Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

Commissioner's Messages

Dear Friends and Colleagues: Over the past several years, Governor Cuomo has led efforts to invest in the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) service system to improve the overall quality and availability of community-based, person-centered services, expanding certified housing supports, providing increased employment options and improving respite services. The Fiscal Year 2019 Budget furthers those efforts by committing state and federal funding totaling $7.5 billion for OPWDD programs and committing $120 million for the 5th consecutive year to support new services,...
Dear Friends and Colleagues: Today, New York took a major step forward in achieving People First Care Coordination in our system of services for people with developmental disabilities with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approval of New York’s State Plan Amendment (SPA #17-0025).  The approval of the SPA will provide Care Coordination Organizations (CCOs) with the authority to provide Health Home Care Management services to people with developmental disabilities beginning July 1, 2018.  This approval is an important step as we transition Medicaid...
Dear Friends and Colleagues: April is Autism Awareness Month and today, April 2, is World Autism Day. Today and throughout the month, we’ll be joining people and organizations across the state and across the world in promoting awareness and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).   One quote related to autism that we often see is “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” This quote speaks to the very heart of what autism is – a “spectrum” disorder that affects each person differently and to a unique degree.   We know this...
Dear Friends and Colleagues:  As many of you already know, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is making an important improvement to the way services are coordinated, known as People First Care Coordination. The Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC) program which is currently used to coordinate services will be replaced by a new and improved program called Health Home Care Management. Health Home Care Management will continue to provide the service coordination that people currently receive, and will also provide coordination of other services, such as health care...
Dear Friends and Colleagues: Today marks the start of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, a time for all of us to help raise awareness of, recognize and celebrate the people that the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities was created to provide supports and services to in communities across New York State. This year’s theme, “See Me, For Me” encourages people to focus on each individual and get to know people for who they really are, to look beyond the diagnosis. Here at OPWDD, we already know the extraordinary potential of individuals with developmental disabilities, but...
Dear Friends and Colleagues,Today we take an important step forward by publishing a draft Transition Plan for public comment which lays out New York State’s plans to better integrate services based on person-centered planning for people with developmental disabilities.The Transition Plan is a required element to enable people with developmental disabilities to move to New York State’s 1115 Waiver, and for the development of Care Coordination Organization/Health Home Services (CCO/HH). The activities laid out in the Transition Plan have the goal of helping to make our system more flexible and...
As you may know, People First Care Coordination, part of OPWDD’s ongoing transformation agenda, will integrate the coordination of services for individuals with developmental disabilities with the coordination of health, wellness, and behavioral health services through a single and individualized Life Plan. Implementation is planned for July 2018 with the establishment of Care Coordination Organization/Health Homes (CCO/HHs). The CCO/HHs will be operated by experienced providers of supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  To provide you with information...
Dear Friends and Colleagues,As you may know, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) uses the Coordinated Assessment System (CAS) to help us understand the unique health and support needs of the people we serve. Using the CAS, assessment specialists work closely with individuals, families, support and clinical staff to gain a thorough understanding of a person's strengths, needs and desires for his or her life.In partnership with the Center for Human Services Research, University at Albany, OPWDD is pleased to announce the release of the study The Coordinated Assessment...
As you may know, People First Care Coordination, part of OPWDD’s ongoing transformation agenda, will integrate the coordination of services for individuals with developmental disabilities with the coordination of health, wellness, and behavioral health services through a single and individualized Life Plan.  Implementation is planned for July, 2018 with the establishment of Care Coordination Organizations (CCOs) with experience in providing and coordinating services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  In order to provide you with information...

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