Last week we shared with you that The Mississippi Department of Mental Health stated on its website:
“The Mississippi Division of Medicaid (DOM) Office of Mental Health in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) Bureau of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities requests your feedback in the renewal of the 1915(c) Home and Community Based Intellectual Disabilities/Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD) Waiver and 1915(i) Community Support Program (CSP). DOM and DMH are seeking input regarding recommended changes from participants, caregivers, providers, and other community stakeholders prior to the submission of the renewal application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Comments or recommendations specific to this waiver must be received by February 24, 2023.
Intellectual Disabilities/Developmental Disabilities And Community Support Program Basics
The Intellectual Disabilities/Developmental Disabilities Waiver and Community Support Program are statewide programs administered by the DOM and operated by the DMH. They are designed to offer assistance and services in a home or community‐based setting for those who meet the criteria and qualify for Medicaid. The program allows persons to receive services and supports in their home as an alternative to intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF/IID). The current documents are available for review by clicking below:
- Application for 1915(c) Home and Community Based Services Waiver
- 1915(i) State plan Home and Community-Based Services Administration and Operation
The Department of Medicaid will use this feedback to help write its waiver renewal application. Then, they will put the application back out for public comment. If you have comments to share for this initial feedback phase, they are due by 5 PM, February 24 and can be emailed to Kimberly Sartin Holloway (Kimberly.Sartin-Holloway@medicaid.ms.gov) or faxed to 601-359-9545.
We commend the parents and caregivers who gave feedback about the waiver. Family input is essential to good policy. Public comments should be posted on Medicaid’s website at some point after the submission deadline. You can learn more about families’ perspectives about the waiver at these links as well:
- February 10 Division of Medicaid public hearing about the waiver (Passcode: MDRSMED!1)
- February 17, 2023 Family meeting about the waiver at the Arc of Northeast Mississippi
- Gunnells family’s February 23, 2023, public comments regarding the waiver (shared with permission)
We also thank the Division of Medicaid, particularly executive director Drew Snyder and his management team, for openly communicating with Families as Allies about the waiver application review process and our questions. In partnership with the DOM, we look forward to continuing to look at how real-world experiences of families can inform policy.
We are still working on our public comments about the waiver application, but they will likely include these recommendations:
- DOM work in partnership with service recipients, their families and other stakeholders on an ongoing basis to address these issues:
- The waiting list;
- The scarce workforce and the limited availability of some services;
- Measures to ensure accountability and quality and methods to report outcomes and quality measures to families on the waiver and the public;
- Making sure families have a choice in care coordination and service providers;
- Successful models of paying parents and guardians to provide some services (State Approaches to Reimbursing Family Caregivers of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs through Medicaid is a helpful resource);
- Disposition of measures that DOM implemented during the COVID state of emergency that will end soon; and
- Ways to reach more families about the waiver.
- DOM chooses participant direction for this waiver.
- DOM and DMH share their current processes to ensure that services are delivered and how the quality of those services is guaranteed, along with supporting documentation.
We have verbally shared with the DOM and will reiterate in our written comments that Families as Allies is very willing to help DOM with any of these recommendations and support families to be part of that process.