6/15/20 - A Message for Division of Rehabilitation Services Providers

Monday, June 15, 2020

Dear Community Provider:

As the Department of Human Services works to reinvent itself by designing new improvements in its operations and developing new models for serving customers, the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) is deep in its planning efforts to do the same. As our partner in providing services supporting the independence, education, and employment of individuals with disabilities, the Division wants to share our commitment to making quality systemic improvements that lead the nation with your continued support.

The Division recognizes and commends your work and innovation to meet the ever-changing needs of individuals with disabilities. With that being said, we want to share with you our intentions for supporting you now and in FY21. Over the last several weeks, the DRS has been evaluating the utilization trends of its performance-based contracts. This information, along with the Department's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) survey results, have been used to develop a plan of action for the Division's Loss of Revenue (LOR) payments. Given the performance nature of the Division's contracts and the verification process resulting from the submission of group bills, it has become clear that the determination of whether a LOR payment should be issued is unique. Specifically:

A LOR will be considered under the following scenarios:

  • Consistent historical performance with documentable changes in contract utilization in April, May, and June, and

    • Certification by community provider they have not been approved for the PPP
  • A LOR may not be issued until a final reconciliation is completed in July

A LOR will not be considered under the following scenarios:

  • Receipt of funding through the PPP

    • Loan disbursement dates will be required to trigger consideration for a LOR for programs that are not fully supported
  • History of inconsistent performance or relinquishment of funds
  • Performance is indicative of contract utilization
  • Community provider is a government entity

Separate of the LOR payments, the Division launched a new revenue opportunity in March for community providers (excluding grant agreements) with its weekly COVID-19 Status Reports. Through your efforts, to date, nearly 40,000 weekly contacts have been made and the DRS has disbursed almost $2.0 million statewide. While this opportunity will cease the week ending July 3, it will be replaced with a new monthly COVID-19 Status Report that will begin July 6 and end October 2. The new monthly COVID-19 Status Report will offer the same opportunities to community providers (excluding grant agreements) who have a contractual relationship with the DRS in FY21. This additional support is intended to aide community providers through the first quarter of the fiscal year and the DRS by collecting more specific information on customers that will aid in the transition back to employment, school, or a training program. It will re-engage and reinforce the relationship between the Division, the customer, and you while focusing on how the provision of services and support will evolve. Furthermore, the Division is also modifying its current on-site monitoring tool to allow for the review of community providers in a virtual environment until on-site in-person reviews are appropriate.

The Division will hold a special meeting with community providers on June 22, 2020. The Facility Advisory Council will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and STEP Advisory from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. An email invite will be sent to all members in the next couple of days.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership as we continue to navigate and evolve as one.

With Warmest Regard,

Lou Hamer, Bureau Chief, Field Services

John Gordon, Bureau Chief, Blind Services