This article was contributed by Kerri Erb, ASNC’s Chief Program Officer.
In the coming months, we all have many opportunities to help shape future services for people on the autism spectrum in North Carolina. In ongoing community meetings, ASNC has been represented by our staff members and families from local ASNC chapters. Read on for upcoming opportunities for you to join the conversations.
Innovations Waiver Renewal and Workgroups
Many people in NC receive services through the Innovations (formerly known as CAP) waiver. At this time, the state has a stakeholder group reviewing the waiver itself, service definitions, and other elements as the waiver moves to a renewal in January 2016. The group has been discussing new service definitions; changes to current service definitions; financial, quality and utilization issues; resource allocation; care coordination; communication; and education. For more information and a look at the presentations, go to NC MHDDSAS: CAP-MR/DD. In addition to the statewide workgroup, each MCO has an active workgroup made up of individuals, families, and professionals to provide input on the waiver.
Home and Community-Based Services Workgroups
North Carolina also is working on a plan to comply with the new Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) standards issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The new standards require states to change policies for programs such as the Innovations waiver to make sure that people using those services are living and working in the most integrated settings possible while maintaining clinical appropriateness. Tools such as person-centered plans can ensure that individuals have more choice and control over their living situations (such as access to visitors, privacy, individualized social plans, communication tools, etc.), and are in settings that are otherwise “home-like,” while still ensuring the health welfare and safety of the individual.
NC must assess its current program policies and submit a plan by March on how it will make any changes to meet the new requirements. Note that settings such as nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded (ICFs/MRs) are not addressed by these new regulations. The services that will have to meet the requirements of the rule are: NC Innovations Supported Employment, NC Innovations Day Supports, and NC Innovations Residential. CAP/DA and CAP Choice (Adult Day Health) will also fall under this ruling.
The NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will be holding listening sessions around the state for recipients of those services with Courtney Cantrell, Director of Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services; Jessica Keith, Special Advisor on ADA; and Sandra Terrell, Director of DMA Clinical Policy.
DHHS invites you to:
- Talk with them and provide valued feedback about the proposed HCBS Transition Plan to help those receiving these services become a full part of their community.
- Tell DHHS what is working and what needs to change.
- Make a plan that works for everyone.
- Help build on the system’s strengths to meet the requirements of the HCBS Final Rule (March 17, 2014).
- February 2, 5-7 p.m., Lincoln County Department of Social Services, 1136 Main St., Lincolnton
- February 3, 6-8 p.m., Creedmoor Baptist Church, 6001 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh
- February 9, 6-8 p.m., Eugene James Auditorium, 1717 W. 5th St., Greenville
- February 10, 6-8 p.m., CenterPoint Human Services, 4035 University Parkway, Winston-Salem
- February 11, 6-8 p.m., CoastalCare, 3809 Shipyard Blvd., Wilmington
- February 12, 6-8 p.m., Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, 8 Barbetta Drive, Asheville
If sessions are canceled because of bad weather, DHHS will not be able to reschedule them. Statewide conference calls will be held, and feedback can also be provided by email, fax, telephone or U.S. mail. For more information, please email HCBSTransPlan@dhhs.nc.gov.
ASNC Chief Program Officer Kerri Erb has represented our community in the NC DHHS stakeholder groups mentioned above. We value your input on our efforts to create better services. You can contact Kerri at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide feedback on the Innovations wavier of HCBS regulations, and she will relay your concerns. Or, you may contact DHHS directly at IDDListeningSessions@dhhs.nc.gov (with “waiver” or “HCBS” in the subject line) to provide feedback on the waiver and changes to best meet the needs of individuals with ASD in a flexible and sustainable manner.
Consumer & Family Community Chats
DHHS is also holding forums for consumers and family members with no providers present. Leaders from the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services invite you to speak openly about your experience in the system and help them understand what is important to you.
Space is limited; please RSVP to email@example.com or 919-330-0777 for the following sessions:
- February 3, 2-3:30 p.m., Arc of NC Conference Room, 343 E. Six Forks Road, Suite 320, Raleigh
- February 9, 2-3:30 p.m., Autism Society of NC, 205 C-D Plaza Drive, Greenville
- February 10, 2-3:30 p.m., The Enrichment Center, 1006 S. Marshall St., Winston-Salem
- February 11, 3-4:30 p.m., The Arc of North Carolina Wilmington, 5041 New Centre Drive, Suite 100, Wilmington
- February 12, 2-3:30 p.m., Autism Society of NC, 306 Summit St., Asheville
LME/MCO Community Gaps and Needs Assessments
In addition to the state, each LME/MCO conducts gaps and needs assessments in their communities each year. LME/MCOs and DHHS use information gathered in these to help shape future services in their areas. Please provide input to the MCO that manages your services (or, if you are waiting for services, the LME/MCO that would manage them).
For example, Alliance’s is currently open. Links to the Alliance LME/MCO Gaps and Needs assessment survey:
Consumers and Families: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ABH_ConsumerFamily
Disability Rights of North Carolina Listening Sessions
Disability Rights of North Carolina (DRNC) is also hosting listening sessions across the state to help focus its work. To see the schedule and register, please click here.
In addition to the listening sessions, more information will come out soon regarding the LS settlement you may have read about in the news. For more information in the interim, please click here.
Kerri Erb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-865-5053 or 800-442-2762, ext. 1102.
Filed under: Advocacy, Asperger's Syndrome, Autism, Autism Society of NC, Legislative/Policy Issues, Programs, Resources | Tagged: Advocacy, ASNC, Asperger Syndrome, Asperger's Syndrome, autism, autism advocacy, autism awareness, autism north carolina, autism society north carolina, autism society of NC, Autism Society of North Carolina, Autism spectrum, autism support, Developmental disability, managed care, medicaid, North Carolina, public policy |