Please note that this message applies only to contractors who have current contracts with Independence Northwest customers.
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between The Service Employees United International (SEIU) and The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) eliminates independent contractors as a support option for brokerage customers effective 03.31.2016. (IMPORTANT NOTE: Behavior consultants are not subject to the collective bargaining agreement and should disregard this post unless they also provide PSW supports.)
Existing independent contractors have two options:
- Become PSW Specialists: This is a new designation that is limited to currently-qualified independent contractors. ICs who choose this option will become the employees of customers or customer designates.
- Become Provider Organizations: A provider organization is a business licensed and certified by the state or Oregon.
This post addresses only the process for Independent Contractors who are becoming PSW Specialists.
How do we get from here to there? There are number of moving parts to this transition and there isn’t a lot of time to get it done. The state expects all paperwork to be completed and turned in by 02.02.2016. That doesn’t leave us many working days to get things done. The state’s transmittal covers a lot of ground and I recommend you read it carefully, but please note that it contains a significant error as well as an important omission. In a moment we’ll walk through what steps an IC needs to take to make sure he or she is ready to go when we get to 04.01.2016, but first I want to offer a correction and an amendment to the state’s memo. Understanding these is crucial to making the transition smooth.
Correction to the State’s Transmittal
The state’s transmittal says “If PSW’s existing PEAA and CHC expires after June 30, 2016, a new PEAA and CHC is not necessary. The documents for renewing PEAA and CHC must be submitted at least 55 days prior to the current credentials expiring.”
The problem with this statement is that it’s true ONLY if the IC has been operating his or her business using his or her social security number and has used that social security number on his or her Provider Enrollment Agreement (PEAA) with the state. Any IC who has used a federal tax ID number (FEIN) in lieu of a personal social security number MUST fill out a new PEAA regardless of when their current one expires.
Omission in the State’s Transmittal
Because a PSW Specialist will now be an employee rather than a contractor, a federal form I-9 has to be completed for everyone making the transition. This is a huge deal because the feds require a face to face meeting to complete this form. That means every person making the transition has to make an appointment to see us. The appointments will only take a few minutes each but we have to do a lot of them before February 2nd.
What You Need to Do
- Any IC working with our customers need to fill out a TNT employee packet for each customer with whom you work. You can download the packet here or you can request one from Rachel Kroll in our office. The packet contains the following items:
- Demographic page (Name, address, employer name, etc.)
- 2016 W-4 (IRS form for tax withholding)
- Declaration of Relationship (identifies the relationship between the employer – usually the customer- and you as the employee)
- Direct Deposit form (Yes, you’ll be filling out these yet again.)
- Any IC who has used a Federal Tax Identification Number (FEIN) as a contractor will need to fill out a new PEAA (download one by clicking here.) We have no record of who used a Social Security Number and who used an FEIN on their existing PEAAs and neither the state nor TNT has provided us with a list. If you have ANY doubt about it I strongly suggest you fill a new one out using your SSN. I also strongly suggest you turn your PEAA in to us so that we can keep a record of its submission to the state.
- All ICs need to make an appointment to come by our office so that we can fill out an I-9 with you. Unfortunately the feds (The Department of Homeland Security to be exact) require a face to face meeting for this. There is no way around it. When you come to the meeting you will need to bring either:
- An unexpired passport OR
- An unexpired state-issued ID AND your social security card
- Please note: All documents must be originals. No copies please.
We have a lot of work to do on the customer side but that shouldn’t affect you as a provider. However, we may ask for your assistance if we’re having trouble getting paperwork returned by a customer you see regularly. Customer paperwork also has a 02.02.2016 deadline.
The contact for all these paperwork in our office is Rachel Kroll. You can reach her by phone or email starting on December 31st at 503.546.2950 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel will be available to make appointments starting on December 31st. Please do not delay in calling to make an appointment. Time is of the essence on this project. Anyone who does not have their paperwork turned in by February 2nd may have to quit working starting on April 1st. The state has been very clear that there will be no exceptions.
Ron Spence, Operations Director
Press Release from the State of Oregon:
The Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS) is hosting two Community Forums in Portland to discuss the vision for the future of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Ensuring the principles of self-determination is the core of our vision.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities who receive services and their families, as well as providers, Community Developmental Disability Programs (CDDPs) and Support Service Brokerages are encouraged to attend. (Brokerages provide services to eligible adults living in their own or their family’s home to help them remain in their homes and be engaged in their communities.)
- Tuesday, Dec. 15, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who receive services and their families
- Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1 to 4 p.m., for CDDPs, Brokerages and Providers
Portland Community College, Cascade Campus, Moriarty Auditorium, 705 N. Killingsworth Street, Portland.
There will be a short presentation followed by a group discussion. This is one in a series of Community Forums throughout the state.
For information about upcoming Community Forums: www.oregon.gov/dhs/DD/Documents/ODDS%20Statewide%20Community%20Forums%20Schedule.pdf.
For more information about the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services: www.oregon.gov/DHS/dd/Pages/index.aspx.
If you have a disability and need this document in another format, please send an email to DHS.Forms@state.or.us or contact the Office of Document Management at 503-378-3523;
TTY at 503-378-3523.
To find the closest DHS office, go to www.oregon.gov/dhs or contact 211Info for help. You can contact 211Info by dialing 2-1-1, visiting 211info.org online, texting your zip code to 898211, or e-mailing to email@example.com.
The State of Oregon Department of Human Services has announced another change planned for disability services in our state.
Starting September 1st, 2015, Personal Support Workers may not be newly authorized to provide more than 50 hours per week of services to a single individual receiving brokerage services. For those currently working more than 50 hours per week, their allowable work hours will be reduced at the time of the customer’s annual ISP. (Note: PSWs may still work more than 50 hours across multiple customers, just not for the same customer. The cap is at the ISP level, not the provider level.)
In a Policy Transmittal released at the end of June, the Oregon Department of Human Services explained that the policy “is being implement to position Oregon for anticipated regulation changes associated with the Fair Labor Standards Act.” Historically, domestic workers have been exempt from overtime. The FLSA changes that.
INW will be contacting affected customers and providers quarterly, prior to the customer’s annual plan renewal.
If you are interested in reading about the changes in the meantime, please read the transmittals listed below.
*This post was updated 09.12.2015 to reflect the most recent information related to the change.
Dear Customers, Family Members, and Providers,
I’m writing you to ask for your help.
On Monday, Legislators meet to make final budget decisions and Brokerages statewide may receive cuts to our administrative and case management funding. Your support can make all the difference in making sure that doesn’t happen.
If you have a spare couple of minutes between now and Friday, we would greatly appreciate your support. A quick email to the legislators listed below or just a call to their offices will go a long way. Ask them to support “funding of the Workload Model at 95% and no less!”
I have come to know many of you over the past couple of years as INW has done outreach to the community, educating hundreds and hundreds of community members on the systemic changes, specifically the K Plan (Community First Choice Option). While the K Plan has brought a lot of funding into the system to pay for direct services, it has not added a penny to our administrative budgets. Personal Agents who were supporting 45 people historically managed about a half million dollars in Medicaid funds on behalf of customers and providers. Today, many manage double, triple, and quadruple that. Think about the way you’ve seen your plan or the plans of others change over the past two years and multiply that by 7,800, the number of people brokerages serve statewide. The change has been huge. Add to that the Adult Needs Assessment requirement, the unfunded burden of the eXPRS payment system implementation, our Personal Agents now entering timesheets on behalf of many providers, the state’s change to a much longer and more complicated ISP, and enormous systemic shifts, and we are in no place to take a statewide reduction in funding. I believe that some lawmakers may be confusing the K increase with an overall funding increase and it’s just not the case.
I have included a couple of example letters you might use as a template for your email or as a script for your phone call. If you could contact the legislators listed below (whether you live in their district or not) it would be great! If you’re interested in additional details about the Workload Model issue, check out this in-depth explanation: Brokerage Reductions at 90%.
The importance of your support is immeasurable to us right now. I wouldn’t ask for last-minute action if I didn’t believe it could change the future. Your voice will make all the difference between a continued move toward better and more person-centered services versus a world where we may be looking at increased caseloads and a reduction in overall quality for a system known for its innovation, responsiveness, and vision. Our system has taken enough hits this past biennium.
Best to you and yours and thank you again for your support and the opportunity to serve this community.
Legislators to Contact
SAMPLE LETTER FROM CUSTOMER/FAMILY MEMBERS
I am a customer of OR a family member of a person who receives brokerage services for people with IDD (intellectual and developmental disabilities) here in Oregon. I understand that you are making budgetary decisions next week regarding funding for case management. PLEASE FUND BROKERAGES AT THE 95% WORKLOAD MODEL LEVEL – AND NO LESS.
While the Community First Choice Option (K Plan) brought more services to me/my family, it did not add any additional funding for brokerages to administer double and triple the services they have administered historically. We need to know that our brokerage Personal Agent will be responsive when we need him/her. If you reduce funding, we know that increased caseloads are likely. That means we won’t have access to the services we need as quickly. Some of the services I receive right now are: __________________________________. The time I need my brokerage support the most is to help me ______________________________.
Statewide, brokerages have experienced huge increases in workload related to the K Plan, the state’s much more complicated ISP, the eXPRS payment system, and all the paperwork changes. I rely on these services to live an independent life in the community. Please fund brokerages fairly in the next biennium – 95% and no less.
Thank you for your consideration and your service.
SAMPLE LETTER FROM PROVIDER/PERSONAL SUPPORT WORKER
I am a Personal Support Worker/Employee/Provider of services for a person who receives brokerage services for adults with IDD (intellectual and developmental disabilities) here in Oregon. I understand that you are making budgetary decisions next week regarding funding for IDD case management. PLEASE FUND BROKERAGES AT THE 95% WORKLOAD MODEL LEVEL – AND NO LESS.
While the Community First Choice Option (K Plan) brought more services to the people I serve, it did not add any additional funding for brokerages to administer double and triple the services they have administered historically. We need to know that the brokerage Personal Agents we work with will be responsive when customer needs arise – including processing payment to providers like me. If you reduce funding, we know that increased caseloads are likely, meaning slower response time for getting essential needs met. As a provider, I rely on the brokerage for ___________________________________________.
Statewide, brokerages have experienced huge increasing in workload related to the K Plan, the state’s much more complicated ISP, the eXPRS payment system, and all the paperwork changes. The people I support rely on these services to live an independent life in the community and my livelihood is reliant on this program. Please fund brokerages fairly in the next biennium – 95% and no less.
Thank you for your consideration and your services.
The Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS) will be holding an informational phone call about the upcoming policy changes for entry into sheltered workshops for individuals and their family members/support people on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 from 9:00 – 10:00 AM.
The purpose of this call is to discuss:
- Upcoming changes to entry into sheltered workshops
- How these changes will affect you or your family members/support people
- Effects on those already working in a sheltered workshop
- Effects on those not working in sheltered workshops
- Other employment services that are available
- Answer your questions
To call in please use this conference line: 800-260-0702 and enter guest code 361647
Entry into Sheltered Workshops: Upcoming Policy Changes FAQ
Watch a Video of ODDS Director Lilia Teninty Answering FAQs About the Changes
Governor’s Executive Order
Since the State of Oregon Department of Human Services began taking on Personal Support Worker and provider payment through its eXPRS system, one of the most common questions brokerages have received from providers is “Did you get my timesheet?”
There’s a relatively easy way for providers to access this information via eXPRS. ODDS’ Julie Harrison and her team have created a How To guide entitled “How to Find/View Plan of Care Service Claims”. Check out the guide by clicking here. You’ll learn how to read the eXPRS screens and determine where your payment claim is in the process. Be sure to bookmark this guide for future reference. (Of note: eXPRS refers to hours or miles keyed into its system as SDEs – Service Delivered Entries.)
One additional note: If you are sending invoices or timesheets via email, please be sure to use the firstname.lastname@example.org email address. If you are faxing invoices or timesheets, please be sure you receive a return confirmation that the fax was received.
Thanks for your continued partnership through the ongoing systemic changes. Your work is very much appreciated.
In her latest weekly message, Oregon Developmental Disabilities Services Director Lilia Teninty acknowledged the work of Personal Agents and Service Coordinators statewide:
“I would like to say thank you to all of the Service Coordinators and Personal Agents supporting people with I/DD and their families. Your hard work you do and your dedication to the people and families that you serve is greatly appreciated. You have been patient and persistent implementing all of the changes that have come your way and have managed to work through them while ensuring that the people you serve have the services they need to live in their communities.
The work that ODDS does would not be possible without you. You are the foundation of our system! You all truly make a huge difference in the lives of Oregonians with I/DD.
For those of us who benefit from the dedication of a specific Service Coordinator or Personal Agent, please be sure to convey your thanks and appreciation to them, too!”
Oregon is well on its way to crafting a final budget for the next two years. Right now, the word is that there will be cuts to programs for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD). As part of the process of gathering public input, the Ways and Means committee is traveling around Oregon in a roadshow, holding public hearings and inviting people to come speak to their priorities for state funding.
The Ways and Means committee needs to see the I/DD community, they need to hear the I/DD community, and they need to walk away from that roadshow knowing that people all over Oregon value services to people with I/DD!
We encourage anyone who is concerned about the future of supports and services for individuals with developmental disabilities to make attendance at these events a high priority!
See this press release from the Oregon Legislature to find a hearing location near you:
In the tri-county area, mark your calendars for:
Thursday April 16th in Gresham – Mt. Hood Community College 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Tuesday April 21st in Portland – PCC Rock Creek Campus 7:00 – 8:30 PM
We hope to see you there! Your voice matters!
Via Katie Rose, Executive Director of Oregon Support Services Association
Dear Personal Support Workers,
This is just a reminder that all services provided April 1st, 2015 forward must be entered into and paid out of the State of Oregon’s new payment system, eXPRS. You must have both a provider number and an eXPRS login in order to use eXPRS. Additionally, all PSW timesheets and invoices must show time-in and time-out for all hours worked. PSW-Domestic Employees MUST use the state’s new timesheet and new mileage reimbursement form moving forward. PSW-Independent Contractors must ensure that their invoices continue to meet these guidelines developed by the state. (Note: all ICs are already meeting these requirements to be paid, so there are no new expectations listed here.)
Need training on the eXPRS system? We’re hosting several trainings here at INW on April 9th. Click here for details!
Additionally, the state’s payment system creates monthly utilization caps for the number of hours a customer can receive in a given month. Keep an eye on your mailbox this week for details on how this will affect service agreements with your customers.
If you encounter issues or have questions along the way, please communicate with our office. Working together, we will weather this next set of changes to the system. Thank you for the essential work you provide to our community!
The FAQ below was mailed to Personal Support Worker – Domestic Employees in early March.
When do the changes happen?
PSWs working with Independence Northwest customers must start using eXPRS for hours worked starting on April 1st, 2015. Effective this date, ALL brokerages and counties will be operating via eXPRS.
What do I need to make the transition?
All providers need two things:
- A provider number. Without a provider number you will not be able to work starting on April 1st, 2015. There are no exceptions.
- An eXPRS log-in so you can enter your hours.
What if I don’t have a provider number or eXPRS log-in?
If you don’t have a provider number, please call Rachel Kroll at our office immediately at 503.546.2950 or email her at email@example.com. If you don’t have an eXPRS log-in, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503.945.5623.
What is this about time-in and time-out on timesheets?
You will no longer be able to show just the number of hours you work in a given day. Instead you will be required to show exactly what time you worked.
How will I submit my hours?
With your log-in you will be able to enter your time-in and time-out directly into eXPRS. It will do the math for you. At the end of the pay period you can print your timesheet from eXPRS and submit it to INW as you have in the past. All timesheets still require your employer’s signature.
What if I don’t have a printer?
PSW – Domestic Employees: If you do not have a way to print your timesheet out of eXPRS, you can copy your eXPRS hours onto the timesheet we mailed to you in early March and submit it to us.
What if I don’t have a computer or internet connection?
PSW – Domestic Employees: If you do not have a computer with an internet connection at your home and don’t have access to a public library, Independence Northwest will have a computer in our office available for you to use. Please contact us if you would like to access this option.
What if I don’t want to use the state’s payment system?
We want PSWs to be empowered to enter and track their own hours. However, if you are unable or unwilling to use eXPRS, an INW Personal Agent is required to perform data entry on your behalf. If you choose this option, you MUST check the box on your timesheets to authorize us to do this work. If you do not enter your own hours and then fail to check the box on the timesheet authorizing INW to do it for you, you will not get paid on time.
INW has set up a webpage just for eXPRS transition resources. Visit www.independencenw.org/psw for links to the following:
- State of Oregon eXPRS Training Video on YouTube
- Copies of state-mandated timesheets with time-in/time-out feature
- Copies of the state-created step-by-step training on how to use eXPRS
- Links to key personnel to contact when you have questions
- Links to payroll calendars
- Links to state transmittals regarding PSW payment and documentation
- A link to the eXPRS log-in page
Distressing news out of the capitol: lawmakers may be looking to cut $140 million from human services in order to fund a budget “hole.” The question is, what does a $140 million cut to human services look like? Though plan hours are not likely to be cut, vulnerable areas include provider pay rates and Brokerage funding for Personal Agents. Brokerage Personal Agents and direct support providers have worked to implement dozens of system changes over the past two years. With these changes has come a lot of additional workload and responsibilities, which is already cutting into the bottom line: time spent with Brokerage customers. Any reduction in funding is going to cut further into that time.
Now is the perfect time to flex your advocacy muscles. Advocacy is defined as “the act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy,” and if you’re a human, chances are you’ve been engaging in advocacy your entire life. Some people are certainly more comfortable speaking their minds than others. The trick to being a good advocate isn’t about becoming a perfect speaker, it’s about finding the right message for you. When you find a cause or idea that is true to your heart and soul, you will find that the words flow much more easily.
How have your Brokerage services helped you to live the life that you choose? Please call, email, or visit your state representatives and senators, and let them know how important your Brokerage services are to you!
For more information, check out the Oregon I/DD Coalition’s special bulletin
on the current need for advocacy. You can find your legislators, and see the list of legislators on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services, the joint committee in charge of making legislative budget recommendations. You can also get talking points and more information about each of the Coalition’s four priorities: Employment, restoring the Fairview Housing Trust, raising DSP wages, and funding Brokerage and county case management at 95%. Each of the four priorities were selected because they fund the cornerstones of a full and meaningful life in Oregon’s communities. Even small cuts to the 95% Case Management funding mean losses for Brokerages from last biennium, at a time when workload has greatly increased. Let your legislators know that overworked/underfunded PAs mean that you can’t get the services you want, when you want them. Urge them to fund the Workload Model for Brokerages and counties at 95%!
– Katie Rose, Executive Director of Oregon Support Services Association
INW Brokerage Customer Ruth Geislinger Testifies at the Capitol
On Thursday, February 19th, 2015, brokerage representatives once again went before a legislative committee to advocate for our services. This go round, advocates provided input to the Joint Ways and Means Committee. Independence Northwest customer Ruth Geislinger provided moving testimony about how important her services are to helping her live a full, independent life in the community. And brokerage association Executive Director Katie Rose educated lawmakers on the need for appropriate funding to maintain quality services as expectations and regulations increase workloads across the state. Additionally, Leslie Sutton, of the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities provided testimony on the Fairview Housing Trust Fund being removed from the Governor’s proposed budget; those funds had been earmarked long ago to provide housing opportunities for people with disabilities.
Other testimony on the video include our friends at the Oregon Rehabilitation Association, Edwards Center, FACT, the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities, county partners, and several other provider organizations, self-advocates, and family members.
Check out the full video here. Testimony from Leslie, Katie, and Ruth begin at 50 minutes.
The Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities (ODDS) will be offering three eXPRS trainings for Provider Agency staff at Independence Northwest on February 20th (9am, 12 noon, and 3pm.) Come meet with state personnel, see the eXPRS interface, and have your questions answered. Please RSVP by calling Brenda at INW at 503.546.2950 or by emailing email@example.com!
Brokerages statewide are moving Personal Support Worker payments into the State of Oregon’s payment system, eXPRS, effective this year. Below is a listing of when Portland metro area brokerages will move into eXPRS:
UCP Connections: November 2014 (already active)
Community Pathways: February 2015
Inclusion Inc.: March 2015
Mentor Oregon: March 2015
Independence Northwest: April 2015
SDRI: April 2015
From Mike Maley, ODDS Employment Coordinator:
Increasing provider capacity is one of the primary strategies of Employment First initiative. Today I have some exciting news to share in this area.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) has issued a Request for Grant Applications (RFGA). This RFGA provides up to $750,000 to be distributed for a number of grant awards. The purpose is to expand Oregon’s capacity to provide individual integrated employment services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
This RFGA will fund:
- Creation of new provider organizations to provide individual integrated employment services; or
- Expansion of services by existing provider organizations to provide individual integrated employment services in Oregon. Existing provider organizations may be those already in Oregon, or may be outside the state and willing to expand services into Oregon.
Anyone wishing to view this opportunity or wanting to submit an application can see this RFGA at: https://orpin.oregon.gov/. The ORPIN reference number is DHS-3942-15.
This grant will increase the number of qualified employment specialists that can provide Discovery, job development, job coaching and other key employment services with the goal that more individuals with I/DD will obtain, maintain, and advance in individual integrated jobs.
DHS may approve a range of grant awards, with no single award exceeding $150,000, for an initial grant term through June 30, 2016.
Each application must seek funding to expand the organization’s workforce by at least one full-time employment specialist. Applicants must show that they will:
- Increase capacity of employment specialists in their new or current organization;
- Train new employment specialists to provide, at a minimum, the following types of services: Discovery, job development, and job coaching services, consistent with established core competencies and other requirements of DHS or its program offices; and
- Engage the Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS) through Community Developmental Disability Programs (CDDPs), Support Service Brokerages and Vocational Rehabilitation through its local field offices in the implementation of individual integrated employment services for individuals with I/DD.
Facility-based providers awarded grants in Oct. 2014 as part of the “Provider Organization Transformation Project” are not eligible for this grant.
Proposals are due by 3 p.m. Feb. 5, 2015. Any specific questions regarding this RFGA can be directed to John Gardner with DHS Contracts & Procurement: firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-378-3523.
Thank you all for your continued involvement, support, and advocacy for services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Oregon. If you have comments or questions, please email them to email@example.com.
From the Oregon Support Services Association:
In the spirit of the new year, the Oregon Support Services Association announces two changes in leadership.
Larry Deal, Executive Director of Independence Northwest brokerage, has assumed the role of OSSA President. He follows in the footsteps of Margaret Theisen, whose tenure spanned the birth of the brokerage association and four incredible years of unprecedented growth and change. We are deeply indebted and grateful to Margaret for her influential and principled leadership. Margaret passed the torch to Larry after the association’s Board of Directors meeting in December. Larry brings with him 13 years experience in Oregon’s Support Services system, and a deep talent for innovation, communication, and partnership. Dan Peccia of Self Determination Resources Inc. and Bill Uhlman of Eastern Oregon Support Services Brokerage will continue in their roles as Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer respectively.
Additionally, the association will begin a transition from its first Executive Director. For the past year, OSSA has been led by the incomparable Kathryn Weit. Her advocacy, passion, and leadership has greatly furthered the mission of OSSA by promoting, assuring, and protecting the integrity of Support Services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities statewide. We’re excited to announce that beginning in February 2015, Katie Rose will assume the Executive Director role full-time. Katie will be leaving her position of six years as the Director for the Mentor Oregon Brokerage presently serving individuals in the greater Portland area. As OSSA Executive Director, she will report to the OSSA Board of Directors, which consists of the 13 directors of the Oregon Support Services Brokerages.
Katie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org beginning February 1, 2015. Stay tuned for additional contact details.
If you’d like to learn more about the association, please visit www.oregonsupportservices.org.
By Ron Spence, Independence Northwest Operations Director
As many of you may have heard, the Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities (ODDS) has taken a step back from its mandate that all payments to brokerage providers – Personal Support Workers and otherwise – be moved into eXPRS starting in January of 2015. Brokerages have worked closely with ODDS throughout 2014 to help them understand the risks of moving into the eXPRS system before it’s truly ready and we’ve seen real partnership from state leaders in the last couple months on this issue. ODDS has valid reasons for wanting to get this thing launched once and for all (so does Independence Northwest – more on that soon); it’s a tribute to the new leadership that they listened to our concerns and agreed to develop a more sensible plan based on the realities of the situation, a plan that allows a gradual roll out between now and April of 2015. Some brokerages will enroll PSWs in January, some in February, some in March, and some in April.
Based on our evaluation of the current state of eXPRS, Independence Northwest has made the decision not to move its PSW payments into eXPRS until April of 2015.
If you’d like to learn more about our decision, stay tuned. We’ll be posting a more in-depth article on the topic this week. In the meantime, don’t forget to sign up for one of the eXPRS/PSW trainings happening in January 2015 in the Portland metro area.
In January 2015, the Oregon Department of Human Services is putting on a series of trainings on their electronic billing system eXPRS. The trainings are specifically geared toward Personal Support Workers. You may attend a training at any of the sites below, whether or not you serve individuals at the hosting brokerage or county. The Independence Northwest training will be held on January 13th. Be sure to RSVP by emailing ODDS.email@example.com.