CALL TO ACTION: Changes in Service Coordination
Changes are on the horizon that will impact all individuals receiving service coordination through the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs and contracted service coordination entities. Changes have been in the works now for almost two years; however DHHS is at a point where soon there will be finalization to the changes they have been proposing with SCDDSN. The changes that are proposed involve what most of you know as service coordination or what DHHS is calling Targeted Case Management.
Most state agencies offer some version of TCM. In the DDSN system, this has been called Service Coordination. For years, service coordination has been considered to be much broader in its scope than is currently being defined by DHHS. The broader definition has been in place for many years and was agreed upon by DHHS and DDSN. However, this definition is no longer agree upon by the two agencies as DHHS wants to make it a much more restrictive definition of what is allowed through Targeted Case Management.
DHHS’s position is such that TCM is TCM regardless of the population being served. In essence, DHHS feels that TCM for a person with a disability is no different than TCM for an elderly person or TCM for someone being served by the Department of Juvenile Justice. DHHS has narrowed it down to only four core services that will be considered billable:
4. Referral and Linkage
Many other states have gone down this path and have ended up adding an additional service called Care Coordination by some states. Currently DHHS has not committed to adding this additional service and if it is not added, service coordinators will become even more limited in what they can do for families. Some examples of things service coordinators currently do that will no longer be allowed to do through the proposed changes are: attend IEP meetings, assist families in completing TEFRA applications, SSI applications, ABC Vouchers, and the list goes on, not to mention the countless hours service coordinators listen to families when they are distressed and going through critical situations.
Service coordination caseloads will be going from about 45 cases to over 100 once all of the changes are put into place. One has to ask themselves how their loved one can receive QUALITY service coordination when they are one of 100 cases that a case manager has on their caseload. This will increase burn out rates in case managers thus causing more turnover in case managers which again will lead to less quality in case management/service coordination.
I would like to ask you to please contact Anthony Keck, Director at DHHS (888-549-0820), and your local legislators, and let them know how this will impact your family. Such changes will make a significant difference in the quality of care service coordinators will be able to offer your loved ones. Time is of the essence so be sure to respond by August 7th, 2013!
Interim President and CEO
South Carolina Autism Society
South Carolina Autism Society
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Greenville, SC 29607
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