Iowa Web Based Home Page
Ascend Iowa Help Desk: 1-877-431-1388, extension 3403, ask for the Iowa PASRR Representative or email:

Ascend Fax Number:

For information about how to obtain Specialized Services for Medicaid members,
contact Magellan of Iowa at 800-638-8820 or visit:

For questions on policy or procedures in Iowa, contact Iowa Program Manager Lila Starr: 515-281-5318 or

For provider tools, frequently asked questions, training opportunities, and other announcements, please scroll down to find historical information.

The Ascend office will be closed Thursday, November 26 in honor of Thanksgiving Day. During this time, the Ascend website and all applications will remain available. Normal business hours will resume Friday, November 27.

Save the Date - PASRR Training with Ascend and DHS
Ascend and the Iowa Department of Human Services are hosting FREE training events around the state, offering valuable and timely information, including:
  • Developments in Iowa Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR)
  • Accessing Ascend, State, and community resources
  • Using PathTracker Plus and Links to Payment
  • Introducing ServiceMatters
  • PASRR-identified services and how they are being monitored
  • Using the care planning tools to develop PASRR-compliant care plans
  • Questions and answers about PASRR in Iowa

Who should attend?
  • Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • PASRR Providers
  • Case Managers
  • Hospital Discharge Planners
  • Long-Term Care & RCF Providers
  • Behavioral Health Services Providers

Training Schedule
Monday, December 14 - Cedar Rapids
Tuesday, December 15 - Indianola
Thursday, December 17 - Ft. Dodge

Registration coming soon - Watch your email!
CEUs available at no charge for RNs and Social Workers

Training Presenters
Lila Starr - IA DHS, Division of Mental Health and Disability Services
Joi Shaw - Ascend, PASRR Division Manager

Ascend has formalized our policy to not change Level I Decisions. Click here for more information.

Information on Medicaid Modernization can be found on the dedicated web page at:

The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS), Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS) and Iowa Medicaid Enterprise (IME) are pleased to announce the full implementation of Web-Based PASRR Tracking, known as PathTracker, beginning on September 1, 2015. PathTracker is a web-based tracking system for PASRR, which was originally announced to all PASRR providers on 2/27/15, through IME Information Letter No. 1482. The Information Letter No. 1482 was emailed to all providers and posted to this site. The anticipated implementation of PathTracker on September 1, 2015, was also announced at Statewide training sessions held in multiple locations throughout the state from July 13-17, 2015. Training materials and tools utilized in those sessions have also been posted to the Iowa PASRR Providers website.

The same web-based system used in initiating a Level I screening now has additional features which will be useful for nursing facilities. The system offers nursing facilities better access to PASRR records for their residents, even for those that have transferred from other facilities. It also allows facilities to easily print PASRR information for patient charts. Additionally, the system is used to track admissions, discharges, and transfers. The department is currently working on a process that would deliver information on nursing facility admissions, discharges, and transfers from the PASRR system to the DHS Centralized Facility Eligibility Unit, to be used in place of a Case Activity Report. When this new process is complete, the use of the system will become mandatory and will be linked to payment.

The department encourages all nursing facilities to begin using the PASRR web-based system on or before September 1, 2015, as it is now being fully implemented and required. We anticipate implementing the next phase, which will include the links to payment and the elimination of the CAR form by early 2016. More information will be provided prior to the implementation of the links to payment. To assist facilities in using the system, a nursing facility user guide is available below under Provider Tools.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Lila Starr, Iowa PASRR Program Manager, at (515) 281-5318 or by email at

Upcoming National Conference in Oklahoma, focusing on PASRR and Older Adult Mental Health:

The Wellness: Building Capacity for Tomorrow's Older Adults conference will be held at Oklahoma State University - Tulsa, OK, on September 24-25, 2015. All PASRR providers and individuals with interest in older adult mental health and/or PASRR are welcome to register and attend.

Click here to register and for more information
Click here to view the conference agenda

The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS), Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS) and Iowa Medicaid Enterprise (IME) are pleased to announce the release of Care Planning Tools for use in the development of high quality, PASRR compliant, nursing facility care plans. DHS and Ascend Management Innovations urge providers to take advantage of these new tools, which were reviewed in the PASRR Provider Trainings that took place the week of July 13-17, 2015.

The Iowa Care Planning Tools have been added to the Provider Tools section of this page. The tools include:
> Guidelines for Use of the Iowa PASRR Care Planning Tool,
> Iowa PASRR Care Planning Tool - Instructions, and
> Iowa PASRR NF Level II Care Plan Tool

The tools will be available from now on in the Provider Tools section of this page - scroll down to access the tools.

Over the last year, the PASRR Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) reviewed and provided feedback to each state on their PASRR Level I Screening Tool. In response to PTAC's findings, Ascend has worked with state officials to make small enhancements to strengthen the clinical screening component of your state's Level I Tool. We will be rolling out this enhanced Level I Tool in the coming weeks.

Provider workflow will not change.

WHAT WILL CHANGE: The updated Level I Tool will begin asking Providers to report on past symptoms and behaviors and to estimate when the most recent mental health symptoms and behaviors, treatment history, and substance abuse occurred.

Notice to PASRR Submitters, Providers, and Individuals Receiving Assessments: To further enhance HIPAA compliance an protect confidential information and rights of the individual receiving PASRR-related assessments, Ascend has discontinued the distribution of Notice of Determination copies to entities listed in the Admitting Nursing Facilities field of the PASRR Level I referral form. This change is due to the fact that admitting plans change and in most cases, the Individual will not have actually been admitted to the Facility indicated at the time of the Level I Referral. The Level I Submitter is responsible for sharing a copy with the Nursing Facility to which the individual will be admitted prior to admission. For individuals who are approved for Nursing Facility admissions, the receiving nursing facilities can also obtain a copy of this paperwork by completing an admission notice through PathTracker, the State's PASRR tracking system. Notice of Determination letters will continue to be sent to submitting facilities, the individual or his/her legal representative, and his/her physician. If you have any questions about this change, please contact the Ascend Iowa Help Desk at 1-877-431-1388, extension 3403, ask for the Iowa PASRR Representative, or contact the Iowa Program Manager, Lila Starr: 515-281-5318 or

A message to Iowa PASRR providers from DHS:

The Iowa Geriatric Education Center (IGEC) is pleased to announce the 2015 Geriatric Lecture Series. They are once again able to offer the Geriatric Lecture Series at no cost to you! This series offers an excellent way to earn nursing CEUs while learning about the latest practices in addressing the needs of older Iowans from your own computer. Each lecture in the series is available to you for one month, and you can view it any time that is convenient for you. The CEUs will be earned if you complete the evaluation at the conclusion of each lecture.

The first lecture is scheduled to be available ot view on Wednesday, April 1. This year's series will run from April to December.

If you wish to register for the series, you must simply send an e-mail to the IGEC with your name, your discipline (e.g. nursing, social work, medicine), and your organization or facility name and they will register you. Please send your email to: You will receive your registration confirmation e-mail from IGEC within a week or so. It will include your username and password for accessing the lectures.

A flyer that includes the schedule for the series is available under Provider Tools. Feel free to share it with your colleagues. As always, the order of lectures is subject to change due to presenters' schedules. Additional information and any changes will be noted on the IGEC website


Click here to view instructions for reporting DSM-5 diagnoses to Ascend.

 PASRR Tip of the Month
  • This is an effort to offer information about frequently asked questions that come to the office of the Iowa PASRR Program Manager, Lila Starr, of the Iowa Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Disability Services (DHS-MHDS).

    If you have questions about becoming a PASRR provider, access to PASRR, or any technical information about the use of the PASRR database or PathTracker, please contact Ascend Management Innovations directly at 877-431-1388, ext. 3403, as DHS cannot help you with these matters.

    If you have questions about a letter you received from DHS (Lila Starr) about PASRR non-compliance, we want you to know that we' re posting responses here to attempt to address some of the many calls and emails we receive with common themes:

    • 1) You are not alone! The vast majority of nursing facility care plans that have been reviewed thus far are non-compliant upon first review. Our process involves technical assistance and is focused on helping you gain the knowledge you need through technical assistance. Over 400 care plans are in various stages of review.
    • 2) Please read the letter you received thoroughly. Many of the answers to frequently asked questions are in that letter, particularly pertaining to residents who have died or transferred elsewhere or where to find training documents and care planning tools.
    • 3) If you have a received a letter about care plan noncompliance from Ascend, you will receive a follow-up letter from DHS about the same PASRR. Please do not submit any care plans or treatment records until they are requested by DHS or Ascend.
    • 4) If new to PASRR or unfamiliar with the recent innovations in PASRR, please scroll down to Educational Tools, and review the July 2015 training found there under the 4th and 5th items in that list.
    • 5) If you are not already using the Iowa PASRR NF Level II Care Planning Tools, please find those under Provider Tools on this website and begin using those immediately. The vast majority of care plans that have been reviewed thus far continue to be non-compliant until nursing facilities start to use the language that is found in these tools, which we have created for your use.
    • 6) Please be aware that we are about to offer another round of face-to-face training on December 14, 15, & 17 in Cedar Rapids, Indianola, and Fort Dodge. Please watch your email and this website for registration information. We expect it to fill up fast!

      If you still have questions, please feel free to send an email to
 Provider Tools
 Supervisor Tools
 Educational Tools