Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Acting Commissioner Delaney's Message on the Approval of an HCBS Waiver Amendment

08/18/17

Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

As part of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) continuing efforts to enhance the service delivery system for New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities, I am pleased to announce the approval by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of a Home and Community-Based Services Waiver amendment.  

Passage of this amendment will help people living in the community who need nursing services such as medication administration to be supported in a way that helps them take part in community life. The amendment allows providers of HCBS waiver services to be approved or certified to provide delegated nursing services to individuals in private homes or other community settings that are not certified by OPWDD. 

Direct support professionals who are appropriately trained and certified in medication administration can deliver medications or provide certain healthcare tasks to individuals in community settings under the supervision of a registered professional nurse. These delegated nursing services can be performed by approved direct support professionals at a place of employment or day activity, in the person’s family home, or at another community location. Without this option, the tasks must be delivered by an appropriately licensed professional or by a family member, which can be burdensome when there is a need for frequent nursing care  throughout the day.

The approved amendment also provides greater funding for supported employment services, as well as fiscal intermediary services, which support individuals who self-direct their supports to manage their plans. These are key achievements as we transform our system of supports to one that is more person-centered and based around the needs and goals of the individual. 

Please join me in welcoming the passage of this amendment and the possibilities it brings to further help people with developmental disabilities live richer lives. 

Sincerely,
Kerry A. Delaney
Acting Commissioner