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June 28th, 2013

I/DD Waiver Update
It's hard to believe that we are halfway through 2013 and that July 4th is just around the corner! That means we've spent six months working KanCare, which started as scheduled on January 1st.

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May 16th, 2013

ACS Ends Run as Finalist for Small Business Award
Summer weather is finally here and school will be out before we know it! As you start making your summer plans, be sure to keep ACS in mind as your caregiver needs may change.

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April 10th, 2013

ACS Family Learning Series
We are pleased to announce the first ACS ‘Family Learning Series’ on Thursday, April 29th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the ACS office.

The topics for discussion are:
- Guardianship
- Special Needs Trusts
- Protection Planning
- Beneficiary information

The presenters are attorney Jennifer Swartz and certified financial planner Sharon Rush.

Space is limited to 12 participants. RSVP to Keri by Monday, April 26 to reserve a seat. Childcare is not available during this educational event. Pizza and soft drinks will be served.

Fiscal Management Services - Big changes coming!
Major changes are coming to self-directed care in Kansas—and we have many concerns about those changes! The state is set to completely overhaul the payroll agent field and transform the companies currently providing these services into Fiscal Management Service (FMS) providers. A lot of what we currently do as your payroll agent will remain the same under FMS. Payroll agents act on your behalf to pay caregivers and bill Medicaid for services that are approved on the Plan of Care. Payroll agents must follow all local, state and federal employment and tax laws when hiring and paying caregivers.

We must also ensure that the consumer complies with all Medicaid and state regulations when using their approved services. Payroll agents must maintain all files and paperwork for these services in accordance with local, state and federal requirements and we are required to report and provide information to the state regarding service utilization. Compliance is, and will continue to be, a major component of our services. This is important for all parties involved as it assures the state that services are being used appropriately and in compliance with Medicaid rules. A major concern we have about these changes is that it appears the state will begin to set limits on what caregivers can be paid and limit what consumers can offer to caregivers in terms of benefits and pay increases with the FMS changes. Consumers and payroll agents currently have this authority. As parents, and as a provider, we feel that consumer care will be compromised when the state takes away your ability to set competitive pay rates and give pay increases for quality care. If this concerns you, please contact our office for more information and we will make sure you know who to contact at the state level to discuss these changes. The state needs to hear from you before these changes take effect, which appears to be happening in the next few months.

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March 15th, 2013

Updated fax number
Advocate Care Services has a new toll-free fax number for paperwork and time sheets: 1-888-962-4321. Your fax will now go straight to our computer through email. This means there is no need for a cover page in most instances, especially when faxing time sheets.

Please discontinue using the old ACS fax number and contact us if you have any problems with the new number.

State Budget Cuts
In January, Governor Parkinson reduced the funding for Medicaid services by 10%. All Medicaid services were impacted by this cut, including supportive home care, personal attendant services and all overnight services. In addition to the 10% Medicaid cut, state unemployment insurance rose drastically for employers in Kansas. The rate for our agency went from the lowest rate to 5.4% due to the state of the economy.

For the past three months, disability advocates have been calling, emailing and making trips to Topeka to let senate and house leaders know the impact of these cuts on our services. Due to this funding reduction, many people have lost their funding and are now stuck at home with no support. The waiting lists on the MRDD and PD waivers have increased, and agencies have been forced to lay off workers, cut pay to caregivers and eliminate some services completely.

Please join Advocate Care Services and disability advocates statewide to oppose the 10% Medicaid cut and let the state know we cannot continue to meet the needs of the state’s most vulnerable citizens with this reduction. As of late March, the 10% cut to the MRDD waiver has been restored but the cut continues to all other waivers. Contact us to learn more and see how you can help.

Chamber of Commerce Nomination
Advocate Care Services has been nominated for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s 2010 Small Business Awards . This annual program recognizes small businesses for their achievements and contributions to the community. Finalists will be announced on March 10.

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February 14th, 2013

NEW ACS 401k retirement program
Happy Valentine's Day from all of us at ACS!

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January 28th, 2013

Join a KanCare Work Group
Interested in helping guide the KanCare program? Here's your chance. Two work groups are being formed now.

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2013 started off with a bang with the transition to KanCare at the first of the year. We hope the switch has been an easy one for you, but if you're experiencing any issues, you'll find some helpful resources in this newsletter.

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