The Arkansas Waiver Association
The "What's Happening" page is designed to keep us all up to date as to what's going on in the DD world. We'll do our best to provide accurate, unbiased information. It's often important, however, to provide some analysis of what the facts mean, and that results in editorial comment. When we're commenting instead of reporting, the passage will be labeled as "Editorial Comment" and displayed in green.
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From Andy Allison, Arkansas' Medicaid Director, May 28: "After assessing the financial health of the Medicaid program at the end of the fiscal year's third quarter, we continue to see a historic slow down in growth and no longer expect a budget shortfall. Because of that, we no longer anticipate needing to freeze or cut the rates of our Medicaid providers. This should be welcome news for your providers and feel free to share the news."
Change.org is trying to raise Autism awareness by asking for signatures on a petition. From Change.org: "Help us piece by piece to make a brighter future for those affected with autism. ."
It's important. Will you sign it too? Here's the link:
Here's a chart showing how CFCO will interface with Waiver, proposed in any case. Apparently, ALL services will be CFCO. Waivers will be maintained only to ensure the eligibility criteria remains unchanged (three times SSI for Waiver vs 150 percent of poverty level for CFCO). Since Waiver has to provide at least one Waiver service for the person to be on Waiver, all will receive Case Management only.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: If you can't read the chart, you may download it by clicking HERE. What this all means is if it is not included in CFCO, it is not available. All CFCO plans are a proposal that must be approved by CMS before implementation. We expect some changes as CMS begins to negotiate with Arkansas on what can and cannot be done under CFCO.
DHS has provided a web page to keep all up to date on what is happening in the CFCO arena and to provide an avenue for public input. You can access the information by clicking HERE
To Waiver individuals/families/guardians:
You have probably already received a letter from Dr. Green, the DDS Commissioner, explaining the new assessment process that our state is instituting.
I’ve received some communication from families who were confused about exactly what this all means—some families have just tossed it aside, thinking it was nothing out of the ordinary; just one more “hoop to jump through” in the system. Please read Dr. Green’s letter carefully—this is NOT just more of the same old stuff. This assessment is the next step in a radical transformation of our service system in Arkansas.
In the very near future, the services that folks get will be determined by this assessment. The level of funding assigned to each individual in our state will be determined by the outcome of this assessment. In my opinion, YOU NEED TO BE PRESENT when the assessment team meets with your family member. If that’s just not possible, please make sure that someone you trust (your Case Manager, a trusted direct support staff person, etc.) attends the assessment meeting.
There will be an appeal process, of course, if the level of need that the assessors establish is clearly not correct, but we all know that appeals can be cumbersome and can, in some cases, take a long time to sort out. It’s in your best interest to get an accurate assessment the first time through.
I believe the changes we’re going to see will be wide reaching, with many places to stumble. We all need to work together to ensure that the assessment is accurate. Please feel free to call or email your provider or AWA for more information.
As we learn more we will continue to pass that on to you through our website, facebook page, and list serve. We’ll do everything we can to make this process work as smoothly as we can and to get you the information as it becomes available.
Dr. Green has stated there have been no discussions concerning TEFRA at DHS, Medicaid, or DDS. The exact words are, ".... there have been NO discussions regarding the discontinuation of the program. It’s a valuable asset for our families in Arkansas and we intend to support it."
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Thank you.
DDS has indicated the State is strongly considering taking advantage of the enhanced Medicaid match made available through the Community First Choice Option (CFCO). Should the state go this route, there are potentially tremendous changes for the DD population.
You can read the various options from the Federal Register, which you can download HERE .
EDITORIAL COMMENT: The Arkansas Waiver Association believes going the CFCO route could be a very good thing for persons with a developmental disability.
As if we didn't have enough worries, now DOL is back. AWA has been in contact with another provider who is being investigated over the same issues we brought to you over a year ago. We will have more information at the AWA conference on Thursday, July 19th. If you need this info, registration information is on this site.