Frequently Asked Questions

If the question you are asking is not listed below, please contact us.

General Questions

Clearwater COG is an acronym for the "Clearwater Council of Governments". Developed in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 167 pursuant to Council of Governments, COG. The Clearwater COG membership consists of eight (9) County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, CBDD. Clearwater COG was formed by an agreement between these Boards. Currently, Clearwater COG includes the following counties: Crawford, Erie, Hancock, Huron, Marion, Morrow, Ottawa, Seneca and Wyandot CBDD.

Clearwater COG was originally organized in 1996.

Generally, councils of governments may perform any activities, which its member organizations are authorized to carry out. However, a COG may not exceed the scope of the authority possessed by its member organizations.

COG Administration is the only required service which includes:
  • Fiscal Reporting of Waiver Services, including Utilization
  • Payment Authorization for Services
  • Monitor Patient Liability
  • General Waiver Support
  • Provider Compliance, Support, Recruitment and Development
  • Provider and County Board Training
  • Investment Opportunities
  • Resource for CBs and Providers
  • Technical assistance and Problem Resolution
  • Negotiation of Room and Board Provider Contracts
  • County Board Mock Accreditation

  • The Clearwater COG also offers a wide variety of services that County Boards can choose from in addition to COG Administration:
  • Administration of Supported Living Services
  • Investigative Agent Services, including back up services
  • UI/MUI Contact duties
  • Special Olympics Coordination
  • Eligibility Determinations
  • Service Excellence Summary Reviews
  • Medication Administration Quality Assurance
  • Behavior Supports
  • Payee Services
  • Human Resource Services
  • Transition Specialist Services
  • Benefits Analysis
Please check out our Employee Reference Guide: HERE
Clearwater has developed an enhanced monitoring process to assure quality services are being delivered and to enhance the quality of life for Ohioans with developmental disabilities. A Service Excellence Summary involves a home visit with the individual receiving supports. They are offered the option of whether a Contracted SES Liaison accompanies the Service Excellence Specialist to the interview or not. Interview questions are asked about outcomes and satisfaction. Positive outcomes are highlighted and recommendations are made to the individual’s team as a result of the interviews.
Clearwater contracts with self‐advocates or family members of individuals receiving supports from member county boards to assist with the service excellence summaries as part of the enhanced monitoring process. The intent of having liaisons is to assist individuals being interviewed to be more comfortable during home visits and interviews if there is a peer at the interview. Clearwater believes it is important to involve stakeholders in the process. Clearwater is always accepting applications for Contracted Service Excellence Liaisons with a job posting on the home page of our website. The Contracted Liaisons are compensated for their work.
An approved My Vision Plan (MVP), formerly known as Individual Support Plan, or revision, including signatures, must be submitted to the Clearwater COG. Information contained in the Level of Service Section of the plan is used to complete the PAWS form. Billing codes, ratios, hours, and effective dates must be included in order for the PAWS to be processed.
An MUI investigation is an administrative investigation that is conducted by a certified Investigative Agent (IA). These investigations are conducted to determine the cause of the incident, the contributing factors of the incident, and to develop a prevention plan in order to reduce the likelihood of future occurrences.
A protocol investigation is conducted when any type of abuse (including prohibited sexual relations), neglect, misappropriation, exploitation, or death is reported to have occurred with a consumer. Also included in protocol investigations are reports of peer-to-peer acts, rights code violations, and a staff person's failure to report an incident. Protocol cases require formal interviews, written statements of involved parties, and a case disposition (substantiated/unsubstantiated) and usually involve a PPI (Primary Person Involved).

A non-protocol investigation is conducted for "lower level cases" such as attempted suicides, missing individuals, law enforcement involvement, medical emergencies, unapproved behavior supports, hospitalizations, and known and unknown injuries. Although serious, these cases do not always warrant conducting formal interviews and obtaining written statements.
A PPI, or primary person involved, is generally the name of the person who has been reported as the responsible person in the incident. If you are named a PPI in an alleged incident, the IA will interview you and explain the allegations to you.
If you are a named a PPI in an alleged incident, you will receive a written and/or verbal notification of the case disposition (whether the case against you was substantiated or unsubstantiated). You will not be permitted to have any other facts of the case due to the Ohio laws that regulate the investigations of MUIs.
A finding of "substantiated" means that the preponderance of the evidence collected during the investigation indicates that the incident occurred. A finding of "unsubstantiated/ insufficient evidence" means that the evidence collected during the investigation indicates there was not a preponderance of the evidence to support the allegation or that the evidence collected during the investigation was conflicting or inconclusive. A finding of "unsubstantiated/ unfounded" means that the evidence collected during the investigation indicates that the allegation did not or could not have occurred.
If you are named as a PPI in an alleged incident, the decision to place you on administrative leave rests with your employer. Your employer must ensure the consumer's health and safety, as well as protect you from being named in further allegations.
Depending on the seriousness of the allegation, most employers have a disciplinary process that they follow when an employee's actions infract their policy.
DODD reviews substantiated allegations and they determine which cases will be reviewed for possible placement on the abuser registry.
The Department will make every effort/attempt to notify the staff person of upcoming hearings and the registry process.
The MUI Rule indicates that an investigation should be completed within thirty working days of the initial report; however, depending on the nature of the case, the investigation could reasonably take longer.
Anytime an allegation could possibly be criminal in nature (abuse, misappropriation, exploitation, etc...) law enforcement will be notified and a formal police report will be submitted.
The MUI Rule (5123:2-17-02) requires that all DD staff shall cooperate with MUI investigations.
Typically when an MUI is discovered, a report is made to the county board via a written incident report. The county board will then contact the Investigative Agent (IA) to report the incident. The IA then reports the incident to DODD via an online system (ITS). Depending on the nature of the alleged incident, the IA will conduct interviews, obtain written statements and provide the county board with a written report of the findings of the investigation.
MUI's need to be reported to the representative county board of that individual

Provider Questions

A "provider" of services to persons with developmental disabilities may be either a licensed provider or a certified provider of Supported Living services. An individual or organization may become certified as a Supported Living provider to provide Medicaid and/or non-Medicaid funded services to individuals with developmental disabilities living in their own homes. There is no limit to the number of supported living providers that can become certified.

A licensed provider operates a residential facility (group home) and is licensed to operate the facility for a specific number of people at a specific location. The State of Ohio established a maximum number of beds that it will allow to be licensed in residential facilities. The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities is currently at that maximum number. Therefore, the department is not issuing any new licenses for residential facilities.

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities must certify agencies and or individuals that provide Supported Living services.

Applications are reviewed on an individual basis, and must include documentation that the applicant meets all qualifications and standards to become certified.

An individual or agency is prohibited from providing any service until certification is obtained from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. For more information, contact Certification Services at (800) 617-6733 ext. 3.

Provider certification is an on-line application process at www.dodd.ohio.gov. On the home page, there is a section titled "For Providers" and under that a link "How to Become a Provider" that will offer basic information and necessary paperwork to be completed.

If you have questions, you may contact Barb Bacak, Administrative Assistant at (419)898-8264 ext. 3 or Michelle Chevalier, Provider Support Specialist, at Clearwater Council of Governments at (567) 262-3154. They can forward necessary information to you that will need to be completed for your certification. Please feel free to contact them at any time during the certification process.
According to rule 5123: 2-9-11, all individuals have a right to choose any qualified and willing provider of home and community based waiver services. The rule may be viewed HERE

The SSA is responsible for notifying the individual of his/her free choice of provider at the time of initial waiver enrollment and annually thereafter. The SSA shall assist the individual with searching for a new provider through the DODD provider pool and/or through the Clearwater COG’s provider pool. Once potential providers have been identified, the SSA shall coordinate and participate, as needed, in interviews of prospective providers.
The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) website, www.dodd.ohio.gov. contains a tab for waiver billing instructions.

The Waiver Billing and the Provider Support Service Units work together to assure that the DODD provider community is paid in a timely manner. If there is a problem with your billing or reimbursement, please call Provider Support Services at (800) 617-6733 or e-mail provider.support@dmr.state.oh.us to get any issues resolved.

When contacting Provider Support Services, please provide your full name, agency name (if applicable), your DODD contract billing number, phone number including area code where you can be reached between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and a brief description of the problem (include individual name, Medicaid number, billing codes, billing dates, errors codes and dates of service).

Their goal is to return your call or e-mail as soon as they are able to. They aim for a 48 hour turnaround.

If you are still having difficulty after contacting the state, you may contact Michelle Chevalier, Provider Support Specialist, at Clearwater Council of Governments at 567-262-3154.
If the supported living bills are sent to the Clearwater COG, contact Amy Lash at 567-262-3153 with any questions. If the supported living bills are sent to the county board, contact the county board.
Once you have received your Initial and Final Certification letters from DODD, you forward them to Rachael Benson at Clearwater COG. She will add you to our provider pool and request any additional information that may be needed.
The COG has several mechanisms we use to keep the lines of communication open. Informational notices and training brochures are sent by email. Trainings are also posted on our website calendar and on Facebook, In addition, we conduct provider meetings every quarter. These meetings are centrally located in the COG area (Tiffin).

Please be sure to let Rachael Benson know if your contact information changes. Rachael can be reached by telephone at 419 680-6924 or via e-mail at rbenson@clearwatercog.org. Also, be sure to join our mailing list to stay informed! HERE
The COG offers a northern and southern training for small provider agencies and individual providers annually. This training includes Incidents Adversely Affecting Health and Welfare (MUI/UI), Individual Rights, as well as covering other timely training needs. In addition, the COG provides trainings 3-4 times per year on current pertinent areas. These trainings are open to county board and provider staff. Agency specific training requests are considered on an individual basis.
Please visit the resource section of our website for documentation templates that include all of the required elements.