Issued:  February 26, 2021

Supportive Employment Guidance

Partners is sharing guidance about Supported Employment that is specific to providers delivering the service under (b)(3) and Innovations Waiver funding. If you are a provider that meets these criteria, please review the following information regarding service goals and associated exclusions for Supported Employment.

Supported Employment is a person-centered service provided across the Partners Health Management network in accordance with North Carolina’s vision of Employment First: “Employment in the general workforce is the first and preferred outcome in the provision of publicly funded services for all citizens with disabilities regardless of level of disability, in a job of their choosing with supports and accommodations provided as necessary to achieve and maintain employment.” (Source: Employment First Position Paper, 2011)

Goals:

The primary goal of Supported Employment is competitive employment, which is defined as a job that pays at least minimum wage for which anyone can apply and is not specifically set aside for people with disabilities.

Supported Employment services must be provided in integrated work settings where the individual works alongside people who do not have disabilities or in a business owned by the individual. SE does not occur in licensed community day programs or in licensed residential facilities as the place of service.

Exclusions:

Federal Financial Participation (FFP) is not to be claimed for incentive payments, subsidies, or unrelated vocational training expenses such as the following:

  1. Incentive payments made to an employer to encourage or subsidize the employer’s participation in a supported employment program.
  2. Payments that are passed through to users of supported employment programs.
  3. Payments for training that are not directly related to a beneficiary’s supported employment program.

It is not prohibited to both employ a member and provide services to that same member, the use of Medicaid funds to pay for Supported Employment to providers who are subsidizing their participation in providing this service is not allowed.

The following are nonexclusive examples of situations indicative of a provider subsidizing its participation in Supported Employment:

  • The job/position would not exist if the provider agency was not being paid to provide the Supported Employment service.
  • The job/position would end if the member chose a different provider agency to provide the Supported Employment service.
  • The hours of employment have a one-to-one correlation with the amount of hours the Supported Employment services are authorized.

Partners is committed to ensuring choices for all members and look forward to our work together in this endeavor. Upon review of this guidance, please complete the electronic attestation as indicated by March 15, 2021. Should you have any difficulty or experience any IT concerns, please contact your assigned Provider Network Specialist. As a Partners Health Management enrolled provider, you/your organization are confirming/attesting to the following:

  1. Members receiving Supported Employment work in integrated work settings where the member works alongside people who do not have disabilities or in a business owned by the member.
  2. The member’s position/job is competitive employment which pays at least minimum wage.
  3. The member’s position/job is a job for which anyone can apply and is not specifically set aside for people with disabilities.
  4. Job finding is not based on a pool of jobs that are available or set aside specifically for individuals with disabilities.
  5. The member’s position/job would exist even if the provider agency was not being paid to provide the Supported Employment service.
  6. The position/job would continue if the member chose to receive supported employment from a different provider.
  7. Supported Employment does not occur in licensed community day programs or in licensed residential facilities as the place of service.

Please complete this attestation by March 15, 2021

Supported Employment Attestation

If you have further questions, please contact your assigned provider network account specialist or PNAS@partnersbhm.org.

Need to Call Partners? Dial 1-877-864-1454

Partners would like to remind all providers to use the administrative line, 1-877-864-1454, when you have a non-crisis or operational need or are trying to reach an employee. The administrative phone number includes a number of options that will help you connect to the right department as well as an employee lookup feature.

The Provider Contact list on the Partners Provider Knowledge Base is also a helpful resource. It lists specific department information, including phone numbers and email addresses.

Partners’ HOPE line (888-235-HOPE) should only be used by providers when:

  • A member is present and needs to speak with Partners’ Access to Care.
  • Contacting the Enrollment and Eligibility department.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Partners’ Quarterly Provider Webinar

Partners will host its Quarterly Provider Webinar on March 10, 2021 from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. The webinar is an opportunity to learn important information and detailed updates about a variety of topics. Click here to register. To view content from previous quarterly webinars, click here.