The following is an initial summary of feedback that the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) received when conducting listening sessions about its waiver renewal. The complete list will be posted on the DDA website in early January 2017. Stakeholders will also have an opportunity to review and comment on the waiver renewal application before it is submitted to The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in February 2017.
DDA conducted three scheduled, facilitated, participant stakeholder listening sessions during Fall 2016 as one component of the Home and Community-Based Service (HCBS) Medicaid waivers renewal process:
- September 12, 2016 in Spokane
- September 19, 2016 in Lynnwood
- September 26, 2016 in Tumwater
DDA requested feedback from stakeholders about what is working in the current waiver system, what is not working, and what stakeholders would like to see changed. In addition, DDA also conducted online surveys to gather additional information.
The most frequent comments from the in-person meetings and the survey were:
A need for greater access to communities and accessing employment and community engagement services at the same time.
- DDA is exploring the expansion of Community Engagement to Basic Plus waiver in the renewal to assist participants to engage with their communities.
The importance of home and community living as a holistic experience.
- Case Resource Managers currently assist participants to identify and document personal goals and specific supports and services to support those goals in annual Person-Centered Service Plans and review past year’s plan and progress towards goals.
A need to recruit more service providers of all service types across the state and to increase pay rates.
- Six new full-time resource developers are currently at work in the field with support from central office to increase the number and diversity of waiver service providers.
- Rate for Community Engagement was recently increased and other service rates are under review.
- Qualifications and training requirements for service providers are actively under review where these may unnecessarily restrict recruitment or retention of providers.
A need for more habilitation services in the community.
- Community First Choice (CFC) currently provides Skills Acquisition Training as an option for CFC participants to develop new skills.
- Central Office is researching additional options to support this need.
A need for transportation and housing services.
- All waivers currently include transportation to and from any waiver service and Medicaid state plan provides transportation services to all medical appointments and essential shopping.
- Central Office is researching strategies to increase transportation and housing options for participants.
The importance of simple, clear language to explain services.
- Central Office is currently simplifying and clarifying language wherever possible on websites and other materials, forms, rules, policies, waiver renewal applications and service names. For instance, behavior support and consultation will become “positive behavior support and consultation” to more clearly describe the service.
Access to assistive technology.
- Currently all Community First Choice participants have access to assistive technology together with participants on the Children’s Intensive In-Home Behavioral Support and Individual and Family Services waivers.
A complete list of Stakeholder feedback and responses, including the results of the DDA survey, will be posted to the DDA Internet site early January 2017.
If you have any questions, please contact: Ann Whitehall, Waiver Services Unit Manager.
Thank you again for assisting us in the waiver renewal process,
Deborah Roberts / Chief, Medicaid and Eligibility
DDA HQ / Central Office
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services