|Name||Vendor Services and payments|
|Description||an Acumen Final video|
Welcome and congratulations, employers of record! We are pleased to be your Fiscal Agent and we look forward to working with you and your employees. We also welcome those of you who use vendor services only to this training. This module outlines the same guidelines and procedures you use to access vendor services and make vendor payments. NOTE: while there may be additional similarities in terminology and program operations, specific references to employer-related responsibilities do not apply to you. This video training series presents general information to support and assist you in your role as an employer. NOTE: Always check with your Program to verify details of this information and specifics of the law as they apply to you. If you have questions, please contact us. Terms to know. Important NOTE: Self-directed services means that Participants, or their representatives if applicable, have decision-making authority over certain services and take direct responsibility to manage their services with the assistance of a system of available supports. “You” in the following descriptions is inclusive and refers to the Participant and/or designated representatives. Acumen – The Fiscal Agent that helps you manage employer-related financial and other responsibilities pertaining to your self-directed services. Authorization – Documentation that specifies approved services, service codes, and number of units, hours, or dollars for delivery of goods and services included in the Plan of Care. Case Manager – Person assigned by the Program to work with you and facilitate details of your self-directed program (a Case Manager may be known by other titles, depending on Program terminology). Employee – Person who works for you and provides services to the Participant. Employer – Person who hires and supervises staff to provide services to the Participant (the Employer may also be the Participant). Fiscal Agent – (Acumen) provides payroll processing, tax services, payments and other administrative functions authorized by the Program. Participant – Person receiving services authorized by the Program (the Participant may also be the Employer). Payment Services – Payroll Services (employee-related payments and processing); Vendor Services (vendor-related payments and processing). Plan of Care – Plan you create with your Case Manager and team to determine Participant needs and how to meet them, based on the Participant’s preferences, choices, and abilities. It assists the Participant in directing their services. It includes the number, type and duration of approved goods and services. Program Administrator– Entity that manages the Program and/or waiver funding. Welcome to the module: Vendor Services and Payments. You have responsibility for financial management of your self-directed program. Acumen assists you with many areas of financial management. One area of financial responsibility may include purchase, payment and/or payment approval for “vendor services.” This module assists you in distinguishing between services and payments that are employee or payroll-related and those that are provided by vendors, or any approved non-employee. This module also describes how to submit requests for reimbursement for approved out-of-pocket expenses made by or on behalf of the Participant, if they are allowed by Program rules. NOTE: Not all Programs allow payments for vendor goods and/or services. Practices may vary among the Programs that do allow vendor payments. Check with the Case Manager regarding Program rules for vendor payments and reimbursements for approved out-of-pocket expenses. We answer these important questions in this session. What is a vendor? What are examples of goods and services provided by a vendor? How do I select a vendor? How does Acumen approve and process vendor payments? How does Acumen approve and process reimbursements for program-approved out-of-pocket expenses, if they are allowed? In your self-directed program, the term “vendor” describes any non-employee seller, supplier or purveyor of goods and/or services. If vendor goods and services are program-approved, they may include some or all of the following: personal care items from a store or an online purchase (a few examples – diapers, wipes, etc.); durable medical equipment and supplies (some examples – oxygen equipment, insulin pumps, hospital beds); mobility devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, and a wide range of additional items, generally those that have been prescribed and approved in the Plan of Care and specified in the Authorization. Payments to independent contractors for approved work (examples may include home modifications, yard care, snow removal services, and the like). NOTE: Some Programs do not allow payment for work of independent contractors. Check with your Case Manager. Payments to approved service providers through an agency or business (some examples are – daycare, supported employment, back-up agencies, behavioral consultants, and others). Transportation (examples may cover these, if program-approved – a per-trip charge, mileage, and/or bus or other public transportation pass, etc.) Reimbursements (examples – reimbursements to authorized individuals for approved out-of-pocket expenses for goods or services incurred by or on behalf of the Participant, if they are allowed by the Program). Reimbursements require specific forms of documentation showing proof of payment. Contact your Case Manager with questions about what vendor services (if any) are authorized in the Participant’s Plan of Care. If the Program allows vendor services, the Participant’s Plan of Care identifies any approved vendor-supplied goods and/or services, and these are included in the Authorization. If unanticipated needs arise, you must work with your Case Manager to determine if and how they will be addressed. If vendor services are approved, it is important to select the right vendor. Here are some things to check when you are ready to select a vendor. Some Programs may require you to use a vendor that meets criteria set by the state or Program. Your Program may refer you to an approved (or registered) vendor list of qualified vendors or suppliers of goods or services. Check with your Case Manager to determine if you are required to use a vendor from an approved (or registered) list. If you want to use a vendor that is qualified, but not listed, contact your Case Manager to discuss the feasibility and process of adding a vendor to the list. If your Program does not require you to use a registered or approved vendor list and allows you to choose, it is wise to conduct a thorough review of a vendor’s qualifications yourself. Is the vendor reputable? What is the quality of the goods or services? Are the prices reasonable and/or competitive? How is the customer service? What recourse do you have if the product or service is faulty? And so on. When you use approved vendor services, you must follow procedures to pay those vendors with Program funds. How are vendor payments approved and processed by Acumen? Important Information – follow Acumen’s process and submit the required documents. Be sure to complete them correctly. Depending on Program rules, you can specify whether to pay a vendor directly, reimburse an authorized person for an approved expense that was made out-of-pocket by or on behalf of the Participant, or receive a check made out to the vendor that you will deliver. NOTE: vendor payments may be sent directly to the vendor or they may be sent to you to distribute to your vendor. Check with Acumen or the Case Manager regarding where these will be sent. To initiate any vendor payment, you must complete and submit a Request for Vendor Payment form. Here is information you need to access, complete and submit the form. It also tells you what documentation you are required to include. The first time you use a vendor and submit a Request for Vendor Payment, you must include a Form W9 that has been completed by the vendor. You can download both these forms from your program-specific website. Login to www.acumenfiscalagent.com and navigate to your state. You will find your state and program-specific forms. You can contact Acumen to request current versions of both forms. You will submit the completed Request for Vendor Payment and include the W9, if it is the first time you use the vendor. You can submit these by email, or use your Program’s designated fax number, or you can send it by regular mail. Let’s take a closer look at both forms, starting with the W9. The completed Form W9 serves several purposes. It establishes that the vendor is not an employee. The W9 provides tax information and identification that shows the vendor is not an employee and you are not responsible for payroll taxes on the money paid to the vendor. It allows Acumen to verify vendor information. When Acumen receives a W9, we check the information against an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Taxpayer Identification Number Matching Program that validates either the Federal Employer Identification Number (the FEIN) or the social security number (the SSN). It activates the vendor in Acumen’s system. When Acumen enters the vendor’s W9 information into the system, the vendor is active and Acumen can make payments. Acumen will make no vendor payments to a vendor without a W9 on file. The W9 initiates action to generate a Form 1099 at the end of the year. If we have a W9 on file, at year-end we issue a Form 1099 for each vendor that received payments during the calendar year. The vendor uses the 1099 when they prepare and file income taxes. Next, here is how to fill out a Request for Vendor Payment. Before we begin, there are two important things to note. 1) You must know Program rules regarding payment for vendor goods and services. Some programs allow direct payment to the vendor and others may only allow reimbursement once an item or service has been purchased. Check with the Case Manager to verify Program rules. 2) Again, depending on the Program, the check may be made out to the vendor, but is sent to you (the employer or designated representative) to give to the vendor. Here are the required fields on the Request for Vendor Payment Form that you must complete – Participant Name; Participant Acumen ID #; Employer Name (your name here – you may, in fact, be the employer; you may be the authorized representative, etc.); Month/Year. Payment instructions fields – Make Check Payable To (this is generally the vendor name if there is an amount due to be paid, or this may be the name of the person to be reimbursed for approved out-of-pocket expenses made by the Participant or an authorized person on the Participant’s behalf. Reminder: vendor payments may be sent directly to the vendor, or they may be sent to you to distribute to your vendor. Check with Acumen or the Case Manager regarding where these will be sent. Vendor FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number), or Vendor’s SSN (Social Security Number); Vendor Name (name of the business or individual supplying goods or services who will receive payment or reimbursement); Vendor Address (usually the vendor’s mailing address); Vendor’s City, State, and Zip. Invoice/Service Date – you may list more than one item for payment. Use a separate line for each charge related to this request for payment; Service Code – Acumen will give you specific service codes to use that correlate with services listed on your Authorization; Description – say what it is in a few words – for example: wipes, ramp, etc. Total Amount – fill in the total cost of one item per line; Total Check Amount – add up line item costs and fill in this field with the total of all costs; Invoice Number – you will have either an invoice (this is the official bill notice, if the product or service is due for payment) or a receipt (if the bill for the product or service has been paid). In some cases, you may need to include a “voided receipt.” This scenario may occur if you are ordering something (supplies, etc.) and submitting a request for the funds to make the purchase. Since you are unable to get an invoice or receipt for a purchase that is not completed, and you need the dollar amount to submit for a check, some retailers can generate a receipt that itemizes the purchases and totals the charges, but is not the actual receipt. It will be noted as “voided.” Enter the number of the invoice or the receipt. Participant or Representative’s Signature (self-explanatory). Date – the date the Request for Vendor Payment is signed and submitted to Acumen. You must attach or include supporting documentation with all Requests for Vendor Payment. These can include the following: invoice, receipt, voided receipt. The invoice, receipt, or voided receipt must include the following information: vendor name; date(s) goods or services were ordered or rendered; item(s) ordered/purchased; cost of item(s) - this must be equal to or less than the total amount requested for payment or reimbursement. Important information about reimbursements, if allowed by the Program – if you submit a request for payment to reimburse for any approved out-of-pocket expense incurred by or on behalf of the Participant, follow the same procedure we just discussed – submit a completed Request for Vendor Payment. This may include mileage, out-of-pocket expenditures for purchases of goods, supplies, etc. If this is the first time an individual is requesting reimbursement, include a completed W9, plus any supporting documentation with the Request for Vendor Payment. All payments made to individuals identified by the Program as clients, employers, and/or Authorized Representatives are considered reimbursements, as well as payments made to all other non-employee entities, and thus must be reported. This is in compliance with federal directives requiring accountability for reporting the use of any Program funds. Remember, Acumen cannot make any such payments without a W9 on file. All payments made in the calendar year regardless of amount will be reported on Form 1099-MISC. Acumen reports all transactions, as appropriate, to all federal, state and local agencies, as required. Always verify that any request for reimbursement is allowed by your Program rules. Properly identify any mileage reimbursement rate based on the purpose of the trip. Include required supporting documentation with the request – invoices, receipts, etc. Please contact Acumen’s Customer Service if you want additional clarification about vendor or non-employee payments and/or reimbursements. When can you expect vendor payment? Approved vendor payments are processed on a payment schedule that is specific to your Program. Please check the FORMS section of your program-specific website to locate the payment schedule. You can also contact Customer Service for those dates and associated deadlines. Acumen will contact you if we find any budget or information issues in your request for payment. NOTE: you can submit the Request for Vendor Payment by email, fax, or regular mail. If you use regular mail, keep the original documents (or copies) for your records. Any problem or delay with mail delivery may cause payment delays. If you have questions about the process or status of a vendor or third-party payment or reimbursement, please contact Acumen by using your program-designated customer service telephone number. Summary of things to remember. Always confirm with the Case Manager whether or not Program rules allow vendor and/or independent contractor services, and if the Participant is eligible for these services. The term “vendor” describes any non-employee seller, supplier or purveyor of goods and/or services. This module emphasizes that VENDORS ARE NOT EMPLOYEES. Payments you authorize for vendors are not subject to payroll taxes by you. Some examples of goods and services provided by vendors and other non-employees may include but are not limited to: personal care items, durable medical equipment and supplies, payments to independent contractors for approved work, payments to approved service providers through an agency or business, transportation, and reimbursements for certain out-of-pocket expenses. There may or may not be an approved or registered vendor list for the Program. Important considerations for vendor selection are: vendor qualifications, quality of products and services, level of customer service, delivery, pricing and warranty of goods or services. We discussed how to submit a Request for Vendor Payment to Acumen using correct forms, complete with required information and support documents. We explained how to submit a request for reimbursement for approved out-of-pocket expenses. Congratulations! And thank you for completing the Acumen Employer Training module, Vendor Services and Payments. If vendor services are allowed by your Program rules and the Participant is eligible for vendor services, we hope this module explained these services and payment processes, and answered your questions. Contact Acumen if you need assistance. Welcome to Self-Direction. Welcome to Acumen!
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