DOJ Settlement Status Report

February 08, 2020

On January 25th we posted an 80 page document which lists all 328 indicators that describe what the Commonwealth must do to be deemed compliant and exit the Court monitoring of the settlement agreement.  At a DOJ Stakeholder’s meeting earlier this week, Allyson Tysinger. Office of the Attorney General (OAG), briefed us on the chronology of the case.  It was very informative and gave some explanation to things that heretofore made little sense – except that “It’s because of DOJ!”  The greatest revelation may have been near the end of the meeting when she acknowledged that the “permanent DD Waiver Regs,” which are long overdue, have been held in the OAG pending the decisions on the Commonwealth’s methodology to implement final indicators. To give you a sense of the expected time frame:
  • We are expected by the Judge, the Governor and DOJ to exit the settlement by June 30, 2021
  • The Judge determined that compliance with all indicators means a full year of implementation and reaching the specified performance level.
  • In order to have indicators incorporated into the systems in place, and being well used with data being collected by the end of June, 2020, most will need to be identified, training/forms/procedures and the like developed, and “in the field” by the beginning of April. April 1st is 52 days from today.
While all of the Associations and groups represented at the Stakeholder’s meeting expressed willingness to do what they could, none indicated that they expected the timeline to be met.  We spoke as forcefully as we could about the uncertainty about the rate refresh, and the projected cost of the minimum wage proposals while reminding the Department that even with substantial increases, the effect will take several months after July 1 to be felt. The greatest burden for new data, tasks, and the like will again fall to the Case Managers; the Annual Meetings will no doubt be longer and more about filling out forms than they are now!  There will be increased emphasis on the quality assurance functions for providers, additional monitoring and reporting.  None of this is bad – but the timing is terrible!