The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) recently announced three waiver renewals. These include the Consolidated, Community Living, and Person/Family Directed waivers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administers these waivers. The effective date is January 1, 2023. The Office of Developmental Programs recently announced the renewals.
A bit of background on the process. Waivers expire after five-years. The previous version of the waivers was set to expire on July 1, 2022.
A lot of work goes into designing the waivers. Policy experts complete the application draft. ODP published the draft for Public Comment from February 12 through March 14, 2022. ODP reviewed the comments and after consideration, they made some revisions. ODP submitted the application to CMS for review on April 1, 2022. ODP anticipated that the waivers would be effective on July 1, 2022.
ODP requested and received two extensions while discussions between ODP and CMS occurred. As a result of the discussions, they added more changes.
The following is a summary of major changes included in the renewals:
- Remote Supports is now a separate, discrete service in all three waivers. Remote Supports is now separate from the Assistive Technology service. ODP will release more information soon.
- Communication Specialist: clarification of service activities. The allowed amount of service increased from 40 hours to 60 hours per year. The communication specialist will complete training provided by ODP.
- Benefits Counseling services increased from 10 hours to 15 hours per year.
- Education Support services: tuition reimbursement has increased from $35,000 to $40,000.
- Companion services have expanded to support more people at their place of employment.
- Supported Employment services can now support participants during work-related trips.
- Added Participant Directed Goods and Services to the Consolidated Waiver.
- Clarified the Supports Broker service and added recertification requirements for Supports Brokers.
- Added personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies to the Specialized Supplies service. *Appendix K covered PPE during the public health emergency.
- Added Music, Art, and Equine Assisted Therapy for people who receive residential services.
- More training for Residential Habilitation, Life Sharing, or Supported Living staff. More information is available in the ODP Communication 22-108.
- Added clarification for using technology in the provision of waiver services. This includes a focus on protecting individual privacy when using technology.
- Clarified experience and education requirements for Supports Coordinators and Supports Coordinator Supervisors. Supports Coordinators can continue to use teleservices for some monitoring meetings.
We will continue to review these changes. We will provide updates to all service teams if we need to make changes to the way we deliver support.
And as we begin implementing these changes into our daily work, the cycle begins again. ODP is always gathering feedback to inform decisions for future waiver amendments.
To read the full waivers or the record of change documents use the links below.