A substitute version of the 2016-2017 biennial budget bill (HB 64) was presented yesterday during a House Finance and Appropriations Committee hearing. The Committee will hold further hearings on the new measure today through Friday, April 17. It is expected that, following this process, the bill will move on to the Senate the last week in April. Watch your email for a Pipeline EXTRA that overviews what’s changed in HB64, and for an update on the progress of legislation.
National Core Indicators – Staff Stability Survey
Director Martin contacted providers last week with updated information about the National Core Indicators (NCI), a collaboration between the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) and Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), and a recent pilot of the National Core Indicators Staff Stability Survey. Thanking the providers who have completed the survey, he noted, “We learned a great deal from the data you provided (read the report), and the Department has used the information to help support our budget initiatives.” The pilot now is complete, and NCI will make the survey available to all states.
DODD has decided to continue to administer the survey. In calendar year 2015, the Staff Stability Survey will continue to be voluntary, and will allow a wider range of providers to become familiar with the tool. Beginning January 1, 2016, the Department will require all agency providers to complete the survey.
Questions in the survey relate to volume, stability, compensation, and benefits for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) serving adults, age 18 years and older. Data gathered will help DODD, policy-makers, and advocates to:
- Inform policy/program development regarding direct service workforce improvement initiatives;
- Monitor and evaluate the impact of workforce initiatives; and,
- Compare state workforce outcomes with those of other states.
Ohio providers soon will receive an email from HSRI inviting participation in the survey. Providers that already have completed the survey during the pilot may disregard this notification. It is important to note that DODD will not be able to see individual responses, only that a provider has responded to the survey. Results of the survey will be reported only in the aggregate.
The 2015 survey should be completed by a provider’s Human Resources or Payroll office, and reflect DSPs on payroll any time between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014.
NCI will conduct webinars for providers, which will offer more detailed information. The webinars will be on April 30 at 3:00 p.m., and May 11 at 3:00 p.m., and may be accessed online.
Contact Tina Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 614-752-9028, if you have any questions regarding the Staff Stability Survey.
TDD Waiver Options Update
Earlier this month, DODD contacted individuals and families currently receiving Transitions DD (TDD) waiver services, to share information about the options available to them as the waiver is phased out. DODD has worked with individuals enrolled in TDD and their families, and with providers, County Boards, and other state agencies, and determined that a different waiver would meet the waiver participants’ needs more effectively. This transition will occur over a two‐year period.
Everyone enrolled in the TDD waiver will have the option to enroll in the Individual Options (IO) waiver, which offers a broader array of services than TDD, including day and employment options. IO waiver services are designed to help individuals become more involved in community activities, and a nursing service also will be added to the waiver, effective July 1, 2016. Individuals also may choose to enroll in one of two other DODD waivers – the Level One waiver or the Self‐Empowered Life Funding (SELF) waiver. Information about all three waivers is on the DODD website.
DODD submitted a proposed phase-out plan to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees Medicaid‐funded waivers, in March. If CMS approves the plan, the transition period will begin July 1, 2015. After everyone has transitioned, the TDD Waiver no longer will exist.