Core Standardized Assessment


The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) will conduct core standardized assessments (CSA) and develop a resource allocation methodology for specific Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver populations. A core standardized assessment is a tool for gathering information from the individuals in the same HCBS population by asking a standard set of questions about basic functional skills and abilities. Core standardized assessment tools are designed to be welcoming and easy to use, identify the strengths and support needs of the individual, and take into account the opinions of the individual, as well as the needs of the person’s family or caregivers. 

News and Announcements
  • Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) Core Standardized Assessment (CSA) Implementation of SIS-C® Assessment for Children: Effective March 2016, the SIS-C will be used to assess children ages 5-16 years served through the Intellectual Disability Waiver and ICF/IDs. The SIS standardized assessment was selected for this program as the functional assessment to determine if an applicant meets the level of care criteria for waiver enrollment. The assessment will also be used as a service planning tool to assist in identifying the supports and services members need to live successfully in the community. Read Informatinal Letter 1616 for more information.
  • Face-to-face assessments are conducted for persons receiving Home and Community Based Services through waiver programs and for persons receiving services in Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Intellectual Disability (ICF/ID).  The assessors for Core Standardized Assessments (CSA) are located across the state to facilitate the most efficient availability for scheduling assessments. Here is a map showing the oversight regions of 22 assessors, their email addresses and phone numbers. Region lines provide general guidance for coverage, but assessors often complete assessments in other areas. CSA managers Vicki Vermie and Cindy Fletcher also cover assessments around the state. Questions can be directed to


  • FACT SHEET: Iowa’s Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) Implementation of Core Standardized Assessment (CSA) (June 2014)
  • Core Standardized Assessment (CSA) Document Access Request for the Iowa Medicaid Portal Access (IMPA) System
    The Supports Intensity Scale® (SIS) and Off-Year Assessment are initial and annual assessments completed by Telligen as part of the Balancing Incentive Plan (BIP). Assessors who complete these assessments have been emailing them to the member’s Targeted Case Manager (TCM) or to the member’s Intermediate Care Facility for Persons with Interllectual Disability (ICF/ID). Beginning May 1, 2015, these assessments will be available through the IMPA system and will no longer be emailed. This change is being made to improve the ability to maintain the security of the assessment results and protected health information. This form is for use by targeted case managers, service workers, and intermediate care facilities for persons with an intellectual disability (ICF/ID) to request access to the IMPA system.
  • Learning Sessions: 
    Adequate knowledge of roles and tasks is essential to the successful implementation of any new project. Learning sessions provide opportunities for stakeholders to gain knowledge regarding new programs, policies and/or processes. Through the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP), learning sessions will be provided to ensure that process interfaces will be effective and efficientAccess the schedule and presentations for the CSA Learning Sessions.
  • Listening Sessions: 
    Stakeholder input is critical to the ongoing development and improvement of Department of Human Services (DHS) programs. Listening sessions are an opportunity to solicit stakeholder input and feedback at the earliest stages of an initiative, before any action is taken. Through the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP), the Iowa Medicaid Enterprise (IME) will host public listening sessions to facilitate a dialogue on the selection of core standardized assessment tools. Access the schedule and presentations for the CSA Listening Sessions. 
Important CSA Resources