OPWDD is using a portion of the ARPA funds to expand Crisis Services for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (CSIDD) to ensure these services and resource centers are available in every region of the state.
OPWDD will soon have a complete network of CSIDD providers across the state. In June 2021, OPWDD released a Request for Applications to implement CSIDD and a Resource Center in Region 2 (Central New York/North Country). The contract start date was October 2021, and services are currently in development. OPWDD also released a Request for Applications to transition the existing Region 3 (Capital, Taconic, and Hudson Valley regions) CSIDD state-operated team to a voluntary provider who will also establish a Resource Center in Region 3. These measures will assure that both the CSIDD and Resource Center programs will be available in every region.
Enhancing Reimbursement Rates for Intensive Behavioral Services
ARPA funds will be used to enhance and expand access to Intensive Behavioral Services (IBS) through increased funding in established rates. The rate increases will be used to enhance clinician wages and expand the availability of services and are intended to address the behavioral health needs of people with developmental disabilities which have been exacerbated during the Coronavirus pandemic. Increases will apply to both the product fee as well as the plan implementation component of IBS services. The higher IBS payment rates will be effective retroactive to July 1, 2021.
Connecting the Developmental Disabilities Service System to County-based Mobile Crisis Services
Building community-based crisis response service models that support people to remain in the community and avoid the need for highly restrictive or institutional settings is integral to ensuring that people with developmental disabilities are appropriately served in the least restrictive settings. It is critical that crisis responders have the knowledge and experience, or access to those professionals who do, to provide effective crisis supports to people with developmental disabilities who experience behavioral health challenges. Unfortunately, adults and children with developmental disabilities and their families often continue in patterns of crisis because traditional crisis service responders such as mobile crisis teams or police crisis intervention teams do not have relevant training or experience in serving them. This lack of experience at the county level can lead to less than effective crisis de-escalation, misunderstanding and further exacerbation of the crisis and result in referrals for ineffective or more costly service options. The current system of post-crisis supports lacks the necessary knowledge base to offer the crisis prevention strategies that are needed. Further, lack of coordination between service providers, care managers and crisis response teams and a failure of the larger systems of care to develop linkages and collaborations also contribute to continued unmet need.
To respond to these needs, OPWDD is investing a portion of enhanced FMAP funding to support pilot projects at the county level to address gaps in crisis response and children’s services. OPWDD will award funds to a single, statewide entity to:
Work with no less than two counties to pilot test ways to connect county-based mobile crisis services and/or police crisis intervention teams with real time support and expertise to better triage and manage crisis cases involving people with developmental disabilities and,
Provide necessary staff to work with at least two local Mental Hygiene Departments to improve linkages with Health Homes Serving Children, High Fidelity Wraparound, Children/Family Treatment and Support Services (CFTSS) and the New York State Children’s Consolidated Waiver system of care and to provide relevant training, where needed, in supporting children with developmental disabilities and their families with the goal of redirecting children and their families to an appropriate system of care.