Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: nj ppp [personal preference program recent issues, need advice...

  1. #1
    Member juras's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    us of a, currently in new joysie....
    Posts
    56

    nj ppp [personal preference program recent issues, need advice...

    salutations,

    i'm wondering whether other [and how many] disabled care receivers, and their care givers, have found themselves being completely in the dark with regards to nj's ppp [personal preference program] billing/payouts ever since the pcg [public consulting group] took over the program's management relatively recently?...
    or in fact, like my pca/home health aide, actually getting significantly shorted financially by the pcg for the amount of hours they worked iin a billing cycle, every few payout cycles?...

    please read my story below and if you're also a nj ppp participant, as presently managed by the pcg company, please share here whether you're experiencing similar issues as i...
    i believe the program is part of medicaid now and i'm sure other states have their versions of it [likely under a different name?] but since i live in nj and nj's ppp is now managed by the pcg company i'm mainly interested in opinions from folks in nj?

    i'm sure most disabled persons residing in the nj state are familiar with the ppp [personal preference program] which allows you to find your own pca/home health aide and pay that person directly via federal funds instead of having to rely on a home healt aide agency and whomever they might send/assign to you...
    this program is not only better for the care receivers but also for the home health aides, and the government as well because there's no entity [such as a home care/health aide agency] between the care giver and receiver, thus no money goes to the third party, only to the care giver via care receiver....hot damn, it's a 3 way win, at least it was... it allows the government to spend less per hour of care received yet the care giver still makes more money per hour because there's no longer the significant percentage cut which agency used to pocket....

    anyway... i am one of the first 30 trial nj participants in the ppp program before it went federal and official so i've been with it from its very inception, i can't remember now, since 2003 or 2004 maybe?.... i've been more than happy with it since the early 2000s and could not say one bad word about it... until very recently when some new company/agency named pcg took over its management...

    i happen to have my mother as my pca, she lives very near me, next town over and she would often have to re-clean/do over the poorly performed work by a health care agency assigned caregiver later on daily basis before the ppp program... she does a far better job, and she is getting paid for it...
    i'm a c6 quad but even 15 years ago I was often bedridden, nowadays i'm grounded in bed 95% of the time and i've had 28 hours per week [56 hrs in a 2 week billing cycle] of home care allocated to me ever since the program started and my mom was getting paid a certain hourly wage.. it doesn't matter that my mom often actually puts in more hours than that as i age and deteriorate healthwise, she's been quite happy to be paid for all the hard work and i'm happy with her work and that she's getting paid for it... thus, we decided not to ask for mor hours to be allocated to me...

    until pcg took over, the timesheets for the billing cycles were quite simple to fill out, transparent with regards to filled in info, included dates/start and quitting times, number of hours worked on each day and activity/nature of work performed... the payouts were by the total hours within the 2 week billing cycle worked...
    my mom usually works 5 hours each day for me during the workweek, and 3 hours on saturdays... theoretically she had the sundays off [not really though] and that's how the timesheets were filled out by me, except for different times of arrivals/departures and particular activities performed on certain days....
    thus, accordingly, her paycheck was always in the same amount and she could count on this.
    [since i couldn't put more hours on the timesheets than i was allocated, the 'fraud' i was committing by actually lowering the numbers of hours on the timesheets was ok by me; no one was getting scammed]?

    unfortunately, sometime about 1.5 years ago, the ppp's management was given by the government to some company/group called pcg [public consulting group - here's a name which means absolutely nothing] and ever since then the ppp program has imo been a total bedlam...
    the timesheets have been completely changed to more confusing info and less transparency [no dates, etc], but worse yet, the payout system is completely different, and - quite simply put - whack...
    no longer are the payouts paid by the hourly wages, well, at least not the way it works at every other job in the usa... instead - from what has been 'explained' to me [although somewhat unclearly and differently each time by a seemingly new consultant with every quarterly visit at my place] there's now a set dollar amount allocated per each physical [calendar] month [not depending on how many hours/days a set value of a month consists of] and rather than count - say a 28 day [4 full weeks] or even a 30 day definition of a 'month' - the same amount is allocated for whatever month happens to be... same amount for june, july, august, sptember, even february... and yet, one still has to fill-in the set amount of hours on the timeheets and they must add up to the previously allocated max number of hours [from before pcg took over] or they'll cut the check short...

    now, as it was - albeit unclearly - explained to me about 3-4 months ago, to make it more weird you can now actually increase the number of hours worked by your care giver and fill out the timesheet thus on your own but the payment will still be the same... the pcg would now simply lower the hourly wage set for the care giver to account for this....this makes absolutely no logical sense to me... first, since supposedly there's now a monthly set amount of funds allocated for each calendar month, what's even the friggin' point of filling in how any hours the care giver worked?... it seems that now instead of hours allocated per week or per 2 weks, or per month, at a set hourly wage there a set of actual monetary monthly amount allocated....

    what doesn't make this work at all with regards to the care giver receiving a paycheck with the same amount each payout cycle [despite working the same set amont of hours each calendar week] is the fact that - obviously - many 2 week [14 days] timesheets don't fall exactly on the start or end of each calendar month and pcg pays out varying amounts for many checks... thus, the caregiver can no longer count on the same amount being paid out every 2 week cycle... the amount can sometimes vary greatly between $400 and $600 each 2 weeks and sometimes even under $400....
    this is whack, no sane person would ever take a job as a care giver if he/she cannot be certain of how much will the bi-weekly paycheck amount be, even when working the exact same number of hours every single day...if it were anyone but my mother, i'd no longer have a pca and since she's getting up in age i'll soon have to look for someone to work in her stead; no one else would work such crazy payout system however...

    at first - after the pcg took over the ppp program - i kept filling out the timesheets in the same manner i've been doing so for something like a decade and a half, i.e. 5 hours per each 5 days of the 'business' week [mon - fri] plus 3 hours each saturday and 0 hours on sundays...
    however, often, the pay my mom would receive at the end of the 2 week cycle would be less than the hours she actually put in...
    after calling the pcg [they pay about 1.5 week after the timesheets for a particular 2 week billing cycle are submitted via fax or on-line] a couple of months or a bit later about the missing money from older payouts [thinking that they'd make up the difference in later payouts] they'd say that there's a relatively short period to resubmit a claim for unpaid timesheet amount so my mom got stiffed a few times by quite a bit $...

    this was unacceptable but getting a straight answer from the pcg with regards to an explanation of how to get the same amount of money each payout cycle is very difficult and contacting them in writing [to have a record of what was stated/explained] is an exercise in frustration [doubtlessly made so purposely] as you must fill out a contacct us form on their website [2k charaters limit which allows for only brief explanation of an issue], then they reply with an e-mail that doesn't contain an actual body of text reply but an encrypted microsoft outlook e-mail attachment [!!!!!!] which you must save/open and log in with a microsoft password just to read it... unfortunately i do not use outlook nor any microsoft program for my e-mail because i use optimum e-mail box directly on optimum's servers [optimum's my isp] and to just be able to read the reply e-mail from pcg [remember i'm a quad and typing is veryy difficult for me] i had to:

    1. click on the attachment in the encrypted e-mail reply...
    2. click 'save' to my hardrive...
    3. go to my files on hard drive, find it and click on it....
    4. once it opened in the detested by me new 'windows edge' browser [i prefer and use only 'internet explorer'] i had to ---
    5. click the 'log in with a one time pass code' [because you still can't see the message without logging in with a microsoft password and i don't have, nor want, one]...
    6. after a message displayed that a 'one time pass code was sent to my e-mail' was sent to me, i had to go to my e-mail box again,
    7. click to open that e-mail, copy the passcode....
    8. go back to my hd and paste that one time passcode' into the password box [left that file open so wouldn't have to find it again] and...
    finally the encrypted microosoft outlook webpage opened [in anothr window in 'windows edge' despite having 'internet explorer' set as default browser on my laptop] with ppcg customer svc's reply [signed without a last name] informing me that i can access it for only 12 hours...

    but......… when i tried to reply [about 8 times in a row within a half hour period, every few minutes] to it, it never worked...a message displayed each time informing me that message couldn't be sent and to try again later...wtf?????????????????.
    yeah, i could call them instead but then i'd have no record of the conversation for future reference/proof and i've had too many lies told by many supposedly customer reps recently at various companies to go that route... i have a strong persistent feeling they don't particularly like to be contacted in writing and rather discourage it....

    i was told about 3 months ago by yet another one of the several subsequently assigned 'financial assistant' from pcg to me - whom i asked of about this at a previous to last visit at my place - that in order for my pca [my mom in this instance] to receive the same amount of pay in each 2 weekk payout cycle was to ensure that the total hours worked by her and filled in by me on the timesheets will total to my max allocated monthly hours [56 hours each 2 weeks so 112 for each calendar month] every calendar month... so, from the 1st to 31st [or 30th, or 28th if the latter is a february] i have to make sure that the total doesn't exceed 112 hours but also that it isn't less than 112 hours....

    this requires a rather protracted arithmetic [I friggin' hate math, always have but ok] when filling out certain timesheets and constantly consulting a calendar [there are no daily dates indicated on timesheets] as well as previously 1 or 2 submitted timesheets and is problematic for a quadriplegic...i have an old laptop whiich doesn't do internet well, plus i'm old school and prefer physical timesheets to on-line/on-screen forms...
    nevertheless, i started to fill out those timesheets accordingly and asked my mom to actually work the same changed hours so I wouldn't be committing a fraud......
    however, after closely watching the payouts to my mom we realized that this system is just as whack and doesn't result in same amount of pay in each payout cycle despite wht i was officially told by a 'financial assistant'...arrrrggggh..............

    finally, a yet new 'financial assistant' assigned to me called last week [on a friggin' sunday no less] to set up a quarterly visit... i'll save you the detals of that visit but suffice it to say that imo she was not only incompetent [she tried to 'impress' me stating she was a college professor previously, i have little regards for most college professors in the real world regrettably and told her so...i know this is a 'rutgers u' forum but sorry; i say what i think] and completely unable to explain a key issue and a logical question, but she was likely somewhat mentally unbalanced...or perhaps just presumptious and didn't like something about me; we certainly did not get along splendidly...

    anyway, she told me that what i was told by the previous 'financial assistant' was wrong; yeah, by now i konda figured as much... however, when i finally and desperately posed a rather straight and simple question: "so how do i fill in the timesheets once and for all to ensure that my mom receives the same amount of pay for each billing cycle she works?" she started making no sense and repeated over and over the same meaningless slogans which were completely off topic as far as my question... she left without solving a single issue she was there to help me with...

    the best my mom [an ex-senior accountant for several years] and i could figure out was that i now need to fit the entire monthly allocated number of hours [112] into the timesheets which have no overlapping days of either the previous or the next calendar month...
    e.g. if a timesheet happens to have the few last days of the previous month, or the few first days of the following calendar month on it, i should leave those few days blank, as if my mom was off for that period and instead add those days to the timesheet[s] which span completely only the days of this single calendar month... i don't know if that's clear to understand but thoose who are participants of the ppp program and fill out the timesheets shoould understand....

    however, if that's the only way to ensure my mom receives a steady check for the same amount each paycycle, it poses a serious ethical and even a legal issue... quite frankly it requires me to commit a fraud and with full knowledge to fill in the timesheets incorrectly; i.e. to lie...i.e. to break law, notwithstanding the matter of honorable conduct [i take honor very seriously]... this would also potentially make me liable for any legal consequences, especially if that pcg company finally gets into legal trouble and i'd try to sue them or get justifiable delinquent compensation for my mom... i, as her employer, am responsible for filling out those timesheet hours truthfully and am actually signing my name stating so...

    i'm in fact seriously considering contacting someone like a disability lawyer well versed iin such matters and pehaps a class law suit is a good option should i find out that many others are experiencing similar issues via pcg...i also think that they're afoul of the government and at the very least someone is pocketing the money which my mom was never paid after all... hell, maybe they don't rip uncle sam off after all because it's easier to rip off the dumbass crippled idiots instead...
    at the very least i think i'm going to have to lodge a major complaint against the pcg and perhaps someone here could point me in the right direction, i don't think that the ftc would be the best choice here....

    any advice?... please sound off, especially if you're currently involved with the ppp program...
    thanks for taking the time to read all this... my typing thumb is freakin' done...limp and hurts actually...

    cheers - jerzy...
    Last edited by juras; 12-04-2018 at 07:19 AM.
    wherever you go there you are...

  2. #2
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    NW NJ ***********T12 cmplt since 95
    Posts
    1,145
    Hey there, Sporting Life!
    I can't comment on the PCA stuff, no idea.
    But, WTF is this "i'm a c6 quad but even 15 years ago I was often bedridden, nowadays i'm grounded in bed 95% of the time"
    Really!?? What's become of you? I hope SuperQuad is still available, at least part time!
    Let me know how you're doing. I'm still
    trucking-71yoa now, had a minor heart attack on Thanksgiving, but I think may have helped my mojo (like a car that won't go over 20 with a clogged fuel filter, after it gets replaced!)
    Your Kurshall 3000GT I purchased twenty years+ ago still is in service, often as a loan to someone.
    Julie had a major heart attack but is about to resume performing (www.juliemacsings.com). She's 135lbs, eleven years younger, never smoked or drank, walks 3mi every morning.
    She had a fairly rare SCAD (spontaneous cardiac artery dissection) heart attack that is not predictable. Go figure. Her alcoholic smoker (formers) sedentary shit eating husband had the expected clogged artery type
    Looking forward to hearing from you, Phil

    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  3. #3
    Member juras's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    us of a, currently in new joysie....
    Posts
    56
    phil, shoot me your phone number [I misplaced my black book sometime ago] with the best time to call via a private message here and i'll try to give ya a ring within the next few days man... really sorry to hear about heart problems both of yas had but happy to hear you've both recovered nicely apparently... yeah, i'm not doing so hot these days but don't want to get into a chat about our lives here in public hehe... damn, I've gone through at least 5 chairs since that kushall, you evidently take care of your chairs much better than i do... anyway, i almost never log into my facebook page anymore so best to shoot me your number here while i check this site regularly for any potential replies to my inquiry above...although I fear I might've typed way too many words here as i tend to do and people likely get bored before they get halfway down my writ above so probably won't get any replies...talk to ya soon...
    wherever you go there you are...

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-23-2016, 11:04 AM
  2. Bowel Program Issues
    By Jenn0603 in forum Care
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-27-2011, 09:58 AM
  3. Need Bowel Program Advice
    By Christina Good in forum Care
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-13-2011, 12:04 AM
  4. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-24-2008, 08:15 PM
  5. recent para just need some advice
    By blonco in forum New SCI
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 05-19-2007, 09:20 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •