JAMESTOWN - Whole-sale changes are coming to the way services are paid for and delivered to New York State residents with developmental disabilities.
The Resource Center will host an informational session Wednesday to help individuals and their families understand the new system, called the "People First Waiver."
The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in TRC's Administrative Offices, located at 200 Dunham Ave. (the former Celoron school). Attendees should park in the back lot and enter the building from the rear. In addition to TRC, the event is being put on by the Western New York Training Institute and the Parent Network of WNY.
Attendees will learn about the planned changes in service delivery under the People First Waiver and what those changes will mean for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
The People First Waiver is a 1115 Demonstration Waiver application, an agreement with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that provides federal participation in Medicaid funding for services while a State implements changes to its service systems and then demonstrates the benefits of those changes.
The People First Waiver would enable New York State to continue to obtain federal funds to support people with developmental disabilities while it implements programmatic, administrative and financial reforms.
Under the People First Waiver, New York State plans to work with individuals, families and experts in health care and long-term care to expand community-based services, reduce institutional services and offer comprehensive services from multiple service systems in more efficient, person-centered, responsive and accountable ways.
System improvements are designed to ensure that services respond to individuals' unique needs with the most effective and appropriate levels of support.
The New York State Office for Persons With Developmental Disabilities has determined several targeted key outcomes for the People First Waiver, including:
Improved care coordination for people with developmental disabilities who have complex medical and behavioral health needs will be achieved through specialized systems of care management and coordination.
A system that emphasizes person-centered planning, individual responsibility and self-determination will enhance care and individual satisfaction while lowering Medicaid costs.
The expanded range of community-based services will enable many people living in institutional settings to transition to the community so that future institutional services can be provided on a temporary basis to prepare people for successful community living.
Improved health and safety will be assured through a comprehensive quality management system that is driven by personal outcomes and system performance.
New reimbursement models will encourage efficiency, improve accountability and reduce costs.
Under the People First Waiver, OPWDD plans to develop a care-management structure to replace the current fee-for-service system with a capitated/global payment model (per person, per month or per year) of reimbursing service providers. Care-management methods would deliver person-centered services that are appropriate to each person's needs with enhanced levels of personal choice and control over the services received.
Transition from the current service system to delivery of services under the People First Waiver are expected be done in a manner designed to ensure minimal disruption in service delivery.
Because of the uncertainty and the lack of definitive information surrounding this radical change in service delivery, individuals with developmental disabilities, their family members and concerned others are urged to attend the Wednesday session to learn more and ask questions about New York State's application to the federal government.
For more information, phone 332-4170 or 1-866-277-4762.