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Hello PASCO family! Welcome to “Ask the CEO,” our monthly blog series that brings you closer to the “why” behind PASCO initiatives, policies, and offerings. As a company committed to transparency and community building, we strongly believe in fostering open communication with our PASCO family.

By providing you with insights into our thought processes, we aim to build a stronger bridge of understanding and collaboration. If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming blog, please do not hesitate to fill out the form below. We’d love to hear from you.

February 2024

 

Q: Are there opportunities to learn new skills or receive additional training through PASCO? 

A: I’ve always loved learning. I love the challenge; the sense of accomplishment when I finish; the ah-ha moment when something I learned in a course shows up in the “real world.” And one of the things that I’ve truly fallen in love with about healthcare are the seemingly endless opportunities to learn and grow.

For those who love learning, it’s great to be at PASCO. At PASCO, direct care workers aren’t expected to be in one static job for the rest of their life. Here, we create opportunities for our employees to continue to grow and develop their skills within healthcare. Whether it’s to provide better care for your current client or to grow your personal expertise or credentials, PASCO goes beyond other home health and home care agencies to create FREE opportunities for those who love to learn. I hope to see you at one of our upcoming learning events:

  • CPR & First Aid: Initial AHA Certification
    • PASCO provides the opportunity for caregivers to receive free, AHA-approved CPR certification.
    • Next upcoming courses:
      • Lakewood – March 18th, 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM | Register Here
      • Colorado Springs (NEW!) – March 25th, 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM | Register Here
  • Journey to Adult Waivers – PASCO Transitions
    • We are excited to invite you to a virtual event full of useful information, resource sharing, and more. You will be joined by our PASCO team who will be bringing you information on important things to consider as your loved one with a disability approaches adulthood.
    • March 22nd, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM via Microsoft Teams | RSVP Here
  • Resiliency Series
    • Join speaker Emily Harvey for this monthly series that is designed to equip participants with the tools, mindset, and strategies needed to cultivate resilience in the face of challenges, setbacks, and change.
    • March 8th, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | RSVP Here
  • Emergency Preparedness Training
    • FEMA is hosting an webinar that aims to support caregivers in their efforts to engage and educate their support networks effectively and protect their loved ones and care recipients during emergencies.
    • March 7th, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM | Register Here
  • PASCO Skills Lab
    • PASCO Skills Lab allows interested caregivers in learning new caregiving skills, practicing the skills you already have, or having the opportunity to ask a nurse questions.
  • CNA School
    • As a reminder, CNA school tuition is completely free for our caregivers who will be providing CNA services to their loved one.
    • To learn more about this program, please connect with our Support team

View Our Upcoming Events

January 2024

 

Q: How can I refer other families to PASCO? 

A: Hello, PASCO family!

Over the last few months several members of our community have reached out to refer a new caregiver to PASCO. Often it is someone they met at an event, playground or office that could benefit from the knowledge, advocacy and care we have at PASCO.

Did you know that as a PASCO employee, you can help families in need of services and earn some extra cash along the way? For every caregiver you refer to PASCO through our Caregiver Referral Form, we’ll pay you $100 as a thank you for spreading the word about us and our programs to those who could benefit.

I’m incredibly proud of the work we’re doing together and the value we’re creating for our community. This referral bonus is simply our heartfelt thank you for helping us share our story (and for those of you I’ve had the chance to meet, you’ll know I get really excited when given the chance to share our story).

If you have questions about our Caregiver Referral Program, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Support team at support@pascohh.com or by calling (303) 233-3122.

Warm regards,
Leslee

Submit a Referral Here

November 2023

 

Announcement!

Following in the footsteps of the many strong advocates that have come before me at PASCO, I’m excited to share that I’ve been selected by CDLE to serve as a member of Colorado’s Direct Care Workforce Stabilization Board and by my fellow board members to serve as Vice Chair of the board.

The Direct Care Workforce Stabilization Board arose out of the Direct Care Workforce Stabilization Board Act (SB 23-261) passed by Colorado legislators in 2023.  The goal of this board is to provide guidance to the Governor on the direct care industry and how we can elevate labor standards, empower workers through education and address societal injustices affecting both caregivers and consumers.

My journey at PASCO has been deeply rooted in my passion for enhancing the well-being of our families, caregivers and clients.  Through this board, I intend to share my knowledge of our industry and to help our families’ voices be heard.
I welcome your ideas and input.  Please share them via the link below, send me an email (leslee.torres@pascohh.com) or call me at 303-233-3122 x138. 

 

October 2023

Q: I’ve heard that agencies are putting caregivers on hold because their PAR is delayed or was wrongfully denied. Am I at risk of not being paid if this happens to me?

A: At PASCO, we pride ourselves on our commitment to prioritizing our families above all else. Some individuals utilizing HCBS waivers are facing incorrect denials or unnecessary holds on their PARs due to the overwhelming workload of case management agencies. These delays can lead to uncertainties and financial strains for our families.

We understand the anxiety that can arise when you’ve meticulously completed all the necessary paperwork, checked every box, and fulfilled all the requirements to confirm your loved one’s eligibility, and there is still a risk of not being paid due to these external issues. We stand by the principle that if you’ve done your due diligence, you should be getting paid promptly. That’s why we’ve taken proactive steps to alleviate these concerns and provide protections for our families.

To read about PASCO’s safeguards in place to ensure that families are covered during unprecedented times like these, please click the link below.

See How PASCO Puts Families First

September 2023

 

Q: What effects would the upcoming potential government shutdown have on my pay and the services I provide as a caregiver?

A: In the midst of uncertainty surrounding a potential government shutdown, it’s understandable for our families to be concerned about their income and ability to continue care through Medicaid. In the last week, I’ve received several questions about what a potential government shutdown may bring for PASCO families.

I’d like to assure that your loved one’s care and your compensation as caregivers are covered in the event of a short-term shutdown for various reasons: 

  1. Programs like Medicaid are considered “mandatory spending” which means that these services are required to remain open even during a shutdown.  This requirement reduces the risk of staffing shortages with these programs which can lead to delays and lapses in funding.
  2. The services that caregivers provide through PASCO are funded by the State of Colorado and our state budget.  While our state receives a significant portion of its Medicaid dollars from the federal CMS program, this division provides additional protections for Medicaid funds. However, since Medicaid is considered “mandatory spending”, these funds are protected at the federal level. This means that our funding is well protected at both the state and federal levels in a shutdown.
  3. At PASCO, we are well-prepared to navigate potential disruptions caused by emergencies such as a shutdown. Agencies providing Medicaid services are required to keep services active for their clients for three months, even if funding is not received through the state during that time.  This is why it’s critical to partner with a reputable agency like PASCO to provide services.

As new developments regarding the shutdown arise, we will communicate these changes with our families. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes, please do not hesitate to connect with our support team at support@pascohh.com or by calling (303) 233-3122.

August 2023

 

Q: How has PASCO managed the end of the Public Health Emergency and the start of Medicaid redeterminations? How are our families faring?

A: I’m excited to share that less than 1% of PASCO families have lost state plan benefits to date as a result of the PHE ending and we’re actively working with these families to get coverage reinstated while they continue to provide care to their loved ones through PASCO.  I’m incredibly proud of this. HCPF has stated they estimated 315,000 Colorado Medicaid Members would lose coverage through this process (~18% of Medicaid Members).  We are nowhere near that percentage, which I believe is a testament to the ethical billing standards we uphold, our knowledge of the Colorado Medicaid system, our proactive communication with families ensuring they were aware of what was happening and when responses were needed and our commitment to advocating for our families.

I understand that the end of the Public Health Emergency and the urgency of Medicaid renewals can seem stressful and overwhelming to navigate. I want to assure you that you’re in good hands with your PASCO team and that we’re with you every step of the way. We’ve been preparing for these changes starting long before they were announced to ensure we mitigated as much risk as possible of our clients receiving an unnecessary gap in coverage. Our overall goal is to allow you to continue focusing on the care you provide for your loved ones day in and day out. If you have any questions about how to best prepare for the redetermination process, please contact your PASCO service coordinator or nurse. We’re with you! 

July 2023

 

Q: PASCO made significant changes to its health insurance program this year. Why were these changes made and what can I do to find affordable coverage?

A: In prior years, PASCO contracted with Kaiser to provide health insurance to its employees and their loved ones. Like other insurance providers, Kaiser sets its price based on our organization’s insurance claims in the prior coverage period and the rising cost of medical and pharmaceutical services in our area.

Despite our best efforts, our health insurance plan – like plans across the country – continues to face significant challenges due to cost inflation and the impact of Affordable Care Act regulations which do not account for our unique business model (specifically what the employee premium contribution can be and which household members the plan is required to cover). Our plan also faces additional burden due to uncharacteristically high plan utilization, which has caused its costs to dramatically outpace national medical inflation over the past years.

We did everything we could to avoid having to make this decision, but ultimately the rate increases that Kaiser was pushing on us (double-digit increases the last two years in a row) coupled with the Affordable Care Act’s coverage mandates and employee premium contribution limit decrease this year, made our current program unsustainable. We contacted other full insurers to provide offers and no other reputable insurer was willing to cover us.

Through significant effort, we did secure coverage though and were able to offer a plan once again. The objective of this plan is to lower our claims costs so we can hopefully have better options in the future. This new plan uses a few different tools to try to get there. First, our new plan does not have a network affiliation. It pays a multiple of what Medicaid would pay to the provider for any services rendered. It’s important for subscribers to verify with their provider in advance of the visit that they will accept this type of insurance to avoid balance billing. Secondly, while the cost of employee-only coverage went down, all other coverage options increased and spouses are no longer eligible for coverage.

At PASCO we believe deeply in Care for the Caregiver, and ultimately came to the conclusion that if we can help our caregivers evaluate all their options, we can help them find higher quality, more affordable care through other avenues including Connect for Health where they benefit from being pooled with the general Colorado population who have lower utilization. To this end, PASCO provided a Health Insurance Navigator free of charge to employees to support them in finding, understanding, and evaluating all options.

If you or a household member experience a qualifying event and would like to reevaluate your coverage options, please send a ticket to support@pascohh.com so our team can help connect you with our Health Insurance Navigator.

Questions? Contact our team today!

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