DODD Director John Martin announced on August 21 that Deputy Director Patrick Stephan will be leaving the Department, where he has led the Division of Medicaid Development and Administration (MDA) for the past six years. Effective October 6, he will be joining the Ohio Department of Medicaid, where he will lead the agency’s managed care team. In the announcement, Director Martin noted,
Patrick is a hard-working, creative, and dedicated team player who has provided excellent leadership through a number of significant contributions. While Patrick is leaving DODD, the good news is he is not going far, and in his new role he will continue to relate to and work with us at DODD.”
Director Martin added that during the transition, Stephan will continue to provide leadership to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) transition plan committee, through the development of the draft of the state’s plan, which is due in November.
The announcement also stated, “One of the many things Patrick did well was developing a strong team of leaders. One of those team members, Lori Horvath, will become the Acting Deputy Director upon Patrick’s departure. During the past three years, Lori has been closely involved in many key DODD Medicaid initiatives. She will provide both continuity and strong, competent leadership as we shepherd in the new CMS transition rule and other Medicaid work initiatives.”
HOME Choice Program Reaches Milestone
As a partner agency in the Office of Health Transformation (OHT), DODD joins the Ohio departments of Health (ODH), Aging (ODA), Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), and Job and Family Services (ODJFS), as well as Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), in efforts to modernize the Medicaid service delivery system in Ohio. Now in its fourth year, OHT’s top priority continues to be to develop common sense reforms that address immediate budget challenges.
One result of such efforts is transitioning residents who want to move out of larger, more institutional settings, and into home-and community-based settings. Earlier this month, the Ohio Department of Medicaid announced that it recently transitioned its 5,000th individual back into the community through its highly successful HOME Choice program, marking a major milestone for the six year-old program. Funded by a federal grant, HOME Choice is Ohio’s version of the federal Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. Individuals who wish to leave institutional settings are assessed by Ohio Medicaid and offered housing and support services to transition back into the community.
Launched in 2008 with the goal of achieving 2,000 successful transitions, HOME Choice has helped to develop a renewed path to independence for older Ohioans and individuals living with disabilities. State Medicaid Director John McCarthy observed,
The State of Ohio remains committed to providing more choice to residents living in nursing facilities and institutional settings. HOME Choice has enhanced independence and provided a second chance to thousands of Ohioans – all at costs lower than those incurred in institutional settings.”
See the complete press release, Ohio Medicaid Achieves 5,000th Transition through Statewide HOME Choice Initiative, and more related information on the ODM website. More success stories in the HOME Choice online newsletter.
Strategic Planning Leadership Group (SPLG)
The DODD Strategic Planning Leadership Group (SPLG) is continuing to explore ways to improve services for Ohio citizens with developmental disabilities. The next SPLG meeting is September 9, when the group will begin to identify specific recommendations and benchmarks to move the system forward over the next ten years.