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Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center will continue to operate during the “Safer at Home” order in place for Los Angeles County.  The ELARC office buildings will be closed to the public beginning Friday, March 20, 2020. Our main number is (626) 299-4700. The best way to reach your Service Coordinator is by email or phone, view the staff phone list here.  We want you to stay safe and be well. Additional information is available at ELARC/COVID-19.

Notices for Service Providers

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This section is intended to provide information, notices, and updates that impact the service provider community. Please check back often for pertinent updates.  

BUDGET UPDATES 

Visit the ELARC Budget Update page  for updated information on the state budget and its impact on the Regional Center system

NOTICES

Vendor Focus Groups: Transportation and Day Services: Come join the discussion! ELARC will be hosting two focus groups for providers regarding COVID 19 and next steps.  These groups are intended to be a forum for providers to discuss their ideas regarding continued and expanded provision of services safely as our community begins to "re-open."

Transportation Focus Group
June 22, 2020 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Via Go To Meeting (sign in information below)
This session is intended for any organization that provides transportation.

View the flyer here

Day Services Focus Group
June 30, 2020 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Via Go To Meeting (sign in information below)
This session is intended for any non-residential service providers.

View the flyer here

Go To Meeting Sign on Information for both groups is the same:
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/809491213

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States (Toll Free): 1 866 899 4679
United States: +1 (786) 535-3119

Access Code: 809-491-213

In Person Services and "Re-Opening"
As the state and county begin to prepare to “re-open,” those who deliver services to individuals served by the Regional Center are facing some decisions. It is important to consider that while some providers may be able to go back to “business as usual,” for many it may take time for some services to return. Many services may be phased back slowly depending on the needs of the individual, the ability and resources of the provider, and always in consideration of the most updated local public health order(s.) Even before the COVID 19 crisis, the decision to when and how to accept services is up to the individual, based on the individual’s needs and preferences as part of a planning team process. During these unprecedented times, ELARC has developed guiding considerations based on federal, state, and local public health guidelines.  We are asking all non residential (in person) service providers to review these guiding considerations and certify they are putting plans in place that align with public health guidelines. View the documents, complete and return to esalazar@elarc.org

ELARC has also posted a complementary set of guiding considerations for individuals we serve and their families and posted it on our website,view the document here. This document will be available in languages other than English shortly, please check back.

Webinar: Best Practices for Employers and Businesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic: As California businesses reopen, there are many questions about how businesses can continue operations safely while considering the needs of employees and patrons with disabilities.

Join Disability Rights California on June 16 at 10:00 AM for a panel discussion with business consultants, professionals and disability leaders to build your knowledge and become a model employer and business during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

This webinar will discuss: 

  • What do businesses need to know about their responsibilities under the current Governor’s orders and other laws?
  • How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the needs of employees and patrons with disabilities?
  • How can employers take steps toward ensuring a safe work environment for employees and patrons with disabilities?
  • How do businesses benefit from using best practices for safety and reasonable accommodations?

For complete details and/or to register, please visit DRC's website here.

State of Emergency: LA County/LA City Civil Unrest: On May 30, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency for Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles, as a result of the civil unrest following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020. On June 1, 2020, Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center (ELARC) received the attached State of Emergency (SOE) notification from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).  As a result, DDS is authorizing, pursuant to Title 17, California Code of Regulations section 54326(a)(11), Regional Centers to pay vendors of nonresidential services for absences that are the direct result of the civil unrest in Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles.  Read the full correspondence here.

Read State of Emergency Notice.

Residential Service Provider Notice: COVID-19 Plan: As a residential service provider, you must ensure that you are familiar with all COVID 19 risk mitigation and reporting requirements as required by the Los Angeles Public Health Department and Community Care Licensing, as well as the Directives issues by DDS. Further, ELARC is requesting you certify you have a plan in place that aligns with current public health requirements. Please read full correspondence and form.

Providers: 6/2/20 Update on SOE Billing: A May 7, 2020 Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Directive and subsequent May 26, 2020 ELARC correspondence and requested self-certification has led to questions regarding State of Emergency (SOE) absence billing.  This notice is intended as an update.  

If you are a service provider who is eligible for SOE absence billing, you may submit your billing as usual.  Per the DDS directive, Service Providers are advised to pursue other forms of funding during this SOE such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.  If the provider obtains a loan, the provider may still bill for SOE absence billing. If any loan related to the SOE, such as the PPP, is forgiven in the future, the provider should then advise ELARC. If the loan is forgiven,  ELARC will then work with the provider to reconcile any funds through a payback or amended billing process.  Providers are advised to keep all documentation related to SOE absence billing and related loan or other funding applications.

May 27, 2020: Provider Notice: Payments for Non Residential Services During State of Emergency: Billing Certification: On March 4, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency for California, as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak. ELARC has released a memo that provides updated guidance due to a recently  released Directive, dated May 7, 2020, that contains additional specific requirements for those seeking to bill for nonresidential services during the State of Emergency (SOE.). The May 7, 2020, DDS Directive can be found here.

ELARC is requesting that non residential service providers complete a self-certification form related to the May 7 DDS Directive. Please read the full memo and form here.

Come Join the Discussion! Day Services Focus Group on May 26 OR Residential/SLS Services Focus Group on May 27. "Revisioning" the Future: Where are we at and what will the future look like as a result of the current public health crisis? Both focus groups will be held via Go To Meeting:

IMPORTANT: Remote Services Self Certification for Vendors: In light of the current public health crisis, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has released directives that have included guidance related to the provision of services at alternate locations or via remote services. Please read the full directives posted on the DDS website. Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center (ELARC) is here to support our Service Providers to transition to a home-based, teleservices model. This situation presents us with a unique opportunity to come together in the support of our clients and the health of our communities. Through dedication, careful planning, and ingenuity we can continue to serve our valued clients.

ELARC has created a Self Certification Form for Service Providers. ELARC is requesting that all providers who are currently or will be providing remote services or services in an alternate location complete this form and return it to esalazar@elarc.org.

We appreciate those of you that have notified us via email or other means already regarding your alternate means of service provision and we do ask that you also complete this form and submit it as requested. View and complete the Self Certification Form here.

Read the full ELARC correspondence regarding Remote Services.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit ELARC/COVID-19 

The onetime limited 2.1% increase some vendors received on May 1, 2019 is set to expire April 30, 2020: This rate increase was approved as ‘Bridge Funding’ for specific services, which included Community Care Facilities (CCF), day programs, independent living services, respite, and infant development. The increase was approved for services provided in ‘high cost’ counties. This was a temporary increase for twelve (12) months and will expire on April 30, 2020. Read correspondence regarding this matter here.

Due to the “Safer At Home” order, ELARC staff will have limited access to the SIR fax line: In order to ensure special incident reports are received and processed in a timely manner, ELARC encourages all Service Providers/Vendors to submit incidents to sir@elarc.org until further notice.

For additional information, please visit our Special Incident Report webpage.

DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES COVID-19 DIRECTIVES: 

DDS Directive as of March 30, 2020: 

DDS Directives as of March 25, 2020:

DDS Directives as of March 23, 2020.

DDS Directives as of March 20, 2020:

DDS Directives as of March 18, 2020:

DDS Directives as of March 12, 2020:

New Guidelines for Service Providers: GUIDELINES FOR THE USE OF RESTRAINT OR CONTAINMENT IN COMMUNITY CRISIS HOMES

Guidelines for the Use of Restraint or Containment in CCHs

Notice to Service Providers/Those Served in the City of LA: Microloans to Small Businesses due to COVID 19:

In light of the sweeping impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the small business community, the City of Los Angeles has established the Small Business Emergency Microloan Program which provides financing needed to strengthen small business enterprises in this time of acute need that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.  Read more and apply online at http://ewddlacity.com/index.php/microloan-program

Community Care Licensing (CCL) Issued a Directive:

 Community Care Licensing (CCL) issued a directive intended to increase the availability of Direct Support Professionals in licensed care on March 18, 2020: View the directive here.

Notice for Vendored Providers Regarding COVID-19: For complete information and resources on COVID-19, please view our PDF information sheet.

Governor Newsom Declares State of Emergency to Help State Prepare for Broader Spread of COVID-19 - Posted: 3/5/2020: As part of the state’s response to address the global COVID-19 outbreak, on March 4th, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency to make additional resources available, formalize emergency actions already underway across multiple state agencies and departments, and help the state prepare for broader spread of COVID-19. The proclamation comes as the number of positive California cases rises and following one official COVID-19 death.

Read the entire press release from Governor Newsom where you will find additional links/resources.

For the latest on the state’s COVID-19 preparedness and response, visit cdph.ca.gov.

Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Information and Resources - Posted: 3/3/2020: To help keep regional centers and other stakeholders informed, DDS has updated its website with general information about coronavirus and resources for providers: The state is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local governments, and health care providers across California to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19). While COVID-19 has been detected in multiple countries around the world, including the U.S., the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports the health risk to the general public in California remains low.

Updates and General Information

Resources for Providers

Minimum Wage Increase - Posted: 2/5/2020: Vendors of the ELARC may now begin submitting worksheets to request a rate adjustment as a result of the 2020 minimum wage increase.  The worksheet, along with the instructions, were posted on the ELARC website today.  This applies to vendors whose rate was originally set through negotiations between the vendor and the ELARC and who have any employees paid less than $13.00 an hour for employers with 26 employees or more and $12.00 an hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.  Additionally, please re-read the notice dated February 5, 2020 for additional information and instructions. Access the worksheet and other required forms here.  Carefully, read the instructions for completing the forms and to find out other supporting documents you must submit.

The rate adjustment must be specific to the unit of service that is affected by the new minimum wage and shall only include those costs necessary to increase an employee’s actual hourly wage to the new minimum wage and associated mandated employer costs; e.g., Social Security, Medicare, workers’ compensation.  Please submit rate adjustment requests by March 1, 2020.

ELARC providers that have the following services do not need to complete the worksheet.  ELARC will automatically adjust rates based on the rate calculation data on file.

  • Service Code 093, Parent-Coordinated Personal Assistance
  • Service code 405, Day Care Family Member
  • Service Code 455, Participant Directed Day Care Services – Family Member.

All vendors whose rates are adjusted will receive an Authorization to Purchase Services that reflect the new rate effective January 1, 2020.  Should you have any questions or need additional information about these increases and claim procedures contact your purchase of services representative.  For any questions regarding rates set through negotiation please contact Jessica Barba at (626) 299-4711 or jbarba@elarc.org

HOME AND COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES FINAL RULE: PROVIDER SELF-ASSESSMENT Online Access January 27, 2020:

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has notified regional centers that the Provider Self-Assessment will be available online for service providers to complete and submit no later than March 31, 2020 (refer to the Notification letter).  If the assessment is not completed by this date, the provider will receive an on-site compliance review visit by the DDS Team.

Self-Assessment

The self-assessment will be available through an online platform developed by a contracted company, OIG Compliance Now. Both providers and regional centers will have access to the online platform by January 27, 2020.   ELARC staff have received their online login information from OIG.  Service providers should have received a unique login via email from OIG Compliance Now.  Although training will be offered on how to complete the self-assessment, you can begin completing the assessment upon receiving your login information. If you have not received an email from OIG Compliance Now with your login information,  contact Maribel Garcia at margarcia@elarc.org or (626) 299-4868.

Service Providers will have until March 31, 2020, to complete the self-assessment for each of their vendored services. Providers of any of the services listed in the document Enclosure 1, that are designed specifically for groups of individuals with developmental disabilities are required to complete a self-assessment.

Technical assistance on navigating the self-assessment will be available to you through the online platform. This includes frequently asked questions on how to use the platform, training videos with narrated visuals walking through the platform, as well as pop-up explanations and a way to ask questions throughout the self-assessment. Questions about how to navigate the online platform can be sent to: HCBShelpdesk@oigcompliancenow.com .

Training

ELARC is sharing this information - Enclosure 2 Flyer - broadly with all stakeholders, including but not limited to individuals and family members receiving regional center services, providers, and community-based organizations.  DDS has informed regional centers that five (5) trainings will be available throughout the state the week of February 10, 2020.  Any individuals, community-based organizations, etc. who want to share information about the Final Rule and the assessment process within their communities are encouraged to attend.  Materials and recorded webinar and/or presentations will be posted on the Department’s website at https://www.dds.ca.gov/initiatives/cms-hcbs-regulations/

 

Rate Study Hearing:  From the Association of Regional Center Agencies:

On Wednesday, January 22, 2019 the Senate Budget Subcommittee #3 on Health and Human Services (“Sub 3,” the main Senate committee for discussing our system’s funding) held an informational hearing on the rate study. A summary of the hearing, following the day’s agenda, follows. The study was authorized in 2016, and was focused on service provider rates. Regional center operations, including service coordination, were not part of the study or this hearing.

The Committee has two members, Senator Richard Pan (Alta catchment) and Senator Melissa Hurtado (CVRC, KRC catchments). Both were in attendance. The third seat is currently vacant, and was formerly held by former Senator Jeff Stone (IRC).

I. OPENING REMARKS

Senator Pan welcomed attendees and panelists, and noted that this informational hearing is meant to guide discussions in the Budget process.

II. RATE STUDY HISTORY

Sonja Petek, of the Legislative Analyst’s Office, gave a brief history of the rate study’s origins, noting the numerous range of billing codes for providers, and the complexity inherent to those codes. She referenced a handout that describes rates, their history, and other info (available online).

III. OVERVIEW OF RATE STUDY METHODOLOGY

Nancy Bargmann, Director of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), described the Department’s administrative role in the rate study. Stephen Pawlowski, of Burns and Associates, discussed the how the study was structured, and gave details about the provider survey. That survey explored a range of questions related to provider costs, and was buttressed by other business expenses such as workers compensation. Rate models were built based on that data, and also included local costs issues. An additional comment period was provided once the full study was released; rate revisions were subsequently issued, generally in the form of rate increases. Additionally, new cost data was incorporated, with the rate models meant to anticipate point-in-time costs with a January 2020 implementation.

IV. SERVICE PROVIDERS

Michele Rogers (Executive Director, Early Learning Institute) spoke about some of the challenges currently facing providers, specifically highlighting (within her field) caseload issues, cancellation rates, and administrative costs as still being unaddressed in the rates

Lori Anderson (President and CEO, United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties) urged the adoption of the rate study and ongoing collaboration to ensure the service system can be stabilized.

Kevin Rath (Executive Director, Manos Home Care) spoke to the importance of developing a definition for quality services, to serve as a metric for service funding, delivery, and outcomes. He also specifically referenced the work of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities in this area, including the concept of value-based purchasing.

V. OVERVIEW OF RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND NEXT STEPS

Stephen Pawlowski detailed the three elements of changes made in response to public comment. First, cost data and program use estimates were updated. Second, external costs (e.g., mileage rates) were updated based on new data. And third, rate models themselves were changed in various cases.

Nancy Bargmann discussed the importance of ensuring that, in past and ongoing conversations, all elements of the community are appropriately represented. Additionally, long-term changes to the work of both providers and regional centers will continue to be explored through various avenues.

Senator Pan expressed strong interest in the implementation of the study, and repeatedly pressed the issue with Director Bargmann, including asking for a timeline and goal set for implementation.

Representatives of the Department of Finance (DOF) (Jay Kapoor, Brent Houser) stated that future funding estimates are based on caseload growth and minimum wage costs.

In response to questions from Senator Pan, both DDS and DOF said that some implementation of the rate study and regional center performance incentives would require trailer bill language. It is currently expected to be made public on February 1st. [Note: Trailer Bill Language is a term for bills that are needed to change state law in order to legally enact Budget proposals. This is a common annual practice.]

VI. PUBLIC COMMENT

Public comment included requests for full implementation of the rate study, retroactive increases for the providers not previously included, and staffing needs. Rick Rollens, speaking on behalf of ARCA, thanked Sen. Pan for holding this hearing, and working to ensure additional funding for providers. He also stated that ARCA supports the Lanterman Coalition’s funding request, and will be providing more detailed information in the near future.

VII. CONCLUDING REMARKS

Senator Pan thanked the panelists for their participation and input, Pan asked for the plan by the time of the March Budget hearing. However, he noted a recognition of the need to balance the overall Budget and the possibility that DDS’ position could be that the state does not plan to implement the rate models moving forward.

Materials:

Hearing Agenda “ Update Rate Study and Reform in the Developmental Services System”: https://sbud.senate.ca.gov/sites/sbud.senate.ca.gov/files/1-23-2020-Agenda.pdf

Video of the hearing: https://www.senate.ca.gov/media/senate-budget-subcommittee-3-20200122/video

 

Self Determination - Helpful Tips and Opportunities for Service Providers: Don’t miss this important information session to learn about Self-Determination and the opportunities it may hold for your business. August 6, 2019 at the ELARC offices in Alhambra. For complete details and/or to register, please view the flyer.

Inclusive Early Learning and Care Coordination Program (6/4/19): The California Department of Education has awarded the
Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) a grant: Inclusive Early Learning and Care Coordination Program. IELCCP is designed to build staff capacity of early childcare and education (ECE) providers to increase access, participation, and support for children birth to five years with severe disabilities. For complete information, please view their flyer.

Updated Rate Study Notice (3/08/2019): The Department of Developmental Services anticipates release of the Rate Study report on March 15, 2019 and has extended the comment period through April 5,2019. The ELARC Vendor Advisory Committee and the ELARC Community Services will be hosting Rate Study Tech Assistance Sessions. Please view the flyer here for further details.

Regional Centers have been assigned to collect public comments from their regional center's vendor community, families, consumers, and interested parties. The comment template can be accessed here. The template is a fillable form that must be saved on your computer before emailing it to us. Please email the form to Brendali Maldonado. Comments must be submitted to ELARC no later than 2:00 pm on April 5, 2019 for a consolidated submittal to Burns & Associates, Inc. by ELARC. Be specific and you may provide supporting documentation as applicable. 

Update on Release of Final Rate Study Report (3/04/19): The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) continues to finalize the rate study addressing the delivery of community-based services for individuals with developmental disabilities. While the draft rate models and methodologies presented this week to the Developmental Services Task Force and other stakeholders are available online, the formal written report will not be delivered to the Legislature on March 1 as originally planned. 

The detailed materials from this week’s rate study briefing sessions are available on the Burns & Associates website and include:

  • A presentation outlining the rate study’s methodology and results. A webinar of this presentation and the draft rate models will be available next week.
  • Draft rate models detailing specific assumptions related to direct care worker wages, benefits and productivity as well as mileage, program operations, overhead costs and other factors.
  • A report describing the methodologies used to establish regional cost adjustment factors.

DDS welcomes comments on the rate study models and has posted instructions and a template, along with an FAQ about the public comment process and rate study briefings.

Additional information regarding the rate study is available on both the DDS and Burns & Associates websites.

Update: DDS Hosts Briefing Sessions on Rate Study (2/22/19)

The Department of Developmental Services will be hosting Briefing Sessions on the upcoming release of the Rate Study. The day-and-a-half sessions are February 25 and 26 in Northern California and February 28 - March 1 in Southern California. Please visit the DDS website for further details regarding these briefing sessions. 

Upon release of the Rate Study on March 1, 2019, there will be an opportunity for public comment until March 22, 2019. Please subscribe to receive the ELARC E-Notifications or visit the ELARC website regularly for release of the Rate Study. (See below for original posting titled "2018 Service Provider Rate Study").

 
2019 Minimum Wage Increase (posted 1/11/19): 

Vendors of the ELARC may now begin submitting worksheets to request a rate adjustment as a result of the 2019 minimum wage increase.  The worksheet, along with the instructions, were posted on the ELARC website today.  This applies to vendors whose rate was originally set through negotiations between the vendor and the ELARC and who have any employees paid less than $12.00 an hour for employers with 26 employees or more and $11.00 an hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.  Additionally, please re-read the notice dated January 7, 2019 for additional information and instructions. Access the worksheet and other required forms here.  Carefully, read the instructions for completing the forms and to find out other supporting documents you must submit.

The rate adjustment must be specific to the unit of service that is affected by the new minimum wage and shall only include those costs necessary to increase an employee’s actual hourly wage to the new minimum wage and associated mandated employer costs; e.g., Social Security, Medicare, workers’ compensation.  Please submit rate adjustment requests by March 1, 2019.

ELARC providers that have the following services do not need to complete the worksheet.  ELARC will automatically adjust rates based on the rate calculation data on file.

Service Code 093, Parent-Coordinated Personal Assistance

Service code 405, Day Care Family Member

Service Code 455, Participant Directed Day Care Services – Family Member

 All vendors whose rates are adjusted will receive an Authorization to Purchase Services that reflect the new rate effective January 1, 2019.  Should you have any questions or need additional information about these increases and claim procedures contact your purchase of services representative.  For any questions regarding rates set through negotiation please contact Martin Cogan at (626) 299-4849 or mcogan@elarc.org.

 
Post Date:January 03, 2019
IMPORTANT! Make your voice heard about rates!!!!! To the Executive Leadership of all organizations providing services funded through regional centers:    As you all know, we are rapidly approaching the critical moment in Sacramento when the Department of Developmental Services will deliver to the Legislature its study on our current rates system as well as its proposals to bring sustainability to our system through increases in rates of reimbursements paid to providers.  We are working hard to prepare for this moment by meeting ahead of time with members of the Legislature and key Legislative staff.  We must make sure that the Legislature understands how long overdue rate reform is in California.  We must make sure the Legislature knows how much our system has been strained over the past two decades as a result of frozen rates and the imposition of arbitrary Statewide median rates for critically needed services.  We need everyone’s help to tell this story with the urgency necessary to justify the significant new funding that we expect the report to call for when it is delivered in March.  We are asking you to participate by responding to the two very brief online surveys whose links are included in this notice. The first is the Provider Impact Survey initially distributed last March. We would like to get a much broader response to fully represent our State.  If you did not take this survey last March, please take the few minutes necessary to do so now. This can be completed by the CEO or her/his designee. Here is that link:   https://surveyhero.com/c/e9650710   The Second Survey was created by the Arc/UCP to report on the status of our Direct Service Provider (DSP) workforce in California.  For this survey – please distribute this survey to your DSP workforce and ask for their participation in advocating for higher wages for our highly valued DSP workforce by filling out the survey. Here is that link: 

 

Online Survey (English) https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DSPenglish 

Online Survey (Español) https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DSPespanol  

WE NEED YOUR IMMEDIATE ACTION.  We would like to have as many responses as possible to these two surveys by January 7, 2019.  Please try for this date – but if you can’t get it done by then – please respond as soon thereafter as possible.  Thank you!  For any questions or comments please contact Steve Miller:  steve.sj.miller@gmail.com

 

DDS Information: HCBS Funding for Providers - Deadline Extended:

 In recognition that service providers will need to continue taking steps towards modifying their services, the 2018 Budget Act (SB 840, Chapter 29, Budget Act 2018) contains $15 million to fund changes that are necessary for providers to come into compliance with the HCBS rules by March 2022.

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) released information that outlines the process for regional center funded service providers to apply for funding to help in their transition toward compliance under the new Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) rules that impact a wide range of programs, services and supports for a significant amount of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Service providers can apply for funds using forms provided by DDS through the Regional Centers. Regional centers can make recommendations for funding based on local priorities. All submitted forms will be forwarded to DDS for final approval.

The deadline established by DDS for vendors to provide their concepts to ELARC will be extended to January 3, 2019.

Information regarding the funding process, by fiscal year is available. To view the DDS memo along with its three components, forms and further information, view the Department of Developmental Services Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Webpage.

 

December 2018: DDS Information: HCBS Funding for Providers  In recognition that service providers will need to continue taking steps towards modifying their services, the 2018 Budget Act (SB 840, Chapter 29, Budget Act 2018) contains $15 million to fund changes that are necessary for providers to come into compliance with the HCBS rules by March 2022.  The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) released information that outlines the process for regional center funded service providers to apply for funding to help in their transition toward compliance under the new Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) rules that impact a wide range of programs, services and supports for a significant amount of individuals with developmental disabilities. Service providers can apply for funds using forms provided by DDS through the Regional Centers. Regional centers can make recommendations for funding based on local priorities. All submitted forms will be forwarded to DDS for final approval. Information regarding the funding process, by fiscal year is available. To view the DDS memo labeled "October 31, 2018 letter" along with its three components, forms and further information, view the Department of Developmental Services Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Webpage.

 

October 2018: The Association of Regional Center Agencies (ARCA) has released  its newest report: Building A System for Tomorrow: Supporting People with Developmental Disabilities to Lead Inclusive Lives.  This paper focuses on the essential resources the developmental services system needs to build a system for the future - to support individuals with developmental disabilities to lead inclusive lives they choose for themselves in their own communities.  

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will administer the Community Development Block Grant Program - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a result of the October and December 2017 disasters. 

 
HCD works with local governments and organizations to fund programs that provide long-term recovery assistance for housing, infrastructure, and economic revitalization. 
HCD will host five meetings across California:
  • October 2, 2018 - Santa Rosa
  • October 3, 2018 - Redwood Valley
  • October 4, 2018 - Marysville
  • October 9, 2018 - Sylmar
  • October 11, 2018 - Ventura
At each meeting they will discuss proposed recovery programs, eligibility for the programs, and the timeline for funding.
Public Comments can be submitted to: DisasterRecovery@hcd.ca.gov
For more information, please visit their website.

 

 

Efforts to Reduce Purchase of Service Disparities: Funds Available for FY 2018/19

In 2016, ABX2 1 (Chapter 3, Statutes of 2016) added Welfare and Institutions (W&I) Code section 4519.5(h) to the W&I Code and allocated funds to the Department of Developmental Services (Department), to assist regional centers in the implementation of strategies to reduce disparities in the purchase of services (POS). In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016/17, the Department solicited regional center proposals and approved funding for projects to reduce disparities and promote equitable access to regional center services and supports. In 2017, trailer bill language amended W&I Code section 4519.5 to allow community based organizations (CBO) to apply for and receive funding to address disparities and/or equitable access to services. The Department is accepting proposals from regional centers and CBOs for funds available in FY 2018/19. Regional centers and CBOs are invited to respond to this call for applications for the Disparity Funds Program.  Read the full notice and download all the application materials on the DDS Website

VAC Special Election for Vice Chair Office Position: June 28, 2018 Election Meeting

According to the VAC Bylaws, Article 4 Section 5 in the event of any vacancy a member of the Executive Committee shall call for a special election. The Vendor Advisory Committee (VAC) voted unanimously on May 24, 2018 to conduct a Special Election on June 28 to fill the VAC Vice Chairperson position.

View the Election candidate information and the ballot to cast/submit your vote.  To vote in absentia, complete the ballot, scan, and email to CommunityServices@elarc.org . Votes cast in absentia received by the Executive Committee prior to the Election Meeting and available in hardcopy at that meeting shall be counted. The Special Election Meeting requires a quorum and a majority of votes cast.  One ballot vote is allowed per vendor as determined by Tax ID number. Any vendor casting a vote in absentia must submit no later than 9:00 am on June 28, 2018. Ballots for voting in person will be made available at the June 28, 2018 meeting.

It is the intent of the VAC leadership to provide notice to the VAC members to make them aware of these actions to ensure their participation in the upcoming opportunity to cast their vote.

2018 Service Provider Rate Study: the ELARC Vendor Advisory Committee has a message for all vendors:

View message here

 As required by Welfare and Institutions Code § 4519.8 the California Department Developmental Services (DDS) is in the process of studying the reimbursement rates paid for community-based services for individuals with developmental disabilities.  Burns & Associates (B&A) has emailed information regarding the survey to providers. Read a copy of the text in the email sent to Providers from Burns & Associates here. 

With the exception of family providers, all providers of services with rates set through negotiation with the regional center, or by the Department, are encouraged  to complete the survey, even if they do not receive an email from B&A. It is important that as many providers as possible respond to the survey, even if they are only able to provide some of the information requested.

This survey will provide critical information to help inform the rate study:

  • Data collected through the survey will be a key consideration as DDS assesses the adequacy of current payment rates and studies possible changes to the rates.  Thus, although the survey is voluntary, all vendors are encouraged to participate. 
  • The survey includes worksheets (‘tabs’) for every service code included within the survey. You should only complete forms for the services that your organization provides. The table of contents (‘TOC’) worksheet in the survey file lists the specific forms to complete for each service code. Similarly, the Service Listing page beginning on page 3 of the instructions directs you to the appropriate pages for directions for each survey worksheet.
  • Information collected through the survey will be utilized only for the purpose of this rate study and vendors’ individual responses will not be released to DDS.
  • Partially completed surveys will be accepted. You may skip any questions that request information that your agency cannot provide, and those portions of the survey that are completed will still be part of the survey analysis.
  • If there are any factors that you believe should be considered but were not included in the survey, note those issues (and any other comments) in the transmittal email when submitting the survey.  You may also submit any other documentation that you would like considered as part of this study.

B&A will be recording a series of webinars to explain the rate study and to walk through the survey page-by-page. The recordings will be posted to http://www.burnshealthpolicy.com/DDSVendorRates/ by the end of the day on May 29. Other project-related materials can also be found at this website.

It is recognized that the survey is lengthy and detailed. In addition to the recorded webinars noted above, service providers are encouraged to contact DDS with any questions at DDSProviderSurvey@burnshealthpolicy.com or (602) 241-8515.

Along with the technical assistance available through B&A, the Department is also available to assist by email, vendorsurvey@dds.ca.gov or phone, (916)-654-2300.  Additionally, frequently asked questions and answers will be posted on the Department’s website and updated periodically.  DDS will provide routine updates to regional centers via email on the number of survey responses received throughout the survey period.  ELARC will post on our website the number of local survey responses as received from DDS.  This information will also be available on the Department’s website.

It is important to note that this survey is just one component of the overall rate study that must be submitted to the Legislature by March 1, 2019.  The rate study will also incorporate other information, including but not limited to costs for comparable services provided outside the regional center system, to help in developing recommendations for proposed rate models.  The outcome of these efforts, including findings and draft recommendations, will be presented to the Developmental Services Task Force for review and comment before the final rate study is submitted to the Legislature.

Information on the provider survey can be found on the Departments website, including a phone number and email address for technical assistance from B&A. 

Date for completed surveys has changed from July 6 to August 3. Surveys should be submitted to DDSProviderSurvey@burnshealthpolicy.com.

If you are interested in obtaining support in completing the survey, please contact Christina Razo, Community Services Office Support, at (626) 299-4847 or crazo@elarc.org for designated dates and times.    

If you have any further questions regarding the rate study, you may contact Linh Lo, Community Services Specialist at llo@elarc.org or (626) 299-4897 at the Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center or DDS at vendorsurvey@dds.ca.gov or (916) 654-2300.

 

DDS Issues Notice of Potential Breach of Confidential Information: Please be aware that the Department of Developmental Services has issued a notice to inform the public about an incident which occurred on February 11, 2018 that may have resulted in the breach of confidential information.  In addition to other parties personal information located at the DDS legal and audits office building in Sacramento, access to personal information contained in paper files included personal information of employees of certain service providers.  The Department has no evidence that personal and health information was compromised due to the incident.  However, out of an abundance of caution, it is notifying clients and the public about the incident and following federal requirements regarding potential breaches.  Please be aware that DDS will be sending individual letters to consumers about this breach.

You can find the Breach Notice on the DDS website Home page at www.dds.ca.gov for more information.  As noted on the website, should you have any questions or need any additional information about this breach, please contact the Department’s call center at (877) 790-8160 or visit https://www.dds.ca.gov/SecurityNotice .  The Department’s website will have their notice and other important information available to you in several different languages.  You may also e-mail the Department with questions at SecurityBreachQuestions@dds.ca.gov .  You can also view some Frequently Asked Questions on the Department’s website.

ELARC Vendor Advisory Committee (VAC) is interested in providing all vendors with agenda topics that are meaningful and useful to all vendors.  In an effort to address the training needs and/or issues of vendors during the VAC meetings please complete a short survey to share any topics you would like to see presented during the VAC meetings.  This information will be used for developing the ongoing VAC meeting agendas. For more information on the VAC, visit their webpage here.

Advocacy for AB 279 (8/18/2017): TWO Things You can do to actively get involved with your elected assembly person and senator to get support for the passage of AB279.  This bill will allow regional centers to locally process requests for minimum wage increases above the State minimum wage created by local jurisdictions.  Click here for more information and specific details on how you can help.  Click here to track this bill.

Survey for Provider Rate Increases (7/18/2017): All Service Providers who received rate increases, effective July 1, 2016, targeted for the purpose of increasing wages and benefits for staff who spend a minimum of 75 percent of their time providing direct services to consumers are required to submit this survey no later than October 1, 2017, or the rate increase will be forfeited. In order to meet the statutory timeline, it is recommended that you complete the mandated survey on or before Friday, September 15, 2017. For full details, survey links, assistance via webinars, and more, please view the instructions here. You may also view the letter from DDS to Regional Center Executive Directors for additional information.

Previous post about ABX2-1: New Provider Rates Effective July 1, 2016 (June 28, 2016): The State budget for Fiscal Year 2016-17, and Assembly Bill (AB) X2-1 (Chapter 3, Statutes of 20161) provides for a number of rate changes and/or increases for some service providers. The rate increases, effective July 1, 2016, are only applicable for providers with rates set by the Department (including rates set in statute or regulation), or providers with rates set through  negotiation between regional centers and the provider. The rate increases do not apply for providers with usual and customary rates or rates that are set by other entities.  Read more here.

EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLANS DUE     Post Date: June 22, 2017:  All Service Providers will be receiving  a letter with an  "Agency Emergency Plan template" in the mail from ELARC. Please submit your draft Agency Emergency Plan to your assigned ELARC Community Services Specialist by  August 1, 2017. Please insure that your agency has also provided updated emergency contact information to your Community Services Specialist  including an email address.  ELARC has communicated with providers in the past regarding heat alerts, regional earthquakes, and other emergency issues.    It is important that ELARC be able to communicate with you on preparedness issues and essential that we be able to reach your agency in the event of a disaster.   As a Service Provider you play a crucial role in our planning together for preparedeness, response, and recovery.  ELARC looks forward to sharing more information and working together to insure we all have a plan in the event of an emergency.  View the Agency Emergency Plan template.      View the letter from ELARC.

CALL for Service Providers to Provide Employment ServicesELARC is encouraging all service providers to review and become familiar with the “California Competitive Integrated Employment Blueprint."  Service providers interested in assisting the individuals we serve in securing employment are invited to attend an upcoming informational session at ELARC in the near future.  Service providers are not required to have the habilitation services vendor status to participate in assisting individuals with paid internship program services and/or receive paid incentives for assisting individuals to secure competitive integrated employment.  Some services may be limited should Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) services be indicated for the individual.  However, service providers may pursue application with DOR as qualified for the provision of those services.  If you are interest in getting more information on how you can participate in these two programs please contact your assigned community services specialist. Please email Ofelia Martinez and provide your contact information (name, title, company name, address, phone number, fax number and email address) to receive the flyer notice that will be released for this upcoming informational event.  Upcoming training opportunities to help equip service providers in this area of employment services can be found at www.easterseals.com/southerncal/shared.../acre-flyer-may-10-12-and-june.pdf and www.apse.org or www.APSE.org/2017-national-conference

Seeking group-home staff who support an adult with developmental disabilities to participate in an Abuse Risk Reduction Study. Compensation of $70.00 may be awarded to each participant. For more information, please view their flyer.

Rate Changes due to Minimum Wage Increase, Effective January 1, 2017. View the Notice Letter here and the Vendor Worksheet. Please note that the Vendor Worksheet and Summary and Certification Sheet were updated March 7th, 2017 to reflect standing instructions.

Employment Forum: ELARC Employment Forum established a partnership commitment in October of 2014. Vendors are welcomed to submit their commitment at any time, joining forces to increase employment for consumers. View the ELARC Partnership Commitment with Vendors.

Evidence Based Practices (EBPs) training can be requested through our Autism Specialist for an on-site demonstration at your agency. Interested in your staff learning more? Please view the flyer.  

 

Rate Adjustments Due To Changes in Local (City, County) Laws Related to Minimum Wage  Effective July 1, 2016, both the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles passed local ordinances that will increase worker minimum wages.  Other city or county jurisdictions may also have passed or will pass laws/ordinances related to employee wages and benefits.  Read the full notice here. 

Competitive Integrated Employment Incentive Payments The Lanterman Act has been amended to increase sustained competitive integrated employment (CIE) placements by regional center service providers. CIE is full or part-time work for which an individual is paid minimum wage or greater in a setting with others who do not have disabilities. The changes authorize funding to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) for incentive payments to providers for placement and retention of regional center consumers, consistent with a consumer’s Individual Program Plan (IPP).  Read more here.  For more information contact Frances Jacobs at fjacobs@elarc.org

DDS Releases Guidelines for Implementation of Paid Internship Program.  The Lanterman Act was amended to add language to encourage competitive integrated employment for individuals with developmental disabilities. Included in the language is authorization of funding to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) for a paid internship program.  .  If you are interested in this program, please contact Frances Jacobs at fjacobs@elarc.org.

STATES OF EMERGENCY: CLAIMS INFORMATION (updated 3/12/2020): If your delivery of services was impacted due to an event that has been declared to be an Emergency by the Governor,  you may be eligible for reimbursement.  Listed below are Department of Developmental Services (DDS) memos regarding recent Emergency Declarations.

For further information  and to obtain a claim form about any of the listed declared states of emergency, please contact Elisa Salazar at esalazar@elarc.org

Notice for Sick Leave Adjustment Requests (March 2016): Click here for all the information 

VAC Emergency Operations Planning: What would happen if you were unable to provide services due to a disaster?  What would happen to the people you serve? What would happen to your staff, your business?  It is important not only to prepare for a disaster, but also to plan how your agency will respond during a disaster, (including how you will communicate during a disaster,) and how you will recover your business operations after a disaster.   The ELARC Vendor Advisory Committee (VAC) will be addressing Emergency Operations Planning (EOP) at their upcoming meetings.  The VAC has an EOP workgroup that meets every other month one hour prior to the regular VAC meeting, all providers are welcome to join this group.  Contact Ofelia Martinez at omartinez@elarc.org  for information on when the next VAC EOP Group meets. 

MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2016 (December 30, 2015): Effective January 1, 2016, the minimum wage in California will increase from $9.00 to $10.00 per hour. Click here to view the full notice and for more information.  

5.82 PERCENT RATE INCREASE FOR IN-HOME RESPITE AGENCY SERVICES, SUPPORTED LIVING SERVICES, AND PERSONAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES (December 1, 2015): Read the ELARC Notice. 

NEW FEDERAL REGULATIONS FOR HCBS (September 22, 2015): HCBC Statewide Transition Plan  

EMPLOYEE SICK LEAVE (August 11, 2015): Update! Vendor Rate Adjustments for Employee Sick Leave

OVERTIME UPDATE (JUNE 30, 2015): The United States Department of Labor has been working to update the rule that would extend overtime pay to more workers. The proposal would guarantee overtime pay to most salaried workers earning less than $50,440 next year, click here to read more. ELARC is awaiting direction from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) regarding the implementation of this change about overtime.  We will keep our vendors informed and they can also check the DDS website at www.dds.ca.gov.

WAP PROVIDERS UPDATE (JUNE 30, 2015): The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has posted a letter to Work Activity Program (WAP) Executive Directors that serves as a notice of the schedule of maximum billing days for WAP services in the 2015-16 Fiscal Year (Title 17, Section 58880.) It is further advised in the letter that WAP service providers may vary from the schedule provided and outlines how to submit such changes to the Regional Center. Click here to view the letter/reporting form for more detailed information. Payment for services will be based on the schedule provided by DDS in this letter unless the WAP provider submits changes by July 31, 2015. 

ELARC INTERNSHIPS : ELARC can serve as a site for interns to learn job skills. Check back for updates.

MEDICATION ERROR DIAGNOSTIC TOOL (SEPTEMBER 30, 2014): The Medication Error Diagnostic Tool  must be submitted with all medication error SIRs that take place under vendor care.

MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE (JULY 1, 2014): Minimum Wage Increase Effective July 1, 2014

2011 VENDOR REQUIREMENT: 2011 Requirement for vendors receiving $250,000 or more from Regional Centers.

SERVICE PROVISION NOTICES: Notices regarding service provision from current and previous fiscal years can be found on the DDS Website on both the Vendors and Provider Information Page and the Budget Information Page

RISK MANAGEMENT: Visit the ELARC Risk Management Page for information regarding Risk Management and Mitigation, Mandated Reporting and Special Incident Reporting. 

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: Visit the ELARC Emergency Preparedness page for information and resources on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

ONLINE SIR FOR SERVICE PROVIDERS: ELARC has developed an on-line Special Incident Report (SIR) form that will offer another alternative to complete and submit SIRs to ELARC. The new feature is currently being launched on the website’s home page for a temporary time; simultaneously it is permanently located on the SIR page under Service Providers. The online SIR form is meant to provide another delivery method, service providers can still chose to submit SIRs by fax (626) 299-4637 or by email. During its debut, please submit any issues regarding the function of the on-line form to rortiz@elarc.org.

EXPIRED NOTICES

To request more information regarding the following expired notices, please email us at info@elarc.org.

 

CalABLE Stakeholders' Meeting: December 28th at the ELARC Boardroom and December 29th at the Uptown Whittier Senior Center. RSVP deadline is December 21st. For detailed information and to learn how to RSVP please view the flyer. 

DIRECT SERVICE PROVIDER (DSP) TRAINING UPDATE: There are key changes to Direct Service Provider (DSP) training  that go into effect September 1, as outlined by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS.)  DSP training is required for all residential providers/staff. View the DDS flyer for more details. View a list of Service Hubs and their Regional Center catchment areasView the DDS webpage for more information. View the Pasadena/South Central LA Training DatesView the Monterey Park Training DatesView the Bellflower Training DatesView the Palmdate/Valley Training DatesView the South Central LA Training Dates.

VENDOR RATE ADJUSTMENTS FOR EMPLOYEE SICK TIME (June 30, 2015): Assembly Bill (AB) 1522, enacting the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, entitles employees who work on or after July 1, 2015 and who work 30 or more days within a year, to accrue sick leave. Vendors will receive, or be eligible to request, a rate increase, if necessary to comply with these new requirements. View the June 29, 2015 memo from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) which provides all the details on the exact amount of sick leave accrual, the types of vendors that are affected, and what process will be used to make necessary rate adjustments.

PROVIDER ASSESSMENT TOOLS UPDATE (JUNE 16, 2015): State Seeking Public Input on Provider Assessment Tools