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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 30. Department of Medical Assistance Services
Chapter 120. Waivered Services
1/18/2020

12VAC30-120-776. Companion Services.

A. Service description. Companion services is a covered service when its purpose is to supervise or monitor those individuals who require the physical presence of an aide to ensure their safety during times when no other supportive people are available. This service may be provided either through an agency-directed or a consumer-directed model.

B. Criteria.

1. The inclusion of companion services in the plan of care is appropriate only when the individual cannot be left alone at any time due to mental or severe physical incapacitation. This includes individuals who cannot use a phone to call for help due to a physical or neurological disability. Individuals may receive companion services due to their inability to call for help if PERS is not appropriate for them.

2. Individuals having a current, uncontrolled medical condition making them unable to call for help during a rapid deterioration may be approved for companion services if there is documentation that the individual has had recurring attacks during the two-month period prior to the authorization of companion services. Companion services shall not be covered if required only because the individual does not have a telephone in the home or because the individual does not speak English.

3. There must be a clear and present danger to the individual as a result of being left unsupervised. Companion services cannot be authorized for individuals whose only need for companion services is for assistance exiting the home in the event of an emergency.

4. Individuals choosing the consumer-directed option must receive support from a CD services facilitator and meet requirements for consumer direction as described in 12VAC30-120-770.

C. Service units and service limitations.

1. The amount of companion service time included in the plan of care must be no more than is necessary to prevent the physical deterioration or injury to the individual. In no event may the amount of time relegated solely to companion service on the plan of care exceed eight hours per day.

2. A companion cannot provide supervision to individuals on ventilators, requiring continuous tube feedings, or requiring suctioning of their airways.

3. Companion services will be authorized for family members to sleep either during the day or during the night when the individual cannot be left alone at any time due to the individual's severe agitation or physically wandering behavior. Companion services must be necessary to ensure the individual's safety if the individual cannot be left unsupervised due to health and safety concerns.

4. Companion services may be authorized when no one else is in the home is competent to call for help in an emergency.

D. Provider requirements. In addition to meeting the general conditions and requirements for home and community-based care participating providers as specified in 12VAC30-120-730 and 12VAC30-120-740, companion service providers must meet the following requirements:

1. Companion services providers shall include:

a. For the agency-directed model: companion providers include DBHDS-licensed residential services providers; DBHDS-licensed supportive, in-home residential service providers; DBHDS-licensed day support service providers; DBHDS-licensed respite service providers; and DMAS-enrolled personal care/respite care providers.

b. For the consumer-directed model: a services facilitator must meet the requirements found in 12VAC30-120-770.

2. Companion qualifications. Companions must meet the following requirements:

a. Be at least 18 years of age;

b. Possess basic math skills and English reading and writing skills, to the degree necessary to perform the tasks required;

c. Be capable of following a plan of care with minimal supervision;

d. Submit to a criminal history record check and if providing services to a minor, submit to a record check under the State's Child Protective Services Registry. The companion will not be compensated for services provided to the individual if the records check verifies the companion has been convicted of crimes described in § 37.2-416 of the Code of Virginia;

e. Possess a valid social security number; and

f. Have the required skills to perform services as specified in the individual's plan of care.

g. Additional CD employee requirements under the consumer-directed model:

(1) Be willing to attend training at the request of the individual or his family/caregiver, as appropriate;

(2) Understand and agree to comply with the DMAS consumer-directed services requirements; and

(3) Receive an annual TB screening.

3. Companions may not be the individual's spouse. Other family members living under the same roof as the individual being served may not provide companion services unless there is objective, written documentation as to why there are no other providers available to provide the services. Companion services shall not be provided by adult foster care/family care providers or any other paid caregivers.

4. Family members who are reimbursed to provide companion services must meet the companion qualifications.

5. For the agency-directed model, companions are employees of entities that enroll with DMAS to provide companion services. Providers are required to have a companion services supervisor to monitor companion services. The supervisor must be an LPN, or an RN, have a current license or certification to practice in the Commonwealth, and have at least one year of experience working with individuals with related conditions; or must have a bachelor's degree in a human services field and at least one year of experience working with individuals with related conditions.

6. Retention, hiring, and substitution of companions (consumer-directed model). Upon the individual's request, the CD services facilitator shall provide the individual or his family/caregiver, as appropriate, with a list of potential consumer-directed employees on the consumer-directed employee registry that may provide temporary assistance until the companion returns or the individual or his family/caregiver as, appropriate, is able to select and hire a new companion. If an individual or his family/caregiver, as appropriate, is consistently unable to hire and retain a companion to provide consumer-directed services, the CD services facilitator must contact the case manager and DBHDS to transfer the individual, at the choice of the individual or his family/caregiver, as appropriate, to a provider that provides Medicaid-funded agency-directed companion services. The CD services facilitator will make arrangements with the case manager to have the individual transferred.

7. The provider or case manager/services facilitator must conduct an initial home visit prior to initiating companion services to document the efficacy and appropriateness of services and to establish a plan of care for the individual. Under the agency-directed model, the provider must provide follow-up home visits quarterly or as often as needed to monitor the provision of services. Under the consumer-directed model, the case manager/services facilitator will periodically review the utilization of companion services at a minimum of every six months or more often as needed. The individual must be reassessed for services every six months.

8. Required documentation. The provider or case manager/services facilitator must maintain a record of each individual receiving companion services. At a minimum these records must contain the following:

a. An initial assessment completed prior to or on the date services are initiated and subsequent reassessments and changes to the supporting documentation.

b. The supporting documentation must be reviewed by the provider or case manager/services facilitator quarterly under the agency-directed model, semiannually under the consumer-directed model, annually, and more often, as needed, modified as appropriate, and the written results of these reviews submitted to the case manager. For the annual review and in cases where the supporting documentation is modified, the plan of care must be reviewed with the individual or his family/caregiver, as appropriate.

c. All correspondence to the individual, family/caregiver, case manager, DBHDS, and DMAS.

d. Contacts made with family/caregiver, physicians, formal and informal service providers, and all professionals concerning the individual.

e. The companion services supervisor or case manager/service facilitator must document in the individual's record a summary note following significant contacts with the companion and quarterly or semiannual home visits with the individual. This summary must include the following at a minimum:

(1) Whether companion services continue to be appropriate;

(2) Whether the plan is adequate to meet the individual's needs or changes are indicated in the plan;

(3) The individual's satisfaction with the service; and

(4) The presence or absence of the companion during the visit.

f. A copy of the most recently completed DMAS-225 form. The provider must clearly document efforts to obtain the completed DMAS-225 form from the case manager.

g. Additional documentation requirements under the consumer-directed model:

(1) All training provided to the companion on behalf of the individual or his family/caregiver, as appropriate.

(2) All management training provided to the individual or his family/caregiver, as appropriate, including responsibility for the accuracy of the timesheets.

(3) All documents signed by the individual or his family/caregiver, as appropriate, that acknowledge the responsibilities of the services.

h. Under the agency-directed model, all companion records. The companion record must contain the following:

(1) The specific services delivered to the individual by the companion, dated the day of service delivery, and the individual's response;

(2) The companion's arrival and departure times;

(3) The companion's weekly comments or observations about the individual to include observations of the individual's physical and emotional condition, daily activities, and responses to services rendered; and

(4) The weekly signatures of the companion and the individual or his family/caregiver, as appropriate, recorded on the last day of service delivery for any given week to verify that companion services during that week have been rendered.

Statutory Authority

§ 32.1-325 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 1396.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 2001; Errata, 17:21 VA.R. 3124 July 2, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 20, eff. July 11, 2007; Volume 30, Issue 14, eff. April 10, 2014.

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