DHS / DDS Waiting List Meeting
Thursday – March 12, 2015
Serving Application Date: January 20, 2006
Represented in attendance:
17 – Parent or Family Member
4 – Self-Advocate (person with a disability)
3 – DHS/DDS
2 – OHCA (Health Care Authority)
Representing those on the Waiting List – 14
First Time Attendees – 6
Locations represented – Norman, Kingfisher, Midwest City, Oklahoma City, Moore, Tulsa, Roland, Yukon, Edmond, Mustang, Blanchard
Community agencies, programs or organizations represented: Center for Learning and Leadership/OK UCEDD, SoonerSUCCESS, Oklahoma Autism Network, Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council/Partners in Policymaking, Oklahoma Family Network, Oklahoma LEND,
DHS Update – Ed Lake, DHS Director, spoke about the state’s challenging budget, and how anticipated budget will not be what was when they submitted their budget to the state legislature several months ago. He mentioned that there will be no carryover as in years past to cover the increase in administrative needs for Child Welfare or even DDS. In addition to the concerns about the budget and even if they are level funded, but that doesn’t seem to be an expected reality, DHS/DDS is also challenged with the decrease of the federal match for Medicaid services, including the waivers. The change in the federal match will be a loss of about 7 million dollars, which will need to be covered by whatever budget is appropriated. Even with this dismal budget outlook, it’s important to note that DHS has changed the method of requesting annual appropriations to narrow their focus and justification to only a few programs in their agency. First on the list is Child Welfare and the Pinnacle plan, with the DDS Waiting list being second in priorities. Director Lake said they have requested an additional 4.6 million to directly impact the Waiting List.
Waiting List Update – JoAnne Goin, DDS Director, reiterated what Director Lake mentioned about the challenges DDS will be facing with the reduction from the federal match for Medicaid services. I asked if she feels this will impacted the provider rates and she said that is a valid concern.
She said there are only eight individuals still living at SORC (Southern Oklahoma Resource Center) and anticipates the full closer of the institution this year. She reported that NORCE was closed on November 17th of last year.
She said as of October 2014, they have utilized all the funds appropriated from last year’s legislative session. In FY 2014 DDS worked 547 applications from the waiting list. They have added 194 to HCBS Waivers and then from July to Oct, 2014 they worked an additional 152 application with adding 58 people to the HCBS waivers. They have 6-8 pending, which means they are still working through approval for waivers. When asked how many of the 547 “worked” for FY 2014 did not receive services due to not qualify for DDS Waivers due to lack of qualifying IQ score. It is reported that only 12 did not meet the Medicaid criteria which is about 2%. It was also reported that of the 547, 85 applicants declined and of those who declined 46 were due wanting to continue receiving the FSPS ($250 monthly payment).
JoAnne also wanted people to know that you can apply on-line for the DDS waivers. Here is the link: http://www.okdhs.org/programsandservices/dd/docs/areacontactinfo.htm Also, families are encouraged to update their contact information and add a second contact to their information. You can update at this link: https://surveys.okdhs.org/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=mlL2l58
Update on Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel – I have an update on the Blue Ribbon Panel. The Panel plans to have their complete recommendations at the last meeting on March 27th. Some things that were discovered during the process of looking at non-waiver available services to people on the waiting list it was discovered the incontinence supports (diapers) can be available to children when medically necessary. The Governor’s office is working the OHCA to make this happen. The anticipated date of availability is July 2015. It was also discussed that there were other services that seemed to have a barrier to access, and the Governor’s office is working to streamline access, such as personal care for children which is based out of Aging Services.
Family Questions & Comments:
A father from rural Oklahoma asked why Oklahoma has not considered the Community First Option as our state Medicaid plan. There was a lot of conversation about this topic from this dad. He feels this will end the waiting list. I have looked into this a while back, and it does appear to be an expansion of the current Medicaid state plan but does allow for a 6% added enhanced rate for any newly added service to the state plan. He reports that there are other states looking at or moving to this Medicaid program. I think there is more need for discussion around this topic.
There was no other comments from any other family.
Next Meeting – Oklahoma City
***Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Sequoyah Building – Capitol Complex
Room C-47 (Basement)