Quadco (QRC) Executive Director Bruce Abell says he believes with the expansion of integrated services and employment opportunities, the program will be able to meet new federal and state standards that are expected to be implemented soon.
At their monthly board meeting on Tuesday (May 26), QRC board members learned more about changes that are being made to the way services are to be provided to individuals with developmental disabilities who also receive support from Medicaid.
The board members watched portions of a video webinar about a transition plan the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities submitted to the Centers on Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) in response to a rule they revised.
The rule, published in March of 2014, revised the way CMS home and community-based waiver services are to be provided, assuring they would be done in the most integrated setting.
The state’s transition plan was submitted in March of this year and speaks to how the state plans to meet the new standards.
In the webinar program, John Martin, Director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities said that CMS was concerned that services through the waiver were becoming institutional in nature. So, CMS revised the rule to draw a “bright line between community services and institutional services.”
Lori Horvath, Deputy Director of Medicaid Development and Administration said that under the new rule, individuals would be served by person-centered planning, a process that will be directed by the person receiving services.
She said the process is designed to assist individuals with achieving outcomes in the most integrated settings and ensure services are delivered in a manner preferred by the individual.
However, implementing the change can be a large task. Ms. Horvath noted that CMS has an expectation that all settings are to be integrated with support to the broader community. Yet, many rely on facility-based services including workshops.
She said that in order to teach people how to do business differently, have different services available and make sure there are enough providers, the state requested that CMS give them an extra five years, until 2024, to be able to develop a more integrated delivery system.
After the webinar, QRC Executive Director Bruce Abell said he didn’t feel that it would be a problem for QRC to come into compliance with the new standards, even by 2019 should CMS not allow for an extension.
“We’ve made lot of progress on integration, on expanding our programs and our employment offerings, that the standards will be easily met by 2019, at least in my view,” he told the board members.
“What they (CMS) seem to be looking for are services that are integrated, as opposed to sheltered workshops,” he continued.
“They want things like we offer at Trufast, where people go there and work and are integrated there in that factory. So, we’ve been expanding and finding more of those opportunities, and we’ll continue to do that,” he said.
He noted the state biennial budget process is still ongoing. The Ohio House, concluded their budget process including in it a provision that calls for committee oversight on any closing of institutions.
The governor also has a budget proposal and the Ohio Senate is developing their own budget.
So, he concluded that it won’t be evident what will become final until the budget process is concluded.
Meanwhile, Mr. Abell reported that he is ready for some hamburgers and hot dogs to be cooked up at the annual summer picnic. He said a number of activities are planned for those who come, including the serving of the ever-popular root beer floats. The picnic is scheduled to take place on June 12 in Archbold at the Ruihley Park Pavilion.
The board members welcomed Linda Woodall of Stryker as a guest for the meeting.
The next joint meeting of the boards is scheduled for June 23 at noon in the Stryker conference room.