Response to Public Comment and Updated Waiver Submission to CMS
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
OPWDD would like to sincerely thank all stakeholders who participated in the public comment period for the updates to the 1915 (c) Comprehensive Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver. More than 150 individuals or organizations submitted questions or comments on a variety of topics including Conflict-Free Case Management, Self-Direction, Respite, Community First Choice Option, and program operations and rate setting proposals for new and existing services. Stakeholder engagement and feedback is a crucial component of this process and OPWDD appreciates the recommendations and comments we received. Our assessment and response to the public comment and the updated Waiver submission is now available on the OPWDD website at: http://www.opwdd.ny.gov/opwdd_services_supports/people_first_waiver/HCBS_waiver_services.
Based on the comments received, OPWDD incorporated several changes before sending the Waiver submission to CMS. These changes are detailed in the response to public comment, and include changes to better align Supported Employment (SEMP) intensive and extended service limits with existing state regulations. The Conflict-Free Case Management Transition Plan was also updated to reflect that OPWDD will seek an exemption for rural areas and for providers serving communities with unique linguistic or cultural needs. There were also changes made to the Rate Setting section to support the implementation of the High Needs Funding proposal. In many cases, comments were related to issues now being addressed by the Transformation Panel work plans. Once the work associated with the Transformation Panel is complete, we anticipate that further changes to the Waiver may be necessary.
OPWDD will keep stakeholders updated as we continue conversations with our federal partners regarding the updated Waiver submission. We thank you for your continued advocacy.
Kerry A. Delaney