Travel to Provide Essential HCBS

 RCIL has received calls from concerned Direct Support Workers regarding the need for travel documents while they are working for their consumer during “stay at home” ordered periods. RCIL has received official direction from the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services that Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) are considered essential healthcare. KDADS said, “We are being assured by the Emergency Operations Center that there will be no widespread efforts to stop folks to ensure they are out and about for an “essential” reason. We have seen the letters that other industries have been issuing to their employees and we have been told those will not be necessary. At this time, I would just assure consumers and DSWs that they can perform their essential travel/duties. If something changes, we will let everyone know.”

RCIL has had direct communication with several local law enforcement agencies (City of Topeka Police Department, City of Burlington Police Department, etc.) and have been repeatedly reassured the individuals traveling in their cars or who are performing essential functions (grocery shopping, going to the pharmacy, etc.) will not be asked to provide paperwork regarding their essential functions.  If you are asked, “Where are you headed”, simply be honest and let them know you are providing essential home care duties.

 Direct Support Worker Background Checks

During this time of COVID-19 crisis (at least until May 1, 2020), RCIL will cover the cost of Direct Support Worker (DSW) background checks for NEWLY HIRED DSWs.  RCIL realizes that temporary or additional DSWs may need to be hired and this is one thing RCIL is doing to expedite the process.

Kansas Department for Aging and Disabilities Services (KDADS) is allowing DSWs to start working while the background checks are pending.  DSWs still need to complete the forms and submit them to RCIL.  The eligibility requirements still apply.  Individuals with prohibited offenses are not eligible to work as a DSW.  Click here to see the List of Prohibited Offenses:  http://rcilinc.org/dsw

Temporary HCBS Policy Changes Regarding Conflict of Interest

​KDADS is temporarily (for all waivers) allowing payment for Personal Care Services to family caregivers or legally responsible individuals, suspending the conflict of interest mitigation.  These services may be delivered in a person’s home or a temporary setting, including a family member’s home.  RCIL will still need to have completed DSW Hire Packets for these temporary situations so that we can issue wage payments.  As always, call 785-528-3105 to request packets.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Home and Community Based Services

 RCIL asked Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) about how consumers and their Direct Support Workers (DSWs) can access Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (gloves, masks, etc.) use while providing Personal Care Services and Enhanced Care Services.  KDADS said that consumers and DSWs could contact their local county emergency management or health department.  However, please keep in-mind that PPE is in incredibly short supply worldwide.  While those entities are serving as the hub for PPE and managing how it is distributed it is highly likely that they will not have PPE to distribute.  Please follow the safety measures already shared including heightened sanitation and social distancing whenever possible.

 RCIL Office Staffing

RCIL is working to provide the same great service consumers have come to expect but within the guidelines developed to prevent the spread of the virus.  All offices are closed to walk-in traffic and no home visits are being conducted however, RCIL is still hard at work behind the scenes while complying with the “10 or less” rule. RCIL’s Main Office in Osage City is working in shifts.  Our telephones are being answered live from 8:00 to 4:00, Monday-Friday but when call volume is high you may need to leave a voicemail.  Your call will be returned as quickly as possible.  Our Information and Referral services are also being provided.  RCIL’s phone number is 785-528-3105.

For payroll issues you may prefer to communicate with us by email:  payrollhelpdesk@rcilinc.org

Home and Community Based Services

The health and safety of our consumers, their Direct Support Workers (DSWs) and our staff is the Resource Center for Independent Living’s (RCIL) utmost importance.

With the development of COVID-19, RCIL is following the CDC’s current recommendations and recommend that all consumers and their DSWs follow the CDC recommendations of heightened sanitizing, handwashing, not touching your face, social distancing, not going to work if you are sick or fall in any of the restricted “groups” that have been identified by the CDC.  However, it is very important if you are a DSW and not sick, and your consumer requires or wants your services, please continue to work for them.  Implement the heightened sanitizing practices by washing your hands often, cleaning areas that are frequently touched and isolating yourself as much as possible by social distancing (6 feet from each other). 

In order to be compliant with social distancing, our staff has split their hours worked in the main Osage City office and are closed to the public walk-in traffic.

 RCIL will continue to provide the same great service but it may be delivered in a different manner.   We encourage consumers and DSWs to be even more vigilant in using the mandated AuthentiCare EVV system to accurately record their DSWs time worked.  Incomplete claims, due to missing clock in or clock out times or not clocking in correctly, will take up precious staff time to rectify.  Due to the split time being worked by RCIL staff, we may not be able to make the weekly calls to everyone or correct all of the incomplete claims, as we have in the past, in order to meet payroll deadlines.  For incomplete claims, Verification of Time Worked forms will be mailed to the consumer for competition of the missing information.  We will process as many of those completed Verification of Time Worked forms as we are able to before processing each week’s payroll.  That is why it is imperative that the AuthentiCare EVV system is used, and used accurately.  

Please be patient as we are working diligently to provide the same great service as we always have and meet the needs of our consumers and their DSWs while working under some new conditions.  Our payroll will continue as usual and we do not anticipate any disruption in service.   

If you have questions or know that you have missing clock in or clock out times, RCIL’s telephones will continue to be answered either in person, or by voicemail, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.  Leave a message including the consumer’s name, DSW’s name, and the issue you may have with the consumer/Authorized Representative confirming the information provided along with a contact telephone number.   You can call the RCIL office anytime at 1-785-528-3105 or 1-800-580-7245.  You can also email RCIL at payrollhelpdesk@rcilinc.org or fax to 785-528-3665.

Regarding other programs and services

Since RCIL offices are closed to the public until further notice and a timetable for them to re-open is uncertain, please remember to call ahead before coming to an RCIL office. Information is changing constantly so check our website www.rcilinc.org and Facebook page regularly for updated information.

Consumers who were working with a Peer Specialist or Independent Living Specialist can still call 785-528-3105 for assistance.

Consumers who need to borrow or return a durable medical device should call 785-528-3105 to check on program status before traveling to their local office.  Need to return borrowed equipment?  Feel free to call and extend your loan date or Equipment can be left outside RCIL’s main entrance at 1137 Laing Street in Osage City.  Please do not leave equipment at any other RCIL office

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Secretary Laura Howard today announced that visitation at all four state hospitals has been restricted effective immediately as a measure of precaution to reduce exposure of COVID-19 to residents and staff.
“Restrictions on visitors at state hospitals are a difficult but necessary step in our mission to encourage social distancing and limit exposure to the virus not only for our residents, who are some of the most vulnerable Kansans we serve, but our staff as well,” Secretary Howard said. “To date, there have been no cases of COVID-19 in any of our state hospital facilities and we are making vigilant efforts to continue to provide a safe, healthy environment.”
Consistent with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ guidance recently released for nursing facilities, new restrictions on visitors and non-essential individuals entering the Kansas Neurological Institute, Parsons State Hospital and Training Center, Osawatomie State Hospital and Larned State Hospital are in place:
• Restricts all visitors, effective immediately, with exceptions for compassionate care, such as end-of-life situations;
o No one showing signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat is allowed on campus.
o No one having been in contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 is allowed on campus.
o No one having traveled to countries with sustained community transmission within the last 14 days is allowed on campus. Currently those countries include Italy, Iran, China and South Korea. An updated listing of these countries can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html.
• Restricts all volunteers and nonessential health care personnel and other personnel (i.e. barbers);
• Restricts internal and public group activities or appointments;
• Implements active screening of residents and health care personnel for fever and respiratory symptoms;
• Suspends the Foster Grandparent Program (unique to KNI) and volunteer programs;
• Redirects vendors and deliveries to alternate sites on campuses; and
• Closes facilities on state hospital campuses to the public.
Parents and guardians of residents at state hospitals are being asked not to come to campuses and instead check with hospital administration about alternative ways to communicate with their loved ones. Each hospital will work to accommodate visitors via telephone or video if possible.
In end-of-life cases, visitors will be equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, and the visit will be limited to a specific room only.
“The populations we serve in our state hospitals are in many cases more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others. That, coupled with the rapid spread of COVID-19 in people who are in close proximity to each other on an ongoing basis, make it necessary to restrict, or in some cases suspend, normal day-today activities,” Deputy Secretary of Hospitals and Facilities Scott Brunner said.
For more information on COVID-19 visit the Kansas Department for Health and Environment’s Resource Center at: www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus.
You also can call 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF).