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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 30. Department Of Medical Assistance Services
Chapter 122. Community Waiver Services for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
6/21/2021

12VAC30-122-330.  Community guide service.

A. Service description. Community guide services include direct assistance to promote individuals' self-determination through brokering specific community resources that lead to connection to and independent participation in integrated, independent housing or community activities so as to avoid isolation. This means that community guides investigate and coordinate as necessary the available naturally occurring community resources to facilitate the individual's participation in those resources of interest to the individual. Community guides provide information and directed assistance that aids the individual in developing supportive community relationships and exploring specific community resources that promote implementation of the person-centered plan. This service involves face-to-face contact with the individual to determine the individual's specific interests and exploration of community resources, which may lead to typical community activities or settings in which the individual will engage or reside. In addition, there is a component of supporting the individual that may occur without the individual present. Community guide services involve assisting the individual to identify the type of community options that maximize the individual's opportunities for meaningful engagement and growth in independence. The community guide shall provide the in-depth individualized assistance needed to connect with community activities and foster engagement distinct from the generic activities provided through routine support coordination. This service is designed to be short-term and periodic in nature.

B. Criteria and allowable activities. This service may be provided by persons with one of two emphases:

1. General community guide. This involves the utilization of existing assessment information regarding the individual's general interests to determine specific preferred activities and venues that are available in the individual's community to which the individual desires to be connected (e.g., clubs, special interest groups, physical activities/sports teams, etc.) to promote inclusion and independent participation in the life of the individual's community. The desired result is an increase in daily or weekly natural supports, as opposed to increasing hours of paid supports. Allowable activities include the following for the individual as documented in the individual's plan for supports:

a. Utilize assessment and other information provided by the support coordinator along with an in depth discussion with the individual and people who know the individual. Discussion shall involve an outline of the individual's interests to develop a plan for supports that contains a step by step strategy for the individual and family or friends, as appropriate, to reduce barriers and challenges in accessing community resources or activities to support those interests. The plan for supports shall identify targeted actions that will promote community integration and independent or naturally supported involvement;

b. Assist the individual in connecting to the identified, non-Medicaid funded community resources by researching and contacting the parties responsible for the identified integrated activities, supports, services, or resources delineated in the individual's plan for supports;

c. Provide advocacy and informal counseling that helps guide the individual in problem solving and decision making that enhances the individual's ability to interact and contribute to the local community;

d. Escort the individual or demonstrate on site the means of accessing the identified integrated community activities, supports, services, or resources;

e. Follow up with the individual to determine and document the individual's participation in or utilization of the activities, supports, services, or resources to which the community guide assisted in connecting.

2. Community housing guide. This service involves supporting an individual's move to independent housing by helping with transition and tenancy sustaining activities. The community housing guide shall work in collaboration with the support coordinator, regional housing specialist, and others to support the individual in achieving and sustaining integrated, independent living. Allowable activities include the following as documented in the individual's plan for supports:

a. Conduct a tenant screening that identifies the individual's preferences and barriers related to successful tenancy using the community housing guide tenant screening form;

b. Develop a plan using the community housing guide roadmap form with outcomes and support activities that the community guide shall provide to identify and secure safe, affordable housing to include assisting with implementation and making recommendations to the support coordinator as to waiver support services and activities needed in the individual support plan;

c. Assist with the housing search and application process;

d. Help identify and request resources to cover expenses, such as security deposit, moving costs, furnishings, adaptive aids, environmental modifications, and other one-time expenses;

e. Assist in arranging for and supporting the details of the move;

f. Provide education and training on the role, rights, and responsibilities of the tenant and landlord during the transition from home or congregate setting;

g. Provide training in being a good tenant and lease compliance; support with activities related to household management as part of the transitional support activities;

h. Assist in resolving disputes with landlords or neighbors to reduce risk of eviction or other adverse action during the period of time that community guide services are authorized; and

i. Assist with the housing recertification process if or when requested by the support coordinator or the individual's support team.

C. Service units and limitations.

1. Community guide is expected to be a short, periodically intermittent, intense service associated with a specific outcome. An individual may receive one or more of the two types of community guide services in an ISP year. Each type of community guide service may be authorized for up to six consecutive months, and the cumulative total across both may be no more than 120 hours in a plan year.

2. Community guide activities conducted not in the presence of the individual, such as researching and contacting potential sites, supports, services, and resources, shall not comprise more than 25% of authorized plan for support hours.

3. The community guide shall not supplant, replace, or duplicate activities that are required to be provided by the support coordinator. Prior to accessing funding for this waiver service, all other available and appropriate funding sources, including those offered by Virginia Medicaid State Plan, DARS, and DOE, shall be explored and exhausted.

D. Provider qualifications and requirements.

1. General community guide services shall be provided by persons who have successfully completed and received a certificate of completion for both The Learning Community's:

a. Person-Centered Thinking training; and

b. Community Connections training.

2. The community housing guide services shall be provided by persons who have successfully completed:

a. Person-Centered Thinking training; and

b. DBHDS Independent Housing Curriculum Modules 1-3.

3. Providers shall maintain a signed provider participation agreement with DMAS to provide community guide services.

4. The provider designated in the participation agreement shall directly provide the services and bill DMAS for reimbursement.

E. Documentation requirements for service providers.

1. Providers shall include in each individual's record:

a. A copy of the completed, standard, age-appropriate assessment form as described in 12VAC30-122-200.

b. The provider's plan for supports shall follow requirements detailed in 12VAC30-122-120.

c. Documentation as detailed in 12VAC30-122-120. Data shall be collected as described in the ISP, analyzed to determine if the strategies are effective, summarized, and clearly documented in the progress notes or supports checklist.

d. Documentation to support units of service delivered and documentation shall correspond with billing. Providers shall maintain separate documentation for each type of service rendered for an individual.

e. A written review supported by documentation in the individual's record, which is submitted to the support coordinator at least quarterly with the plan for supports, if modified.

f. Documentation that all other available and appropriate funding sources, including those offered by Virginia Medicaid State Plan, DARS, and DOE, have been explored and exhausted.

g. All correspondence to the individual and the individual's family/caregiver, as appropriate, the support coordinator, DMAS, and DBHDS.

h. Written documentation of all contacts with family/caregiver, physicians, formal and informal service providers, and all professionals regarding the individual.

2. Provider documentation shall support all claims submitted for DMAS reimbursement. Claims that are not supported by appropriate documentation shall be subject to recovery by DMAS as a result of utilization reviews and audits.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 14, eff. March 31, 2021.

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