Tue 20 Feb 15:07
Update: All new WaiverWatch forum registrations now require an authorization code which is prominently displayed on the main page (at http://www.waiverwatch.org/). Humans can read it, spambots can't, so we're hoping this will cut down on the number of spammers trying to register daily.
This change does not affect existing WaiverWatch accounts, only new registrations.
Again, thanks for your patience and understanding.
WaiverWatch Forum Administration
6/20/06 Letter to Case ManagersWed 21 Jun 19:30
FYI, the following letter went out to case managers yesterday (6/20/06):
June 20, 2006
We cordially invite you and your case managers to attend an information session regarding consolidated Case Management Services on June 30, 2006.
The primary purpose of this meeting is to communicate to our valued Case Managers:
• The DDRS Vision
• The Continued importance of quality Case Management
• The Role of IPMG
We continue to view the role of the Case Manager as vital in the overall success of quality services to each waiver participant.
We understand many of you will have questions regarding Case Management changes and IPMG. IPMG is very excited about the opportunity to partner with Case Managers to significantly improve case management services for Hoosiers with developmental disabilities. IPMG will discuss its core values and employment opportunities.
Representatives from DDRS and IPMG will be present and participate in the upcoming meetings and will work to answer all of your questions.
This informational session will occur on June 30th in the Government Center South Auditorium. Two sessions will occur, one from 9:00am-11:00pm and one from 1:00pm-3:00pm. If you are unavailable to attend either session a listing of additional meeting dates, times and locations will be available at the meeting and on the IPMG website at www.GoToIPMG.com
If at anytime during this transition process you choose to discontinue Case Management operations please notify Greg Mcaloon at email@example.com immediately.
Director of Client Services
Family & Social Services Administration
Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services
MS 18, 402 W. Washington St. W453
Indianapolis, IN. 46204
Top FSSA official's contract raises questionsFri 5 May 11:06
From WTHR in Indianapolis:
13 Investigates--Top FSSA official's contract raises questions
Indiana Democrats are calling on Inspector General David Thomas and Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi to investigate the state's arrangement with Fort Wayne resident Dick Rhoad.
13 Investigates first raised questions about Rhoad's contract with the Family and Social Services Administration two months ago. As the agency's chief financial officer, Rhoad oversees the spending of billions of dollars every year on services for Indiana families. FSSA Secretary Mitch Roob said he is very happy with Rhoad's work.
"Dick Rhoad is doing a great job for the taxpayers of this state," Roob told Eyewitness News earlier this year. "He's doing a great job for us. We'd be lost without him."
Roob was so impressed with his CFO, in fact, that in January he allowed Rhoad to resign and, according to a new contract, hired him back the very same day with a bigger paycheck. Now, instead of getting paid about $100,000 as a state employee, each year Rhoad gets $180,000 as a private contractor - for doing the same thing he did before.
"It's not an exorbitant salary," Roob said. "He went from being a state employee with benefits to being a contract employee with no state benefits.... He's not making more money doing this."
So why make the change? The answer lies in a new Fort Wayne neighborhood where you'll find Dick Rhoad's home - 120 miles from his office in downtown Indianapolis. In his first six months on the job, Rhoad billed the state more than $14,000 to commute from home to work. Week after week, according to state documents, taxpayers paid for his gas money, his meals and his stays at Downtown hotels.
Eventually, the state budget agency told FSSA it couldn't do that, which meant Dick Rhoad would have to pay his own commuting expenses. But FSSA figured a way around that by making Rhoad's position a contract job that pays an extra $80,000 a year to cover benefits and that commuting expense.
$2 million contract
And if an extra $80,000 sounds like a lot, consider this. 13 Investigates obtained an earlier version of Dick Rhoad's contract that would have paid his private consulting company $2 million over two years.
"I'm pretty sure the other contract was a draft that was never enforced," Roob told Eyewitness News.
Roob contends the earlier contract was just an idea that never got very far. But it did get far enough to be approved by Rhoad, by the agency's chief attorney and by Secretary Roob. All of them signed the $2 million contract.
"The point is," Roob said, "we didn't do it."
Rhoad himself declined our requests to talk about the contracts and his new job, but his boss defends the deal.
"We have an ethics opinion on this to make sure that it was being done above board," Roob said.
Both state statute and administrative ethics rules prohibit conflicts of interest. State law also bars a state employee from leaving an agency to go right to work for a company that does business with that same agency.
At FSSA's request late last year, State Ethics Commission Director Mary Lee Comer offered an informal opinion that the arrangement with Rhoad did not appear to violate any ethics requirements.
In one email, Comer wrote that the post-employment prohibition didn't apply to Rhoad because he wasn't leaving FSSA to work for a private company - he was leaving to work for FSSA itself. In a follow-up e-mail on the conflict of interest issue, she simply suggested that FSSA not finalize Rhoad's new contract until after he official terminated his state employment.
FSSA did not stick with that timeline. Instead, the contract was executed on his last day as a state employee.
Both independent observers and state Democrats are now raising concerns about the deal.
"I see an attempt to really get around these rules," said government watchdog Julia Vaughn told Eyewitness News. "Shortcuts were taken to ensure this could happen so it does raise concerns."
IUPUI political science professor Bill Blomquist said state ethics rules might need to be tightened up to address unique situations like this. Even if Rhoad's new contract is ethical, he added, turning a powerful state employee into a private contractor might not be a good idea.
"If you have an in-house CFO, there's no question that anything that person does is public record and available to the press, to the public, to anyone who's available to scrutinize it," Blomquist said. "When you contract out to a private contractor, then it becomes a question."
Wednesday afternoon, state Democrats filed a request with Inspector General David Thomas for a formal review of the Rhoad contract.
"From the face of it, it looks like there's possible violations," said Democratic Chair Dan Parker. "That's why a prosecutor needs to look into it...We're not in the business of allowing people to get rich off of state government. State government is there to do the people's work."
In a letter hand-delivered to Thomas' office, Parker wrote: "I believe that this contract may be in violation of at least one state ethics law and possibly a criminal statute that prohibits public servants from profiting from government contracts."
Governor Mitch Daniels Wednesday referred comment on the matter to Secretary Roob. In an earlier interview with Eyewitness News, Roob said he didn't understand the questions about Rhoad's contract.
Roob said Rhoad was the man he wanted for the job, the agency needed him working in both Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, and making his position a private one with a higher salary was what FSSA had to do to keep him.
"I think we're trying to find an issue where there really is not," he said. "I kind of don't see what we're trying to get at here."
Read more on the topic:
Statewide Case Management Contract Awarded to IPMGFri 7 Apr 11:30
The text of yesterday's announcement, from the FSSA website:
For Immediate Release: Apr 6, 2006
(April 6, 2006) – Mitch Roob, Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced to day that the Indiana Professional Management Group (IPMG) has been chosen to serve Hoosier waiver recipients across the state in order to raise service standards and establish accountability.
“We want to protect some of our most vulnerable Hoosiers, and the system in which we work today does not do that effectively,” said Roob. “IPMG is a consortium of Indiana case workers who has won this bid based on their plan to raise standards and keep case managers accountable.”
Currently, an estimated 400 case workers provide services to approximately 9,100 Hoosiers on the developmental disabilities waiver, the support services waiver and the autism waiver. In the current system, the state has no way of tracking who is providing case management services or how well they perform. IPMG will establish a system of accountability where, until now, one has not existed.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to improve on the current model for case management, and we look forward to making a positive difference in the lives of our clients,” said Rich Metzger, president of IPMG.
“Case management is a critical part of ensuring quality services, effective use of resources and consumer satisfaction. Bringing this together into one entity is a great step in ensuring that it is done consistently across the state,” said John Dickerson, executive director of the Arc of Indiana. “The ultimate winner, in this situation, is the consumer, who will benefit from the improved oversight of the case management provider.”
Contact: Brian Carnes
Important waiver policy change -- please readFri 28 Oct 21:31
On Friday, October 28, DDRS/DDARS Assistant Director David Gootee issued a memorandum which attempts to clarify several aspects of the announced changes to the annual plan.
Most significant in the memo is the temporary repeal of the Provider Selection Policy--the plan that was to lock participants into a single provider for an entire year. The restoration of choice is a very encouraging move in the right direction.
Please visit the "Latest News" section and read the entire text of this important memo: