Goodwill on Private Pay

Goodwill Industries of South Central Wisconsin, Inc.

Private Pay for Supported Employment Services
Values Issues

1. Will the supported employment agency provide services differently to private pay consumers than the way it provides them to government-funded consumers? If so, what is the justification for that? Would a private pay consumer get the services of a job developer ahead of a county consumer because the private pay consumer is paying more? (or requires less paperwork and bureaucratic compliance?)

Goodwill would approach service delivery, including job development, to Private Pay individuals in the same manner it does to those who are government-funded.

2. Would the supported employment agency consider providing more hours per week of support to a private pay consumer than the agency would provide that same person if s/he were receiving government-funded services? If so, what is the justification?

Hours of support are dependent on funding. It is feasible that an individual with Private Pay could receive more hours of support than if their services were covered with government funds only. As an example, Dane County currently limits funding for new admissions to that needed to support paid jobs. If the resources were available, a privately funded individual could include dollars in their agreement with Goodwill to support non-paid activities.

3. Would the provider charge the same rates for private pay consumers as it charges government-funded consumers? If not, how would the difference be justified? If the provider is trying to achieve “rate parity” or rate consistency for all consumers, how is that defined?

While the cost for Goodwill to provide comparable services would be the same for both government-funded and privately paid, the fee charged would be higher for Private Pay arrangements. This is due to the fact that Goodwill is currently subsidizing government-funded services. The subsidy is dependent on the continuing success of fund development and our donated goods and retail operation. Expanding this dependence is a risk to quality of services and is deemed imprudent in an environment of declining government funding.

4. Who should benefit from agency fundraising—everyone, or only consumers which the county serves, because the county may not be paying their full share of the costs? Should fundraising be used in part to offset costs to private pay consumers and their families?

See 3. above.

5. Will the agency be comfortable terminating service if a client’s private funds are depleted? Does terminating a client for that reason violate the agency’s mission?

Termination of services is never comfortable even when initiated by the person served. As a long-term support service, Supported Employment results in relationships being developed and commitments created that are difficult to break. Every effort would be made at the outset to plan for services in a manner that is sustainable. If circumstances change, staff would assist the individual in seeking any and all alternatives. None the less, it would ultimately be necessary to discontinue services for which payment could not be made. Failure to do so would result in using support time that is being paid for by someone else. Again, this would jeopardize quality of services and present a fairness issue.

Operational Issues

1. Will the provider have an “annual contract” or “annual agreement” with each family? If so, how will the contract be developed between provider and family? Will it focus on outcomes or units of service? How much flexibility will be in the document for the consumers, families, or the provider to make adjustments during the year?

A formal service agreement will be developed as part of the standard admission and annual review process. Upon identification of the goals, preferences and needs of the person to be served, Goodwill would establish a fee based on projected service level required to support desired outcomes. Service plans can be reviewed at any time that changes are needed or desired. As with current SDS agreements, Goodwill would request 30 days notice to discontinue an agreement.

2. Will the same vocational assessment process be used for publicly and privately-funded consumers? Will the Individual Service Plan format be the same as it is for a provider using public funds? How will job development services be billed? Service delivery will follow the same policies and procedures currently established for Supported Employment.

The individual service plan is developed based on individual goals, needs, preferences and unique circumstances. Job development services are currently folded into the cost of overall services. Should additional direct support be desired during a period of job transition, the agreement may require adjustment.

3. Will the provider bill families a set rate for each hour of service, or a flat amount per month? What will be the provision for periods of unemployment or sick days?

Billing would be a flat monthly rate that equals one twelfth of the annual cost. Costs are based on projected supports needed to meet goals. Short term variations in schedules are anticipated and incorporated into fee development. If support needs change for what is expected to be an extended period of time, the agreement would be renegotiated.

4. How will providers define “past due” in relation to private pay invoices sent to families? What steps will the provider take before terminating service? Will this be clearly spelled out in the contract/agreement?

The agreement developed will include identification of payment structure and dates. Payments will be due the first of each month for which services are to be provided. Payments not received by the first, will be considered “past due”. A late fee will be assessed and written notice sent to the designated payer. The notice will include a reminder that failure to make payment could result in termination of services. If the reminder does not result in payment by the end of the month, the Program Manager will contact the designated payer to identify factors that may be impacting payment and to begin development of a plan of action.

5. What adjustments must be made in the agency’s fiscal accounting procedures to handle private pay clients?

Goodwill has existing accounting procedures in place that would require only minimal adjustments to accommodate Private Pay for Supported Employment services.

6. How will providers educate or remind families that purchasing vocational services with private funds does not guarantee that the consumer would be eligible for county funding or move them up on the waiting list?

The potential for and status of County funding will be thoroughly explored as part of the admission process. Planning for any transition to County funding or lack thereof, will be part of the Assessment and regular Annual Review process.
7. Is the vocational provider setting aside a certain portion of its capacity for private pay consumers, or do they plan to do this on a more fluid basis?

At present, no limits for admissions through Private Pay have been set. Goodwill evaluates overall capacity each year based on resources, workforce, and strategic goals.

8. What will agencies do to assure a smooth transition from school-supported vocational services to private pay vocational services?

Standard procedures for admission planning would be followed. The assigned Program Manager would initiate contact with the person to be served as soon as possible after a request is made for Private Pay services. With permission, the Program Manager would then arrange contacts with the school, any current employer, and others identified as part of the plan, to begin transition planning.

9. Will agencies or staff be permitted to accept a yearly bonus for a job well done?

While a donation to support Goodwill services or participants is always welcome, individual staff are not permitted to accept gifts of more than nominal value.

The Arc-Dane County
6602 Grand Teton Plaza
Madison, WI 53719
833-1199 phone
833-1307 fax

March 26, 2008

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