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Less than a Month Remaining for the Regional Workshop in Kentucky and Tennessee

Did you know?

The regional workshop in Kentucky and Tennessee is less than a month away! The workshop is scheduled to take place on September 24-25, 2019 at the Hilton Garden Inn Bowling Green hotel. This workshop is going to be two days full of sessions by Kentucky and Tennessee Therap experts and it will give you a chance to network with your counterparts from across the state. Our Therap experts Tricia Woods, Marie Roland, Jason Laws, Milagros Mimi Roche, and Katy Head will be leading the workshop.

The event will be a good place to learn about recent developments in the Therap system, as well as individual support documentation and reporting, electronic health records (EHR) and training management from the technology leader in the developmental disabilities field. The training intensive event will include beginner, intermediate, and advanced level sessions conducted by Therap experts on various Therap modules.

The discussion will include:

  • Therap Basics
  • Therap’s Health Tracking/Nursing module
  • Scheduling/Electronic Visit Verification
  • Therap’s Employment History module
  • BI for Demographics/GERs/Health Tracking/Billing Data

Click here to register for the workshop.

Visit our state pages to know more on what Therap has in store for the users in Kentucky and Tennessee.

DOL Homecare Rule Webinar

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WEBINAR INFORMATION:

The Department of Labor (DOL) published a Final Rule on October 1, 2013 extending minimum wage and overtime pay protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to most home care workers (who may have job titles such as home health aide or personal care assistant) who provide essential assistance to people with disabilities and older adults.  On August 21, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a decision upholding the Final Rule.  On Friday, September 18th from 2:00-3:00pm Eastern Time, senior leadership from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and Office of the Solicitor will hold a webinar to discuss the Home Care Final Rule.  Presenters will provide an overview of the Final Rule as well as the Department’s guidance regarding joint employment in domestic service employment under the FLSA and the application of the FLSA to shared living programs.  Our comments will address questions we have received from states, including about the home care litigation.

TO REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR:

Please click https://www.eventbrite.com/e/home-care-final-rule-implementation-webinar-for-states-registration-18538483102  to register for the webinar.

Once you register, you will receive an email with the information you need to access the webinar.

QUESTIONS:

There will be a question and answer period after DOL’s presentation.  If you would like to submit a question(s) in advance, please email it totatum.laura@dol.gov at your earliest convenience.  During the webinar, we will respond to as many questions as possible.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Information about the Home Care Final Rule is available athttp://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/.

Information about the litigation related to the Home Care Final Rule is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/litigation.htm.

U.S. Court of Appeals Unanimously Upholds DOL Home Care Rul

U.S. Court of Appeals Unanimously Upholds DOL Home Care Rule

 

Thank you for your engagement with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division regarding the Home Care Final Rule.On Friday, August 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a unanimous decision upholding the Home Care Final Rule. DOL issued the statement below, which is available on our website at http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/litigation.htm

This site will be updated with any changes related to litigation, so please check back for updates.

Today’s decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is vital to nearly two million home care workers, who will now qualify for minimum wage and overtime protections. The decision confirms this rule is legally sound. And just as important, the rule is the right thing to do — both for employees, whose demanding work merits these fundamental wage guarantees, and for recipients of services, who deserve a stable and professional workforce allowing them to remain in their homes and communities.

The DOL has led an unprecedented implementation program to help employers prepare for compliance, including offering an extensive and individualized technical assistance program, providing a 15-month period before the effective date to aid compliance, and adopting a time-limited non-enforcement policy. DOL has repeatedly encouraged states and other employers to take the necessary steps toward implementation. The Department continues to stand ready to provide technical assistance to states and other entities as they implement the Final Rule.

Court Ruling Related to the DOL Companion – Home Care Rule

This is a follow up to the DOL emails we sent earlier today.  After consideration of the parties’ pleadings, the arguments of counsel and relevant law, and the entire record in this case, plaintiffs’ motion for a partial summary judgment is GRANTED, defendants motion is DENIED, and the Department of Labor’s Third Party Employer regulation scheduled to go into effect on Jan 1, is VACATED.  See below for a summary on the decision.

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has today issued a partial summary judgment on two pieces of a lawsuit filed by the Home Care Association of America and other plaintiffs related to the Department of Labor’s Home Care Rule. Please note that this information is not legal advice, and is shared after a swift and preliminary review of the decision.

The decision notes that after consideration of the parties’ pleadings, the arguments of counsel and relevant law, and the entire record in this case, plaintiffs’ motion for a partial summary judgment is GRANTED, defendants motion is DENIED and the Departments Third Party Employer regulation scheduled to go into effect on Jan 1, is VACATED.

The largest area implicated by this decision is the third party employer regulation, which withdrew the availability of the companionship and live-in caregiver exemptions from third parties.

Companionship Exemption

As you know, the companionship exemption was impacted in two important ways by the Home Care rule. First, the rule established that the companionship services exemption is not applicable when the employee spends more than 20 percent of his or her workweek performing care services. This portion of the regulation is NOT impacted by this decision, so the companionship exemption is available only when this percentage test is met.

Second, the rule set forth that the companionship exemption is not available to third party employers. This portion of the rule, called the Third Party Employer regulation, is impacted by this court decision by allowing third party employers to avail themselves of the exemption. This means that, for situations meeting the definition of and test for companionship, workers can receive straight pay, not overtime for work over 40 hours/week even when there is a third party employer.

Live in Exemption

Like the Companionship exemption, the DOL rule removed the availability of the live-in caregiver exemption from third party employers. This ruling allows third parties to utilize the exemption, enabling straight pay for live-in caregivers, including for those hours worked over 40.  For details on what constitutes a “live-in” domestic service worker and other conditions of the exemption, see Fact Sheet #79B: Live-In Domestic Service Workers Under the FLSA. http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs79b.htm

While this is decision is important, this case has not been fully decided (there are other counts to be considered by the court) and there will likely be appeals filed, even on this limited judgment.  As a result, states should remain vigilant in their planning and budgeting in the event that, at the conclusion of these legal proceedings, the original rule will be in full force and effect.

NASDDDS will continue to closely monitor developments and keep you apprised.

To read the court’s decision, visit:

https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2014cv0967-21

 

Therap Services Wins South Carolina DDSN Contract for Statewide EHR

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs Selects Therap Services as the Statewide Reporting System:

Electronic Documentation Software Solution for Intellectual and Developmental Disability Providers Wins Competitive Bid as the SaaS for SCDDSN

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.

 

Apple iOS “Masque Attack” Technique

NCCIC / US-CERTNational Cyber Awareness System:

11/13/2014 09:17 AM EST
Original release date: November 13, 2014

Systems Affected

iOS devices running iOS 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 8.0, 8.1, and 8.1.1 beta.

Overview

A technique labeled “Masque Attack” allows an attacker to substitute malware for a legitimate iOS app under a limited set of circumstances.

Description

Masque Attack was discovered and described by FireEye mobile security researchers.

[1] This attack works by luring users to install an app from a source other than the iOS App Store or their organizations’ provisioning system. In order for the attack to succeed, a user must install an untrusted app, such as one delivered through a phishing link.

This technique takes advantage of a security weakness that allows an untrusted app—with the same “bundle identifier” as that of a legitimate app—to replace the legitimate app on an affected device, while keeping all of the user’s data. This vulnerability exists because iOS does not enforce matching certificates for apps with the same bundle identifier. Apple’s own iOS platform apps, such as Mobile Safari, are not vulnerable.

Impact

An app installed on an iOS device using this technique may:

  • Mimic the original app’s login interface to steal the victim’s login credentials.
  • Access sensitive data from local data caches.
  • Perform background monitoring of the user’s device.
  • Gain root privileges to the iOS device.
  • Be indistinguishable from a genuine app.

Solution

iOS users can protect themselves from Masque Attacks by following three steps:

  1. Don’t install apps from sources other than Apple’s official App Store or your own organization.
  2. Don’t click “Install” from a third-party pop-up when viewing a web page.
  3. When opening an app, if iOS shows an “Untrusted App Developer” alert, click on “Don’t Trust” and uninstall the app immediately.

Further details on Masque Attack and mitigation guidance can be found on FireEye’s blog [1]. US-CERT does not endorse or support any particular product or vendor.

References

Revision History

  • November 13, 2014: Initial Release

ACL: Request for Applications – Targeted Technical Assistance to Build Business Capacity for LTC

Request for Applications – Targeted Technical Assistance to Build the Business Capacity of Community-Based Aging and Disability Organizations for Integrated Services Partnerships

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is announcing an opportunity for up to ten (10) networks of community-based aging and disability organizations to participate in a learning collaborative and receive targeted technical assistance related to business acumen. Applicants must be seeking to build their business capacity and align their service capabilities in order to contract with integrated healthcare entities to provide community-based long-term services and supports and/or evidence-based preventive health programs and services.  ACL is particularly interested in working with networks that include a diverse mix of organizations that serve people with disabilities and older adults.  No direct funding will be provided through this initiative; rather, this collaborative will receive targeted technical assistance through a variety of different means, as noted within the announcement.

Applications must be submitted electronically via email toLauren.Solkowski@acl.hhs.gov by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on Monday, December 8, 2014.

Met Life Foundation & UCP Life Without Limits Project

    

MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning has been working with UCP to develop a new campaign creating awareness for people with all disabilities and about living life without limits. As part of their new campaign, they’re asking for people to go directly to the campaigns’ page on Facebook and “Like” the new campaign to generate both interest and awareness for the project. In return, they’ve agreed to give us $2 for every like we raise between now and the end of tonight, up to $25,000.
The link to help out is here: https://www.facebook.com/metlife?fref=nf
As exhibitors and supporters of UCP and our vision for working with people with disabilities, we know you already support the work that we do. It’s wonderful to see large companies taking a stand and publicly working to help people with disabilities, so I’m asking if you could just take a second out of your busy schedules and share this link with everyone you’d know, that’d be wonderful (that is, after you click “Like” yourselves.)

14c Subminimum Wage Certificates-Talking Points

FARF-Rework-PRINT-REGSuzanne 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!

South Carolina Providers meet In Myrtle Beach

Last week, February 1oth, 2014 the SC Human Services Providers Association met in Myrtle Beach.  The opener on 2/10 included a Therap User Group session for South Carolina Therap Users.  Chelsea Newby, Training and Implementation Specialist with Therap was there to share her knowledge and answer questions.  It was great to have staff participate from  UCP of South Carolina, Colleton County DSN Board, Georgetown DSN Board, Verizon Wireless and others.

The Conference had an Opening Plenary Session with Dr. Beverly Buscemi, DDSN State Director who shared the state of the state!

The Conference ended a day early due to winter weather coming to South Carolina for the next couple of days.   This turned out to be a very good decision South Carolina was in a State of Emergency for the following 3 days due to ice and very dangerous road conditions.

We left Myrtle Beach at Noon and by 2:30 the Highway 20 & 77 around Columbia were covered in snow and sleet.  By the time we got to Fort mill, we had winter weather and quite a snow storm for the south over the following 24 hours.

Here is what we had coming down the next morning!