The State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis 2022

The longstanding direct support workforce crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to closures of critically needed services and a denial of access to community-based supports.
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Connections - 04.30.20

Our Commitment to Providing Extended Support to Providers During the COVID-19 Crisis

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by Michelle Saunders, Therap Services

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges to service provision in the LTSS and HCBS settings. Therap understands that teams may be working extended hours and possibly outside of their normal roles during this emergency. We are closely monitoring the situation and are committed to providing the highest quality support. We are here to help with extended live support hours, including wider availability of State Team & Billing Specialists. Therap support teams remain available to provide advice and resolve issues remotely so that you can continue to provide effective front line support to individuals. We are also all working to ensure that customers face no interruptions using the system during this time.

Agencies are facing challenges as they attempt to limit the number of staff that are physically going into a residence or facility to provide support or oversight. CMS has provided guidelines for virtual visits but there are challenges that staff are encountering as they look into this option of virtual visits including which device to use, which particular services should be provided via virtual visits, what the approval or acknowledgement process would look like and more.

It is also necessary that organizations explore and comply with state and local guidelines that are also being communicated out in this dynamic environment. To address some of these challenges, Therap offers a variety of tools for managing and documenting virtual visits including the ISP Data tool, T-Logs and Case Notes allows recording information related to virtual visits. It features a library of templates that includes specific COVID-19 support programs that other agencies have written, and are implementing. Therap released a tool to track staff health and safety upon reporting to a shift via the visitor/staff questionnaire.

As this ever-changing situation continues to evolve, Therap will continue to update our COVID-19 Awareness page. Resources are available regarding the various tools on Therap that can help at this time for COVID-19 related documentation. This includes COVID-19 specific incident reporting, monitoring COVID-19 symptoms and information on updated ICD-10 codes to reflect COVID-19.

We are committed to continuing to assist agencies in these challenging times to provide the best service and solution to document sensitive information of individuals.