Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is pleased to announce that New York State has submitted its initial draft spending plan to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the enhanced federal funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP).
With the input of stakeholders obtained during forums, meetings and written submissions, OPWDD has identified areas of high need to refocus our efforts and define our goals for both the present and future of services.
This new federal funding would enable New York to make significant investments that would support the needs of the state’s most vulnerable populations, including children, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), those suffering from addiction, those with behavioral health needs, and older adults.
The state spending plan targets three main areas for use of the federal funds:
Supporting and Strengthening the Direct Care Workforce;
Building HCBS Capacity through Innovations and Systems Transformation; and
Investing in the Digital Infrastructure
For OPWDD specifically, the plan earmarks monies for:
Improving the OPWDD workforce and the challenges of high turnover and staffing shortages by investing in workforce performance incentives, an IDD Workforce Longevity and Retention Bonus, DSP workforce development grants, and a Workforce Recruitment Initiative
Expanding community residential opportunities through an integrated housing pilot program and providing incentives for the development of more integrated residential services
Expanding crisis services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) through the expansion of the new CSIDD program into all areas of the state
Modernizing the OPWDD IT Infrastructure to allow for the expanded use of electronic services
The draft spending plan and narrative can be found on this web page: https://health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/hcbs/enhanced_funding/
The total amount of funding available to New York State through the American Rescue Plan Act is only an estimate at this point and is subject to change.
This one-time federal funding is a great first step in growing and improving our service delivery system, but there is still more to be done. We must find ways to sustain these programs into the future. We look forward to your continued input into how we can best support our system.
Theodore Kastner, MD, MS