CDASS Consumers: PPL Colorado Main Page


PPL Colorado February 2010 Newsletter*


Letter from Barbara Prehmus, M.P.H., Director, Long Term Benefits Division, HCPF


From: on behalf of Julie Reiskin
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 10:33 AM

Follow Up Flag: Follow up
Flag Status: Red


First, if you are part of another group that includes CDASS clients please forward this message and give me feedback. Please send feedback to me at


HCPF has agreed to a small group to work in between the Advisory Committee meetings to address problems more quickly and more intensely. Such a group will not work well with a huge crowd and with different people attending different weeks. It must be a group of manageable size and people that can and will give the time consistently. The time commitment for this group is weekly meetings 90 minutes the first week and at least an hour afterwards -this might go to meeting every other week after awhile. There will be some work in between meetings. I anticipate some or all of these will be conference calls but that is not established, at least for the rural people I am sure there will be phone access.


Any meetings will have notes taken and posted to the CCDC site and on our alert within hours of the meetings. In discussing this process with HCPF, I also said that we needed a lengthy open comment period at the CDASS Advisory Committee meeting that has been scheduled for February 03, 2010. They agreed. Finally, I requested and got agreement that at some point in the near future (not likely before 2/3/10) HCPF would mail or cause to be mailed a letter by US Mail to ALL CDASS CLIENTS explaining the advisory committee and how one can participate including giving options for folks that do not have email access.


One representative will be selected for each of the following groups of
people: HCPF and PPL will have decision makers at all meetings.

* CDASS client from urban or suburban area

* CDASS client from rural area

* Family caregiver

* Authorized rep who is not also a client

* CCDC (will clearly be someone who is also a client and possibly a
client/AR-if members want this to be me I can be our rep)

* One SEP (this will probably be LTCO as they have the largest client

* Possibly an attendant who is not a family member (would also like
input on if this is necessary as this is a policy group-as supervisors we should be taking care of interaction issues with PPL -however they are clearly affected and have a different perspective than family caregivers-on the other hand not sure if we have folks who would do this without pay-anyway give me your opinion on this issue).



SO THE DILEMNA IS THIS: We can take the time to make sure all clients or at least most clients are reached and have a more open and formal process of selecting a representative for the above named populations OR the selection process can be delegated to CCDC to work with HCPF on selecting the
membership for this small group. Having CCDC select a group to present to
HCPF that is ready to get to work immediately will speed up the process.
However, we recognize that not all CDASS clients are part of CCDC so we might miss people. I did not want to make the presumption that giving CCDC this power was acceptable so am putting this out to folks. This workgroup is considered a subgroup of the advisory committee-which is open to anyone.
In any case there will be people who want to participate who will not be selected. If these meetings happen in person they will be open (per open meetings act) but it will probably be a setting like Medical Services Board where committee members sit at a table -if they are by phone I do not know how that works with open meetings. If people entrust CCDC with selecting folks we will make sure that whoever represents CCDC makes EVERY DETAIL of the meetings available to folks as quickly as possible AND will get input.
We will do this regardless but if we can select folks we will make sure those selected are absolutely committed to talking to clients and getting input on issues between meetings and on sharing information beyond the email circuit. The intent is to work on getting this program back on track and fix the problems not to exclude anyone.


Finally, in response to a question of why is HCPF negotiating with CCDC on this? The answer is that we wrote them two formal letters and specifically asked for this group. The letters are on our website ( <> ) and we have also taken the lead on helping
individual clients and attendants resolve problems.


So-the majority will rule-if most people want CCDC to select representatives that will happen, if most people want a more open process that will take longer and have an application process that will happen. I will summarize the results to you all and HCPF tomorrow.


You can block and copy this reply and just put an X or reply by writing what you want. Reply to or leave a voicemail at
303-839-1775x2 or by fax 303-839-1782


_____I want CCDC to select representatives and get to work immediately


_____I want there to be an open process that allows all CDASS clients to apply for a slot on this workgroup


____Yes, a non family member attendant is necessary for this group


____No, having CDASS clients and a family member employee will represent the interests of all employees adequately


Thanks so much




Julie Reiskin

Executive Director

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

303-839-1775 phone

303-839-1782 fax



From: on behalf of
Sent: Monday, December 28, 2009 5:04 PM
Subject: [Alerts] Another Lawsuit filed Against HCPF -- Class Action

Follow Up Flag: Follow up
Flag Status: Red

Second lawsuit against department in less than one week in Denver district court

***The Complaint filed in the case can be found on our website at

On December 23, 2009, the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (“CCDC”) filed a class action lawsuit against the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (“Department”) in the Denver District Court of Colorado requesting that the Court order the State to retract the cuts in the amounts Medicaid clients are entitled to receive to pay for in-home attendant until it is able to implement the cuts without violating the due process rights of Colorado residents with disabilities.  See attached complaint.

This lawsuit is the second lawsuit filed by the CCDC against the Department recently.  The other recent lawsuit, filed December 18, alleges the Department failed to insure payment for needed Medicaid services for an individual with multiple disabilities who needs additional in-home services after having a tracheotomy performed and being discharged from the hospital.

The present case alleges the Department is taking money away from Medicaid clients for needed services without giving them notice and an opportunity to appeal the decision in violation of longstanding Supreme Court rulings and federal law regarding due process rights under the United States Constitution.

Since the Consumer Directed Attendant Support Services (“CDASS”) program was implemented in 2003, approximately 1,000 Colorado residents with disabilities have enjoyed the ability to manage their own in-home attendant care to assist with activities of daily living.  They are responsible for such administrative tasks as interviewing, hiring, training, supervising, and sometimes firing the attendants of their choosing.

In addition to giving people with disabilities control over their own attendant care, the CDASS program was implemented to save the State money by eliminating the payments to home health care agencies for the administrative tasks that many Medicaid clients are more than capable of performing themselves. The State, in conjunction with the Medicaid client, determines the allotted amount of Medicaid funds each CDASS client can use towards their in-home attendant care.

In September, 2009, according to the Department, due to State budget cuts, CDASS clients’ allocations were reduced by 1.5%.  However, many clients did not receive any notice of this reduction until six weeks later in mid-October, and some received no notice at all.  For some CDASS clients, any reduction they have available to pay for attendant services means they must forego those needed services. Clients were terrified to learn suddenly that they may have gone over budget paying their attendants. 
County case workers can impose consequences on clients who over budget that can endanger a person’s independence within the CDASS program.
Over-budgeting can mean they are kicked off the program altogether.

In the first week of December, 2009, CDASS clients received another letter informing them that their allocations were once again being cut, this time by 1%.  Again, some clients received no notice of this change at all.
Those who did receive a letter became very concerned when looking at the numbers stated in the correspondence.  Although the letters stated they would see a 1% decrease, their new allocations reflected a much different scenario.  From what CCDC has learned so far, clients received reductions anywhere from 2.14% to 4.06% (and possibly more) with no explanation of the mathematic inaccuracies, except that some unknown amount of their funding was taken away to pay a new fiscal intermediary service the Department hired, starting December 1, 2009.  This company is Public Partnerships LLC Colorado (“PPL Colorado”).

Many clients are already using every last cent of their monthly allocations, carefully scheduling attendants down to the minute, while minding their responsibility to avoid going over their allocation budget.
It is nearly impossible for CDASS clients to effectively schedule their attendant care without any idea as to the financial limitations to which they are expected to adhere.

The additional, unexplained inconsistent reductions in allocations can only be explained as the payment to PPL Colorado  The Department told clients the change to the new company would have “no affect” on allocations.

The Due Process clause of the United States Constitution, federal and Colorado law require that Medicaid clients receive advanced notice and an explanation of their right to appeal these allocation reductions. By not doing so, the State is violating the due process rights of Colorado residents with disabilities.

CCDC is Colorado’s only statewide disability rights advocacy organization.
 CCDC’s mission and purpose include preventing discrimination against people with disabilities, including the forced institutionalization of
individuals with disabilities.      CCDC works to ensure that state agencies
like the Department provide due process of law when depriving individuals with disabilities of benefits for needed services.  For more information about CCDC go to



From: on behalf of
Sent: Monday, December 28, 2009 5:02 PM
Subject: [Alerts] Lawsuit Filed Against HCPF

Follow Up Flag: Follow up
Flag Status: Red

COLORADO MEDICAID AGENCY DISCRIMINATES ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY: LAWSUIT FILED TODAY IN DENVER DISTRICT COURT States’ refusal to pay for Attendant Care Services Will Cause Individual With Disability to be Forced From Her Home Into Nursing Facility

***The Complaint and Motion filed in this case can be found on our website at***

Carrie Ann Lucas, a woman who has significant disabilities including paralysis, deafness, and significant respiratory impairments, went to Rose Medical Center because she needed surgery to have a tracheotomy to assist with her breathing.  For years, Ms. Lucas has used Medicaid-funded home health care services to assist with her activities of daily living.  Ms.
Lucas, who resides in Windsor, Colorado, is also an attorney and the mother of three adopted children and one foster child, all of whom also have disabilities.  In her practice as an attorney with the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, Ms. Lucas represents parents with disabilities in family law matters in which the parents need representation to avoid the impacts of disability discrimination.

At the time of her expected discharge from Rose Medical Center, Ms. Lucas needed additional attendant care services at home in order for her to return to her home and be with her family.  Colorado Department of Health Care Policy Financing Long-term Care Director Barbara Prehmus had informed Ms. Lucas and CCDC advocates working on behalf of Ms. Lucas for her discharge to her home that the Department would authorize payment for services for Ms. Lucas to return to her home.  When it was time for Ms.
Lucas’ discharge, it was determined that no home health care agency or private duty nursing service would provide the services needed in order for Ms. Lucas to return to her home.

Suddenly and unexpectedly, hospital discharge planners sent representatives of a long term care facility to Ms. Lucas’ hospital room to take her immediately from the hospital to the long term care facility.
Ms. Lucas refused to go saying “over my dead body” would she go with them to the long term care facility.

Based on the Department’s promise to pay for services in her home, Ms.
Lucas arranged for such services using attendants who already work for her and requesting that they provide the needed overnight attendant care required for Ms. Lucas to be discharged.

Since Ms. Lucas was discharged from RMC on December 11, 2009 the Department has refused to authorize payment for such services.  Ms. Lucas must continue using attendant care services overnight each day she resides in her home.  If the Department does not authorize payment for such services, Ms. Lucas cannot afford such services and will have no choice but to enter into a long term care facility.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prevents government entities like the Department from forcing individuals with disabilities to be institutionalized when there is no reason why attendant care services cannot be provided in the individual’s home.  The landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision of Olmstead v. L.C. ex rel. Zimring, 527 U.S. 581, 583
(1999) made clear that “unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities [is a] form of discrimination” made unlawful by the ADA.
According to the Supreme Court:

Institutional placement of persons who can handle and benefit from community settings perpetuates unwarranted assumptions that persons so isolated are incapable or unworthy of participating in community life and institutional confinement severely diminishes individuals’ everyday life activities

Today, Ms. Lucas and CCDC filed a motion for preliminary injunction in the Denver District Court of Colorado requesting that the Court order the Department immediately to authorize payment for additional needed attendant care services in Ms. Lucas’ home.

The ADA was enacted specifically to end unnecessary institutionalization of individuals with disabilities.  The actions of the Department are in direct contravention of this mandate of the ADA.

CCDC is Colorado’s only statewide disability rights advocacy organization.
 CCDC’s mission and purpose include preventing discrimination against people with disabilities, including the forced institutionalization of any individual with disabilities anywhere in Colorado.  For more information about CCDC go to




From: on behalf of Carrie Ann Lucas
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2009 4:46 PM
Subject: Re: [Alerts] If Case of Urgent CDASS Customer Service Issues

Follow Up Flag: Follow up
Flag Status: Red

From: []
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2009 4:28 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: If Case of Urgent CDASS Customer Service Issues


PPL has developed a Customer Service back-up system that will be operational
tonight: a separate 800 number will be attached to the customer service line.  The client will be directed to call a toll-free number:
1-888-805-1082 and leave their name, telephone number, nature of the urgency.  The message center will be checked on a periodic basis each day and if the urgency requires immediate attention that day, a customer service representative will return the call.  All messages that are not of an urgent nature and can be resolved on Monday, December 28, will be reviewed and prioritized for a returned call on Monday.  Please remember that there will not be any checks processed or banks called over the weekend.

Barbara B. Prehmus, M.P.H.
Long Term Benefits Division Director
Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
Telephone:  303-866-2991
FAX:         303-866-2786

This email message and any included attachments, from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The information contained herein may include protected health information or otherwise privileged information. Unauthorized review, forwarding, printing, copying, distributing, or using such information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you received this message in error, please notify the send by reply to this message and delete the email without disclosure. Thank you.


From: on behalf of Julie Reiskin
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2009 2:59 PM
Subject: [Alerts] CDASS attendants --payroll

Follow Up Flag: Follow up
Flag Status: Red



Sorry here is one more alert-if you have an employee who checked the mail today and was not paid please send me the following information- I will then send the information to a variety of people at HCPF and PPL-HCPF continues to state that they are committed to getting everyone paid who worked for a client in December.  They are going to process payrolls


Client name and client Medicaid ID


Employee name and employee ID number


Best contact information (client or employee)


Number of hours worked and wage:


Did they submit employee packets and timesheets and if they had any communication with PPL and if so what were they told (as much detail as possible). 


HCPF said that they were going to get me a number by the end of the day for people to call if they discover over the holiday weekend that they were not paid.  If I get such a number I will post it.


Julie Reiskin

Executive Director

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

303-839-1775 phone

303-839-1782 fax



From: on behalf of Julie Reiskin
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2009 7:52 AM
To: 'alert List'

Follow Up Flag: Follow up
Flag Status: Red

CCDC Members:


As a holiday gift to our membership, CCDC filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing regarding due process and other Medicaid law violations involving the administration of the CDASS program. The state made two rate cuts that were implemented without advance notice -they can make some rate cuts but they did not do so properly. They also negotiated a contract with PPL without our consent that increased the PPL payment made by us-the clients. This hurts us and our workers who are the backbone of making our lives manageable. They also did
this without advance notice and unevenly. We did this because we saw no
other way to solve these problems. We believe so strongly in this program-this is the best program in the Medicaid system and is often the only way out of a nursing facility. We will not stop until this program returns to a state where it is workable and affordable for all of us.


We have also been providing individual advocacy for any client or worker that has been affected by "transition" issues. We are in close discussions with the Department of Labor to assure our workers rights are not violated.


I want to take this opportunity to thank our incredible staff, all of whom have been working non-stop, weekends, after hours, etc. to make it possible for us to do this work. I also want to thank our Board of Directors' who make our ability to be proactive possible by making sure that our policy decisions are always mission focused. Most important I want to thank all of you-members and volunteers who all spend time and energy to protect the rights of all of our brothers and sisters. You are all what we are about and without you nothing else matters.


The class action lawsuit and other good materials will be posted on the CCDC web site early next week so have a nice relaxing holiday weekend, and be sure to check out our fantastic web site early next week at <>


I promise no alerts over the weekend!


So the only question remaining is a holiday gift for CCDC-you know what we need ----and remember that any check written on or before 12/31/09 is tax-deductible for 2009. (Any donation is deductible but after January it
will count in 2010). Seriously, your support is essential for us to
continue the important work we are doing and will continue to do to even more aggressively in 2010.




Julie Reiskin

Executive Director

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

303-839-1775 voice

303-839-1782 fax


Nothing about us without us----ever----


From: on behalf of Julie Reiskin
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 11:50 AM
Subject: [Alerts] FW: CDASS FMS Transition - Weekly Update



Here is what the state says as of today-glad they thought to thank the case managers who have in MOST BUT NOT ALL CASES done a good job but no mention of the advocates who have kept this thing alive-typical -in any case this could have all been avoided if they had listened to us:


I find it horrific that they are apparently trying to blame clients for faxing time sheets more than once when people could not get through, could not get confirmations, etc.  Again, typical -


RE employee packets they were supposed to call if there were problems so it is not OK to NOW -almost a month later -say that there are things missing.
They refused to do verifications and promised that they would contact people by phone and mail if there was a problem.  We also know for a fact that information properly submitted per their instructions was lost by PPL.  If something is missing it is just as likely, if not more likely, that the problem was on the receiving end.






Julie Reiskin

Executive Director

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

303-839-1775 phone

303-839-1782 fax



From: []
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 10:57 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: CDASS FMS Transition - Weekly Update


Good Morning,

Some of you may know me from the HCBS Children with Autism Waiver, at this time, I am helping where possible with the CDASS Transition.  One of my tasks is to send a weekly communication to keep you updated with progress, issues, and successes of the transition to the new Financial Management Service, PPL Colorado.

This list is not meant to be inclusive, please feel free to forward this email. If you have received this from someone and wish to be on the list, please contact me, and I will happily add you!  I apologize if you receive this twice, I am getting names from multiple lists.

All of the numbers listed below are as of 12/22/09 and please know that the numbers are changing by the minute.  PPL is working hard to enter and update information as quickly as possible.

2861 - Total timesheets reviewed

475 - Timesheets were submitted on the website - This is a great number!
Online Timesheets are the easiest fastest way to submit!

831 (28%) of the reviewed timesheets are pending.

Why are timesheets pending?

1.    PPL Received Duplicate Timesheets.  If a timesheet is received twice,
PPL has to manually sort out which version is correct.  To expedite the timesheet process, please don't send timesheets twice.  Faxed timesheets can take up to 24 hours to process, so if clients are unsure if the timesheet was received, please wait 24 hours and contact PPL Customer Service before re-sending.

2.  Missing Information on Forms Including Rates and Signatures.  PPL is contacting these clients by phone to obtain a verbal rate for the purpose of getting people paid.

4.  Missing Employment Documents such as the I-9 form.   PPL is going to pay
these clients for the first pay period, but must receive these documents before the next payroll.


1288 - Paychecks were mailed as of Monday 12/21 and are expected to be received by 12/24. 
119 - Paychecks were printed on 12/22. 

PPL has printed paychecks nearly every day beginning on 12/17 for the first pay period.  The official Posting Dates are:  12/18, 12/21, 12/23, and 12/30. 


1835 - Employment Packets are Good-to-Go.
284 - Employment Packets are Received and being Processed.


Thank you for your efforts to get all clients PARs entered into the web!  We know how diligently you worked to ensure PARS were entered because there are only 4 clients who do not have a PAR at this time.  YEAH!!! 

As of 8pm 12/22 Case Managers do have the ability to change CDASS Allocations and update the CDASS Certification Period on the PPL Website.



PPL Customer Service:  1-866-435-3994

PPL Portal Website:

HCPF Contact: 
Marie Gurule

Michelle Cason Rogers
Program Administrator
Community Based Long Term Care
Health Care Policy and Financing
1570 Grant St, 2-125
Denver, CO 80203
303.866.2786 - Fax



From: on behalf of Julie Reiskin
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 6:57 PM
Cc:; 'Fenton, Marc';;; 'Brouillette, Karen';
Subject: [Alerts] PPL update and request for feedback

Hello Members


Thanks for your cooperation on sending me the information on problems the way I asked earlier and for putting up with the many, many emails.  CCDC is doing all we can with lots of help from lots of great members and board members to address all concerns-we are also addressing other problems- Here is where we are right now:


1)     They have not processed all necessary timesheets-CCDC will work with
the department of labor to assist people with filing wage and labor complaints on any check not in the hands of the employee on 12/24/09.
Please continue to get me information as requested (client name and ID, employee name and ID, employee address, number of hours worked and if they are health maintenance, personal care, or homemaker along with the date the time sheets were submitted and any details of contacts you had with PPL).
We are sending these directly to a number of high level people at PPL and HCPF and these are mostly being handled.  It appears that the on line system worked OK but it is the faxed time sheets that have been problematic.  (the ones we told them would not work)



2)     Apparently checks processed today are being sent overnight to the
Broomfield office.  Bonnie Kelly from the state asked if people would rather pick them up there or have them mailed.  I responded that those who are able would want to pick them up but some would not be able to do that and that any mailing would need to be overnight.  Please contact Ms. Kelly directly
and give her your preferences.   Her message to me

"Do you think the clients that are able to get to the PPL office in Broomfield would like to pick up their checks personally or should we instruct PPL to mail all of the checks?  If you could give me your thoughts on this by 8:30am I would really appreciate this.  Thanks  Bonnie Kelly

Section Manager, CBLTC

Health Care Policy & Financing 1570 Grant Street Denver, CO  80203


303-866-2786                       fax email"



Obviously going to Broomfield is not an option for many people -especially rural people.  A company as large as PPL should be able to wire money into a bank account.  They cannot do first payroll by direct deposit due to banking rules of some kind but if they are making someone late they should be able to take general operating money and wire it into employees accounts to stop late payments, bounced checks, etc.  This would have to be other than the paycheck.  However if they get checks mailed overnight by tomorrow they can still be on time with payroll. 




CCDC IS GOING TO ISSUE A PRESS RELEASE ON THURSDAY if there are people who submitted timesheets and employee packets on time whose employees were not paid.  While we already have several stories if others want to have their story included or want us to give your name and number to reporters please let us know.  The focus of the story will be that the state Medicaid agency contracted with a large out of state company, then refused to take the advice and input of people with disabilities. As a result the people who do the hard work to take care of us will go without Christmas or worse.


EVERY PROBLEM HERE could have been avoided if HCPF had put in the contract what we asked-which is verification requirements and if HCPF were not so insistent on changing the timesheets.  We also asked for a slower transition.  (CCDC has not yet received the contract we requested repeatedly).  I want everyone to know that I emailed HCPF in August and said that given the budget cuts, Aggie being gone, the hiring freeze and because Accent got their act together that HCPF should either postpone or cancel getting a new fiscal agent.  The response I got was that HCPF had adequate
resources to assure a smooth transition.  


FINALLY I know everyone is really mad-beyond mad-and we have a right to be mad-but don't shoot the messenger.  The people working in the Broomfield Office of PPL are not the decision makers. The problems are being caused by technology issues in Boston (A good reason why the state should have used a local company).  They are paid probably at the level of our attendants and are not the cause of these problems.  Our members have said that they have mostly been very nice and worked hard to try to solve problems.  They have likely been taking calls all day from people angry and upset.  The same goes for lower level people at the state like the people who answer phones.  They did not cause this problem either.  Our anger is justified but we need to make sure it is properly directed. 


Julie Reiskin

Executive Director

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

303-839-1775 phone

303-839-1782 fax



From: on behalf of Julie Reiskin
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 10:44 AM
Cc: 'Fenton, Marc'; 'Karen Brouillette'
Subject: [Alerts] PPL PROBLEMS

CCDC is committed to helping our members resolve any issues--if someone was told something by PPL or the state that sounds wrong or is upsetting CCDC needs to know the following:


1)       Date and time of call and name (first and last) of person you spoke

2)       Client name and ID number

3)       Employee name and ID number

4)       Hours and rate for each employee and if it is personal care,
homemaker or health maintenance

5)       Exactly what was said (we will be asking you to sign a sworn

6)       Day and evening contact information for you -telephone and email


Please email the information if possible to me (  or by fax 303-839-1782 and if you call please relay this information on my voicemail, extension 2 and please speak slowly and clearly.  We cannot return every call but we are acting on information we are receiving, if you send an email we will respond saying we got the information. 


Julie Reiskin

Executive Director

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

303-839-1775 phone

303-839-1782 fax



From: on behalf of
Sent: Monday, December 21, 2009 11:04 AM
Subject: [Alerts] To All CDASS Clients and/or Authorized Representatives

Follow Up Flag: Follow up
Flag Status: Red

To All CDASS Clients and/or Authorized Representatives (AR's):

CCDC is investigating concerns about recent letters regarding CDASS allocations.  Please contact Briana McCarten at or call her at CCDC (303-839-1775) if you DID NOT receive a letter regarding the following:

1) a letter explaining that your allocation had been reduced by 1.5% during the September 2009 state budget cuts;

2) a letter explaining that your allocation had been reduced by 1% during the December 2009 state budget cuts.

If you DID receive a letter(s) concerning the September and December state budget cuts, we need to know if any of the following apply to you:

1) if the amount of your allocation after September 1 did not accurately reflect a 1.5% cut; and/or

2) the allocation amount your single entry point (SEP/case manager) agency gave you beginning December 1, 2009 does not accurately reflect a 1% cut as of December 1; and/or

3) the reduction to your December allocation includes an amount taken from your allocation to pay the new CDASS fiscal intermediary, Public Partnerships LLC (PPL) for its services.

If any of these apply to you please contact us as soon as possible and please be prepared to send us copies of the letter(s) you received.


From: []
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 4:34 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Next CD AdCom Meeting

Good Afternoon All,

Our next CD AdCom meeting is scheduled for Wednesday February 3rd, 2010 from 1:30pm-3:30pm here at 225 East 16th Ave. Denver CO 80203. We will be meeting in our normal location in the first floor lobby conference room. Hopefully with this advanced notification everyone can make arrangements to either attend in person, or call in via the conferencing system as to participate with the Consumer Direction Advisory Committee. Please feel free to contact me with any issues or concerns that may need to be addressed and added as an agenda item for our next meeting. In addition, please look for your copy of the minutes from our 12-16-2009 CD AdCom Meeting; I expect to have those out to everyone early next week.

Take care and we will see you all in February,

Solarra J. Flemister
Department of Health Care Policy & Financing
Community Based Long Term Care
Phone:(303)866-6921 Fax:(303)866-2786



From: on behalf of Julie Reiskin
Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 4:48 PM
Cc: 'alert List'
Subject: [Alerts] Why I will not be at the CDASS ad

Follow Up Flag: Follow up
Flag Status: Completed

Barb and Joan:


I had really expected to be working on solutions by now-this is very, very sad.  I cannot go the meeting tomorrow.  First, the agenda is nothing new, we have the updates, if there is something that CCDC has not already broadcast then let us know via email.  I know that some CDASS clients might not be CCDC members but no one other than the people who were at the October meeting knew about the meeting tomorrow.


Second-apparently the only place this meeting was noticed was a verbal announcement at a rescheduled meeting in October.  The people who were at the October meeting that did try to confirm the meeting were not answered.
An email went out today with information and minutes for a meeting tomorrow.
Not only is that disrespectful, that causes an access problem which is the real reason why CCDC staff will not be attending the meeting.  We have a board policy that CCDC does not attend inaccessible events.  We are aware that members of this committee have made reasonable accommodation requests to have materials sent a week ahead of time in order to read them, or have them read, or fit them into accessible computer equipment, and for some to
have adequate time to process the materials.   Many people cannot make
arrangements in 24 hours or less to attend a meeting, even if it is by telephone.  We do not participate in events that are not accessible to all of our brothers and sisters so we will not be participating in this meeting.


On a final note, why anyone would plan to pull PPL staff away from payroll concerns and to even set a meeting on the due date of the first payroll is beyond us.  While we are furious at how this has happened and believe that answers are necessary we think the PPL staff time is best used addressing payroll on the 16th-any other day this month would have worked better.  CCDC has developed a chart of problems and we will continue to address the problems.  We cannot participate in what appears to be a sham of a meeting tomorrow. 


TO CCDC Members:  If any of you can arrange your schedules to attend or choose to listen on the phone and want to let us know if anything useful happens we will share the information.  We will continue to update you on our progress.  Stay tuned for further direction on addressing the myriad of problems that have been thrown on our doorstep.



Julie Reiskin

Executive Director

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

303-839-1775 voice

303-839-1782 fax


Nothing about us without us----ever----


From: on behalf of Julie Reiskin
Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 5:48 AM
To: 'alert List'

Follow Up Flag: Follow up
Flag Status: Completed

In response to my request to HCPF to call a meeting of the advisory committee I was informed that there was an advisory committee meeting scheduled for December 16, 2009 from 2-4 p.m. This is good but did any of
you know about this?


Julie Reiskin

Executive Director

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

303-839-1775 voice

303-839-1782 fax


Nothing about us without us----ever----


From: on behalf of Julie Reiskin
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 7:17 PM
To: 'alert List'
Subject: [Alerts] some good news

Follow Up Flag: Follow up
Flag Status: Completed

The client timesheets on the PPL website appear to be working now--


Julie Reiskin

Executive Director

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

303-839-1775 voice

303-839-1782 fax


Nothing about us without us----ever----



From: on behalf of Julie Reiskin
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 12:20 PM
Subject: [Alerts] PPL UPDATE

You can feel free to fax timesheets today but there are clearly systems issues with the on line time sheet, they are going to set up training sessions tomorrow where people can get more information. They can do more training on Wednesday -if this does not work please call customer service.


They are adding additional customer service staff, not everyone they add will know everything, but they will be able to do things like verify time sheets. If they cannot answer questions they should be transferred.


Julie Reiskin

Executive Director

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

303-839-1775 phone

303-839-1782 fax



From: on behalf of Julie Reiskin
Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2009 6:06 PM
To: 'alert List'
Subject: [Alerts] Notes from meeting between CCDC and PPL

Please read these notes fully if you are involved with the CDASS program.
PPL has not yet a chance to review and there may be small corrections tomorrow but the bulk of this information will not change and is important.
CCDC will be issuing a demand to HCPF to call the CDASS advisory committee together soon


Notes from meeting between CCDC and PPL held Friday December 11, 2009 at the
CCDC Office in Denver:


This meeting was called to begin to address the concerns of the disability
community. This was the first meeting in a series that will be held to work
with PPL on concrete solutions to ease the transition, to make the CDASS
program the best it can be, and to address specific concerns. These are
small working group meetings and the results will be posted on the CCDC
website. We agreed that the only priority between now and the end of the
month will be payroll related. PPL is the company that has been selected to
do the payroll and training for clients on the Consumer Directed Attendant
Support (CDASS) program.


Present from PPL:

* Marc Fenton, CEO

* Karen Brouillette, Colorado Program Manager

* April (insert last name), Customer Service Manager

Present from CCDC:

* Julie Reiskin, Executive Director Representing CCDC and also a CDASS
client, and AR for two individuals

* Kevin Williams, Legal Director: Representing the legal position of
CCDC (and a CDASS client)

* Briana McCarten, Legal Assistant

* Anne Marie Martin- representing members who manage their own care and
who have multiple disabilities including need for effective communication
and alternative instruction.

* Robin Bolduc and Bruce Goguen representing members with significant
medical needs (such as ventilator management).

* Jessica Tribolet representing family care providers as a provider for
her husband who has a brain injury and has physical and cognitive
impairments. Jessica communicates for her husband as part of her care

* Rick Ogonosky as a new advocate and as a caregiver for his son who
has developmental disabilities and mental illness.


CCDC appreciates that PPL was given an unreasonably short transition time
and also given some bad information. PPL has been responsive to many of the
CCDC requests and we look forward to continuing to work with PPL and to
continue to try to sort out which problems may need HCPF to create the
solution. A beginning of a tracking chart will follow these notes. Please
read this complete memo if you are a CDASS client or advocate for CDASS
clients as there is essential information here.


PPL History and Overview: The customer service office opened on 10/22/09
and as of last week had taken 3250 calls averaging 215 calls a day and they
get 30-40 voice mails a day. They are losing about 2% of the calls and hope
people call back if they cannot get through. The expectation is that they
try to return messages within 24 business hours but that is not always
happening. CALL BACK IF YOU DO NOT GET A REPLY. They had received 2800
employment packets through 12/4/09 and another 100 this week.

They have a team in Colorado and have backup people in other states. They
have brought in experts who have done transitions in other states. There
have been some problems with the customer service people but they have been
addressed immediately when they are brought to our attention. PPL and CCDC
ask that if you cannot resolve a problem with a customer service program or
within PPL that you contact CCDC and we will make sure it gets to the right
person. For example there was a problem where customer service people did
not understand that in some situations family members who are paid
caregivers and not authorized representatives must be able to speak for the
client. They were refusing to speak to the family care provider but we
brought it to them and explained the population and needs and they have
rectified that situation, not just with the people who complained but by
re-training their customer service people.



1) The first paycheck cannot be direct deposited, all first paychecks
will be sent by mail. This is a bank policy that cannot be changed.

2) PLEASE submit time sheets as soon as possible. You can submit them
on the 15th early in the day. If you have aides that only work weekends, or
who will not work after any specific day you can send them in now or on the
14th. You can enter time planned to work on the 15th that has not been
worked that day but you cannot enter time for a day not worked. For example
you cannot submit a time sheet today entering work for the 14th and 15th.
If you are not going to have a worker work on the 15th you can submit that
time sheet on the 14th.

PPL has taken the following steps to address possible payroll problems:

1) They will begin processing and mailing checks on the 18th. This is
why we want timesheets submitted as soon as possible because they will start
processing immediately. If there is a problem with how the timesheet was
done, or if an employee is not matched or has missing information they will
call you and work with you to get it handled.

2) If you submit time sheets and your attendants have not received a
check by mail delivery on the 21st call customer service.


1. They listened to us and will be making a time sheet for on-line
submission by the client, not employee. We will be able to go into the
system and enter time for each employee in one session. That will be up on
Monday. There will be instructions posted on their web site and there will
be webinars about how to do the client controlled time sheet.
2. When your employee receives the check they can cash them, no post
dated checks.
3. On line time sheet submission has the feature of being able to track
if the payment has been processed, when the check was mailed, and even the
check number.
4. They are changing the password requirement to make it less
complicated. As of Monday you can create a password that will only now
require an alpha-numeric combination, with no other requirements such as
capitol or small letters or characters.
5. If you enter employee information on a regular basis save it but do
not submit it until you have completed all time for that worker for the



1) PPL was surprised that we asked for a new timesheet as they had
never been asked before-we explained that we had already been through this
process and that Colorado has an educated, empowered and active client
community. PPL was clear that the fact that they had never been asked
before does not mean that our requests are not valid.

2) They have made a change to the E-timesheet as mentioned above and
are making a paper time sheet that will be enlarged for those with a need
for enlargement. They cannot have this ready until January because the
timesheet is part of a computer program where it is read by a computer so
has to meet specifications. THEY WILL WORK WITH PEOPLE ON A CASE BY CASE

3) CCDC created an editable time sheet that can be done on a computer
then printed and faxed and would meet the needs of many people. They are
testing it to see if that will work with their recognition program. If PPL
determines that we can use this we will send a notification and post on our
web site.

4) They will continue to do training and answer individual questions.

5) PLEASE SUBMIT THE TIMESHEET even if you cannot do everything on it
because if they get a timesheet that has a problem they can make outgoing
calls, if something comes in that is not one of their timesheets it might
not make it to the right person.

6) They will call if they cannot read something, for example if they
are not sure that the number is an 8 or a 3 or if they cannot read an
employee number.

7) We asked that they provide written instructions for both the paper
and on line time sheets as many people do not have time or interest or
access to deal with a webinar.

8) They agreed to do this by having them posted on their web site,
giving us a copy to post on our site and mailing instructions to any client
upon request.

9) While you get automatic verification of electronically submitted
time sheets there is no verification of faxed time sheets. (We will deal
with the systemic issue later) For this payroll we encourage you to call PPL
and ask if the timesheets were received and processed.

10) We asked how people can have confidence that PPL got the timesheets
when employment packets have been lost. The answer is that this is a
dedicated fax that goes directly into a computer character recognition
program-it does not go to a person. While this helpful we still encourage
you all to call them to verify if you are going to use faxed timesheets or
mailed timesheets.


Processing of employee packets:


1) If they get a packet and there is a problem with it they make a call
to the client. If the client does not call back they call again. If they
still get no response they send a letter telling you what is missing. All
time sheets submitted on 12/18 with employee packets that are "good to go"
will be mailed on the 18th but they will continue to work with people daily
to keep processing employee packets and helping people get everything

2) They are not doing verification telling people that a packet they
sent in has been received, accepted and is complete. (We do not think this
is OK but will deal with this later). We are encouraging people to call PPL
if they have not received communication about an employee packet to confirm
that each employee is "good to go".

3) The employee number is the same as they had under Accent. If you
have an employee that had to be hired in the past month then ask customer
service at PPL what the number is. If you do not have a number PLEASE still
submit the time sheet.

4) There are concerns about the confidential information like social
security numbers given that they have lost packets. They said that all
information is either shredded or put in locked files, there are no papers
sitting around and they had to have systems to pass the HIPAA (privacy law)
requirements to even open their office and do business with Medicaid.



Because PPL is a new company in Colorado the unemployment rates were higher
because the company was alleged to have no experience in Colorado. PPL
worked with the department of labor and now they have agreed to allow PPL to
use Accent's experience so the unemployment rate will return to what it was
FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER. Accent's rates were going to increase in January
so PPL will have an increase in January due to a high rate of unemployment
claims. (This also will be addressed later). PPL also negotiated a lower
workers compensation rate. The new unemployment rate for December will be
1.42% but will go to 2.02% in January. Workers compensation will go from
the current 5% to 4.25%.


They will get us a new show me the money chart that will go up to $25 an
hour. However they will provide us an excel spread sheet already programmed
so that we can do our own calculations. We did ask them to look at doing a
different spread, looking at what people are actually paying as we don't
think anyone is doing minimum wage. The lowest we know of is in the $9-$10
range. THE CHART IS JUST FOR INFORMATION and there is no limit on what you
can pay your workers as long as you stay within your allocation. You can
set ANY wage you want. There is no directive or even opinion that wages
should be below $17 an hour or even below $25 an hour as the tasks and skill
level vary incredibly.


CCDC is aware that people were not able to properly budget for this payroll
period due to the following issues, most of which are HCPF related
problems-we will be addressing this separately but are telling people to do
the best you can and follow your approved attendant support management plan
that was in effect on 12/1/09 when you set your schedule and rates for the





We realize that effective communication is an essential element of success
for any program that works with people with disabilities. CCDC has
suggested that they add a field to their database and outlining people's
preferred communication method (email, call, multi-modal) as well as any
effective communication needs they have (large print, repeat information,
etc). We asked that they create a form to ask people this information and
also to put on the form who PPL may speak with about their case. For
example some clients want a family member or employee to be able to help
them communicate and others do not want anyone speaking with PPL about them
without specific permission. We also asked that when they do this form they
have a check mark for clients to indicate if they are a member of an
advocacy organization (like CCDC) and if they want that organization to be
able to speak with them on behalf of the client. We will follow up to make
sure this happens but clearly this will not happen in the next two weeks.


In the meantime they pledged to do what it takes to work with individual
situations, for example if someone has no on line access and cannot do the
time sheet in the current format they might ask them to sign the timesheet,
fax it to a specific person, then go over it with a customer service person.
This is not going to be a pattern or practice but an example of what they
can do to make sure this first payroll is successful as they finish getting
all the necessary information. If you need to fax something that is other
than their approved time sheets do not fax it to the timesheet fax number,
instead call customer service and get a number once they know your purpose.


It is essential that if PPL calls you that you answer the call or return it
if they have to leave a message. The caller ID will say either PCG or have
an area code that is 602. Do not return the call by using a return feature
or by calling that number because it will not go anywhere. Return the call
on the 800 number.


Summary of Instructions:

1) Call to verify anything faxed or mailed

2) Send timesheets as early as possible on the 15th

3) Respond to calls or messages left by PPL

4) Let CCDC know of any problems, we may not call you back but will
send the information to PPL for resolution.

5) Call PPL if your employees do not get a check by mail delivery time
on the 21st.

6) When you call PPL make sure you get a first and last name of anyone
you talk to, jot down the name and date and what was said. If they give an
email make sure you spell it back to them. If you get a bounced email send
it to us at CCDC.


From: Brouillette, Karen []
Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:33 PM
To: Julie Reiskin; cocdassadmin
Cc: Fenton, Marc;;; *;; Weddleton, Will
Subject: RE: PPL Forms


Hello Julie,

We apologize for the delayed response - please see below for answers.


I have received your notes from the CDASS meeting.  We look forward to working with you to continue to enhance this program.  Please direct members who have suggestions and ideas for making the forms editable to e-mail me directly at


Thank you,


Karen Brouillette

Sr. Program Manager

PPL Colorado


From: Julie Reiskin []
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 5:38 PM
To: cocdassadmin
Cc: Fenton, Marc;;; *;
Subject: PPL Forms





We have had several members offer to provide easy ways or software that PPL could get to make their forms editable.  People that are not able to handwrite still need a way to do the forms on line or at least typewritten.  We still have not had answers to many questions. 


1)       How long does it take to process an employee?

During the transition phase, packets have been reviewed and processed on an ongoing basis.  Timeframes have varied due to the large number and unpredictable schedule of receipt of employment packets.  Post transition, PPL anticipates processing an employment packet within 3 business days of receipt.  Processing the packet includes reviewing for completeness, entering the information that is present into the PPL web portal, and making an outbound call to the client or AR regarding the status of the packet.


2)       If we have funds that we have reserved for extra help over holidays or emergencies do those transfer from Accent?

Yes, all client’s budgets will be transferred from Accent, including any reserved funds or over-spent funds.  PPL will not receive this information until after Accent has fully processed the November 2009 timesheets.  PPL expects to receive this information after the first of the year.


3)       How do we know that PPL has received our paperwork and that it is OK?

Post transition, PPL will process new employment packets within 3 days of receipt and will make an outbound call to the client or AR regarding the status of the packet.  The client or AR will be notified if there is any paperwork that is missing or if the paperwork is complete.  After the criminal background/board of nursing check is completed, client or AR will be notified via an outbound call of the outcome of the check.  Once paperwork is complete, outbound calls will be made to the client or AR to give them the employee’s ‘Employee ID’ needed for timesheets.

Paperwork that is faxed to the Administrative fax number or e-mailed to the cocdassadmin e-mail address, will be responded to within one business day letting the sender know that the fax or e-mail has been received.


4)       How will we know if we are doing the timesheets right?

The online timesheet system will provide immediate feedback upon submission.

For paper timesheets, PPL will notify clients or ARs by an outbound call within 2 business days of identification of issue if there are problems with the timesheet.


5)       Many of us cannot fill in small boxes—we need a timesheet that is enlarged—if we enlarge it ourselves will that work? 

The timesheets are faxed into a character-recognition software that will not currently accept enlarged timesheets.  PPL is researching the feasibility of enlarging the timesheet.


6)       If we cannot get an accessible time sheet what happens if mistakes are made?

PPL will review all paper timesheets that are submitted and will correct obvious mistakes using character recognition software.  If an error cannot be obviously corrected by a PPL resource, an outbound call will be made to the client or AR to notify them of the pended timesheet.  For the first several weeks, PPL will accept some verbal corrections to the timesheets as the client or AR and employee population becomes more comfortable with the forms and process. There will be some mistakes that will require a new timesheet to be submitted.


7)       We have not received a new allotment number, since now we are losing more money by having the PPL get an additional 1% and we have already had the 1.5% reduction (calculated differently across the state and communicated in all different ways if at all).  I assume until we get a specific allocation clients will not be penalized for budgeting to the amounts we were given even though it is an over-budget for PPL?   (I hope PPL will tell us what additional services we are purchasing for that increase)

CDASS client monthly allocations are determined by HCPF and Case Managers from SEP Agencies.  Timesheets will be processed and paid based on the monthly allocation information given to PPL by case managers.


8)       If we have a client that needs to get on and already has an allotment number but does not need training (an already approved AR is available) how quick can we get them on the program?  We have a couple in the wings that have been waiting a long time and who need services.   Can we have them start sending employee papers so they can get services no later than 1/1/10?

Clients (or ARs) who have already completed training from Accent and are waiting for a service start date should have their case manager contact PPL via the Customer Service number.  PPL may need the case manager to send us a Client Referral form (Accent’s form is fine for these new clients) and PPL will send Employment Enrollment packets to the clients. If employee paperwork can be completed and entered and background/board of nursing checks completed prior to 1/1/10, then clients can begin receiving services on 1/1/10.

Clients (or ARs) who have not completed CDASS training are still in a holding pattern until enrollment and training activities begin.  Discussions related to timing and scheduling of these clients are occurring between PPL and the State.

Current CDASS/transition client paperwork will be prioritized over new client paperwork through the month of December but PPL will put forth best efforts to accommodate new client paperwork in a timely manner.


9)       Will we get verification of timesheet submission?  If not who do we call if there is a problem and our aides are not paid?

Online timesheet submission immediately provides verification of submission and acceptance.  For paper timesheets, clients or ARs and attendants will be notified by an outbound call within 2 business days of identification of issue if there are errors in the timesheets that cannot be corrected by PPL.  Outbound calls will not be made for timesheets that contain no errors (or minor obvious errors that can be corrected by PPL).

The PPL Customer Service line (1-888-752-8250) should be used for all payment questions.



We were very disappointed in the response we got from the letter we sent.  We hope this is not indicative of this relationship to come.  We will be providing a list to PPL as a follow up to the meeting and also to HCPF to outline our remaining concerns but I did want to get these questions answered and also ask where to direct the folks who are offering to make the documents accessible—this is a wonderful service and I am pleased that our community is coming forward with solutions and hope that PPL will take advantage of these offers.


Julie Reiskin

Executive Director

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

303-839-1775 phone

303-839-1782 fax



This is a response and that CCDC is disappointed with the response but hopes to get a higher level of responsiveness in the near future.

Click here to download a copy of the Response from PPL Colorado.




From: on behalf of
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2009 12:31 PM
Subject: [Alerts] CDASS Consumers: PPL has agreed to the employment

Follow Up Flag: Follow up
Flag Status: Red

CDASS Consumers:  PPL has agreed to change paragraph 14 of the employment agreement regarding “indemnification.”  The revised agreement is posted here.

“PPL has agreed the following will happen very quickly

PPL will do the following:

o post the revised employment agreement on its website

o accept any agreements that have the prior indemnification wording crossed out and replaced with the wording in this agreement

o distribute a letter to all CDASS clients informing them of the clarified wording, PPL’s intent to agreements submitted with the prior indemnification wording with this interpretation of the indemnification, and letting clients know that they can submit undated agreements using the most recent version if they would like to.”

Please check our website for more information:

CCDC's PPL Page:

CCDC's Main CDASS Page:


CDASS Consumers: PPL has agreed to change paragraph 14 of the employment agreement regarding “indemnification.” The revised agreement is posted here.

“PPL has agreed the following will happen very quickly

PPL will do the following:
o         post the revised employment agreement on its website
o         accept any agreements that have the prior indemnification wording crossed out and replaced with the wording in this agreement
o         distribute a letter to all CDASS clients informing them of the clarified wording, PPL’s intent to agreements submitted with the prior indemnification wording with this interpretation of the indemnification, and letting clients know that they can submit undated agreements using the most recent version if they would like to.”

Click here to download the November 12, 2009 Employment Agreement Revision.


* In an effort to protect privacy, CCDC has redacted the contact information of individual private parties from the posted text that were included on correspondence.


Return to CDASS Home Page



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