Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is pleased to announce that the 1915(c) Comprehensive Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver Amendment, Amendment 06 has been approved by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This Waiver Amendment will be effective July 1, 2021 and will fund services for approximately 90,000 New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The HCBS Waiver is the Medicaid program that provides opportunities for adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities to receive services in their own home or community.
The July 1, 2021 Amendment includes changes to permanently adopt telehealth and in-residence service delivery models that were temporarily adopted to address the COVID-19 public health emergency. These changes include a revision to the service description for Community Habilitation to allow the delivery of Community Habilitation services within certified residences. In addition, the Amendment allows Day Habilitation, Prevocational Services, Respite, Pathway to Employment, Support Brokerage, Community Habilitation, and Supported Employment services to be delivered via telehealth modalities in accordance with State and Federal guidance. These service models will take effect following the end date of OPWDD’s Appendix K temporary authority, which was approved on an emergency basis by CMS in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Appendix K authority will end six months following the end of the Public Health Emergency.
The amendment also includes a revision to the Intensive Respite service definition to allow individuals who live in certified settings to access Intensive Respite from a Crisis Services for Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (CSIDD) Resource Center.
A copy of the approved July 1, 2021 Waiver Amendment, and response to Public Comment, is available on the OPWDD website at:https://opwdd.ny.gov/providers/home-and-community-based-services-waiver.
Additional guidance regarding these provisions will be forthcoming. Thank you for your continued advocacy.
Theodore Kastner, MD, MS