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.

Ascend offices will be closed Friday, July 3 in honor of Independence Day. All web applications will remain functional during this time. Normal business hours will resume Monday, July 6.

Save the Date--PASRR Training with Ascend and DHS

Ascend Management Innovations and the Iowa Department of Human Services are hosting FREE training events around the state offering valuable and timely information, including:
  • New developments in Iowa Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR)
  • How to access Ascend, State, and community resources
  • Innovations in the evaluation of PASRR Level I & II
  • Introduction to PathTracker Plus and Links to Payment
  • PASRR-identified services and how they are being monitored
  • Questions and answers about PASRR in Iowa
  • Hospitals, NFs, and PASRR collaboration

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

We encourage you to attend a session in your community!
Monday, July 13 - Cedar Rapids
Wednesday, July 15 - Des Moines
Thursday, July 16 - Ft. Dodge
Friday, July 17 - Council Bluffs

More information coming soon. Watch you email!
There is no charge to attend these trainings or obtain CEUs.

Training Presenters
Lila Starr, LBSW: Iowa Dept of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Disability Services
Joi Shaw, MS: Ascend Management Innovations, PASRR Division Manager
Angela Gagen, MEd: Ascend Management Innovations, PASRR Level II Supervisor
Stephanie Pettitt, MSP: Ascend Management Innovations, Training Specialist

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

Iowa Department of Human Services Informational Letter No. 1482 is to serve as a reminder about requirements for submission of a resident review when a member has a status change, and to provide additional information regarding the use of the web-based tracking system for PASRR. This important letter is available through the IME website. Click here to access Informational Letter No. 1482

Iowa DHS would like you to be aware of how to access the latest issue and past issues of Aging Watch, as well as how to subscribe:

The Iowa Department on Aging is pleased to announce the Dec. 23, 2014 issue of AgingWatch has been posted online at:

This issue and past issues are archived on the Department website at:

Feel free to share this publication with others. Subscription information is inlcuded on the last page.

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

A message to Iowa PASRR providers from DHS:

Iowa Medicaid Enterprise letter #1434 offers information about resources for individuals with disabilities and specialized services that may be needed to meet their needs. Click here to access the letter.

If you were unable to attend one of the provider training webinars on the changes to Iowa PASRR, including the use of PathTracker, or would like to review the presented information, click here to view a recorded session.

On July 28, 2014, Ascend emailed a notification to all Iowa providers to announce changes in the coming months. Starting August 1, 2014, Ascend will begin a new follow-up process for PASRR Level II Specialized Services (SS) recommendations. Monday, September 22 through Friday, September 26, Ascend will hold daily WebEx (webinar) training sessions on a new tracking system that will be offered to nursing facilities. In October, the tracking system will be available and Ascend will begin making time-limited PASRR approvals and performing quality assurance follow-up on 100% of PASRR SS recommendations and on a sample of negative PASRR Level I screens submitted.

To view the full July 28 notification with more details, click here. If you have any questions or concerns about these new processes, please contact Ascend Support Specialist Amanda Oller at or 877-431-1388 ext. 3403 or Lila Starr, Iowa MHDS PASRR Program Manager, at 515-281-5318.

 PASRR Tip of the Month
  • When submitting necessary documents to Ascend for a PASRR review, it is very helpful to submit any therapy notes to include physical, occupational, speech, and/or respiratory therapy. These are very informative in relation to an individual's level of functioning and can also assist in a more timely review.
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