There are only a few things that you need to do to accommodate extending the fiscal action transition period to claims processed beyond October 1st:

Whole Grains Check Preference Setting

  1. After you install the Minute Menu HX 3.0 update (which will be available Sunday, September 30th), go to “Sponsor Preferences” and set preference Q.012 to either “warn” or “ignore.”  This will prevent the processor from disallowing if a whole grain is not indicated for the day per the “Whole Grain-Rich Edit Check” documentation.We recommend that you consider setting this to “warn” as a training opportunity for your providers.

Infant Meals Preference Setting

  1. As of last month’s Minute Menu HX 2.25.0 release, preference Q.013 checks for infants whose enrollment indicates that their formula is provider-supplied and that solid foods are parent-supplied.  For infants with these settings, this policy will WARN you when more than one solid food is recorded at a meal for that infant.  You may set this policy to “ignore” if you don’t want to see this warning.  This policy will NOT be set to disallow automatically.

Adjusting Claims

There are only 2 claim checks under the new meal pattern that are built directly into the 3.0 claims processor.  They are:

  • Juice served more than 1x/day (Error 191)
  • Meat served at breakfast more than 3x/week (Error 61)

These are the only new meal pattern items that you cannot exempt during claims processing from disallowing meals.  Based on data we’ve observed, these errors will be present on very few claims.

Claim Error Analysis Detail by Monitor Report

To save time, the Claim Error Analysis Detail by Monitor Report can show only the providers whose claims had the above errors and how many meals were deducted.  This report can serve as a shortcut instead of reviewing each OER for these errors.   You can access this report under Reports > Claim Management > Claim Error Analysis Detail by Monitor.

Why We Are Releasing Changes Effective October 1st

As of the time when a decision had to be made in order to have the software prepared for a deadline, there was no further guidance available at the federal level on how to interpret the October 1st effective date.  Additionally, none of our inquiries to customers, national groups, or State Agencies had resulted in anything definitive around the deadline.

We made the decision to make the 2 processor changes that cannot be configured effective on October 1st based on the following considerations:

  • Juice limits had already been in place in many states prior to new meal pattern.
  • The breakfast meat option was wholly new in the new meal pattern, was likely to have been trained heavily, and represents a small number of meals eligible for deduction if violated.
  • Both of these limitations are very clear and did not require additional guidance. This in contrast to the whole grain-rich requirement, which we made configurable via preference because of its complexity.
  • Coupled with instruction for technical assistance to be performed during the transition period, the length of the new meal pattern training period prior to Fiscal Year 2018 should result in very few errors on these items.
  • If clear guidance was not available until after claims processing had been done in October, then acting on the side of caution in disallowing the relatively low number of affected meals would ensure that money would not need to be requested back from providers.
  • Claims with these errors could be easily identified and adjusted in HX for the very short period of time that would be affected.
  • Per the memo, meals may only be exempt from disallowance during the transition period if the provider had made a good faith effort to follow the new meal pattern.  Consequently, disallowance errors for September that are added back could be considered a good last minute training and warning for providers who still weren’t getting it right.

Please Forward Memos and Guidance to Us

As always, we make every attempt to stay up to date on regulation, policy, and State Agency requirements but many times that information is not directly available to us.  We do have good relationships with CACFP regulators and national CACFP groups.  However, neither USDA nor State Agencies are required to inform us directly of any guidance or requirements.   Instead, we must rely on our customers to inform us when State Agencies issue guidance or memos.  As of September 26th, 2018, we had received no communication from customers or State Agencies on this deadline.

As a best practice, we ask you to forward any guidance or memos to as soon as you receive it.  This is the only way to ensure that our analysts have that material when changes or updates are made to the software.  We don’t mind receiving the same thing from multiple sponsors!  It’s much better to have too many people keep us informed than too few.

Thank you,
The Minute Menu Support Team