Without following key rules by July pay periods, pay for direct care workers may be disrupted
HARRISBURG (July 9, 2013) – Public Partnerships, LLC, known as PPL, announced that as of July there may be a disruption in pay for direct care workers who have not submitted all or some of the paperwork that is necessary for payment.
PPL has been working for months with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, program participants and direct care workers to help them come into compliance with the rules as established by the Department’s Office of Long Term Living and the federal government. Due to this outreach, most people in the program are not at risk of an interruption in their pay. However, PPL urges anyone who may be affected to comply with the rules so all workers can receive their appropriate pay for the care they provide to participants in the program. The program rules are important to assure that public Medicaid dollars are spent properly and to ensure full Medicaid funding.
During the transition of the direct care worker payroll system that started on Jan. 1, 2013, when PPL took over from 37 prior vendors, PPL and the Department took steps to ensure the uninterrupted continuation of payments and direct care worker services, while communicating repeatedly with individuals and service coordinators about how to comply with state and federal rules. As of July, PPL will no longer be able to issue payroll to direct care workers if they or their employers in the program do not follow the program rules.
Key program rules include:
- The participant/employer must provide a pay rate for the direct care worker
- The direct care worker and the participant/employer must approve all e-timesheets or sign all paper timesheets
- Every participant must complete and correct any missing, incomplete or incorrect documents
- Every direct care worker must complete and correct any missing, incomplete or incorrect documents
These rules, which are not new to Pennsylvania, are important because they help ensure the valid, authorized and approved use of Medicaid funds, which will protect the program for participants who depend on it to remain living independently.
PPL and the Department have been communicating with program participants and workers statewide on required elements of the program. As one recent example of these efforts, PPL staff spent two days last month in Philadelphia, one in Erie and one in Pittsburgh helping people complete needed documents on-site. All affected participants in the areas were invited. In those four days, 483 participants/employers attended and 1,043 direct care workers attended.
The statewide efforts have made a significant impact. In early April, 6,897 participants/employers and 13,585 direct care workers had issues with their documents. By the end of June the number of active and enrolled workers who could see their pay interrupted as a result of worker and/or participant/employer document issues was 2,724.
Also, numerous sessions have been held to provide detailed information to service coordinators, who are responsible for coordinating the care provided to participants. In April, PPL provided training sessions throughout the state for the service coordinators who work closely with program participants; these included in-person, phone-in and Webex sessions. The company also held in-person training and document completion sessions for program participants in the first half of June.
The sessions focused on the Department program rules that will ensure continued payment. The number of people in compliance increases each week because of PPL’s persistent outreach to participants, direct care workers and service coordinators.
“While we have seen significant improvement, our goal is to make certain all participants have the care they need and all direct care workers get paid,” said Marc Fenton, PPL president. “That is why we are working so hard to help everyone gain a full understanding of what they need to do.”
PPL receives about 18,000 timesheets in a full two-week pay period and is consistently able to pay 98 to 99 percent of them, while actively researching issues that affect the remaining group of timesheets so they too can be paid as quickly as possible. PPL strives to pay every legitimate timesheet promptly and does not want the need for rule compliance to jeopardize this for anyone.
“If a participant finds that their direct care worker has had their pay interrupted, they can still correct the payroll issues,” said Fenton. “PPL wants to work with participants and direct care workers on eliminating these problems.”
Training materials can be found at www.PublicPartnerships.com/PAtraining. Participants who need to address rule compliance will receive information by mail and should immediately respond to it to avoid interruption in worker payment and services. Participants and direct care workers needing assistance can contact PPL customer service at 1-877-908-1750 or email CS-OLTL@pcgus.com.