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Caring Comes Through Once Again in Results of Latest State Audit at Hamaspik

Medicaid Service Coordination, Comm Hab, Employment, Respite Programs Pass

July 22, '15

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

Hamaspik’s teams of Medicaid Service Coordinators (MSCs) don’t just do it—they overdo it.  And the same is true for all of Hamaspik’s front-line staff.

That truism came to the fore this past Thursday, July 10, as a government audit described by a staffer as “extremely thorough” found no shortcomings or deficiencies in the daily work put in by the MSCs— daily work that isn’t so much for Hamaspik as it is for the individuals with disabilities on those MSCs’ rosters.

The annual audit of MSC records, a review required once a year by the supervisory New York State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), looks at the record-keeping maintained by every agency providing MSC services.

Medicaid Service Coordination refers to the advocacy available to any individual with intellectual or other disability who receives services and supports from the OPWDD or affiliated agency like Hamaspik.

While MSC work by definition largely consists of ensuring that the individual in question gets the programs and/or services for which he or she qualifies, it’s quite another thing at Hamaspik.

At Hamaspik of Rockland County’s MSC program, which underwent the aforementioned audit, the agency’s Service Coordinators regularly do a lot more than their job requires them to do.

In short, they care. A lot.

Evidence of that caring was the audit conducted in early July, in which an auditor spent several hours reviewing numerous records binders on the dozens of individuals serviced by Hamaspik of Rockland County’s MSCs.

Combing through the notes, confidential information, Individualized Service Plans (ISPs) service records and more that comprise each individual’s records binder, the auditor took the time to peruse a sizable slice of the agency’s MSC-program records.

With all the files up to date, the auditor “only had praise for everything,” says one Hamaspik of Rockland County staff member involved, who added that the auditor could even tell by the notes that the agency MSCs provide great service.

Given the devotion and caring regularly put in by MSC Supervisor Mrs. Nechama Nissenbaum, RN and MSCs Mrs. Toby Bloch, Mrs. Bruchy Brill, Mr. Joel Friedman, Mrs. Bruchy Greenwald, Mr. Yaakov Grunwald, Mrs. Perry Markowitz, Mr. Joel Schnitzer, Mrs. Chana Singer and Mrs. Reiny Steif, that praise perhaps is unsurprising.

At the same time, the audit also took a good look at onsite records for Hamaspik of Rockland County’s Community Habilitation (Comm Hab) and At-home Respite programs run expertly by Mrs. Elky Eger, and its Supported Employment (SEMP) efforts under Messrs. Shloime Kornbluh and Eli Neuwirth. Those programs, along with all the others, are also constantly supported inhouse by Hamaspik Quality Improvement (QI) officer Eliezer Appel.

Under Community Habilitation, dozens of community members service dozens of community members with disabilities, helping each acclimate to and attain their personal goals and valued outcomes in terms of social and communal integration.

With the At-home Respite program, parents of children and young adults with special needs get competent assistants to take their precious charges off their hands for those invaluable few hours, allowing them to tend to their other children, housekeeping and other demands of daily life.

And with the Supported Employment initiative, an effort increasingly in vogue in the disability- services industry nationwide, people with various intellectual and other challenges are helped by Hamaspik to find and hold down quality mainstream employment— thanks to compassionate, patient and effective job hunting and coaching by Hamaspik’s employment crew.

Regularly putting in long and full days, Mr. Neuwirth alone will frequently find himself out in the field, picking clients up to drive them to worksites, spending hours with them coaching them at employment venues, and putting in the painstaking hours to acclimate them to the mainstream.

It all boils down to one thing: Hamaspik cares.