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

12VAC30-122-470. Personal emergency response system service.

A. Service description. Personal emergency response system (PERS) service is an electronic device and monitoring service that enables certain individuals to secure help in an emergency. PERS service shall be limited to those individuals who live alone or are alone for significant parts of the day and who have no regular caregiver for extended periods of time and who would otherwise require supervision. PERS service shall be covered in the FIS, CL, and BI waivers.

B. Criteria. PERS may be authorized when there is no one else in the home with the individual enrolled in the waiver who is competent or continuously available to call for help in an emergency.

C. Service units and service limitations.

1. The one-time installation of the unit shall include installation, account activation, individual and caregiver instruction, and removal of PERS equipment. A unit of service is the one-month rental price set by DMAS.

2. PERS service shall be capable of being activated by a remote wireless device and shall be connected to the individual's telephone system. The PERS console unit shall provide hands-free voice-to-voice communication with the response center. The activating device shall be waterproof, automatically transmit to the response center an activator low battery alert signal prior to the battery losing power, and be able to be worn by the individual.

3. PERS service shall not be used as a substitute for providing adequate supervision for the individual enrolled in the waiver.

4. Physician-ordered medication monitoring units shall be provided simultaneously with PERS service.

5. PERS service shall not be covered for individuals who are simultaneously receiving group home residential service, sponsored residential service, or supported living residential service.

D. Provider requirements.

1. Providers shall meet all requirements of 12VAC30-122-110 through 12VAC30-122-140.

2. Providers shall be either a (i) licensed home health or personal care agency, (ii) a durable medical equipment provider, (iii) a hospital, or (iv) a PERS manufacturer that has the ability to provide PERS equipment, direct services (i.e., installation, equipment maintenance, and service calls), and PERS monitoring.

3. Providers shall have a current, signed provider participation agreement with DMAS. This agreement shall be renewed promptly when requested by DMAS. The provider named on the participation agreement shall directly render the PERS service and shall submit his claims to DMAS for reimbursement.

4. Providers shall provide an emergency response center staff with fully trained operators who are capable of (i) receiving signals for help from an individual's PERS equipment 24 hours a day, 365 or 366, as appropriate, days per year; (ii) determining whether an emergency exists; and (iii) notifying an emergency response organization or an emergency responder that the individual needs emergency help.

5. Providers shall comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, all applicable regulations of DMAS, and all other governmental agencies having jurisdiction over the service to be performed.

6. Providers shall have the primary responsibility to furnish, install, maintain, test, and service the PERS equipment, as required to keep it fully operational. The provider shall replace or repair the PERS device within 24 hours of the individual's or family/caregiver's notification of a malfunction of the console unit, activating devices, or medication-monitoring unit while the original equipment is being repaired.

7. Providers shall properly install all PERS equipment into the functioning telephone line or cellular system of an individual receiving PERS and shall furnish all supplies necessary to ensure that the system is installed and working properly.

8. The PERS installation shall include local seize line circuitry, which guarantees that the unit will have priority over the telephone connected to the console unit should the phone be off the hook or in use when the unit is activated.

9. Providers shall install, test, and demonstrate to the individual and the individual's family/caregiver, as appropriate, the PERS system before submitting the claim for reimbursement to DMAS.

10. Providers shall maintain all installed PERS equipment in proper working order.

11. Providers shall maintain a data record for each individual receiving PERS service at no additional cost to DMAS. The record shall document all of the following:

a. Delivery date and installation date of the PERS;

b. The signature of the individual or the individual's family/caregiver, as appropriate, verifying receipt of PERS device;

c. Verification by a test that the PERS device is operational, monthly or more frequently as needed;

d. Updated and current individual responder and contact information, as provided by the individual or the individual's care provider, or support coordinator/case manager; and

e. A case log documenting the individual's utilization of the system and contacts and communications with the individual or the individual's family/caregiver, as appropriate, support coordinator/case manager, or responder.

12. Providers shall have back-up monitoring capacity in case the primary system cannot handle incoming emergency signals.

13. All PERS equipment shall be approved by the Federal Communications Commission and meet the Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc. (UL) safety standard Number 1635 for Digital Alarm Communicator System Units and Number 1637, which is the UL safety standard for home health care signaling equipment. The UL listing mark on the equipment will be accepted as evidence of the equipment's compliance with such standard. The PERS device shall be automatically reset by the response center after every activation ensuring that subsequent signals can be transmitted without requiring manual reset by the individual enrolled in the waiver or family/caregiver, as appropriate.

14. Providers shall instruct the individual, his family/caregiver, as appropriate, and responders in the use of the PERS.

15. The emergency response activator shall be activated either by breath, by touch, or by some other means and shall be usable by persons who have visual or hearing impairments or physical disabilities. The emergency response communicator shall be capable of operating without external power during a power failure at the individual's home for a minimum period of 24 hours and automatically transmit a low battery alert signal to the response center if the back-up battery is low. The emergency response console unit shall also be able to self-disconnect and redial the back-up monitoring site without the individual resetting the system in the event the unit cannot get its signal accepted at the response center.

16. Monitoring agencies shall be capable of continuously monitoring and responding to emergencies under all conditions, including power failures and mechanical malfunctions. The provider is responsible for ensuring that the monitoring agency and the agency's equipment meet the requirements of this section. The monitoring agency shall be capable of simultaneously responding to multiple signals for help from multiple individuals' PERS equipment. The monitoring agency's equipment shall include the following:

a. A primary receiver and a back-up receiver, which shall be independent and interchangeable;

b. A back-up information retrieval system;

c. A clock printer, which shall print out the time and date of the emergency signal, the PERS individual's identification code, and the emergency code that indicates whether the signal is active, passive, or a responder test;

d. A back-up power supply;

e. A separate telephone service;

f. A toll-free number to be used by the PERS equipment in order to contact the primary or back-up response center; and

g. A telephone line monitor, which shall give visual and audible signals when the incoming telephone line is disconnected for more than 10 seconds.

17. The monitoring agency shall maintain detailed technical and operations manuals that describe PERS service elements, including the installation, functioning, and testing of PERS equipment; emergency response protocols; and recordkeeping and reporting procedures.

18. Providers shall document and furnish within 30 calendar days of the action taken a written report to the support coordinator/case manager for each emergency signal that results in action being taken on behalf of the individual. This excludes test signals or activations made in error.

E. Service documentation and requirements:

1. Providers shall include signed and dated documentation of the following in each individual's record:

a. The appropriate service authorization to be completed by the support coordinator may serve as the plan for supports for the provision of PERS service. A rehabilitation engineer may be involved for PERS service if disability expertise is required that a general contractor may not have. The plan for supports and service authorization shall include justification and explanation if a rehabilitation engineer is needed. The service authorization request shall be submitted to the state-designated agency or its designee in order for service authorization to occur;

b. For PERS service, written documentation regarding the process and results of ensuring that the item is not covered by the State Plan for Medical Assistance as durable medical equipment (DME) and supplies, and that the item is not available from a DME provider;

c. Documentation of the recommendation for the item by an independent professional consultant and the amount of service that is needed;

d. Documentation of the date the service is rendered;

e. Any other relevant information regarding the device or modification;

f. Documentation in the support coordination record of notification by the designated individual or the individual's representative or family/caregiver of satisfactory completion or receipt of the service or item; and

g. Instructions regarding any warranty, repairs, complaints, or servicing that may be needed.

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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