Public Partnerships and DPW Resolving Home Care Worker Pay Issues
HARRISBURG (Jan. 23, 2013) -- Public Partnerships, LLC and the state Department of Public Welfare continue to work aggressively to successfully resolve recent issues related to the payroll for home care workers across the state.
PPL has paid nearly 80 percent of the valid time sheets submitted by direct care workers and is paying every valid time sheet it has received as soon as it becomes payable. All initial checks for care workers are mailed, and pay can be issued through direct deposit in subsequent pay periods for those who have completed the direct deposit form.
A number of things can block a time sheet from being payable and these tend to be issues with data about the direct care worker and/or the participant for whom he or she works.
PPL received a considerable amount of data that were inaccurate from many of the former 37 agencies that handled home care worker payroll. In many cases PPL did not receive many required data elements at all. For example, many files lacked information identifying some of the direct care workers or participants, showed pay rates that differed from the rates actually paid, lacked required tax information, and had issues with various other essential data elements.
PPL has partnered with DPW to approve new processes that will allow the agency to automate a portion of the home care worker issues that it has been researching manually. This will allow PPL to more quickly approve additional timesheets. Because of this activity, payments are moving forward at increasing speed. For example, on January 22 alone more than 3,800 timesheets were successfully resolved and paid.
“This has been a challenging process but serving the needs of the program’s participants and their direct care workers is critical. We increased hours for our call centers to six days a week, have kept our financial service center open weekends, and are taking all measures to meet the needs of all consumers and their caregivers,” said Marc Fenton, president of PPL. “We want all workers to be fully paid on time and for the commonwealth to have the documentation it needs to run a quality statewide program that meets all Medicaid and federal, state and local tax requirements.”
PPL was contracted through a competitive bidding process by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to help modernize its participant-directed services program that provides home and community-based assistance for Medicaid enrollees. PPL took on this role for the state on January 1.
Fenton added that PPL has been steadily educating program participants on their rights within the program. They will be able to choose their own employees. And they will be able to set their employees’ wages – within state-established rate schedules. These are all levels of control that many participants did not understand they had. The program will have full transparency about how much money participants have in their budgets and how they can spend it. Research shows that allowing people to truly be consumers leads to greater independence, more satisfaction with services and it is more cost-effective.
Because the program was not managed in full compliance with consumer direction by some of the prior providers, participants and direct care workers have a particularly great number of questions during this transition. PPL has worked diligently to get information to Pennsylvanians who use this program. It has held about 100,000 personal customer service interactions since it opened up customer service lines in the state on November 1 and it continues to expand its capacity to meet consumers’ needs every day.