Updates and Announcements

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COVID-19 Information

DDD guidance documents related to COVID-19 are found on the DHS Coronavirus Information webpage, in the Division of Developmental Disabilities section.

Please see the DDD Public and Quarterly Meetings page to register for upcoming DDD Update Webinars and to review past webinars.

2022

June

Office of Program Integrity and Accountability Releases Update on Employee Onboarding

Effective June 29, 2022, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will provide expedited approval of emergency hiring requests for direct support professionals and self-directed employees through September 30, 2022. Please see the below document for details.

 


Day Services Rate Increase

On October 1, 2021, Day Services Rates (i.e. Career Planning, Community Inclusion Services, Day Habilitation, Prevocational Training - Group and Individual, and Supported Employment - Group and Individual) were increased due to one-time funding.  The amount of the increase was calculated using projections that did not meet actual utilization of services.  To correct this moving forward the Division will increase day service rates by an additional 3% effective July 1, 2022.  Notice of rate increase has been published on the Public Notices section of the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services website.  A direct link to the notice can be found here.

 


Temporary Service Modifications

The Temporary Service Modifications document has been updated.  The policy contents are unchanged from the November 2021 release outside of updating dates.  This document describes how referenced service modifications, including virtual services, will continue to be in place until six months after the Federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) ends.  Presently, the Federal PHE is scheduled to end on July 15, 2022, but may extend further.  Please be advised that policy adjustments are under review related to the long term continuation of Virtual Goods and Services.

 


NCI Staff Stability Survey 2021

In April 2022, provider agencies who employ direct support professionals received an invitation along with instructions from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (Division) to participate in the National Core Indicators (NCI) Staff Stability Survey - 2021.  Invitations were sent to the provider email address associated with the iRecord.  The NCI Staff Stability Survey is open until June 30th, 2022It is critical that all eligible provider agencies complete this survey as it provides critical data on Direct Support Professional wages in New Jersey. 

If your organization has not received an invitation to participate or needs assistance please contact DDD.NCI@dhs.nj.gov.

Please see the Division’s NCI Staff Stability Overview for more information.

 


The NJ Department of Community Affairs Announces Open Enrollment for State Rental Assistance Program Waiting Lists

The State of New Jersey Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) is a state funded program that provides housing subsidies on behalf of very low-income New Jersey residents, for decent, safe and sanitary housing. Persons applying must meet all applicable SRAP income and eligibility requirements. A total of 4,000 households will be selected through a lottery system to be added to the waiting lists.  Eligible populations are elderly, family, homeless and disabled households.  The enrollment period is Monday, July 11, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. until Friday, July 22, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

Please visit DCAs SRAP webpage for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

 


Proposed Amendments to Licensing Regulations for Residential Settings

The Department of Human Services has published proposed amendments to the three regulations governing different licensed settings.  These are:

The Department is proposing amendments to update the rules governing these Community Residences to be consistent with best practices and to include provisions for the Fee-for-Service Initiative; the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ guidelines for funding; the Central Registry of Offenders against Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (N.J.S.A. 30:4D-77); P.L. 2017, c. 328 (an act concerning background checks and licensing of certain entities); Stephen Komninos’ Law (P.L. 2017, c. 238); and updated organizational changes.  To that end, the Department is proposing substantive amendments to these chapters.

The rule proposals are available online on the Department of Human Services’ Proposed Rules and Amendments website, or can be found in the New Jersey Register’s June 20, 2022 edition, 54 NJR 1117(a); 54 NJR 1137(a); and 54 NJR 1146(a).

Interested stakeholders are encouraged submit comments during the public comment period which is open through August 20, 2022.  Comments are to be submitted in writing during that time period and be directed to:

Douglas Swan
Office of Program Integrity and Accountability
Department of Human Services
PO Box 700
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0700
Doug.Swan@dhs.nj.gov

 


Enhanced Funding for Day Services Reconciliation

On October 1, 2021, Day Services Rates (i.e. Career Planning, Community Inclusion Services, Day Habilitation, Prevocational Training - Group and Individual, and Supported Employment - Group and Individual) were increased due to one-time funding appropriated to the Division’s FY22 budget, as outlined in Payments for Day Services. As part of the rate increases, a portion was delivered as an Enhanced Rate requiring a monthly reconciliation.  Further, due to the nature of the increase and one-time legislative language, all underspent funds must be distributed by the Division to service providers rendering the aforementioned services. To address, the Division will administer a proportional one-time lump sum payment to providers of the projected underspent funds.

The below referenced document describes the manner in which final reconciliations will occur and the one-time lump sum payment will be calculated and released.  

 


DDD Prevention Bulletins

The New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities (Division) is sending this important reminder to caregivers of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).  There are certain medical conditions that can quickly lead to deterioration in health, or even death, in persons with IDD if left untreated.  Ensuring that caregivers are aware of them, know the signs that they are occurring, and what to do is paramount in ensuring quality care for persons with IDD.

The Division, for several years, has had a DDD Prevention Bulletin Series available to educate caregivers on these conditions.  All caregivers, especially service providers, are directed to these bulletins so that their staff are educated in these important areas.  Below are direct links to each bulletin:

 


NCI Staff Stability Survey 2021

 In April 2022, provider agencies who employ direct support professionals received an invitation along with instructions from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (Division) to participate in the National Core Indicators (NCI) Staff Stability Survey - 2021.  Invitations were sent to the provider email address associated with the iRecord.  The NCI Staff Stability Survey is open until June 30th, 2022It is critical that all eligible provider agencies complete this survey as it provides critical data on Direct Support Professional wages in New Jersey. 

If your organization has not received an invitation to participate please contact DDD.NCI@dhs.nj.gov.

Please see the Division’s NCI Staff Stability Overview for more information.

 


DDD is currently conducting the 2021-2022 NCI In-Person Survey

The Division is once again virtually conducting the NCI In-Person Survey (IPS), for individuals 21 and older who are receiving at least one Division-funded service in addition to Support Coordination.  The 2021-2022 NCI IPS will be administered through June 30, 2022. 

Please see the Division’s NCI In-Person Survey Overview for more information.

Questions regarding the NCI Staff Stability Survey or NCI In-Person Survey can be directed to DDD.NCI@dhs.nj.gov.

 


Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Licensed Providers of Services to Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

 On May 25, 2022 and in accordance with P.L. 2021, Chapter 292, the NJ Department of Human Services (DHS) published an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Licensed Providers of Services to Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (EPRP) on its website. This document is available to each unique Licensed Service Provider (LSP) to assist them in developing an EPRP that will address the specific needs, geographic area and population they serve. An LSP is any entity licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by DHS to provide services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

A webinar for impacted LSPs was held on June 2, 2022 at 10am.  The EPRP, webinar recording, and webinar slide deck can be found here

 


May

Extension deadline is fast approaching for Applicable Self-Directed Employees (SDEs) with PPL to Complete All Mandated Trainings

As communicated through a DDD Communication on April 27, 2022, the Division of Developmental Disabilities has permitted a one-time extension for SDEs with PPL who have exceeded the six-month timeframe to complete all mandated trainings.  Specifically, all SDEs who have been employed six (6) months or longer as of May 31, 2022 must complete all mandated trainings by that date.  All other SDEs have six (6) months from date of working/providing services to complete all mandated trainings. 

The deadline for compliance continues to be May 31, 2022.  Any impacted SDE not in compliance with the above requirements will be unable to process timesheets after May 31, 2022.  Employers of Record (EORs) who have SDEs and use PPL should ensure that their SDEs are up to date with trainings, with proper documentation having been submitted to PPL, to avoid any issues with timesheet processing. 

If you are an EOR and are unsure if this has been completed, please reach out to PPL’s Customer Service; Monday - Friday 8am - 6pm EST, by phone: 1-844-842-5891 (English) / 1-844-842-5892 (Spanish), or E-mail: njddd-cs@pcgus.com.

Please see the below documents for additional details:

 


April

Extension for Applicable Self-Directed Employees (SDEs) with PPL to Complete All Mandated Trainings

The Division of Developmental Disabilities has permitted a one-time extension for SDEs with PPL who have exceeded the six-month timeframe to complete all mandated trainings.  Specifically, all SDEs who have been employed six (6) months or longer as of May 31, 2022 must complete all mandated trainings by that date.  All other SDEs have six (6) months from date of working/providing services to complete all mandated trainings. Please see the below documents for details.

 


Office of Program Integrity and Accountability Releases Update on Employee Onboarding

Effective April 20, 2022, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will provide expedited approval of emergency hiring requests for direct support professionals and self-directed employees through July 1, 2022. Please see the below document for details.

 


March

The NCI Staff Stability Survey 2021 is almost here

On April 1st, 2022, provider agencies who employ direct support professionals will receive an invite along with instructions from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) to participate in the National Core Indicators (NCI) Staff Stability Survey- 2021.  Invitations will be sent to the provider email address associated with the iRecord.  Provider agencies can take part in the NCI Stability Survey through June 30, 2022. It is critical that we hear from as many members of the DDD Provider Community as possible to ensure valid results. We are counting on your participation!

Please see the Division’s NCI Staff Stability Overview for more information.

 


Reminder…DDD is currently conducting the 2021-2022 NCI In-Person Survey

The Division is once again virtually conducting the NCI In-Person Survey (IPS), for individuals 21 and older who are receiving at least one Division-funded service in addition to Support Coordination.  The 2021-2022 NCI IPS will be administered through June 30, 2022. 

Please see the Division’s NCI In-Person Survey Overview for more information.

Questions regarding the NCI Staff Stability Survey or NCI In-Person Survey can be directed to DDD.NCI@dhs.nj.gov.

 


Residential and Day Program Screening Policy

In response to the easing of COVID-19 related requirements, the Division has updated its Residential and Day Program Screening Policy.  This policy eases masking and social distancing requirements in certain circumstances and can be used by Residential and Day Providers serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and/or traumatic brain injury.  This updated policy supersedes and replaces the previous stand-alone documents entitled Guidance for Residential Providers on Visits with Family and Friends and Congregate Day Program COVID-19 Operating Requirements.  Please review the full policy here:

 


Executive Order 290 Updates Timelines of COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Staff in High Risk Congregate Settings for People with I/DD and TBI

On March 2, 2022, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 290, which updates and clarifies timeframes for requiring covered workers at health care facilities and high-risk congregate settings to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including having received a booster shot. This impacts many settings, including but not limited to: licensed community residences for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) (e.g., group homes and supervised apartments); certified day programs for individuals with I/DD and TBI; and Support Coordination Agencies. 

All covered workers employed in high risk congregate settings must now submit proof that they are up to date with their vaccination by May 11, 2022, including any booster for which they are eligible. Workers who become newly eligible for a booster shot after the May 11, 2022 deadline will be required to submit proof of their booster shot within three weeks of becoming eligible.  The previous date was March 30, 2022.

Executive Order No. 290 also requires a covered setting to take the first step toward bringing a noncompliant covered worker into compliance as part of the disciplinary policy required by Executive Order No. 283 (2022) within two weeks of the May 11, 2022 deadline.

Please review Executive Order No. 290 for full detail.

 


February

DDD Launches Office of Education on Self-Directed Services

The Office of Education on Self-Directed Services provides a centralized place for the delivery of education and training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities receiving services, their families, advocates, support coordinators, interested community partners and other internal and external stakeholders.  The Office serves as an additional support to help people understand how self-directed services can work if chosen by the individual.  Please visit the Office of Education on Self-Directed Services website or email them at DDD.OESDS@dhs.nj.gov for more information.

 


January

Agency with Choice Self-Directed Employee (SDE) Model Available to All Eligible Individuals February 1, 2022

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (Division) is pleased to announce that, starting February 1, 2022, the current Agency with Choice (AWC) SDE Model will be available for all eligible individuals to choose from!  The Division has offered the Vendor Fiscal/Employer Agent (VF/EA) model with Public Partnerships LLC (PPL) as the fiscal intermediary for several years while the AWC model with Easterseals NJ as the fiscal intermediary was primarily available to those transitioning to Fee-For-Service.  Now that this process is complete, enrollment into the AWC SDE Model will be open to all eligible individuals.  Please note that there are no changes to the VF/EA model and those using it do not need to take any action. 

Individuals are encouraged to discuss all service options with their support coordinator and choose what is right for them.  These include more traditional provider managed services, as well as SDE models.  There are differences between the two SDE models available.  These include, but are not limited to: who is identified as the employer of record; the availability of employer-sponsored health benefits and associated contribution; etc.  The below links contain more detail on this as well as other helpful information. 

If an SDE model is selected by the individual, their support coordinator can select either VF/EA or AWC within the iRecord and electronically transmit the appropriate referral.  Please note that any goods and services (e.g., classes, gym memberships, etc.) an individual uses will run through the fiscal intermediary used for their SDE services.  If an individual only uses goods and services and does not utilize SDEs, the VF/EA model will continue to be used.

Enrollment into the AWC model is completely voluntary and the option is available to provide expanded choice and support for those who use SDEs, or are considering doing so. 

 


Community Care Program and Supports Program Manuals

The Division has updated program manuals for its Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers, the Community Care Program and Supports Program.  A summary of changes can be found on page two of each respective manual.  Below are direct links to each manual:

 


Conflict-Free Policy for Support Coordination Agencies

The Conflict-Free Policy governing Support Coordination Agencies has been updated.  This evolution of the policy clarifies that Support Coordinators are able to participate in the NJCAT Re-Assessment Process.  The full policy can be found here:

 

2021

 

July 9: Important Update for All Congregate Day and Residential Service Providers

In accordance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Final Rule, all HCBS must be delivered in settings that are integrated in, and support full access to, their community. This includes opportunities to seek employment and work in competitive settings within the community, engage in a community life, control personal resources, and receive services in a similar way as individuals who do not receive HCBS. 

An updated site-specific HCBS Criteria Survey is required to be conducted for each existing residential and day setting to determine compliance with the HCBS Final Rule. To assist you with survey completion, the Division has developed HCBS Criteria Survey FAQs.

Please send any questions to the HCBS Helpdesk: DDD.HCBShelpdesk@dhs.nj.gov.


April 15: Guide to Self-Directed Services in NJ and the Role of the Supports Broker

We are pleased to share a new guide developed by The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, in collaboration with the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities, the NJ Collaborative for Citizen Directed Supports, and people with disabilities and families, Understanding Self-Directed Services in New Jersey and the Role of the Supports Broker. The Boggs Center also has a Spanish version available. Thank you to everyone who participated in this project!


April 13: RFP for Behavioral Health Stabilization Homes

The Division is pleased to announce the availability of funding through a new Request for Proposals, RFP: Behavioral Health Stabilization Homes for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Funding will be awarded to a single entity to develop three, four-bedroom behavioral health stabilization homes for individuals with IDD. (Smaller variations may be proposed so long as the total number of beds provided is twelve.) Proposal Submission Deadline is July 2, 2021.


April 1: Transition Webinar for 2021 Graduates

The Division is pleased to share the archived webinar, Transition Into Adulthood: Information about DDD Services for the 2021 Graduates.


March 4: EVV Webinar for Providers

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) is a new federal requirement for certain in-home DDD-funded services. Agencies can review the recorded webinar, Electronic Visit Verification Provider Information for an overview of this new requirement.  

 

2020

December 23: FY21 DSP Wage Increase

Effective January 1, 2021, funding that was included in the FY2021 Appropriations Act for a direct support professional (DSP) wage increase will be implemented by the Division through an increase to the fee-for-service rates for eight services: Career Planning, Community Based Supports, Community Inclusion Services, Day Habilitation, Individual Supports, Prevocational Training, Respite and Supported Employment. Providers are required to pass through the increased FFS rates as a wage increase for all DSPs. Please see the Quick Guide and FAQs below.


May 21: Quick Guide for Families

We are pleased to release the Supports and Community Care Program Policy Manuals: Quick Guide for Families (English), an update to an important resource developed in collaboration with the Regional Family Support Planning Councils


February 26: Medicaid 101 Webinar for Individuals, Families, Providers

To assist individuals, families and providers in better understanding Medicaid as it relates to DDD services, we have developed a new overview webinar, Medicaid 101 for Individuals, Families and Providers.