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Independent Support Coordination

What is “Independent Support Coordination”?

Independent Support Coordination (ISC) is a service available to persons enrolled in two of Tennessee's Home and Community-Based Medicaid Waivers (the "Statewide" and "CAC" waivers). ISC services are provided at no cost to persons eligible for and enrolled in Medicaid (TennCare). Compass is an authorized, contracted provider of ISC services to people who choose Compass for their ISC services.

Compass employees "Independent Support Coordinators" (ISCs) who are professionals in the field of intellectual disabilities; and who have specific training about the services available in the state's Medicaid Waiver programs. ISCs are experienced and knowledgeable about accessing the Medicaid Waiver and other options for home- and community-based services for persons with intellectual disabilities.


The ISC helps the person, the person's family and the person's legal representative identify, plan, coordinate and manage the specific services that the person will need to live a healthy, safe and personally fulfilling life at home and in the community. The ISC also assists the person in choosing a service provider for each service that the person needs.

The ISC is employed by organizations, such as Compass, who are independent from the providers of the specific supports and services a person may receive, such as residential services, personal assistance, employment, and other supportive services. The ISC does not work for any of the state agencies that administer the Medicaid Waiver programs. This independence allows the ISC to more easily advocate for, and represent the interests of the person and their family.

The person, and his/her family or legal representative have a choice of Independent Support Coordination (ISC) agencies, such as Compass. Once an ISC agency is chosen, a Support Coordinator will be selected to work with the person and his or her family. A change of Support Coordinator may be requested by the person or the person's legal representative at any time.

Your Compass Support Coordinator Will:
  • Act as your personal representative.

  • Give you information about the services available to you.

  • Help you decide which services and supports will work best for you.

  • Write a personalized plan (an ISP) for your services and supports.

  • Apply for funding on your behalf and obtain approval of the services that you need.

  • Help you select and talk to the organizations and people who can provide your services.

  • Visit you often to make sure that your supports & services are working for you.

  • Help you resolve problems, or make needed changes when things are not working for you.

What is a "Medicaid Waiver"?

Medicaid is a Federal program under which states may provide not only medical assistance (health insurance) for persons who qualify, but it also may be used to provide long-term care and supports for persons who qualify. For persons with intellectual disabilities who qualify for, and need long-term support and services, Medicaid will cover long-term stays in intermediate care facilities. Or, a state can opt for a waiver of federal requirements under which the state may use Medicaid funds for long-term, supportive services provided to persons in their own homes or in community-based settings.

Services under a Medicaid Waiver may take the form of personal assistance in the home, or nursing or therapy services, if needed. Services can include supports for employment or preparing for a job. Residential options also may be available, such as supported living, or other residential options that provide around-the-clock support and care. An ISC can help you assess what you'll need and how to find providers for these Medicaid Waiver services.

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