Level II - MI Evaluations to Transition to Ascend
July 16, 2019
Level II - MI Evaluations to Transition to Ascend

​​Letter from Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration will soon be making the transition in management of its PASRR Level II - Mental Illness (MI) evaluations to our current Level I and Level II Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD) partner, Ascend, a MAXIMUS Company. Recognized for their proven record in partnering with states across the country to provide management of a variety of complex government service programs, Ascend has also brought their expertise and commitment to serving individuals across Indiana through their current management of the State's PASRR Level I screening and Level II -IDD evaluations, as well as Level of Care evaluations. Starting July 1, 2019, Ascend will take over Level II MI assessments and will have five days to complete them.

​This upcoming change, which will happen on Monday, July 1st, was made for several critical reasons. The decision to bring both MI and IDD evaluations under one entity will bring more consistency in process, as well as greater simplicity and modernization for submitters. Though individual cases may vary, as a whole across the state, we expect submitters will see faster response for referrals submitted. The state of Indiana will have the ability to gather and track valuable data about individuals in the PASRR population, which has not previously been available in a usable format. Most importantly, we believe this transition will positively impact the individuals seeking nursing facility care, with streamlined service and high-quality assessments they have come to rely on with our Community Mental Health Center partners.

FSSA recognizes there are some areas of the state in which this change may cause delays for completion of the Level II MI assessments compared to current workflows. We are sensitive to concerns about the potential for increased lengths of stay and the associated fiscal impact. Be assured residents transitioning from the emergency department into a nursing facility are currently prioritized above all other placements, for Level I and Level of Care, and now for Level II, better ensuring this population is reached efficiently. Of note, Ascend's contractually-mandated average time of completion - within five days - is below the federal requirement, which dictates PASRR determinations must be made within an annual average of 7 to 9 working days of referral (see § 483.112).


Additionally, submitters can take some tangible steps to ensure evaluations are completed as quickly as possible. First, upload - please do not fax - all required information into AssessmentPro. Having required information prevents Ascend from having to put the referral on hold while requesting additional information or tracking down the record to upload it manually. If any additional information is requested, please be sure to respond promptly. Second, start the PASRR process as soon as the patient is admitted rather than waiting until they are ready for discharge. Performing the Level I as soon as possible after admission allows an assessor to be dispatched before the individual is ready for discharge if a Level II is required.


We strongly urge all submitters to take advantage of webinar training opportunities being provided by FSSA and Ascend. We are committed to ensuring a smooth, successful transition for all involved stakeholders and invite your comments and questions along the way.

Questions regarding the PASRR process as a whole can be directed to Vanessa Convard, Director of Community Initiatives & Long-Term Care Transition with the Division of Aging at vanessa.convard@fssa.in.gov or 317.232.4355.


Questions regarding Level II MI can be directed to Kelsi Linville, Bureau Chief, Adults with Mental Illness and Co-occurring Disorders with the Division of Mental Health and Addiction at kelsi.linville@fssa.in.gov or 317.234.6795.


Questions regarding Level II ID/RC can be directed to Holly Wimsatt, Director of Client Services with the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services at holly.wimsatt@fssa.in.gov or 317.232.3162.


Patient Safety