A List Before Christmas

December 21, 2022

A bit more of a “to do” or “to know” list than a Wish List!

  • We’ve been advised that beginning January 1, 2023 a new (and improved!) On-site Visit Tool will be used by Support Coordinators when they come to visit.  The revised tool is available here.  You will note the addition of questions to complete a HCBS Review (Questions 15 – 16a)! 
    • These questions are substantially the same as those being asked by the HCBS Reviewers; however, three issues remain:
      • CSBs will, for the most part, incorporate this revision into their EHRs so the content may be modified or items added
      • It is not clear that the Guidance which is attached will be included in what is readily available to the Support Coordinators and it is not clear if any training has been done by DBHDS, and
      • The questions will be answered by the direct care staff who happen to be on-site at the time of the visit who may, but likely may not be aware of the provider’s process for helping an individual select where they live, refusing an offered key, etc.
    • We hope that the Support Coordinators’ take the time to explore “No” answers more fully or both DBHDS and the providers will bear the brunt of the added workload!
  • Just a reminder – the minimum wage in Virginia increases on January 1st from $11.00 per hour to  $12.00 per hour and is slated to remain at that level through December 2024.  There will need to be some additional legislative action during the 2024 Session.
  • The Governor has issued an Executive Order banning TikTok and WeChat Apps and use any government issued devices except for public safety purposes.  The Order covers entities contracting with the Commonwealth, but only the applications or websites on state-owned or leased equipment.  If you have questions about EO24 you should discuss it with your attorney.
  • In case you missed it – DBHDS issued a memo on 5 December that reduces the mandate on reporting positive COVID to any individual with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 during the provision of a children’s residential service, or for all other services when it meets the criteria for a Level II or Level III Serious Incident.  the memo notes that there are two boxes to check when reporting the incident in CHRIS.
  • We all still expect that the Federal Public Health Emergency will end in April; however, in the omnibus spending package (working it’s way through Congress) which funds the Federal government until September 30, 2023,  the added federal share of the Medicaid funds decreases incrementally rather than ending abruptly.  That will put a few more pennies in the Virginia bank account in FY23 and FY24.

That’s enough for today – we’ll have an update on the request for an extension for compliance with HCBS and an update on the most recent DOJ report during our call in January.  By that time we should also have more detail on the impact of the Governor’s proposals in his budget (a lot of money for Crisis Services) and any remarkable legislative proposals which have been introduced.