Disability Rights Ohio encourages public to comment on state Transition Plan
December 16, 2014 / Transition
Yesterday the state of Ohio released its proposed Transition Plan for home and community-based services (HCBS) in response to new federal rules issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Within five years, states will only be allowed to spend Medicaid waiver money on services that are in "home and community-based settings," which CMS has defined for the first time in its new rules. Each state must submit a Transition Plan, which will be reviewed by CMS.
It is widely known that Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) is also negotiating with state agencies to shift Ohio's system for individuals with developmental disabilities away from institutional settings and toward community-based services. Although the efforts are similar, DRO's work is not connected to the Transition Plan. DRO is advocating for more options in the community, while CMS is defining what "home and community-based settings" really means for those who are already enrolled in waiver programs.
"People with disabilities should have opportunities to live, work and be supported in the community if they choose," said Kerstin Sjoberg-Witt, Director of Advocacy for DRO. "We want to expand opportunities for people, especially those who now live and work and spend their days in facilities. The new CMS rules, while separate from our work, are important to make sure that all people with disabilities are able to live the types of lives they want to lead."
The state will be accepting public comments on the Transition Plan through midnight January 23. Comments can be submitted by in the following ways:
By e-mail: HCBSfeedback@medicaid.ohio.gov
By written comments sent to:
Ohio Department of Medicaid
ATTN: HCBS Transition Plan
P.O. Box 182709, 5th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43218
By FAX: 614-466-6945 (please include Attn. HCBS Transition Plan in the subject line)
By calling toll-free to leave a voicemail message at 1-800-364-3153.
By submitting testimony in person or in writing at either of two public hearings. People are required to bring written copies of their testimony.
* January 7, 1:00 pm - Rhodes State Office Tower, Lobby Hearing Room, 1st Floor, 30 East Broad St., Columbus
* January 15, 1:00 pm - Rhodes State Office Tower, Lobby Hearing Room, 1st Floor, 30 East Broad St., Columbus
Additional information from the Office of Health Transformation:
The Department of Developmental Disabilities has also scheduled five Transition Plan Public Forums around the state in December and January. Find more information on their flier.