January – March

During First Quarter, key topics included:

Strategic Planning Leadership Group, Human Trafficking, SSA Rule, Employment First, Budget, Legislation

Look Out When This Dynamic Duo Teams Up at the Statehouse! Christine Brown (left) and Shari Cooper have the energy to match their enthusiasm for DD Awareness and Advocacy Day. Christine is a state leader on legislative advocacy issues, and Shari Cooper, MC for the event, kept the program moving along and displayed her ready wit and grace under pressure.

Look Out When This Dynamic Duo Teams Up at the Statehouse! Christine Brown (left) and Shari Cooper have the energy to match their enthusiasm for DD Awareness and Advocacy Day. Christine is a state leader on legislative advocacy issues, and Shari Cooper, MC for the event, kept the program moving along and displayed her ready wit and grace under pressure.

  • Kasich Administration works to stem human trafficking – Task Force appointed.
  • Service & Support Administration Rule (5123:2-1-11) moved forward with a focus on person-centered planning and strengthening involvement of individuals served. The new rule describes and encourages the participation of people with developmental disabilities in the content and development of their Individual Service Plans (ISPs), and the selection of people they choose to help them in this process and achieve desired outcomes.
  • Ohio reached an agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on a new initiative to coordinate care for individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (dually-eligible). MyCare Ohio is a system of managed care plans selected to coordinate physical, behavioral, and long-term care services for people over age 18 who are dually-eligible, including people with disabilities, older adults, and people who receive behavioral health services.
  • The DODD Strategic Leadership Planning Group (SPLG) announced an Open Forum and presentation regarding recent changes to the CMS rule that governs how states may use federal Medicaid funds to pay for Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS). The SPLG is tasked with exploring ways to improve services for Ohio citizens with DD, and determine benchmarks to guide the future. At the Forum, DODD Director John Martin stated,

It’s important for us to use this opportunity to change the system – to do this planning – and we have about a year to do it. Then, the implementation will span about five years – and at that time, this process will be complete.”

  • The Ohio Senate moved forward with legislation (HB123) to expand opportunities for medical professionals to provide health care services through remote communication technologies, thereby expanding access to care for Ohioans across the state, especially in more rural or remote geographic areas. It was signed into law by Governor John Kasich on February 18.
  • Expanding Medicaid health care to individuals earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level has been a high priority for the Kasich Administration, and can positively impact insurance benefits for many of those newly-eligible, including many Direct Support Professionals.
  • We saw Ability at Work on DD Awareness & Advocacy Day — The annual event at the Ohio Statehouse drew hundreds of attendees from across the state, most of whom were self-advocates. Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (March) also was celebrated locally in many creative ways by County Boards of DD and other service providers;
  • Medina County Rolls Out the Red Carpet for the State of the State Address – Governor John Kasich spotlighted employment growth in Ohio, and the state’s improving financial outlook;
  • Mid-Biennium Review – Budget process underway.
  • Employment First Celebrates Two Years – Since the outset of the Employment First initiative, improvements in state policies have enabled Ohio’s local communities to be better prepared to transform services and expectations, and foster more opportunities for improved community employment opportunities for people with DD.
  • DODD Funds Grants to Assist in Training Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) – Highly-qualified DSPs are valuable resources within Ohio’s developmental disabilities community. DODD is committed to supporting the availability of these funds, and provides grants to agencies who are dedicated to offering provider training.

To read complete issues during First Quarter, see:

  January 8, 2014;  January 22, 2014; February 5, 2014; February 19, 2014; March 5, 2014; March 19, 2014.

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