Administrative Code

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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

12VAC30-122-340. Companion service.

A. Service description. The companion service provides nonmedical care, socialization, or general support to adults 18 years of age or older. This service shall be provided in either the individual's home or at various locations in the community. The companion service may be coupled with waiver residential support service as defined in the ISP.

1. The companion service shall be provided in accordance with the individual's plan for supports to meet an assessed need of the individual for assistance with IADLs, community access, reminders for medication self-administration, or for support to ensure his safety and shall not be purely recreational in nature.

2. The companion service may be provided and reimbursed either through an agency-directed or a consumer-directed model (12VAC30-122-150).

3. The companion service shall be covered in the FIS and CL waivers.

B. Criteria and allowable activities.

1. Allowable activities shall include, as may be appropriate for the individual and as documented in his plan for supports:

a. Routine supports with IADLs, including meal preparation, community access and activities, and shopping, but companions do not perform these activities as discrete services.

b. Routine supports with light housekeeping tasks, including bed-making, laundry, dusting, and vacuuming, when such services are specified in the individual's plan for supports and are essential to the individual's health and welfare in order to maintain the individual's home environment in an orderly and clean manner.

c. Safety supports in the home and community settings.

2. Individuals choosing the consumer-directed option may receive support from a services facilitator and shall meet requirements for consumer direction as described in 12VAC30-122-150.

C. Service units and limitations.

1. The unit of service for companion service shall be one hour. The amount that may be included in the plan for supports shall not exceed eight hours per 24-hour day regardless of whether it is an agency-directed or consumer-directed service model, or combination of both.

2. Persons rendering the companion service for reimbursement by DMAS shall not be the individual's spouse or other person identified in 12VAC30-122-120 B.

3. In the consumer-directed service model, any combination of respite service, personal assistance service, and companion service shall be limited to 40 hours per week for a single employer of record (EOR) by the same companion. Companions who live with the individual, either full time or for substantial amounts of time, as set out in 12VAC30-120-935, shall not be restricted to only 40 hours per week for the single EOR. The companion shall not provide more than 16 hours of consumer-directed services per day. The 16-hour limit shall include hours worked in one day providing a combination of companion, personal assistance, and respite services.

4. A companion shall not be permitted to provide nursing care procedures, including care of ventilators, tube feedings, suctioning of airways, external catheters, or wound care. A companion shall not provide routine support with ADLs.

5. The hours that may be authorized shall be based on documented individual need. No more than two unrelated individuals who are receiving waiver services and who live in the same home shall be permitted to share the authorized work hours of the companion. Providers shall not bill for more than one individual at the same time.

6. Companion service shall not be covered for individuals who are younger than 18 years of age.

7. Companion service shall not be provided by adult foster care providers or any other paid caregivers for an individual residing in that foster care home.

8. For an individual receiving sponsored residential service, companion service shall not be provided by a member of the sponsored family residing in the sponsored residential home.

9. For an individual receiving group home service, sponsored residential service, or supported living service, companion service shall not be provided by an immediate family member.

D. Provider qualifications and requirements.

1. Providers shall meet all of the requirements set out in 12VAC30-122-110 through 12VAC30-122-140.

2. Licensure requirements for agency-directed service. For companion service, the provider shall be licensed by DBHDS as either a residential service provider, supportive in-home residential service provider, day support service provider, or respite service provider or shall meet the DMAS criteria to be a personal care service or respite care service provider as defined in 12VAC30-122-460.

3. Persons functioning as companions shall meet the following requirements:

a. Be at least 18 years of age;

b. Be able to read and write English to the degree required to function in this capacity and create and maintain the required documentation to support billing and possess basic math skills;

c. Be capable of following a plan for supports with minimal supervision and physically able to perform the required work;

d. Possess a valid Social Security Number that has been issued by the Social Security Administration to the person who is to function as the companion;

e. Be capable of aiding in IADLs;

f. Receive a tuberculosis screening according to the requirements of the Virginia Department of Health; and

g. For consumer directed companions, be willing to attend training at the individual's or family/caregiver's request.

4. Supervision requirements for agency-directed companion service.

a. A supervisor shall provide ongoing supervision of all companions.

b. For DBHDS-licensed entities, the provider shall employ or subcontract with directly supervise at least a Qualified Developmental Disabilities Professional (QDDP) who shall provide ongoing supervision of all companions a supervisor meeting the requirements of 12VAC35-105 to provide supervision on a semiannual basis of direct support professional staff.

c. For companion service providers that meet the DMAS criteria to be a personal care service or respite care service provider, the provider shall employ or subcontract with and directly supervise an RN or an LPN who shall provide ongoing supervision of all companions. The supervising RN or LPN shall have at least one year of related clinical nursing experience that may include work in an acute care hospital, public health clinic, home health agency, ICF/IID, or nursing facility or shall have a bachelor's degree in a human services field and at least one year of experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities.

d. The supervisor shall make a home visit to conduct an initial assessment prior to the start of service for all individuals enrolled in the waiver requesting and who have been approved to receive companion service. The supervisor shall also perform any subsequent reassessments or changes to the plan for supports. All changes that are indicated for an individual's plan for supports shall be reviewed with and agreed to by the individual and, if appropriate, the family/caregiver.

e. The supervisor shall make supervisory home visits as often as needed to ensure both quality and appropriateness of the service. The minimum frequency of these visits shall be every 30 to 90 days under the agency-directed model, depending on the individual's needs.

f. Based on continuing evaluations of the companion's performance and individual's needs, the supervisor shall identify any gaps in the companion's ability to function competently and shall provide training as indicated.

g. All individuals shall have a backup plan prior to initiating services in cases of emergency or should the provider be unable to render services as needed. This backup plan shall be shared with the provider and support coordinator at the onset of services and updated with the provider and support coordinator as necessary.

5. Providers shall ensure that staff providing agency-directed companion service meet provider training and competency requirements as specified in 12VAC30-122-180.

6. Service facilitation requirements for companion service shall be the same as those set forth in 12VAC30-122-150.

7. Family members as providers in agency-directed companion service shall meet the same limits and requirements set out in 12VAC30-122-120 B.

E. Service documentation and requirements.

1. Providers shall include signed and dated documentation of the following 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 per requirements detailed in 12VAC30-122-120.

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

d. Documentation to support units of service delivered, and the 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 that is submitted to the support coordinator at least quarterly with the plan for supports, if modified. For the annual review and every time supporting documentation is updated, the supporting documentation shall be reviewed with the individual or family/caregiver, as appropriate, and such review shall be documented.

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

g. Written documentation of all contacts with the individual's family/caregiver, physicians, providers, and all professionals regarding the individual.

h. Documentation that is maintained for routine supervision and oversight of all service provided by the companion. All significant contacts shall be documented and dated.

i. Documentation of supervision that is completed, signed by the staff person designated to perform the supervision and oversight, and includes the following:

(1) Date of contact or observation;

(2) Person contacted or observed;

(3) A summary about the companion's performance and service delivery;

(4) Any action planned or taken to correct problems identified during supervision and oversight; and

2. Provider documentation shall support all claims submitted for DMAS reimbursement. Claims for payment that are not supported by supporting documentation shall be subject to recovery by DMAS or its designee as a result of utilization reviews or 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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