Session 2021 – Day 5

January 19, 2021

Th Session got off to a less bumpy start that the Special Session this Summer, but it still has “timing” issues that will have to be resolved.  For the moment, it seems to be a 30 day Session with a guaranteed extension of 15 days.  I think that will equal the 45 days we have come to expect!

To date a few of the policy issues that we are concerned about are:
  • An expansion of the requirement for the criminal background checks to individuals who on contract in direct care positions; we were able to negotiate a modification for staff from a staffing agency that contracts with the provider.  We are supporting because DBHDS did address our issues.
  • Three variation of a paid leave requirement – one is ok, one is so-so, and one is terrible.  Clearly we’re leaning toward the first!
  • A requirement for DBHDS to automatically share CHRIS data on Abuse and Neglect with dCLV.  They already share Serious Incident data and the review is part of the dCLV Federal mandate.  We are supporting as it adds no extra requirement for the provider community.  We are also working with dCLV on how they communicate with a provider if they have questions!
  • A structure for support, by a designated support person, when an individual on the DD Waiver is hospitalized is also in the works.  This follows up on our earlier agreement with the VHHA and the budget amendment in the Special Session.  In this Session, we may also get the directive for DMAS to add the provision to one or more of the Waivers that the staff time can be reimbursed.  Something we have been working on for a very long time! And,
  • Minimum Wage related issue are also on the table for discussion.  We have been pushing, since the 2020 Session, that if the minimum wage increases, the rates must allow for us to pay our staff proportionately better, at least as well as they have been in the past.