Join us at our upcoming User Group Meeting for users in the state of Georgia. The meeting will be hosted at Advocacy Resource Center. located in 4664 Sheraton Dr. Macon, GA 31210.
This is an opportunity for Therap users from agencies in the state of Georgia providing services and supports in the Intellectual and Developmental Disability community to meet and discuss state and regional issues, and clarify and learn about the latest Therap releases and how they are aligned with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. It is an open forum to check in with Therap and learn from and share with other Therap users in the area. Therap team member, Jason Laws, will include the following in his discussion:
-Review of recent Therap updates including Therap’s Business Intelligence Dashboards
-Participant directed review of Therap modules/utilization
-Discussion of GA specific topics as they pertain to use of Therap
-Opportunity for face to face discussion with Therap staff
-Provide feedback on desired content for GA Therap Regional Conference later this year
Click here to register.
We look forward to seeing you there!
South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs Selects Therap Services as the Statewide Reporting System
WATERBURY, Conn., Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Therap Services, leader in electronic documentation software for Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disability Service Providers, announces it has been selected as the statewide Software as a System (SaaS) Reporting System for South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN).
“Therap Services is excited to work with the state of South Carolina as the electronic documentation and communication solution for the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.” Stated Justin Brockie, Therap Services COO. “We are honored to have the opportunity to bring Therap’s secure transparency to South Carolina’s state teams, DSN Boards, providers, and citizens.”
“The new partnership between SCDDSN and Therap is an exciting and vital step in improving the quality of care and services for thousands of individuals with disabilities in South Carolina. The benefits are multifold from both the individual perspective and the statewide level,” commented Dr. Beverly Buscemi, SCDDSN’s State Director. “Therap offers us a comprehensive system to facilitate communication between caregivers, support professionals, specialists and families to better meet the needs of an individual while simultaneously enhancing our ability as the state’s system to collect, track and report sensitive information to meet state and federal requirements. This new venture will move us forward in providing quality services.”
Barry Pollack, Southeast Regional Director for Therap Services, states “The partnership between Therap Services and South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs is a remarkable stride in its provision of the highest quality care to individuals. In its commitment to increase communication and maintain stellar documentation through use of Therap Services, SCDDSN remains on target with their mission to assist people with disabilities and their families in meeting needs, pursuing possibilities and achieving life goals.”
Therap Services applications and certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) provide the documentation components needed by Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disability Service Agencies to maintain their focus while adapting to a changing environment within the Human Services industry. State and federal agencies and standards, including CMS and HIPAA, mandate strict requirements on accurately tracking incidents, including those reports of abuse and neglect and prevention of Medicaid fraud. Therap’s customers can complete and monitor documentation efficiently across secure domains, enabling them to focus on providing higher quality services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Therap is used across disciplines in the I/DD field per the CMS home and community-based services (HCBS) requirements. Therap applications include over 70 modules ranging from documentation of service provision through a daily note, to person centered planning tools, incident report management, health assessments and individual care plans, an electronic MAR integrated with an industry-standard drug database, an individual referral process for state and multi-provider systems, a comprehensive report library for internal and external audits, to electronic billing direct to Medicaid through a secure, HIPAA 5010-compliant method.
About Therap Services, LLC
Therap Services provides secure, web-based documentation, communication and electronic billing services to over 1400 intellectual disability providers across the United States as well as for twelve state government ID systems of care.
This includes a certified EHR, HIPAA compliant Medicaid and private billing, service documentation and secure communication and data sharing between all stakeholders including families and self advocates.
Therap’s software-as-a-service solution is used in HCBS Waiver, ICF/IID and other services to document residential and community based supports, employment supports, case management, incident reporting, management of staff training records and for electronic billing claim submissions directly to Medicaid.
Learn more at www.TherapServices.net.
Suzanne Sewell, President & CEO , Troy Strawder, Board Chair
On July 22, 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The bill addresses unemployment across the spectrum – from vocational training, resume writing and English as a second language, to laid-off workers, disabled veterans and Americans with disabilities – the legislation casts a wide net through a host of federal government programs. In terms of Americans with disabilities, the bill is aimed at helping to prepare a new generation of young people with disabilities to succeed in competitive employment and predominantly impacts individuals with disabilities who are 24 years old and younger. This “new generation” will be required to first try vocational rehabilitation services before they are permitted to work in jobs paying less than the federal minimum wage. The bill is compatible with Florida’s Employment First Initiative which Florida ARF supports.
Meanwhile, Congressman Gregg Harper of Mississippi is sponsoring the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013 (HR 831), that if passed, would phase out 14(c) special wage certificates under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 over a three year period. The bill has 94 sponsors and additional members of congress are poised to sign on. In Florida, six members of the congressional delegation have already signed onto the bill – Corrine Brown, Kathy Castor, Ander Crenshaw, Alcee Hastings, Daniel Webster, and Dennis Ross.
Now more than ever, the insights and viewpoints of Floridians with disabilities and their representatives are essential to the policy discussions going on at the national level. As we know, one size does not fit all. Many Community Rehabilitation Provider Agencies serve diverse constituencies and it is imperative that we make sure our congressional leaders are provided with a balanced perspective on the concerns and merits of center-based work experiences and 14(c) certificates and the need for more oversight of the programs at the federal levels. A number of variables play into the current equation including funding mechanisms, appropriate budget allocations and limits to disability compensations making it imperative that our congressional leaders recognize the true complexity of these issues.
We believe employees with disabilities and their representatives are the ones who should explain their experiences and tell their personal stories and that their representatives will hear and understand the complexities of the pending policy issues best when it comes from their own constituents.
Congressional Education Campaign
Florida ARF will be assisting its member agencies and interested parties with a campaign to educate members of the Florida Congressional delegation about the long-term implications of the policy decisions they are currently addressing. We encourage recipients and community rehabilitation providers to demonstrate real-life examples of how the proposed legislation to phase out 14 (c) would impact Floridians with disabilities in each congressman and woman’s district.
Collecting Authentic, Florida Stories
First and foremost, the campaign will involve telling the stories of employees throughout the state about their experiences in center-based employment environments and 14(c) employment opportunities and what they and their caregivers would be doing if the programs were eliminated.
Even though we support federal legislation and Employment First trends for younger employees with disabilities for youth transitioning out of school, we still need to feature current employees that would not be served outside of their current environments so that every individual with a significant disability has employment options. Therefore, we have developed a form to help your staff document the unique stories of the individuals they serve who receive 14 (c) subminimum wages.
Developing the Packet and Case Statement
With collaboration and final approval from each participating agency, staff will develop a packet of the top stories. The packet will also include white papers from appropriate sources, a Florida ARF position paper, and other relevant materials developed in collaboration with staff from a member agency.
Schedule Visits to Congressional District Offices
The Florida ARF Grassroots webpage contains information on how to set up Congressional appointments and a link to each US Senator and Representative serving Florida. Whenever possible, these visits should include employees with disabilities, their families, and other stakeholders on the scheduled visit to the congressional office. Remember, the purpose of the visit is to ensure that each congressional office hears directly from the community that will be impacted by the pending policy changes and what repercussions it will have on both the employee and the employee’s caregivers’ quality of life.
Let’s make a difference nationally and empower all Floridians with disabilities to validate the current merits of their employment!
Mecklenburg to turn over MeckLINK, fed money
Instead, a MeckLINK committee of four county commissioners is set to recommend to the full board next Tuesday that the county negotiate the best deal possible to turn over the program to Kannapolis-based Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions. That would effectively dissolve MeckLINK and send Cardinal nearly $200 million in Medicaid funding that county uses each year for services to 120,000 patients.
It was clear from the committee’s Tuesday meeting that board members have all but given up the fight to keep MeckLINK and want to negotiate what is best for the consumers and providers – and MeckLINK’s 200 employees. Committee members were clear in what they want the county to get in the negotiations.
Those wishes include:
• A “proportionate” representation on the Cardinal board to give Mecklenburg a significant say in how its Medicaid money is used. The 15-county Cardinal oversees services for 187,000 consumers, compared with MeckLINK’s 120,000.
• Cardinal reimbursing at least some of the money Mecklenburg has sunk into MeckLINK. The county has spent $8.4 million to get the agency running and continues to pay $90,000 in monthly operating costs. Assistant County Manager Michelle Lancaster said in conversations with Cardinal CEO Pam Shipman that Shipman wasn’t against some level of payback.
Dena Diorio, also an assistant county manager, told the committee that MeckLINK’s reserve fund of as much as $4.5 million would be retained, possibly lowering the reimbursement request.
• Cardinal hiring MeckLINK employees who are “in good standing for positions they would want to hire” and MeckLINK consumers being able to keep the same providers if they choose.
In late December, the predecessor to N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos tried to reassign MeckLINK to Cardinal. But after Mecklenburg threatened to sue, Wos allowed the county to continue operating – and governing – MeckLINK.
But in June, state legislators passed a law that forced the agency to operate under a single-county, independent authority or merge with an already existing multi-county authority by April 1.
For weeks, relatives of consumers and many providers have urged the county to pursue a single-county authority. In the end, commissioners said it would be too costly.
Commissioner Trevor Fuller, who chairs the committee, said he believes Mecklenburg has leverage to use in the negotiations. “We do have something they want,” Fuller said. “They want these people (the 120,000 consumers), and they want the ability to manage that amount of money.”
The new law requires county commissions in each of the authority’s counties to approve how Cardinal appoints its board. If Mecklenburg doesn’t approve the method, the authority wouldn’t comply with the law. “They would need our approval to do what they want to do,” Fuller said.
County Attorney Marvin Bethune told the committee that Mecklenburg could simply walk away from MeckLINK and tell the state “we’re terminating our contract on March 31. We’re not doing anything more – do what you want to do.”
That option didn’t seem to get much support from committee members. But “it is an option,” Fuller said. “We certainly can’t allow ourselves to be put in a position where get completely run over. So as a last resort, we can say, ‘fine, you want it, you manage all the issues, you pay for all the transition. Don’t ask us for anything.’
“But that gets messy.”
Still, he said, the county could use that threat to get state help with the negotiations. “If Cardinal is recalcitrant, we will need the state to control them a little,” Fuller said.
Lancaster said Shipman told her that Cardinal could transition MeckLINK within 120 days after a deal is sealed.
“The clock’s ticking,” said commissioner Bill James, a committee member.
Before the committee takes its recommendations to the full board on Tuesday, it wants to meet on Monday with Wos, Cardinal CEO Shipman and her board chair, and Rep. Nelson Dollar of Wake County, a key author of the law requiring MeckLINK to be governed by an authority.
“We want to hear from the secretary and Rep. Dollar what their vision is for what they’re trying to accomplish,” Fuller said. “And we want to have a conversation with (Cardinal officials) about how to get to where we need to be. We need some beginnings of commitment.
“We have looked at all the options, and are trying to do the best we can in a bad situation.”