Ohio Ranks in Top 10 in Community Inclusion

Ohio jumped 38 places in United Cerebral Palsy’s (UCP) The Case for Inclusion report and now ranks 10th on the annual ranking of how well State Medicaid programs serve Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) and their families.

UCP cites Ohio’s dramatic increase in the share of individuals (from 63 percent to 83 percent) and resources (from 50 percent to 64 percent) dedicated to the community, the closure of a state-operated Developmental Center, the reduction of the number of individuals served in large institutions (from 18 percent to 6 percent), and participation in the National Core Indicators survey as reasons for the increase in ranking.

“We’re excited that UCP’s report recognizes all of the progress we’ve made, but we’re still focusing on how we can do even better,” said John Martin, Director of DODD. “Many of the initiatives coming out of the operating budget will help us strengthen these areas even further.”

The Case for Inclusion measures five areas, which are aligned with the University of Minnesota’s Research and Training Center on Community Living’s four key aspects of a high functioning and effective Medicaid program. They include:

  • Promoting Independence: People with disabilities will live in and participate in their communities. This category accounts for 50 percent of the overall score – Ohio ranks 31st.
  • Promoting Productivity: People with disabilities will have satisfying lives and valued social roles. This category accounts for 12 percent of the overall score – Ohio ranks 33rd.
  • Keeping Families Together and Reaching Those in Need: People with disabilities will have sufficient access to needed support, and control over that support so that the assistance they receive contributes to lifestyles they desire. These categories account for 8 and 16 percent of the overall score – Ohio ranks 4th and 31st, respectively.
  • Tracking Health, Safety, and Quality of Life: People will be safe and healthy in the environments in which they live. This category accounts for 14 percent of the overall score – Ohio ranks 17th.

“The report didn’t find that similar characteristics were necessary to be ranked in the top ten – these states are both large and small, rich and poor, low spenders and high spenders, have high and low tax burdens, and are politically diverse,” Director Martin said. “This is very heartening because it means we can continue to see progress and aim for the top of the list – the only barriers are the ones we place on ourselves.”

One area where many states including Ohio could do better is reducing the waiting list for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). Nationally, there are more than 322,000 people on waiting lists for HCBS services, which is 5,000 more than last year; Ohio’s waiting list has more than 40,000 people, approximately 20,000 of whom need services now. The report cites that states’ would need to increase HCBS programs by 44 percent to significantly reduce or eliminate waiting lists.

“The additional state-funded waivers that were included in the FY2016-17 Executive Budget will help us being to address this issue,” Director Martin said. “As we continue to transform our system and services to become more efficient, we will reinvest savings back into the system so we’re able to serve more people.”

About the Case for Inclusion

The Case for Inclusion rankings were developed through a broad, data-driven effort. Demographic, cost, utilization, key data elements and outcomes statistics were assembled for all 50 States and the District of Columbia. Ninety-nine individual data elements from numerous governmental non-profit and advocacy organizations were reviewed. Dozens of Medicaid, disability and ID/DD policy experts were consulted as well as members of national advocacy and research organizations.

They were asked to consider the attributes of top performing Medicaid programs and offer opinions and recommendations on key data measures and outcomes.

To comprehensively determine the top-performing States, a weighted scoring methodology was developed. Thirty key outcome measures and data elements were selected and individually scored in five major categories on a total 100-point scale. If a person is living in the community, it is a key indicator of inclusion; therefore the “Promoting Independence” category received half of all possible points.