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COVID-19 News and Resource Center
Updated 09/11/2020

DDD Policy Change - ATC during remote learning
09/11/2020 - This update concerns who may provide services to children while they are attending remote (on-line) school. We received updated guidance from DDD on two points:

1. Parents of minor children may still provide attendant care (ATC) and/or habilitation (HAH) to their child. However, they may not provide services during the time that their child is participating in remote learning. Some of the parents that have been providing services have been told that they may not provide services once the current authorization is expired. It would seem that DDD has reversed that decision.

2. DDD support coordinators will be re-assessing the need for support during remote learning time. Examples include difficulty using the technology, need for supervision due to safety concerns, need for consistent redirection, physical support, behavioral support or other similar need. Non-parent direct care workers may provide ATTENDANT CARE (ATC) under these circumstances during remote learning time (on-line school).
     a. This is only true if there is an authorization for attendant care (ATC) and the direct care worker is able to provide ATC. We cannot provide respite or habilitation during remote learning time.
     b. DDD is planning on changing the billing code for attendant care during remote learning to ALE. They have not said how this will work or how we will have to track it. Expect to hear more once a game plan is created.

If you are a parent of a minor child that attends remote learning and the attendant care authorization has expired, you may want to reach out to your support coordinator to see if attendant care can be re-assessed. If attendant care is re-assessed and you will be providing the service, please make sure that you are still able to log into AutoVisit. If your provider account has been closed, call the office and have it turned back on.

COVID-19 Incentive Wages
08/28/2020 - DDD has informed us that additional wages associated with direct service hours will NOT be extended beyond August. Starting Tuesday, 09/01/2020, we are back to our regular wages only.

Direct Care Worker Survey
08/20/2020 - DDD has collaborated with AHCCCS and other Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to have PHI International develop a survey specifically tailored to Direct Care workers. DDD believes that this survey will help DDD and vendors such as Imagine Support Services develop effective workforce development initiatives. When the survey is ready, DDD will ask all Direct Care Workers to fill out the survey.

PPE Request Form
07/30/2020 - Based on the survey results received thus far and new guidance from the CDC, we have ordered more PPE for our direct care workers. Some of the PPE is expected to be delivered to ISS the first week of August, and some of it is on backorder. We have created a web-based form for our direct care workers to request PPE. The link is above on this page and on the bottom of the resource page.

DDD Guidance
We are expecting guidance from DDD in the first week of August as to what service levels, types, and schedules we will have for our school aged clients moving forward. DDD is working with AHCCCS and the Arizona Department of Education to set expectations. This may or may not impact parents being paid providers for their children under the age of 18. We have not been told how long the exception will last.

COVID-19 Performance Plan Training
07/29/2020 - I wish to thank everyone who downloaded and read our COVID-19 Performance Plan Training and took our 2020 COVID-19 Survey. While we believe that it is a good idea that each of you know what we are doing to plan for and deal with this pandemic, it is also a REQUIRMENT set by DDD. If you have not already read through the training and taken the survey, please do so at this time. Below are the results of the survey received thus far:

In regard to the PPP offered, 88.6% felt there was adequate PPPE offered, 2.3% felt we did not offer adequate PPE, and 9.1% were unsure.
In regard to the timeliness of the PPE offered, 84.3% felt it was timely, 2.4% felt it took too long, and 13.3% were unsure.
62.2% said that they are "Very Comfortable" continuing to work, 31.7% said they are "Somewhat Comfortable", 3.7% said they are "Not Very Comfortable", and 2.4% said they are "Not Working".
92.4% reported that they have a home supply of items to protect themselves and their family during this pandemic; 7.66% said that they did not.
Items of PPE mentioned that employees said the agency should acquire for direct care workers included hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, face shields and gowns.
Other emergencies that the agency should prepare for included disruptions in funding, wildfires, and weather-related emergencies.

COVID Incentive Wages
07/28/2020 - The COVID Incentive Wages have been extended through August, with certain requirements attached by DDD. We are working hard to meet the requirements and expect to be able to do so. With that in mind, we are placing requirements on our direct care workers who expect to continue being paid the additional $4.00 per hour for direct care service hours. You MUST read the COVID-19 Performance Plan Training and you MUST fill out the 2020 COVID-19 Survey if you have not already done so. We are required to have trained 100% of our employees on this plan.

Voluntary Survey
07/28/2020 - There is a second survey that I would like to see filled out, if you so choose. This survey goes a little further in the questions and is aimed at making sure we are devoting our resources to the things that will make a difference to our direct cre workers and result in being better positioned to provide services to our clients during this or a future pandemic crisis. It is not tied to the COVID Wages and is not mandated by DDD. For those that fill out this survey, I may call on you in the future and ask your opinion as we work through our responsibilities with the Cares Act.

COVID-19 Performance Plan Training
06/30/2020 - The COVID-19 Plan is finally ready. All employees must review the plan and take the survey in order to satisfy DDD requirements. The plan is here: 2020 COVID-19 Plan and the surevey is here: 2020 COVID-19 Survey.

COVID Incentive Wages
06/30/2020 - The COVID Incentive Wages ave been extended to cover direct care service hours through July 31, 2020!

COVID-19 cases are on the rise here in Arizona. Just in the last week, we have had seen several direct care workers exposed to individuals that have or may have the virus. If you have been potentially exposed, please call the office immediately. We must track this information.

05/29/2020 - We are in the process of developing a training module for our Pandemic Plan that will be specific to the current COVID-19 crisis. We hope to have the training available the first week of June. This will be a mandatory training in order to comply with DDD rules. Another email will go out as soon as the training module is ready for use. The training will be web-based and should not take long to complete.

    Recomendations
  • Wash your hands!
  • Social Distancing - 6 Feet Apart
  • Use face coverings such as cloth masks.
  • Limit gatherings and events.
  • Stay away from high transmission areas.
  • If you are feeling sick, stay home. Alert the office.
  • Disinfect surfaces regularly.
Temporary Pay Increase Extended
05/15/2020 - DD has extended the temporary rate increase through the end of June.

Size Large and Size Small Gloves
05/14/2020 - For those that need them, we have both large and small gloves available in the office. Medium gloves are on still on back-order.

Temporary Pay Increase
04/22/2020 - DDD has notified Imagine Support Services that a temporary rate increase has been approved. This will result in an increase of $4.00 per hour for services billed between April 16 and May 31. You will see this on your May 8 check stub as "COVID Incentive". You will not see any changes for this in AutoVisit as this is a temporary pay increase. The purpose of this temporary funding increase is to help with employee retention and to ensure that we continue to provide the needed quality services to our clients.

04/15/2020 - Imagine Support Services was granted a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in order to keep employees on the payroll. There are very specific guidelines to this funding and how it is paid out and tracked. A formula was used to determine how much qualified individuals would be paid under this program. The first payments under the PPP are included in the 04/24/2020 paychecks as COVID Wages. For those that qualified and received some of this funding, we may need some help with the documentation at a later date. The federal government is still putting together the final rules for the PPP. We believe that we will have the funding to make it through this crisis and keep everyone paid until we are all able to go back to work.

We still have a few masks left for those that need them. Call before you come in order to make sure that we haven't run out.

Non-medical Masks Available
04/06/2020 - We have contracted with Absolute Screen Printing to purchase non-medical cloth masks. These masks will be washable and reusable. They have a paper filter that can be replaced easily and inexpensively. We are able to purchase two (2) masks per employee. If you want more masks for your family, they can be available by visiting Absolute Screen Printing (located next door to our office). We expect our masks to begin being available Tuesday, April 7. Call Jessica to reserve yours now. (623) 396-9001 or jessica@isscare.com

On March 23, 2020, Governor Ducey put out the list of Essential Services for Arizona. Imagine Support Services, LLC is providing an essential service and is OPEN for business. We are monitoring the situation and will make adjustments as needed. We do ask that you NOT come to the office unless it is absolutely necessary. Payroll, billing, and most other things can be handled over the phone or via email.

On March 30, 2020, Governor Ducey signed Executive Order 2020-18. Our reading of the order indicates that we are still open and able to work. We are still allowed to go out into public for essential activities such as grocery shopping.

Some things have changed in the last few weeks and we expect many more things to change as we all find our way through this health crisis. Below is a list of some of the changes:
  • We are tracking clients that have made the choice to call off services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If your client is not receiving services in order to limit contact or because they are sick, we need to know this.
  • We are tracking direct care workers that have made the choice to stop providing services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have decided to stop providing services due to self-quarantining, because your child’s school or daycare is closed, or because you are sick, we need to know this.
  • If you are seeking more work, we need to know this as well. As this situation progresses, I fully expect to need qualified DCWs to staff the more critical cases that we have.
  • DDD is no longer holding in-person meetings with our clients. Meetings are currently being held over the phone and may be held via video conferencing in the future. This also means that our administrative staff are no longer visiting our client’s homes for meetings.
  • Attendant care monitoring is currently on hold. We are looking into monitoring via Zoom or some other video conferencing mechanism.
  • Re-certification of CPR/First Aid and Article 9 classes are on hold. We are looking into on-line and video conferencing to continue training activities.
  • If you work with a child, they are no longer in school. If you work with an adult, their DTA may be shut down. Everybody is probably going to get tiered of being at home. We need to get inventive in order to help stave off cabin fever.
  • New laws are being passed each week that will impact the way we work. Below are some changes that provide resources to our staff in these uncertain times.

We have received several phone calls and text messages asking about the curfew or a letter that will allow us to continue working. Under Executive Order 2020-18, which effectively locked down the state, there is no curfew and the text of the order explicitly states that law enforcement will not have the authority to question anyone about their status as an essential worker. However, to put minds at ease, I have written a letter with information that would allow law enforcement to verify your status as an essential worker. You may get a copy of the letter HERE.

Also, we have posted a new continuing education course on our web site to help educate about infectious diseases. It will count as one (1) CEU unit. For all attendant care providers, we are required to have six (6) CEUs each year. I would ask each of you to visit the web site and review the course. Don't forget to take the test so that you will receive the credit.

DDD Has posted an information page. Feel free to share this information with the families that you work with.

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Offices in the Mill Iron Plaza: 25560 W. HWY 85, Suite 15 Buckeye, AZ 85326