Friday Update – It’s More About What We Do Not Know!

February 11, 2022

The two topics which are top of mind are – the roll out of the DMAS MES system and the first round of decisions about the Budget for the 22-24 biennium. 

So let me take the Budget first — the committees for each chamber are in discussion now and we will not have any answers until Sunday, February 20th.  Here is a sample of the letter that I addressed to each member of the Health and Human Resources Sub-Committees in both the House and Senate; we we are driving home the workforce message in every way possible, but also recognizing that the fiscal picture has become much more difficult. This is especially true for the House of Delegates, as they try to accommodate some of the more than $3 Billion in tax cuts and new spending that the new Governor asked for without any offering funding sources. 

Now about MES – there is still a great deal we do not know, but we are making progress!

  • There will be a crosswalk published for the taxonomy codes and the specialty codes that will be used to describe all DD Services.  Please note that the “taxonomy code” is not the same as the one that CSBs use for data reporting from the CORE Services Taxonomy. 
  • The WaMS system will, we think, communicate with the MES system so that authorizations can be entered.
  • For those fee-for-service providers who bill using direct entry into the portal and who have created and saved “templates” for the  individuals for whom they bill, we have been assured the templates will “roll over” into the new system and that the billing screens will be similar and, therefore, easy to use!
  • We have asked all the questions about how the existing fields in an EHR will line up with “new” fields – this will be critical in how the EHR  shares specific data elements with MES.  Given the time associated with making changes in an EHR, we hope they have crossed all of their ‘T’s” and dotted all of their “I’s” appropriately.  We have more discussions scheduled for early next week.
  • While we appreciate the attempts at communication, they seem to be sending the information only to the “primary contact” – let’s hope that is the right person who is not on vacation, does not have COVID and is sharing the information within the agency appropriately.  If you are getting periodic emails about MES, please be aware that no one else in your agency is getting them!
  • We have also asked for a glossary of their acronyms!