On July 1st, Tempus Unlimited took over financial management services (FMS) for Community HealthChoices (CHC) participants using the self-directed model for their personal assistance services. The self-directed model is an alternative to getting a caregiver through an agency. Tempus replaced Public Partnerships (PPL) as the FMS provider only for CHC participants. PPL continues to work with people who self-direct their care in the OBRA Waiver and the Act 150 Program for the time being.
According to information presented at the FMS Stakeholder Meeting earlier this month, Tempus issued paychecks on July 1st to over 10,300 direct care workers who had recorded time for June shifts. Other paychecks in July have been issued according to the two payroll schedule timeframes. Most workers are paid through direct deposit. Workers who are not signed up for direct deposit can get paid through a paper paycheck or through a debit card.
During the transition, some of the normal rules that apply to logging and approving direct care workers’ time are temporarily waived to ensure people are timely paid for the work they are doing. For example, Tempus is allowing people to use paper timesheets if they cannot enter their time in Evvie (the electronic visit verification app), the online portal, or through the phone system (called IVR). Paper timesheets are available in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and other languages. Tempus is also paying direct care workers for time recorded, even if the CHC Participant (also known as the Common Law Employer) has not approved (or “locked”) the shift.
Despite the relatively smooth transition from PPL to Tempus as compared to previous transitions, there have been problems for both CHC Participants and their direct care workers. The Stakeholder Meeting data showed about 15% of CHC participants impacted by this change did not have any shifts recorded by direct care workers. PHLP has heard from clients who are still struggling to get registered with the online portal or having problems using the IVR phone system. Some caregivers are having problems getting and using the Evvie app to record time. We have also heard reports of people who did not get paid for all the time worked and who did not get paid the correct amount. Clients also continued to report problems contacting Tempus including long wait times, no call backs through the automated system, and getting disconnected after they reach someone.
CHC participants who are having problems registering with Tempus’ systems or whose workers are having trouble recording time worked should contact Tempus at 1-844-983-6787, their Service Coordinator and/or their Community HealthChoices plan. Service Coordinators can make home visits to help address and resolve many of the problems people are having at this time. Direct care workers can contact Service Employees International Union (SEIU) at 1-800-252-3894 regardless of whether or not they are a member of the union.
Tempus will continue to hold online trainings to help people learn how to use the app, portal, and phone system to record and approve time. Sessions are available in Spanish and with American Sign Language Interpreters. Online Help Desk Sessions are also available Monday through Friday. Training videos and other information can be found on Tempus’ website.
CHC Participants and direct care workers impacted by this change who are not getting their problems addressed by Tempus or their CHC plan can contact PHLP’s Helpline at 1-800-274-3258 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The next FMS Stakeholder Meeting will be August 5th from 1pm-2:30pm. People who are interested in attending can register here or call in to the meeting at 1-415-930-5321, access code is 264854023#.