2014

Department of Public Welfare Releases Statement Regarding Direct Care Worker Payroll

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Public Welfare Secretary Gary D. Alexander today released a statement regarding the status of the transition of payroll services for Medicaid enrollee participants who receive home and community-based services from direct care workers.

Home and community-based services were previously handled by 37 payroll providers.

On Jan. 1, 2013, Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL), became the sole provider of payroll services in the commonwealth. Under the new contract, participants now submit time sheets for their direct care workers to PPL to issue payroll for services rendered. This model is used in almost all other states nationwide.

The department has been working closely with PPL, and since Jan. 1, 91 percent of all timesheets received have been validated and paid. Many of the remaining timesheets involve workers statewide who were not paid by previous providers before the Jan. 1 transition.

Alexander updated the public on the transition by saying:

"Our priority since last fall has been to ensure a seamless transition of payroll services and ensure that no consumer goes without care and no worker goes without pay. Unfortunately, many direct care workers are experiencing a delay on the part of former providers who have failed to pay them prior to the transition. This is not acceptable.

We can no longer tolerate hard-working individuals who are caring for our most vulnerable citizens to go without pay, and are working on a plan that will ultimately ensure appropriate payments are made to all affected Pennsylvanians.

We apologize for the inconvenience this situation has caused our direct care workers. I can assure you that DPW and PPL will continue to aggressively work to resolve payroll errors and seek the cooperation of our previous vendors to resolve any outstanding payroll issues."

PPL will be contacting the 1,800 individuals affected by the transition from the old providers by the end of the week with details on how and when they will be receiving payment. Customers who do not hear from PPL this week can call 1-877-908-1750, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.8:00 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.1 p.m. for a status on their payroll processing.

Media contact: Carey Miller, 717-425-7606

Editor's Note: A Jan. 31 letter from the department to former providers is attached for reference.

January 31, 2013

Dear Former Financial Management Provider:

I am writing to follow up on Secretary Alexander's letter dated January 7, 2013 concerning the transition of waiver participants who receive services through the consumer-directed service model to Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL) for their Financial Management Services (FMS).

We are currently able to successfully pay approximately 91 percent of all valid timesheets that have been submitted to PPL. I am sure those participants who have experienced a smooth transition and direct care workers who have continued to receive uninterrupted paychecks would concur that the new provider has been responsive to their needs.

However, we are aware that there are direct care workers who have not been paid by previous FMS providers for time that they worked prior to the transition to PPL. Through emails, meetings, and other discussions with these providers, DPW communicated that it was the previous providers' responsibility to close out these workers and pay them for all hours worked before they were transitioned to PPL. By email dated December 27, 2012, the Department again communicated this clear directive. In many cases this expectation was met, but in others it was not.

We cannot accept that direct care workers have been subjected to unnecessary and disruptive payment delays. We cannot accept that any provider would disregard the critical needs of waiver participants by failing to issue payment to their workers. It is the responsibility of the FMS provider of record to issue timely paychecks for valid timesheets.

Our records show that you have failed to pay direct care workers for hours worked prior to the completion of the transition to PPL. You will shortly be receiving a spreadsheet detailing timesheets received by PPL that your agency is responsible to pay. You are expected to review the unpaid units on the spreadsheet and work with the appropriate service coordination agency if there are insufficient FMS units available on their respective service plans. At our request, PPL will provide instructions that will enable you to document when your payments have been made and return the information to PPL. You then are expected to do the following:

Issue payment to those workers who legitimately worked during the time that you were the FMS provider of record, and make the required SUI and Federal, state and local tax payments, or inform the Department, in writing, that you are in the process of issuing payment, no later than 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5, 2013.

Providers shall submit all correspondences relating to this letter by email to RA-FMRFMS@pa.gov, which is an email address specially set up for your responses.

If you cannot comply with these directives, you must inform DPW immediately, in writing, that you cannot comply and the reason for non-compliance. The fact that your agency may have downsized due to the transition or the fact that you are no longer providing FMS services are NOT valid reasons for noncompliance. Failure to follow this directive or to cooperate in efforts to ensure payment of these valid timesheets will result in sanctions, which will be imposed immediately.

Sincerely,
Bonnie L. Rose 
Deputy Secretary
Office of Long-Term Living

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare



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