VIRGINIA EASY ACCESS

held September 25, 2009

Virginia Easy Access, presented by the Virginia Department for the Aging, is a part of the Commonwealth’s No Wrong Door initiative. No Wrong Door offers individuals a simple, single point of entry for information on long-term support options, applications for benefits, and other supportive programs. It also provides a secure web-based system that connects state and local public agencies, private organizations and providers, allowing consumer information to be shared in a confidential manner and improving coordination of long-term care services.

“The new Virginia Easy Access website is a virtual portal – an electronic doorway – through which seniors and adults with disabilities will find both access to important and needed information and assistance in applying for services,” said Governor Kaine.

Virginia Easy Access provides a single doorway to information about public benefits and programs and includes a variety of informative topics of interest to seniors and adults with disabilities. From this easy-to-use website, individuals can link to a feature that enables them to search for specific services in each community. There are also imbedded links that lead the user to detailed information on a multitude of topics.

For example, Virginia Easy Access is a doorway to VirginiaNavigator, a listing of over 21,000 programs and services across the Commonwealth powered by SeniorNavigator. The VirginiaNavigator provider database is continually being updated to make available the most comprehensive listing of services and supports in the Commonwealth, allowing the website user to locate services in every community.

Developed by service professionals and technology experts with help from seniors and individuals with disabilities, Virginia Easy Access is simple to use, easy to understand, and accessible from anywhere in the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Supported by 2-1-1 Virginia Call Center Operators, citizens may utilize Virginia Easy Access to e-mail questions and receive assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Virginia Easy Access will enable citizens to complete a Medicaid application on-line and electronically submit it directly to the appropriate local social services agency for processing.

Review below the webinar recording of September 25, 2009 led by Ms. Debbie Burcham, Chief Deputy Commissioner at the Virginia Department for the Aging or review the slides appended below. The recording features a PowerPoint presentation followed by a Q&A session.

Questions and Answers

Q:Will there be an electronic signature on the Medicaid application, or will it have to be mailed for signature?

A: The electronic Medicaid application will not have electronic signature capability.  However, a signed application will not be necessary.  Once the application is submitted on-line, that will satisfy as the signature.

Q:Was the Disability Navigator part of the development of Easy Access and is there information for families who have CHILDREN with disabilities?

A: DisabilityNavigator is a product developed by SeniorNavigator for Fairfax County. The information for the database contained in DisabilityNavigator is part of SeniorNavigator’s database and will be available through VirginiaNavigator for Virginia Easy Access.  We are not able to include services to children at this time, but it is a longer range vision for Virginia Easy Access when funding can be secured.

Q:Perhaps you are getting to it, but what part does SeniorNavigator play in the site?

A: SeniorNavigator is a partner in this initiative and provides the very powerful SeniorNavigator database for Virginia Easy Access.  Member providers are those that provide services to seniors and adults with disabilities.  It is not a tool designed for use by public libraries.

Q:Is the medicaid application the only application available on the website.

Currently, the only application featured on the Virginia Easy Access web portal is the Medicaid application that will soon be an electronic application.  However, under the Financial Help section a user can get to the Food Stamp application by simply going to that content page and clicking the Dept. of Social Services website mentioned.  It will take the user directly to that page.

Q:How do I update my organization’s information?

Providers represented in the SeniorNavigator/VirginiaNavigator data base can up-date their information by simply e-mailing them at brenda at seniornavigator dot org

Q:How often will information be updated?  For example: available openings at adult day programs.

A: Information may be up-dated as often as the provider wishes it to be.  It can be a “real-time” resource but more likely, the provider will only up-date it occasionally and the user will have to contact the provider directly to determine openings. If you are a provider and want to know how to up-date your information, contact brenda at seniornavigator dot org

Q:What is the strategic plan for making professionals as well as the general public aware of the Virginia Easy Access initiative?

We currently have a very limited budget for marketing Virginia Easy Access.  We are happy to make presentations like the one today for those who request it.  We are working with the No Wrong Door Resource Team to develop a marketing plan and then will work with private partners and other funding sources to implement the plan.

Q:Do the disabilities covered by Easy Access include mental health or AIDS?

A: Resources available through Virginia Easy Access are applicable to individuals with all types of disabilities (e.g. transportation, housing, financial help).  SeniorNavigator is working with state agencies to add providers to their database in order to make it even more comprehensive than it is now.

Q:How will this website be marketing  to the general public?

We currently have a very limited budget for marketing Virginia Easy Access.  We are happy to make presentations like the one today for those who request it.  We are working with the No Wrong Door Resource Team to develop a marketing plan and then will work with private partners and other funding sources to implement the plan.

Q:Will there be Virginia Easy Access brochures available that we can distribute at our agencies to make our clients aware of this website ?

A: Yes, we are currently getting Virginia Easy Access material printed.  If you are interested in receiving copies for distribution, please e-mail me at debbie dot burcham at vda dot virginia dot gov

Q:Who updates 2-1-1 info and/or checks accuracy if not agency representatives?

Agencies are responsible for up-dating their own information and keeping it current.  SeniorNavigator sends out reminder notices annually and I feel certain that 2-1-1 has a similar mechanism to up-date information.  SeniorNavigator and 2-1-1 Virginia are working together to assure that both databases are up-dated when information is received from providers.

Q:Why is there no “Health Care Services” icon?

We will be enhancing the web portal regularly and will consider creating new features in the future.  There is a Health Care section already on the portal under Community Supports that you might find helpful that I forgot to mention during my presentation.

Q:How do we register to be a member provider and how to use additional data tools for intake and shared infromation

Private providers in certain areas of the state are able to become member providers however there is a  cost for this technology.  If you are interested in finding out more, you may contact our No Wrong Door Coordinator, Charlene Cole at charlene dot cole at vda dot virginia dot gov

Q:Why wouldn’t the example you gave for the services and supports your parents need, have produced the consideration of a Medicaid Waiver?

My understanding from SeniorNavigator is that this database provides a listing of providers of services and does not produce benefits that a user might be eligible for.  The user can look under the Financial Help section of Virginia Easy Access to get information about benefits and other financial resources.

Q:Contact information to request easy access panel page.  Also, when will the medicaid application be accessible electronically to submit to local DSS?

To get the Virginia Easy Access brochure send your request to me at debbie.burcham@vda.virginia.gov.  The electronic Medicaid application should be ready to pilot in October and ready for the general public in the late fall.

Q:What consideration was given to diverse cultural representation in the photo for home page?  Also, was any research done on the color choice for the web site

Thank you for pointing this out.  We were concerned about including pictures of seniors and adults with disabilities.  I will look at this again in the next enhancement to the site.  Yes, much research was done for the color choice.  We researched the best colors to use for best contrast and for those individuals with color blindness.  The colors selected were considered by authoritative sources as good ones to use.

REVIEW THE RECORDING

REVIEW THE SLIDES