The final meeting of the DODD Strategic Planning Leadership Group (SPLG) last week included completing draft language for several ten-year and two-year benchmarks. The recommendations are being developed to guide the future of the statewide developmental disabilities services system, and create a sustainable, quality environment for individuals with developmental disabilities to live, work, and learn in their communities.
DODD Director John Martin noted at the outset of the meeting that all of the benchmarks under discussion must be measurable, attainable in ten years, and not repeat what is already in state law. A report containing the recommendations will be issued before the end of the year.
The SPLG also reviewed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) draft Plan. DODD Deputy Director for Medicaid Development and Administration Lori Horvath explained that in March, new guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) redefined reimbursement for waiver services. She noted that the information from CMS gives the Department an opportunity to see what we are doing well now, as well as what areas need improvement. She stated,
For example, our Service and Support Administration rule is a good example of dove-tailing nicely with what the CMS guidelines are recommending. The person-centered approach and related requirements are right in line.”
Wrapping up the final meeting, Director Martin observed that there is a great deal of change going on the statewide DD service system, as well as on the national scene. He acknowledged the anxiety that change produces for everyone involved with the system, and also the opportunities that change provides to move forward in new or different ways. He said,
Our job as leaders is to manage this change. There are a lot of decisions that will need to be made. We appreciate the incredible amount of work you, as a group, have put into this process. And, we are going to continue to need your help along the way to manage change responsibly. This is a significant point in the lives of people with disabilities in Ohio.”