Messages Every SSA Should Hear From OACB’s Forum

By | 04/03/2018

On Wednesday, March 28th OACB hosted the first of three SSA Forums in 2018. With record-breaking attendee numbers, participants filled the meeting space to hear about a wide variety of topics that inspired and informed the audience. We’ve recapped and added some information for you.

Admittedly, we knew about this one before heading to the forum, but we’re still excited to share it with you! On March 28th, the new waiting list rule was filed with the plan to go into effect July 1, 2018. As part of the proposal, the county board will use a waiting list assessment tooto determine if the individual has an immediate or current service need before being added to the waiting list. DODD is currently developing an on-line application to complete these assessments. Prior to July 1, 2018, Primary Solutions will release a Gatekeeper update that includes the new assessment tool at no added cost for customers. Special thanks to OACB and the work group for their continued collaboration with Primary Solutions.

Once the assessments are completed in Gatekeeper, they can be sent to DODD who will enter them in the on-line application. On a long-term basis, we are in collaboration with DODD to complete a data exchange where information can be sent directly from Gatekeeper to the on-line system or vice versa.

Information about the release and free training webinars will be made available as we draw closer to the effective date.

The ‘Fix The List’ coalition has been actively managing the public relations aspect of the waiting list rule change. Between now and December 31, 2020 it is likely an SSA will find themselves as the crucial component in educating individuals, families and guardians about the changes.

The already complex process is confusing and difficult to explain to stakeholders. Proactively equipping SSA’s with talking points, resources and information will help ease the transition to a new system, philosophy and language. Refer families to the ‘Fix The List’ website, like the group on Facebook  and contact Adam Herman of OACB with communication needs and frequently asked questions.

…and between 2013-2015, counties received 19 citations for Participant Directed Goods & Services. Areas of non-compliance include:

Need or Item in ISP: Goods & services that were purchased with the PDGS  funds were not clearly stated in the ISP, along with the plan or assessment not highlighting the person’s need.

Sufficient Funds: Documentation (case notes, meeting minutes) indicating a conversation that the individual does not have sufficient funds needs recorded.

Specialized Service: Funds were used to pay for a specialized service.

Other Documentation: Other areas include needing to document that the PDGS is the least costly alternative and it needs to be linked with an outcome of the rule and how the item will be used by/with the individual.

Kelly Miller and Heidi Davidson from DODD’s Office of Provider Standards & Review joined the forum to share updates about the HCBS Settings Rule. As highlighted in DODD’s Memo, SSA’s have a role in visiting a new provider or a new location opened by an existing provider. If an SSA finds that the location does not meet the requirements established for new settings, they should not authorize services. If SSA’s have questions or concerns about settings, OPSR has team members who specialize in the settings expectations that have been assigned to 5 regions in Ohio. Contact OPRS for more information.

Now for a little fun! Lisa Comes closed out the day by highlighting amazing work completed by SSA’s. Candice, an SSA in Lucas County used her skills of technology & wit to help Matt complete a hilarious video submission to the CommUNITY Film Festival. Check out the hilarious video here–well done Candice!


A round of applause to OACB!
Congratulations to the team at OACB on a noteworthy event. Bringing together SSA’s from across the state to partake in a day of professional development & inspiration. See you in June!