October 06, 2020 | Special Guest Speaker: Alisha Clark, Branch Manager Community Alternatives Department for Medicaid Services & Stella Beard

Stella: Well, thank you so much for joining us today for Kentucky SPINs Tuesday Tips webinar. We are going to hear an echo on the 1915(c) Medicaid waivers. And so we’re real excited to have special guests with us today, Pam Smith, who’s the Division Director for Community Alternatives and also Alisha Clark, who is the Branch Manager.

[00:00:22] So before I turn it over to them, I want to ...

Stella: Well, thank you so much for joining us today for Kentucky SPINs Tuesday Tips webinar. We are going to hear an echo on the 1915(c) Medicaid waivers. And so we’re real excited to have special guests with us today, Pam Smith, who’s the Division Director for Community Alternatives and also Alisha Clark, who is the Branch Manager.

[00:00:22] So before I turn it over to them, I want to go over a little bit of housekeeping. I’m Stella Beard, the Assistant Director for Kentucky SPIN. So we’re happy that you’ve joined us today. I wanted to tell you just a little bit about Kentucky SPIN. We are Kentucky SPIN is the Special Parent Involvement Network. We are the parent training and information center for the State of Kentucky. We’re funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Actually, we have been the PTI since 1988 when we first received that grant. So we’re really excited that we provide training, information and support for children and youth with all types of disabilities birth through age 26. And since COVID hit we have been doing many, many webinars to also still be able to get that information out to families, that they need, especially during this time of uncertainty.

[00:01:17] One thing we do not do though. We do not act as attorneys. So we are not going to be giving anyone legal advice. Nice. We are just going to be giving them resources and tools that they need so that they can feel empowered and begin to effectively advocate for their children on whatever level that might be. And we also provide peer support to help families access needed information and resources. Our website is full of rich information.

[00:01:42] We have just revamped our website actually, and we have a wonderful interactive COVID-19 page that has resources available regarding education, lots of different things, updates from the governor that maybe you missed, all of that housed under our COVID-19 page. So it’s a really great resource for you to go to. It’s very user friendly.

[00:02:05] We also have a wonderful video library, that we have just made available. That is so easy now, you can search it topic and pull up the video. We have been doing videos since March. And we’ve been doing webinars two times a week. So all of those workshops and trainings that we have been doing throughout this time of COVID-19 are available on our website. So we’re very excited about that information.

[00:02:32] We show this slide, almost every webinar that we do. It says together we can accomplish great things for our children. None of us have all the answers. But we are all working through this pandemic and adjusting as we go. And I’m sure all of you all can do a big amen to that. This has been very difficult for a lot of folks, especially our kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

[00:02:55] All of our staff also, I wanted to make note, that we all are either a parent of a child or a young adult with a disability, a sibling, or, we have a disability ourselves. So I love that about Kentucky SPIN, that those are the folks that make up our team. I have a 24 year old with an intellectual disability, so I’ve been very involved in his special education throughout his life. And so I’m able to bring that piece to families that I also work with.

[00:03:30] Before I turn it over, I’m gonna let you know, one thing, the PowerPoint today will be in your downloads. You can see that under handouts and under your tab over there. If you have a question throughout the presentation today, please put that in the question box and we will be sure and get those answered for you. And, also, you will receive a follow-up email that will have all of the handouts and information included in it.

[00:04:00] So without further ado, Alisha, can you hear me?

[00:04:07] Alisha Clark: Stella can you hear me?

[00:04:09] Stella: I can!

[00:04:12] Alisha Clark: Okay, good.

[00:04:15] Stella: I sure can.

[00:04:17] Alisha Clark: I had to call in on my phone. I can see you’re all moving everything on the computer, but I don’t hear anything on the computer so —

[00:04:26] Stella: Oh can you hear me now?

[00:04:29] Alisha Clark: I can hear you on my phone.

[00:04:30] Stella: Okay.

[00:04:31] Alisha Clark: So we will just we’ll use the phone and where I called in and we’ll do it that way.

[00:04:38] Stella: Okay. Well, I am pulling up your PowerPoint on the screen right now, so you can’t see anything on your screen, right?

[00:04:46] Alisha Clark: Oh, I can see it. I can see it. I just couldn’t get any, I couldn’t hear anything through the computer.

[00:04:52] Stella: Okay. All right. Well, if don’t click your slides fast enough, you just let me know. Okay, there’ll be a little delay probably, as we know, you know, everything is slow right now. So if I don’t get through them quick enough, just let me know and I’ll be sure and move them forward. But I told everyone that if they had questions, just to type that in the question box and we’ll be sure and get those answer for them.

[00:05:20] Alisha Clark: Absolutely. Thank you Stella. Okay. So my name is Alisha and I’m the Assistant Director of the Division of Community Alternatives. We obviously house the six waivers within Medicaid and we were invited by Stella and her team to come and speak to you all today on some updated information that we are doing through Medicaid.

[00:05:44] And, so we’re excited to be here and to be able to talk to you all. Today we are going to be discussing, just to kind of run through this quickly, our Michelle P. Waiver Slots, our Waiver Redesigned Status. We have an upcoming, actually it started yesterday, public comment period on our HCB and Model II waivers.

[00:06:07] We are nearing the one year service around our waiver help desk. So I have some stats to share with you all on that. We also have been doing some exciting things with MWMA and adding some different functionality. So we’ll talk through that. And then the last agenda item we have, is going to be the Electronic Visit Verification.

[00:06:36] The first thing that we will talk through is the Michelle P. Waiver Slot. And we’ve released a hundred additional slots on October the first. So if you were within one, through a hundred on our waiting list, you should have a letter coming to you. If not, and you were farther down on our waiting list, that means you’re going to be a hundred spots closer.

[00:07:02] Individuals will have 45 days to request an assessment from a CMHC, so it’d be one of the community mental health centers. So the last day to request that assessment is going to be on November the 15th. Once you request an assessment, the CMHC has 14 days to complete that assessment for you all.

[00:07:25] And then the assessment for this round has to be submitted no later than November the 30th. So that’s just a small piece about the Michelle P. Waiver slot, and just to let you all also know if anybody on here is on the waiting list our yearly update letter will be coming out as well in December. And that’s the letter that you get, do you want to remain on the waiting list? Have you had an updated address? So make sure that you fill that out, send it back in to us.

[00:07:59] It’s very, very important that if you have moved that you keep your addresses up to date, with us, if you’re on the Michelle P. Waiver waiting list and also with DCBS, if you already have a case.

[00:08:13] The next thing we’ll talk about is our waiver redesign status. As you all know, that it is currently paused right now, there was a letter that was sent out back in February on the 13th that provided this information. Obviously we did have new administration that came in and they wanted to reevaluate all the recommendations and to ensure that they will help all of our stakeholders.

[00:08:45] Unfortunately, COVID-19 it’s our State and, so that was, you know, put on pause. And then right now we don’t have a date of resuming that redesign, but they have been discussing that. We will notify all stakeholders when that date is set, you know we’ve had  obviously had to take care of COVID related actions.

[00:09:11] I know that we submitted and an Appendix  K and have done some things and have worked very closely with CMS through the State of Emergency and the pandemic. But if you all, at any point in time, if you have comments, concerns, or if you’re not on our email distribution list and you want to sign up for updates of that, please email our  Medicaid public comments email box, that’s on the screen there.

[00:09:40] And, just ask to have your name updated and put on a distribution list for anything that goes out. So that we can make sure that you all get all that information that the department sends.

[00:09:58] Every five years, CMS, which is the centers for Medicaid, Medicare and Medicaid services have to approve our applications for our 1915(c) waivers. The five-year period was actually up this year for our HCB and Model II waivers.

[00:10:18] And CMS requires a 30-day public comment period any time we renew our waiver. So we go in, we fill out the applications, we then let the public know that you have a 30-day comment period. Where you can send comments in to us after you read, review that and have any recommendations, concerns. And the information on our HCB and model waiver two applications they were released yesterday. Our public comment period will run from October the fifth through November the sixth.

[00:10:58] Again, those can be seen and reviewed off of our website. So please go out there and take a look at those if you’re interested in those waivers. And we are actually holding a meeting on October the 12th from 2:00 to 3:30 Eastern Standard Time. And if you are interested in registering for that meeting, you can also go to our division of community alternatives page. And register, there will be a link there that you can register for that webinar.

[00:11:36] Just to tell you a little bit about the update for both of these waivers. We’ll start with HCB. So we went in to the application and we updated the current waiver processes for the, how the service authorizations are completed. How incident reporting is completed. And the ability to file the appeals and grievances.

[00:11:59] We did expand services such as our home delivered meals. We will, before it had to just be hot meals and we understand that that’s not always possible. So we extended that to frozen meals as well.. we want to make sure that our meals do meet, you know, that they’re healthy, balanced meals and that they do meet the requirements set forth by different policies.

[00:12:32] We also have updated the policy for hiring legally responsible individuals. It’s more clearly described, this process, which LRIs much receive an approval in order to be hired as a PDS employee. In addition, we also added for our PDS population that our CMHC can be financial management agencies. And that’s going to increase the choice that you could possibly have, you know, there was going to be a choice at least two FMAs per each region.

[00:13:18] And then our model waiver two update basically there wasn’t a whole lot of updates to this waiver application, except we did update the current  processes for our service authorizations, the incident reporting and our appeals and grievances processes.

[00:13:41] One of our agenda items that I’ve talked about is our waiver help desk. And I said earlier that, we are close to a year in to this. We took over, we started this help desk on November the 25th of 2019. And our stats right now, we average about 450 calls per week. It takes about on average 25 seconds to answer those calls. So it tells you on normal there is not a huge waiting timeframe that you’re on hold.

[00:14:14] And right now, our top reasons for our calls are people checking to see where they are on the Michelle P. Waiver waiting list. They want to know how to apply for services in the waivers. And then we do have case managers that are calling in with questions. It could be about specific cases, about MWMA in general. But those are our top, call reasons. right now,

[00:14:51] So this is one area where I have been heavily involved in for the past several months. And we’ve made enhancements to MWMA. We have expanded access to all 1915(c) waiver providers. So any waiver provider, it doesn’t just have to be before it was just case managers that had access. But now we’ve expanded it to maybe if you’re at day training or if you’re in the payroll services. So all the providers will have access to MWMA.

[00:15:28] This will allow everybody to be able to go in and print prior authorizations on demand. They will be able to see the participant’s plan of cares, their goals and objectives for each service. So sometimes we’ve heard from providers that they have to wait to receive that from maybe the case manager or they haven’t gotten the PA yet. So now this is going to be at their fingertips so they can go in the system, go under the case of participants they serve only, they can’t access just anybody, it’s people that they serve. And they’re connected by an actual prior authorization number. But they can go in there and make him do all of this.

[00:16:12] So hopefully we can improve coordination of care for all of our participants and ensure there are no unnecessary delays for services. Another thing that is an enhancement of MWMA is providers are going to be reporting incidents. Right now the go live for our direct service providers was on pens three, so they’re just now getting into the system and getting used to it. But as of December, the first, they will be required to submit all incident reports through MWMA.

[00:16:51] It’s going to automatically notify the operating agencies of the incidents. And it’s going to allow us to better track them, to improve our participants health, safety, and welfare. We will be able to use information we receive to really look at the quality, piece of this. So we’re actually very excited about —

[00:17:13] Stella: Alisha, can you explain to the folks on the call that might not understand what MWMA is?

[00:17:20] Alisha Clark: Absolutely. I apologize, Stella. I did not. So MWMA is a, it’s called the Medicaid Waiver Management Application. And this is where it’s connected to even, Benefind or now it’s called Connect. There was an announcement made by our Governor yesterday. So you had it, it’s connected, all the pieces are connected. Not everybody can see all the pieces, but this links the information for like, if you’re financially eligible and then it comes over to MWMA. So we can see that you’re financially eligible for the waivers. Our case managers have been using this system for several years now, I’m going to say around six years or so. And, so right now our case managers go in there, they submit all of your services. This is how they get their prior authorization.

[00:18:18] There’s, you know, the notes are in there for them, if they keep them in there. But it kind of like, I call it a central hub. So that everything that is necessary for being waiver participant, and then they’re not 1915(c) waiver services are kind of in one centralized location. And so by giving everybody access, it really decreases any delays and this really improves coordination of care, for all of our participants.

[00:18:53] Stella: Thank you Alisha. And one more question, kind of in regard to the 1915(c). I know when I first heard that, many years ago, I was kind of like what in the world is that? And can you just take just a second before we go on and kind of explain, you know,  the 1915(c) and where that kind of comes from and how States, you know, are able to have those waivers and just explain just a little bit about that? And I know, you know, at the beginning, we have six under the 1915(c), but if you could just go into just a little bit of an explanation about that, that will be wonderful.

[00:19:35] Alisha Clark: Absolutely. So like, Stella said I’d mentioned earlier, we have six waivers. So we have two waivers that are for intellectually and developmentally disabled. Those would be our Michelle P. Waiver and our SCL waiver. We have a, and, this is kind of confusing because we talk about our waiver umbrella in general is our HCBS waivers. But we have a waiver within that called HCB. That waiver is going to be for our physically disabled or our aged population, so 65 and older with complex maybe medical needs that they assistance with.

[00:20:20] We also have two waivers. We have an acute ABI and a long-term ABI. And that waiver, kind of within its name, it’s going to serve our brain injury. So a deep brain injury, or an acquired brain injuries. We have acute and a long-term care. So if you’ve got a brain injury, you could possibly qualify for that.

[00:20:44] And then our model C, which is out for public comment right now, that is a waiver for our ventilator dependent individuals. So they’re on a ventilator, or they could be on a ventilator, but on an active weaning program. And just to kind of give you a little more information about 1916(c) in general. So all of our State plan services, fall under an 1115 waiver. So you think about like doctor’s visits, pharmacy. All of that’s under 1115. This is, so all the services, if you have Medicaid, then you have access to all of those services.

[00:21:28] Now, as a 1915 waiver, a 1915(c) waiver participant, you have access to all of the State plan services on that side, but you also have access to additional services. And these are services that would not otherwise be covered. And so like personal care or CLS, adult day training. So we have several different services within our waivers that, cause you can’t, if you have a service, CMS tells us if you have a benefit, a service that’s covered, in plan, what we call the 1115, the other side State plan but you can’t pay for it through waivers.

[00:22:18] So waivers is those things that aren’t normally, I tell people, not normally paid for by insurance. And by being, and qualifying through the type of disability that you must have, that is what allows you to gain, and be able to receive these additional services, if you meet the level of care, either for a nursing facility or for an ICF.

[00:22:47] You know, our goal is that everybody has a choice. If they want to live in the community and they, we are able to safely serve them in the community, that is what we want to do. You know, we do not want people to be institutionalized. You know, everybody should have choice. Does that help Stella?

[00:23:11] Stella: Yes it sure does. I just want to clarify that when you said ICF, that that’s immediate care facility for those folks that don’t know that.

[00:23:20] And you know, I know one of the things as a parent that was hard for me when, we were going through the process of getting, you know, getting on the Michelle P. And actually we were one of the first many, many years ago, so I’m very grateful for the services that my son Clayton receives through the Michelle P. Waiver. A

[00:23:40] And I know that was one of the things that was hard for me is like he had to qualify for that ICF, or that immediate care facility level of care. And even though I know in my heart, I would never want him, you know, in an institution by any means, I’m so grateful that, you know, we have, that here in Kentucky, where that is the goa., like you said, we don’t want folks, you know, receiving care unless it’s an absolute necessary situation.

[00:24:12] And so I’m very grateful. One of the things that really intrigued me many times I’ve heard this is that those 1915(c) waivers that Kentucky has, they’re really not mandatory. Is that correct?

[00:24:28] Alisha Clark: That is correct. They are not mandatory. We receive federal funding. So when you think about a dollar, 70% of that dollar, so 70 cents of each dollar actually comes from the federal government. And we have to, when we submit these applications, if you’ve ever looked at one, they’re very long, 200, 300 pages. There’s lots of information in there. We have to actually put in safeguards and things that we’re going to do to ensure that we’re overseeing it properly because, like you said, it’s not required.

[00:25:10] And if we don’t do what we’re supposed to do, then it is possible that that funding will get stripped from us. And we won’t have waivers for anybody. So I know sometimes you hear, well maybe the department will just recoup our money, or they’re going to do this. You know, everybody, I always tell everybody, everybody’s got a big brother, whether it’s your boss or your boss’s boss. And so that’s how we have to really look and audit to make sure that people are receiving necessary services.

[00:25:41] And if the providers are doing what they’re supposed to, because we, it would be devastating if we did not have these waivers for our individuals in Kentucky. We have about, and this is just a guesstimate, I’m going to say about 26,000 right now, on waivers in the state of Kentucky, with a waiting list. As you all know, I’m not sure how many people on here are possibly on the Michelle P. Waiver waiting list, but it’s a very, very lengthy waiting list.

[00:26:11] And just to kind of let you all know, if you don’t know, cause people are like, why do you have a waiting list? Why can’t you just give my loved one, a spot? So in order to give somebody a spot in a waiver, you have to have an available slot. So what that means is we have to have approval through two different mechanisms in order to have a spot. So on Michelle P. we have 10,500 people that we can serve.

[00:26:44] We have to get the okay, and the funding. So the budget has to come from the legislative. Through our, every two years we have our budget session and everything, and we request slots. That doesn’t always get funded. Once we had funding through the legislative process, then we have to request those spots from CMS through our waiver application. And once both of those are approved, we can then get more slots.

[00:27:21] So that’s just another little piece to let you all know, because I do hear, about our waiting lists being very lengthy. And we understand, I mean, we truly, we understand that and we want everybody to be able to be served that needs those services. And my boss is always telling everybody if you find the money tree, please tell us because we ask for money all the time. Doesn’t mean we get it, but we advocate for money to be able to serve more people.

[00:27:56] Stella: Thank you, Alisha, that really helps. And one of the things that I wanted to make sure that the folks out there know, cause this was very confusing to me. So I’m sure it’s confusing to someone else. You talk about CMS, which is the Center for Medicaid Services, which is the federal government. And then you talk about DMS, which is the Department for Medicaid Service, which is Kentucky. Is that correct?

[00:28:20] Alisha Clark: Yes, that’s correct. So CMS with the C like cat is our big brother. They’re the federal government. They’re the ones that give us that 70% of every dollar that comes, to Kentucky. And then DMS, which is the Department for Medicaid Services, and we are the division of the community alternatives under Medicaid. Which is the Department for Medicaid Services.

[00:28:51] Stella: Perfect.

[00:28:52] Alisha Clark: Lot of acronyms, and any time, if I ever say an acronym and you’re like, what? Please put it in the chat. Because you know, sometimes where we live and breathe it every day,  we sometimes do forget and people just have to say, tell me what you mean. And —

[00:29:11] Stella: That goes into a question someone actually asked and they said, is there a glossary of terms or an acronym list that is used for the waivers?

[00:29:20] Alisha Clark: To be honest, I would have to check on that. I’m going to make a note here right now. I know that there are, there was a Medicaid one at one point. I don’t know that we have, I think through waiver redesign, that was part of it. But, I will definitely check on that. And if not, you know, maybe we can get something together and put it out there on our website for people, that would be very, very useful I believe.

[00:29:50] Stella: I totally agree. You know, we have that in special education and it certainly helps families when they’re preparing for that IEP meeting with their child to have that little cheat sheet, so to speak of all of the acronyms that are used in special education too. So now I think it would be a great one for you all to have with waivers.

[00:30:09] I do before we go into the EVV, which is another acronym of course, I just wanted to say, you know, like I said my son has been on the waiver for many years now. And so I’ve been through a few administrations and I’ve been through a lot of different folks in your department. And I want to say that where it is right now is the most transparent, that it’s ever been. And so I want to give you all, you know, some shout outs for that. Cause I’m sure you hear a lot of negative stuff all the time, so I think it’s good every now and then that we hear positives. And I want to say, I love the email platform that you all are using now, where you can email a question to the help desk. You can get on, and get those updates right away. The website is very user friendly, which we’ll be sure and send that out, your website link, where they can go on and look at everything on your website is very user friendly.

[00:31:06] So, you know, you all are doing a wonderful job and I know its many long hours that no one else knows about. So I just want to say thank you for what all you all have done for our State and continue to do, because I know it’s probably a thankless job at times.

[00:31:25] Alisha Clark: Well, I appreciate that Stella and that feedback, you know, that is one thing that when Pam and Pam Smith isn’t here today, she is actually in a huge project, and is meeting with a lot of people and having to present. So we kind of split up today and I came over here. But that is one of the things that she said when she took her job as director is I want to be transparent with people. And we may not have the answer and I’ll tell you, I don’t have the answer.

[00:31:56] But we want to be as transparent as possible because good communication goes a long way. And a lot of times if you can’t do something and you just explain to people that you can’t do it, and here’s the reasons why. People understand. I mean, you know, it’s not my money. It’s everybody’s money and there’s rules. So that was one of the things that when she came on, she was like, there has to be transparency.

[00:32:24] So we’ve worked really, really hard to provide updates anytime we learn something or you know, we, we try to give that to everybody. And that’s one reason why, if you want to be on our distribution list, please, please send that to Medicaid public comment so that we can get you on there.

[00:32:47] And next we’re going to talk about, which is a hot topic amongst a lot of people, and this is one of the things that have Pam and April, they’ve been spear heading, where I was doing MWMA enhancements, they’ve been working really, really hard on the Electronic Visit Verification. So you will hear us refer to it as EVV. EVV is actually required by the 21st Century Cures Act. It was signed into law in 2016. Now there  was a good delay that was allowed. But, and we were, we were delayed. We did not start this back, you know, after it was signed into law. But it has to be in use no later than January 1st, 2021.

[00:33:46] So here in just what, October, November, December, so three months, like 90 days and this has to be in the system. What it does is, and who it’s used for it, it’s used to record information about visits that occur for in-home personal care services. What has to capture based on the Cures Act and all of that, you have to capture six pieces of information. The date, the time, the location of service, the type of service, the provider and the recipient information. And like I had said earlier about CMS, you know, given us that 70% of every dollar, they have already said that if you don’t have it in by 2021 that you actually start getting like decreased funding.

[00:34:52] So that’s why, you know, again, we do not want to do anything that’s going to hamper, or effect funding of our 1915(c) waiver services. So, you know, a lot of, some people are already doing it, within their agencies. And some, this is going to be new for them. so there’s, I think there’s mixed emotions, but I feel that this is really, really good as we move forward.

[00:35:22] Stella: And Alisha, I know some of the concerns that I’ve heard is about, you know, tracking GPS. People feeling like, you know, they’re being tracked all the time. It’s my understanding that it will only be, the tracking part, will only be while the person is with the participant. And so like, for example, when my son Clayton has people working with him, they would, you know, put their time and location and all of that into the app, right on their smartphone or their iPad or something like that. And then that it would only track them during that time of their location is, or the service, excuse me. And, before you answered that, the other thing, other part of that question would be, you know I’ve heard this too, what if we don’t have a smartphone or an iPad?  I understand you can use the phone to call that in. Is all that true?

[00:36:25] Alisha Clark: So, let me want to correct you a little bit on what you think about tracking. So we don’t, we’re not going to track. So you’ve mentioned your son, Clayton, and his workers. The goal is not to track them the entire time that they are, that he’s receiving services. It’s truly a snapshot at the beginning of his service and where he ends. So like one family had reached out and said, well, but we have a lake house that is two counties over. You can actually go in and add like additional addresses in there.

[00:37:07] But we do not track you the entire time that you are getting services. It is a snapshot. It would use so much data if we tried to do that. When you use just a snapshot of where the service begins and where the service ends, it doesn’t use like a lot of data or anything like that. So it’s not during the entire time, and then if you don’t have a smartphone, a smart device, some of the people have said, well, can I just have everybody sign in through maybe mine? Well, yes, they can sign in through theirs. They will have to use their own specific log in and log out every time.

[00:37:53] If the employee has a smartphone, they can upload the app to their phone. So this doesn’t even have to have it, the employee can have it, and they will need to log in and out. Again, it’s going to capture that start location and the end location when we go in there and start your time and end your time. And there’s also an IBR, so that’s where you can use like the phone and you can call in.

[00:38:24] There’s actually, and this might be on the next slide, so, but there are trainings coming up. There’s actually a training today on one of the subjects and I apologize, I don’t know which training it is today, just because I’m not spearheading that project. But, and I can give you all the information, but definitely, there’s lots of trainings that are coming up over the next couple months on this. So if you all have questions, you can reach out to us, attend the training, all of that.

[00:39:05] Stella: That’s great. Someone asked just now will tech support be available for those participant directed services employees trying to navigate EVV while providing services at home and in the community?

[00:39:19] Alisha Clark: Yes. Tellus will have a, like a call center that will be available. And then obviously you always have us as well, to reach out to, through our help desk. Our 1915(c) waiver email box, or the phone number. You can reach out to either one of those, but Tellus, will actually have a tech support help desk as well.

[00:39:51] Stella: Great. Okay. And then someone just asked where can I find information about trainings, but they go to your website and all of that information is on your website. Which I will be sure and send out in the follow-up email to everyone. So they’ll have that direct link to your website.

[00:40:08] Alisha Clark: Yes, we have an entire page. And even if you just want to Google, you can Google, Kentucky Medicaid EVV and under the Google, you know, the search that comes up, you can click right on it as well.

[00:40:29] Stella: As far as trainings go for, let’s say, you know, let’s say my Agency that I worked through for Clayton, they’re going to start, you know, we’ve not started yet with the EVV. And are they provide like information to family members, persons with disabilities to help them begin to get started with that? Or how will that be? We just get all the information from you all? Or should families expect some type of communication, you know, from our provider that’ll give us more training and details on when they’re going to start?

[00:41:15] Alisha Clark: Before I go into the trainings, let’s go there a couple other slides, just because it could be different based on who your provider is and the options that they’ve chosen to use.

[00:41:31] So the next slide that’s up is talking about, you know, who is this for? So it’s for provider agencies, it’s for people billing traditional services, it’s also for our FMAs, individuals who are receiving the CDF services.

[00:41:48] So there’s two options for EVV. You had the state sponsored EVV option, which is through Tellus. And then the second option is provider agencies and the FMAs can choose their own third party EVV system. A lot of agencies, have already a system in place, so I encourage you all to check with your agency to see which system they’re using. So if, and to kinda best explain this, and since you’ve talked about Clayton, I’ll use him as an example.

[00:42:31] So Clayton, whoever his provider is already has their own EVV system. So you all will be using that and then that EVV systems and that provider, they actually have an agreement where information is just filtered through Tellus in order to be billed.

[00:42:56] So you, if your agency, if Clayton’s agency already is using a third party EVV system, they might not need anything to do with Tellus. I know that I saw  the third party spreadsheets and I’m going to say there was 10 or 12 different types of EVV systems in which they were working through, and I mean, they’ve already contracted or agreements with agencies.

[00:43:25] So what, you know, we’re going to be, there’s going to be trainings through Tellus. Agencies are going to be having to help individuals as well, as all of this is going to be new for everybody. But, again, I don’t want to say, Hey have Clayton and his family go and start watching all of the trainings through Tellus because you might not be using that system. Does that help Stella?

[00:43:57] Stella: It does. Can you define FMA for the folks that might not know?

[00:44:03] Alisha Clark: That is our, financial management agencies. And those are the ones that actually will, so you have your support brokers, usually the FMAs are in the same agency, but it’s a separate function and those are the ones that actually pay out the reimbursement to employees of our participants.

[00:44:30] Stella: Great. And that really explained a lot because of, you know I’ve kind of just been here a few families, you know, like we don’t even know what to do. We won’t, you know, we don’t know if it’s, and so it gets people all in an uproar, I think for really, okay, you know, legitimate reasons. But also, you know, just like you said, if your FMA is already using the system, you know, reach out to them and find out what it is and see how that’s gonna effect you. So that really, really helps a whole lot.

[00:45:05] Alisha Clark: And I think anytime that we have change. Change is always scary. It doesn’t matter if we’re going to a new job, if it’s just your duties that are changing within the job, you know, every, I think every change is scary, unless you’re just, maybe some people have a different personality than I do. But, you know, we’re, we’re gonna work through this together.

[00:45:28] I’m sure that there’s going to be something that comes out that we’re like, uh oh. Or, okay, how do we fix this? Or, you know, oh, we need to, you know, maybe we didn’t, I don’t know, teach on this specific subject. Maybe we need to put out communication. But we’re going to work through this together. It’s I mean, it’s a team effort. We have to have, you know, us, our participants, family, providers. I mean, I always think of we’re one big team, so it’s okay, don’t, you know, we’ll figure it, you know, we’ll get that figured out for you. That’s not a problem.

[00:46:02] And just to kind of give you a timeline. So, if you go to, again, I don’t want to tell everybody, Hey, you need to go to Tellus because you might not be using their system. But Tellus has a lot of trainings that are beginning here in October. Now in November there is some that have reached out that have wanted to be like a quick pilot group and a providers have reached out to Tellus, and so that’s going to be available on November 9th.

[00:46:34] But we have a soft go live beginning on November the 17th. And this is when providers who are using EVV, and again, I’m just gonna tell ya, cause I don’t want people to freak out or to be scared, you know, it is everything’s changing and it’s scary., but check with your provider agency or your financial management agency on with one that actually pays our participants employees to see what EVV system that they’re going to be using since there are options.

[00:47:12] And then, as like I said earlier, January 1st, 2021, that agencies, FMAs, everything’s going to be required to go through that electronic visit verification in order to comply with those federal requirements.

[00:47:39] We have one final town hall, that’s going to be taking place on October the 14th, and you can find information out on our EVV website. We also have a link here that you can look at all the EVV information on. We have EVV FAQ, we have other resources, like a one page document for like, what it means to me? How do I prepare? It gives all our training schedules. I think it has some of our November trainings haven’t been nailed down to the time yet. So, but our October ones I believe are already out there. And it just, it does, it gives you a whole lot of information.

[00:48:27] So I really encourage people to go out, take a look at that. And then ask  questions, you know. And if you ask me a question and I don’t have an answer, which is a possibility, I’ll figure it out, so that we can share it with everybody. Cause my thought is if one person has a question, then there’s probably somebody else that has that question too. Maybe they’re just either nervous to ask or, you know,  they haven’t seen it yet. But that’s why do FAQs so that we can go ahead and try to be proactive and for other folks as well.

[00:49:06] And on this last page here, we have put our information in here about our program website. The 1950(c) help desk email address and the phone number for you. If you have questions about policy. Now, when we call that number, it’s going to tell you for technical press one. So if you had like an MWMA technical issue, then you would press one. But the other options are gonna come to us. There’s options, you know, if you are a guardian, if you’re a parent, you are the participants. If you have questions about the waiver, where you’re at on the waiver list. There are several options just look into those and choose the one that’s most appropriate for you. And our staff will be willing to assist.

[00:49:59] If you have any, you know, updates or comments, we always have that Medicaid public comments email box that is monitored. So we will encourage you to use that and  make comments. And then we have also another link out there that says kind of who to call for waiver help. And it kind of gives you some tips and hints on what’s the best place to call depending on questions, as well.

[00:50:31] Stella: Well, thank you. I love, just another kudos. I love all the little one-pagers that are, some of them are more than one page, but just how does this affect me? Those kinds of things. And I love the FAQs. I think those are wonderful because whenever I have a question from someone I’ll always go to those FAQs first, to see, you know, the answer before I start rattling off something.

[00:50:57] Just a couple of questions, one is, I know you talked about the wait list and I wanted just to kind of talk about that a few minutes, because it seems like that’s always a big deal with families. And can anyone still get on the wait list? Are you all screening folks on the wait list? Let’s say those hundred folks that you just released in October that have been on the wait list, what’s the average of people, you know, qualifying for the waiver. And if say maybe 25 don’t do you go to the next 25 then?

[00:51:40] Alisha Clark: Yeah. So kind of give you, information on that. So like we, so just kind of to answer your question to begin with. So we submit a hundred, and say 25 do not either qualify or they do not even get an assessment. Sometimes, and that’s why I tell people it’s very, very, very important to keep your addresses up to date with us, we do send these out certified. When we get those returned, we will try calling phone numbers. We try to look it up in other systems. Is there any other address? We try every which way to find people. Sometimes people just move and move out of State or whatever, and don’t tell us, and you know, we can never find them. So please keep your address up to date with us, please, please, please.

[00:52:35] But if we have somebody say that gets an assessment and doesn’t qualify, it’s not as easy as, oh, these 20 didn’t qualify. I’m going to just submit 20 new names from out there. We have to look and kind of go through everything because, if you get an assessment and it determines, the assessment determines, that you do not meet the level of care, then you have appeal rights. Anytime you get an adverse action, you always have appeal rights. Now those appeals can take time.

[00:53:12] We can’t, if somebody’s under an appeal going through like an administrative hearing, you might’ve heard those words, we can not give that spot to anybody else. Because if, maybe the hearing officer says, well I think they meet and so I’m overturning the decision made by the department then we have to give that slot to that individual. And the way that it is, through our application, that’s been approved by CMS, we would not be able to give that slot if we don’t have that slot to do.

[00:53:49] So we, you know, go back through everybody once we determined that people didn’t meet, didn’t request a hearing, then we can release those slots. But it does take time. It’s not something that can happen in a week or so, because you’ve got 30 days to request an assessment after a denial. So it does take a little time to go back through everything. Did I answer all your questions Stella?

[00:54:22] Stella: That helps so much. Yes. That helps so much because you know, I’ve heard that before too. I was just trying to think of things to get clear in folks’ minds, you know, that it’s not just that easy to just pull up the next few, you know.

[00:54:40] I think that was pretty much all of the questions I’m looking to see if there’s any more. I don’t see any right now. I had one myself, I heard yesterday that we are now going, that Kentucky Connect was brought back, and how will that, I mean, will folks do go through Benefind or will they go through Kentucky Connect now to apply for Medicaid?

[00:55:11] Alisha Clark: So I will tell you that this piece of information is kinda new to us, in our division. And over the last couple of days, we’ve been learning as well on this. And my understanding is that Benefind has been rebranded and changed to have additional features, so it’s not Benefind anymore, it’s Connect. So it’s kinda like the same system, but it’s like a different platform, with some extra add-in options to it. It does look a little bit different. I know that there are, like we always put out quick reference guides is what we call them on our side for our 1915(c) waivers. They are supposed to be having some quick reference guides. I’m not sure if that’s exactly what they’re called on that side, but information out there for providers, you know, end users in general, you know, it could be parents.

[00:56:23] And so once we receive information from, or you know, questions from people, we will be sharing that link with them as soon as we have received it. I know that the request was to have that on the internet site, or one of the websites, yesterday. I’m still waiting, which I’ve been, you know, I’m probably a little behind on emails this morning, but I can share that as well with everybody once it’s on there. So Stella, I can send that to you.

[00:57:00] I think the biggest thing is it just, it looks different. So maybe the way that you maneuver things is different. Which might kind of be the scariest thing for individuals.

[00:57:13] Stella: Well, great that, cause that was a big thing yesterday when I was watching, the Governor’s announcements at four and that was announced, you know, that was my first thought, like, oh, dear, there’s some changes there. So that’s good. Yeah, if you’ll send whatever you can, we’ll be sure and post it out there for families so that they’ll be aware of it.

[00:57:37] Alisha also thank you so much for taking your time today and you know, going over all this with you, with us, excuse me, it really means a lot. And I know it means a lot to our families, to have this information out there, in just another location. I know it’s all on your website, but it’s really good for our partners and the State to get this information out as many avenues as we possibly can. And I’m always been one to say, I want the correct information getting out, not hearsay.

[00:58:11] So, you know, I think it’s great that it’s coming directly from you and your office. And so we really, really appreciate it.

[00:58:20] Alisha Clark: Well, we’re appreciative. And just so thankful that you asked us to come and to share information, with this SPIN group on the Tuesday Tips. We love getting out and talking to people.

[00:58:34] Stella: We’ve kind of traveled around a little bit together at times, you know.

[00:58:38] Alisha Clark: Yes, we have. I’ve done it at schools with you. And so we, you know, and that’s the thing, we want people to have the correct information. There are so many times that misinformation gets shared and which then stresses people out. And I don’t, we have enough stress in our lives, as it is that if I can prevent that and just ensure that the right information is out there, that’s what we want to do.

[00:59:04] So I know, I enjoy getting out, talking to people, meeting new people, and, just again, you know, share the right information for our families and the participants and people who will be future participants. So thank you so much for inviting us today to just talk about all the updates that we’re doing through Medicaid.

[00:59:27] Stella: Absolutely. And just to let everyone know, we are doing Tuesday Tips webinars every Tuesday at 11:00 AM Eastern time. And we’re including lots of great information and guidance and they’ll vary. And it goes, you know, we, we kinda have our schedule already set for a while, but like next week, we’re going to be talking about social strategies and friendship building. So we’re really excited about that Tuesday Tip also.

[00:59:59] And then on Thursdays we have additional webinars on lots of different topics. We’re actually covering now, charting the LifeCourse and those tools on transition. So we’re providing some webinars on that. And then also, as I said, at the beginning, we have wonderful resources on COVID-19, on our webpage.

[01:00:19] And then we have an e-news that goes out, usually every other week. And it will provide lots of information about the webinars that we’ve done. And just some great resources for families too.

[01:00:33] But if you will complete the evaluation at the end of this webinar, we would really appreciate it. You’ll be prompted to do it as soon as you sign off. So if you could please do that for us, it lets us know some things that maybe we need to improve on, or maybe some suggestions you’ve may have for future webinars.

[01:00:51] So thank you again, Alisha for joining us and thanks everyone. And I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful day.

[01:00:58] Alisha Clark: Thank you all.

[01:01:00] Stella: Bye bye.