other Medicaid, so you may not qualify for any services. Some people have waited a super long time for services, and we just don’t want you to do anything that hurts more in the long run.

Programs like ARKids and TEFRA are only for “kids.” For example, if you are on TEFRA right now, you could choose to drop your waiver waiting list slot and go back to TEFRA. Please remember that TEFRA only lasts until you’re 19. The service options are limited for adults, so make sure you will have coverage if you drop your waiver slot.

If your plan is to drop out and come back to the Waiver, just know that you do have to start all over again.

BH

If you’re with the Behavioral Health (mental health) side, you can go back to Tier 1 services, but there may be some services you can’t get now. So if you are a child who was with ARKids, but then because of a BH assessment were put into a PASSE, you could go back to ARKids. The way you do this is by not getting your next reassessment. You have to be assessed to be in a PASSE, so if you turn down your next Independent Assessment when Optum calls, they won’t put you in a PASSE.

Questions to ask:

  1. What services will I lose if I opt out of the PASSE?
  2. Which Medicaid program will I qualify for if I opt out of the PASSE?
  3. Can I still go to {name the provider} if I drop out of the PASSE?

If you want to drop out of the PASSE, you need to call the PASSE Ombudsman. They can send you the right direction. 1-844-843-7351

*Remember, if you are on the BH side, you might have to wait until you can refuse your next Independent Assessment.

(3) You can turn down an Independent Assessment.

Everyone in the PASSE is supposed to have gotten an Independent Assessment. If you refuse a re-assessment, you will be dropped from the PASSE program. If you are on the DD Waiver, that means you will lose your spot.

Before you get put into a PASSE, you have to get an Independent Assessment. This company named Optum calls and sets up an appointment. You can turn this down. They may tell you that you have to do it, or you could lose services. You do not have to do it. This is your choice.

Not getting an Independent Assessment for DD or BH does mean that you can’t be in the PASSE system. So look at #2, and make sure you are making the best choice for you.

(4) You can call your legislators.

Call your legislators. They voted this in, and they need to hear if something is affecting you negatively. They represent us, and we need to let them know what’s going on.

Here’s how! Visit:http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2019/2019R/Pages/LegislatorSearchResults.aspx?member=&committee=All&chamber=

Click their name, and it will take you to their contact info.

(5) Switch your PASSE during Open Enrollment in May.

May 1-31 is Open Enrollment time for the PASSE, and that means you can switch to a different PASSE if you want to. If you like your PASSE, you can keep your PASSE. If you want to switch, call 1-833-402-0672. Watch the PASSE networks closely for changes before you switch.

1 PASSE Quits: 5 Things You Need to Do

Big news this week in case you missed it. There were 4 PASSEs, and now there are 3. ForeverCare says they can’t move forward, right before the PASSEs would all receive the payment to manage everyone’s care on March 1. What does this all mean? Now what?

The news has covered this some in the past few days. Forevercare says the program isn’t ready, but DHS says they are. Watch this video or read this news story to see what ForeverCare had to say:

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If you don’t know what the PASSE is, check this out (MSL Resource).

Or watch this previous town hall recording from DHS.

In light of ForeverCare’s announcement, this is what you can do:

(1) If you are concerned about this whole thing, you need to contact DHS through the PASSE Ombudsman.

They’re supposed to take our complaints, concerns, and help us solve problems:

Call –  1-844-843-7351 (during business hours)

Email – PASSEOmbudsmanOffice@dhs.arkansas.gov

More info – https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/about-dhs/dms/passe-ombudsman If you’re a provider, and you’re confused or concerned about all of this and how it will work before March 1, you need to contact DHS through

Tanya Giles | tanya.giles@dhs.arkansas.gov | 501-320-6189

(2) A lot of people want to contact their legislators and let them know what’s going on. After all, the state legislators voted this through when they voted for Act 775.

Keep them up to date on how this system is affecting you.

Contact our state legislators.

Contact any elected legislator in the US.

See how your local Representatives or Senators voted on Act 775.

(3) If you thought this was confusing, get ready for more. Keep a note pad by the phone. Keep everything that is mailed to you, and keep a phone log.

If you are a ForeverCare family, they are going to be your PASSE until March. Even after you’re reassigned, your new PASSE isn’t supposed to officially take over until March 1. But your new PASSE will be contacting you to give you more information, find out more about you and everything you need. So make sure you don’t forget ForeverCare’s contacts.

FOREVERCARE
  • Gateway Healthplan
  • Their HANDBOOK (rules, your rights, and information)
  • 1-855-544-8744
(4) You’re going to get reassigned in early February, and you’re going to get 90 days to switch PASSEs if you want.

That means you’ll have until May to decide if you like your PASSE, and if you don’t, you’ll have to research which one you want to go to.

Here is the other PASSE information. You need to check out their handbooks and networks. Ask other families what they like and don’t like about their PASSEs.

Some of them are having family and provider meeting this month. Call them to find out when theirs is!

  • Arkansas Total Carehttp://www.arkansastotalcare.com | 1-866-282-6280

    CEO, John Ryan – jryan@centene.com

    Care Coordination Contact: Amber Baker | (501) 478-2597

    Amber.Baker@ArkansasTotalCare.com

    HANDBOOK

    NETWORK LIST – none shown on website

  • Empower Healthcare Solutionshttp://www.getempowerhealth.com | 1-866-261-1286

    CEO, Nicole May – nicole.may@beaconhealthoptions.com

    Care Coordination Contact: Jamie Ables | Office (501) 707-0961

    Jamie.Ables@beaconhealthoptions.com

    HANDBOOK

    NETWORK LIST

  • Summit Community Carehttp://www.summitcommunitycare.com | 1-844-405-4295

    CEO, Jason Miller – jason.miller@summitcommunitycare.com

    Care Coordination Contact: Tiffany Parkhurst | (501) 773-6273

    Tiffany.parkhurst@summitcommunitycare.com

    HANDBOOK

    NETWORK LIST

(5) After ForeverCare’s announcement, everyone became more concerned and had serious questions. Make sure you ask your questions! Ask DHS, ask your legislators, and ask in our group.

This is what DHS had to say to our questions as of Jan 18:

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Take Action: June Legislative Committee Meetings

Update (6/5/18): The rules were approved in the Public Health joint committee and will be next voted upon by the ALC Rules & Regulations Joint Committee on Tuesday, June 12 at 1pm in Little Rock. Contact the committee members. Read below to catch up if you wonder which issues are being voted upon.


Original post: MSL has announced on Facebook that this committee meeting would be occurring on June 4th and that it was moved to Jonesboro. Here is some information to help you to understand what’s happening when, and what you need to do.

If you’re lost and need to catch up, you can watch a video we previously released on the subject.

Screen Shot 2018-06-03 at 10.01.07 PM

Several important issues are being discussed that affect children as well as adults:

Here is how you can contact the people of the Public Health Committee:

PASSE – Phase II Updates

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DHS recently released a new presentation with updates to their work on the PASSEs Phase II. This includes milestones and network adequacy standards, and where they are with Independent Assessments.

They did listen to our concern that people have been enrolled before the networks were adequately formed, and they will hold open enrollment in October of 2018.

Catch up on all previous PASSE posts!

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.

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.

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




Solution to Denied PAs for Therapy Providers

MSL has been made aware that there’s a lot of confusion on submitting PAs to request more than 90 minutes of therapy for children since the therapy cap was implemented on July 1, 2017. Lainey has talked with AFMC and DHS as well as the OT Association President who has been successful in submissions.


You need a separate statement letter that answers the following questions individual to the child’s case:

1. How does the therapy administered effectively treat the beneficiary’s condition?

2. What gives you a reasonable expectation that the beneficiary is experiencing meaningful improvement or that the therapy is preventing worsening of the beneficiary’s current condition?

3. How are the frequency, intensity, and duration of the requested therapy services realistic for the age of the child?

List the question and provide the answer. Make sure you provide the other information listed there as well. AFMC told Lainey today that they will deny any submission that does not have this requirement. If you have received denial with 3 statements that say you didn’t meet the requirement, try resubmitting with this.