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November 8, 2013

Open Line

November 8, 2013

This week's edition includes important information I want to share with you:

Budget Hearing: On November 13th, I will present DIDD's proposed FY2014-15 budget to Governor Haslam at 3:30 p.m. The budget I will present reflects our desire to provide the best services possible while living within our means. It also will help us move forward in achieving our Customer Focused goals. Live coverage of the budget hearing will be provided at

Provider Manual Fiscal Impact Survey Deadline Extended to November 13, 2013: The October 25th edition of Open Line included a survey that the department requested all providers complete in order for DIDD to accurately calculate the fiscal impacts resulting from changes in the new provider manual. The deadline for completion of the survey was originally today, Friday, November 8, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. However, the deadline has been extended to close of business on Wednesday, November 13, 2013. This extension is to allow providers additional time to complete the survey. Wednesday, November 13th is the latest date that the survey can remain open for input, due to departmental time constraints. The survey can be accessed here. The draft of the new provider manual can be accessed at then selecting Provider Manual.

Please contact April Darby at or 615-253-2389 if you have any questions or issues accessing the survey. Thank you to everyone who is participating in the survey.

New Member of the DIDD Team: DIDD is excited to announce the addition of Hollie Campbell to Central Office. Hollie began on November 1st as the Deputy Director for the Office of Policy and Innovation. She will support the department in achieving accreditation, person-centered practices, the ISC system, the Self-Determination Waiver operations, Provider Manual, policy and all waiver development. Prior to coming to DIDD, Hollie worked as Executive Director for Community Options for the past eight years. Hollie's provider experience will be invaluable in leading the department into the future of person-centered services. We are very fortunate to have her joining our team. For those of you who are in or visiting Central Office, come on up to the fourth floor and say hello.

Criminal Background Checks: Recently, it has been noted that some providers have obtained criminal background checks for employees, volunteers or subcontractors that are limited to a review for the county of residence of the person. Please note that DIDD requires that all providers have a statewide criminal background check performed on each employee, volunteer or subcontractor whose responsibilities include direct contact with or direct responsibility for service recipients. The criminal background check shall be conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or a Tennessee-licensed private investigation company. For an employee who has lived in Tennessee for one (1) year or less, a nationwide background check is required.

Accreditation Update: It has come to the attention of the department that there has been some concern about some of the upcoming accreditation activities. With the following explanation, we hope to calm some of the fears that we have heard about related to accreditation.

  1. In order for DIDD to get an accurate picture of the entire Tennessee ID Service Delivery, assessments must take place at several different levels, but most importantly, directly with the people that use our services. In order to assess the quality of life for people who use services, CQL will select a random sample of approximately 420 people for whom a Personal Outcome Measures interview will be conducted. DIDD will provide a listing of all people who are using services from a DIDD waiver to CQL in order for the sample to be determined. Once the sample is selected, the DIDD accreditation team will begin coordinating with providers and ISCs in order to complete the interview. We will need assistance from providers and ISCs in order to determine an interview time, location and determine who will need to be interviewed for follow-up. Once the POM interview is completed, the results will be entered into a statewide database for all results to be analyzed in aggregate. If a provider or ISC is interested in getting a written copy of the results of the POM, we will provide that upon request. These interviews are scheduled to begin in December.
  2. As part of the accreditation process, CQL will also need to perform an assessment of the provider community. In order to accomplish this, DIDD will provide a listing of all providers who provide waiver services (excluding independent providers) to CQL, who will then select a random sample of approximately 30 providers to undergo a Basic Assurances (BA) Self-Assessment validation review. This is a ONE time occurrence as part of initial Person Centered Excellence Accreditation process. In order to assist those providers who are chosen as part of the sample with the Basic Assurances, the DIDD Accreditation team is available to assist providers in completing the Basic Assurances Self-Assessment and prepare the validation review. The DIDD draft provider manual allows for the BA self-assessment to fulfill the requirement of an annual self-assessment process, so if a provider is part of the BA sample, they will not be required to complete another self-assessment. In addition, once the self-assessment validation is complete, the final report is the provider's to keep and use at their discretion. Neither DIDD nor CQL will expect any response or remediation from the provider regarding their results. DIDD will use the results on an aggregate statewide basis when developing its accreditation plan. Finally, the BA validations will not begin to take place until March or April of 2014, allowing 3 or more months to prepare for the validation.
  3. Each regional office will be assessed by CQL staff using Network Accreditation standards.
  4. DIDD Central office will be assessed by CQL staff using the same Network Accreditation standards.
  5. Focus groups will be held around the state with people who use services, families, people who use Family Support, people on the DIDD Waiting List, and people who receive services from the public (DIDD Operated) ICF/IDDs. Specific data will be collected at each of these focus groups.
  6. Once all of this assessment work is complete, CQL will assist a stakeholder group of DIDD, providers, families, people who use services, TennCare, etc. through a process of developing a plan to address what really matters to Tennessee in terms of moving forward to accreditation.

The DIDD accreditation team will be not be able to provide POM workshops, overviews, BA validations and BA workshops from Dec 2013 - late summer 2104 due to the assessment work scheduled to be done during this time. If you are currently scheduled for one of these events during this time, it will happen as planned, but they are unable to schedule any additional provider training.

As always, DIDD sincerely appreciates your support in ensuring better lives for the people we support. Please contact an accreditation team member if you have any questions or comments.

clipEmployment Update: On November 6th, the Employment First Provider Group met with our Subject Matter Expert, Lisa Mills. The group was created by selecting four agencies with thehighest employment numbers from each region throughreview of the2012 employment data reports.Lisa provided the group with an overview of expectations and national trends, which included information about state agencies and their Employment First initiatives. Feedback was solicited regarding the upcoming waiver redesign and rates for day, employment and residential services.In the afternoon, an activity was conducted throughmini workgroupsthat discussedISC and CRP collaboration to support an individual with their goals.Additionally, they presentedideas to provide the most integrated services for employment, day service and residential services.The department would like to thank the provider group for traveling to Nashville and actively participating and providing feedback for our waiver rewrite and rate reorganization.

The Employment First Task Force conducted their second quarterly meeting on November 5, 2013. Lisa Mills, Office of Disability Employment Policy Subject Matter Expert participated in the task force. Lisa conducted a presentation about Wisconsin's task force and providedrecommendations of how the task force can remain focused and productive in completing their goals. Thetask forcedeveloped ageneral consensus regarding the development ofsubgroups that will be needed to complete tasks. Currently, additional barriers are being identified and the subgroups will be created based on the amount of challenges to address. The minutes are being finalized and will be published to the website within the next couple of weeks. The next meeting date and time will also be posted on our website. For more information regarding the Employment First Task Force, please contact the State Director of Employment and Day Services, Amy Gonzalez at or 615-532-6119.

Training Update: The Relias pilot on the new “Share” feature continues, and participating agencies will have a conference to discuss how it is going next Friday. After that, we will share information with all agencies on how we will proceed with implementing the “Share” feature. It allows each learner to create a master record of all training, which can be shared by the learner with agencies where they work. The “Share” function will then not need any action by administrators, as it will be tied to the learner allowing access to their transcript from their My Account page. Moves will still be made by contacting the help desk.

After the final CDS historical download last month, we identified that some records still did not attach to the proper User ID. If your agency has staff that did not connect to their CDS historical record, you will need to make a copy of the PDF transcript and scan it to the help desk. We will then convert to Relias format for downloading. We have no idea why the final sweep done by CDS did not pick up all the spring of 2013 completions, but if you have a learner transcript with name, User ID, and coursework that you can send to us, we will work with Relias to correct those historical records. Please double check your staff records for their historical transcripts accuracy and send us those corrections or additions by December 2, 2013.

Provider Billing and Payment Schedule: DIDD's Office of Business Services (OBS) has updated the PCP Billing and TennCare Payment Schedule to extend through service date June 28, 2014. A copy of the schedule is included with The Open Line for your convenience. It can also be found at the top of the web page at:

Other Important Information from the Office of Business Services: To sign up for EdisonE-Supplier, a helpful tool for payment release information, please go to For questions about Edison User IDs, logging into the Edison system and other system-related issues, call the Edison Help Desk at615-741-HELP (615-741-4357) or 1-866-376-0104.

The Remittance Advice (RA) mailed by TennCare for waiver payments is the official document of record and should always match the check or deposit. DIDD develops the payment information file (provided by TennCare) into an Adjudicated Claims Report (ACR) excel spreadsheet, which is distributed as a courtesy to providers. ACR's are burst using an automated process as soon as they are available through a secure email system. DIDD uses secure email to send ACR's for non-waiver (state-only) funded services in both an Excel and PDF file. The PDF file is the report of record. It is the responsibility of provider agencies to copy reports to a computer file and/or print reports for future reference and audit purposes. Reports remaining on the secure email website will be purged after 14 days of being sent and then will no longer be available.

Please note that two important e-mail addresses will change on December 1, 2013: will be the email address for all billing, payment, and PCP performance issues and will be the email address for setting up the initial log-in for PCP managers and for any log-in issues. Please include any pertinent information, including the agency name, number and contact name when contacting either email address. Finally, please remember to check the PCP log-in screen regularly for important information and updates.

Grant Awarded: Breakthrough Corporation, in partnership with the Knoxville Area Employment Consortium (KAEC), has been awarded a Trinity Health Foundation Phase II Implementation Grant to start-up Project SEARCH sites at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and East Tennessee Children's Hospital in Knoxville. Breakthrough will be the operating partner for the U.T. Medical Center site and the Cerebral Palsy Center of Knoxville will be the operating partner for the East Tennessee Children's Hospital site.

Project SEARCH is a nine-month internship that includes coursework and training rotations through three jobs at the internship site. Upon completion, interns are hired by either the host employer or other collaborative employers. Each Knoxville site will serve nine interns annually. The two sites will start serving adult interns with disabilities in early February 2014. This project will provide people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Knoxville area with life enriching opportunities for employment in well-paying skilled jobs.

KAEC is a unique partnership twelve years in the making. This grant is a great honor for KAEC and will be another giant step in fulfilling the organization's mission to expand the quality of life for people with disabilities in the Knoxville area through the development of new employment opportunities.
For more information on Project SEARCH please follow this link

clipHalloween was a howling good time for the folks who live at Greene Valley and visitors from the East Tennessee Community Homes, Support Solutions, Sunrise, and the community! Approximately 170 people enjoyed refreshments and danced to the music of the popular JB and the Wild Honey Band. Lots of unique costumes were worn by party-goers and everyone enjoyed seeing some of their old friends and having the opportunity of meeting some new friends.


clipFall Celebration: On Saturday, November 2nd, the entire campus of Clover Bottom and the Harold Jordan Center, as well as family and friends, participated in a Fall Celebration. The people supported and their staff from each home decorated booths in gorgeous fall colors with games, pumpkin decorating and prizes for their friends. Everyone rocked out to DJ Wiz, and there was a lot of dancing going on. Each home also submitted a large decorated pumpkin for judging. Our judges were Dr. Kuang Tzu Lin and Lynne Burkett, the PGA President. They were in agreement that Stones cottage's entry was the winner, as shown in the picture. Congratulations to Stones, and a thank you goes out to all of the entrants, as creativity and effort were noted in each home.

Be safe and have a great weekend!