Qualified Providers in the Community
What is a Qualified Provider?
The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has more than 195 Qualified Providers to support individuals in residential, day and a variety of other services in the community.  Of these providers, 119 providers have been in existence since 2000 and 78 since 1995.  In fact, some of the providers have been providing qualified services in the community for more than thirty years.  These long term relationships have been developed through a partnership and respect between DDS and the provider agencies.  The quality of services is the most important aspect of our joint efforts.
How does an agency become a Qualified Provider for DDS?
There is a detailed process in place to qualify an agency with DDS which includes:
  • Providers must meet DDS requirements in the development of their procedures.
  • DDS does an extensive review of the history of the provider.
  • Personal interviews with the provider’s administration are conducted by DDS to ensure they understand the mission and guidelines of the agency.
  • A background check is completed on the Executive Director and he or she is personally trained by the department on policies, procedures and expectations.
How does the agency monitor the provider once they start providing services?
DDS has developed a system that measures the quality of supports delivered by a Qualified Provider and assesses the individual’s satisfaction with the supports.  The Quality Service Review (QSR) meets all requirements by the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and holds each provider to the same high standards that are expected at other federally funded facilities like STS.
How does QSR work?
  • DDS reviewers use the Quality Service Review to obtain data in seven focus areas;
    • Planning and Personal Achievement
    • Relationships and Community Inclusion
    • Choice and Control
    • Rights, Respect and Dignity
    • Safety
    • Health and Wellness
    • Satisfaction
  • The QSR reviewer evaluates both the individuals’ experiences and satisfaction with services and supports, and the provider’s quality system’s effectiveness in supporting individuals to achieve positive personal outcomes.
  • DDS Case Managers use a targeted review tool to review each service for each of the individuals on theircaseload on an annual basis.
  • Quality management reviewers use the full, comprehensive tool and currently the reviews are conducted, as follows:
    • Community Living Arrangements (CLA)- All locations, every two years on the licensing off-year
    • Continuous Residential Supports (CRS) – All locations, every year
    • Day Support Options (DSO) - All locations, every year
    • Sheltered Workshops (SHE)  - All locations, every year
    • In Home Supports (HIS), Supported Employment, Individualized Day – A sample of locations are reviewed annually.
  • All of the providers will be reviewed using the same method and will be certified to deliver distinct services.  The QSR enables the department to track results which can give families and individuals a clearer picture of a particular agencies performance.
  • The QSR reports can be found on the DDS website at www.ct.gov/dds under Providers/Provider Profiles.  This list will provide you with the names of all of the providers, information about each one and their QSR data.  This information will be helpful in choosing provider and services.
Additional Regional Oversight
Each of the three DDS Regions has an Assistant Regional Director (ARD) dedicated to providing oversight of the private providers in their regions. The ARD and his/her team oversee contracted services including assisting individuals in finding programs in the community. In addition, this team is responsible for the quality of the programs and monitors them as well as addressing any concerns.
How does DDS respond to problems with a qualified private provider?
DDS has developed a process for responding to identified problems with a provider.
  • DDS will meet with the agency to discuss the problem as soon as possible and develop a plan of correction for any problems.
  • If DDS believes it is a serious problem, the provider will be placed on Enhanced Contract Monitoring and the following steps will be taken by DDS:
    • Meet with the provider to discuss the problem. The Executive Director and/or one or more of the provider’s board of directors must attend.
    • Require the provider to develop a plan to fix the problem.
    • Increase the number of visits to the program to ensure that the individuals are safe if any of the problems are associated with their health and safety.
    • Verify that the provider has met all of the agencies expectations and that all of the problems have been addressed.
    • If the issues affecting the health and safety of the individuals are not corrected, remove all the individuals and not allow the private agency to provide supports.