Revision 10-0; Effective June 1, 2010



19100  Notification Between the HCS Provider and Local Authority Service Coordinator

Revision 10-0; Effective June 1, 2010


Click here to view circumstances under which the HCS provider and Local Authority (LA) service coordinator (SC) should notify each other of important events or activities.


19200  Communication Between Local Authority and Home and Community-based Services Provider

Revision 10-0; Effective June 1, 2010


The Home and Community-based Services (HCS) model is dependent on a mutual understanding and respect of the individual's desires, the provider's role in service provision, and the service coordinator's role in planning and monitoring. Building relationships with each entity will be necessary to accomplish the HCS program objectives. Effective communication is necessary in building and maintaining good relationships.


19210  Management Considerations for Local Authorities

Revision 10-0; Effective June 1, 2010

Provide a forum for providers and LA staff to bring forward issues and concerns. When LAs and providers are able to solve problems together, the partnership is strengthened. Relevant input can be solicited in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Appoint a provider advisory group with responsibilities for problem solving.
  • Ensure provider advisory group membership represent a variety of providers.
  • Open provider advisory group membership to all HCS providers in the LA waiver contract area, or ask for volunteers.
  • Select a communication forum best suited for the LA (for example, local issues, size of the provider base, size of LA service area, etc.).
  • Promote regular and relevant communication with providers through websites or by other means.

Establish a climate of support. Each LA should clearly state that its goal is to be successful in the partnership.

  • Avoid misunderstandings by considering provider and consumer input in the development of clear procedures and guidelines.
  • Identify staff that can communicate concerns and solve problems quickly.
  • Publish a formal complaint procedure. Additionally, develop and use more informal methods for complaint resolution.
  • Develop clear procedures for ensuring that problems are communicated to appropriate provider and LA staff.

Provide opportunities for providers, families, consumers and LA staff to meet and interact. These opportunities should be available not just during the provider choice process. Following are some ideas:

  • Sponsor provider fairs to give families opportunities to meet providers face to face, and to give providers opportunities to present their unique characteristics to families.
  • Establish websites that allow providers to post information about their programs.
  • Arrange for provider and LA staff to meet through a variety of venues (for example, open house events, informational meetings, shared training events).
  • Foster an understanding of provider choice as a continuous option by inviting individuals who are currently enrolled in the HCS program to provider fairs, open house events, etc.

Ensure a balance between listening to provider concerns and asserting the needs of the LA and consumers. A well-rounded relationship between providers, LAs and consumers should be the goal of the LA.

  • Service coordinators should let providers know the needs of the LA and the needs of consumers.
  • Providers should be encouraged to let the LA know their needs and the needs of their consumers.

Develop communication skills that foster good relationships between providers and consumers.Provide basic communication skills training to service coordinators and supervisors with goals to develop:

  • listening skills;
  • recognition of barriers to good communication (for example, judging and moralizing);
  • compliance with simple conflict resolution rules (for example, respecting others, listening and stating others’ viewpoints); and
  • self-evaluation of staff performance during conflict resolution (for example, what worked and didn't work).

Implement strategies to assist service coordinators with provider communication. Service coordinators are responsible for communicating serious concerns, as well as ongoing information. Strategies for success may include developing:

  • standard procedures regarding communication; and
  • forms with provider input to handle categories of communication (for example, standard communication and service concerns).


19220  Helpful Hints for Service Coordinators

Revision 10-0; Effective June 1, 2010


Service coordinators must build relationships with HCS consumers, families and providers. Developing and maintaining good relationships will assist in understanding the likes and dislikes of the consumer, determining needed services and ensuring the development of a mutually satisfying partnership.

Relax and be yourself.

  • It is part of the service coordinator’s job to get to know the consumer and people who are important to the consumer – including the provider staff.
  • It takes time to develop relationships. Invest time with consumers and providers to understand their needs.
  • Develop your own style.

Be genuine and honest in all you say and do.

  • Build a good reputation. Be honest, be prompt and return phone calls.
  • Build trust and mutual respect.
  • Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes – it makes you human.

Be positive.

  • People want to be liked for who they are.
  • Don’t always talk about needs – notice the unique characteristics of consumers.
  • Let your human side show. Understand mistakes.
  • Recognize what you learn from consumers, family members and provider staff.
  • Respect the role of each partner.

Improve skills.

  • Listen more than you talk.
  • Attend to the person you are trying to understand by maintaining eye contact and open body language.
  • Reflect what you hear to ensure your understanding.

Use respectful language at all times.

  • Use person-first language. Refer to the consumer, not a disability label.
  • Be sensitive, as many prefer the term "intellectual disability" rather than "mental retardation."

Avoid at all costs:

  • moralizing,
  • criticizing, and
  • giving advice.


19230  Recommended Levels of Communication Between Local Authorities and Providers

Revision 10-0; Effective June 1, 2010


Communication needs between LAs, providers and individuals/families differ in different areas of the state. However, it is recommended that all LAs and providers use the standardized Form 8583, Contact Information. This form ensures individuals, their families, providers and service coordinators have accurate and current contact information for each other. The form should be completed at enrollment and updated as needed. Additionally, it is recommended that all LAs have procedures in place to address the following levels of communication:

Level I — Emergency/Crisis Notification. Level I includes communication about incidents that affect an individual’s health and safety, as well as events that disrupt normal procedures of individual care. This level of communication may need to occur after hours or as soon as possible during business hours, and may address the following:

  • emergency medical care;
  • behavioral crisis;
  • incidents that involve outside intervention (for example, police, fire, Adult Protective Services, etc.); and
  • safety concerns that require immediate resolution.

Level II — Concerns and Changes in Service Needs. Level II includes discussions between the service coordinator and provider about an individual's issues (for example, an individual’s service array, the service provider or individual/family concerns). This level of communication will require regular meetings, as needed, and may address:

  • service outcomes;
  • adjustment to the individual’s service array (Individual Plan of Care, Person-Directed Plan);
  • level of need/level of care (ID/RC assessment);
  • individual, LAR or family concerns;
  • service planning meetings (with individual, LAR and family consent);
  • meetings between providers, LAs and/or families to resolve issues;
  • adjustment/change to Implementation Plan; and
  • staff changes that affect/change an individual’s service providers.

Level III — Relationships. Relationship building, courtesy and mutual cooperation should be an ongoing process that starts during transition and continues on a broader scale after program implementation.