DDS Releases Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) 2018-2019 Funding Guidelines

HCBS Compliance Activities Funding

In recognition that service providers will need to continue taking steps towards modifying their services, the 2018 Budget Act (SB 840, Chapter 29, Budget Act 2018) contains $15 million to fund changes that are necessary for providers to come into compliance with the HCBS rules by March 2022.

The Department will hold two, one-hour webinars to review this process and answer questions. To register, click on either of the dates below:

Information regarding the funding process, by fiscal year is available below:

HCBS 2018-19 Funding Letter

HCBS Funding Guidelines FY1819

Attachment C HCBSFunding FY1819

DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES RELEASES NEW ONLINE REGIONAL CENTER CONSUMER & FAMILY SURVEY – PART OF THE REGIONAL CENTER PROVIDER RATE STUDY

10/3/2018 – The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) released an online survey for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to provide information that will be part of the larger on-going regional center provider rate study.  It is the first time that the State is conducting a survey specifically for regional center consumers and their families on issues linked to regional center provider rates, that follows the recently completed statewide survey of regional center providers.
The deadline for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to respond and submit the new online survey is October 28th, midnight, Sunday evening.
The new online survey for consumers and families is voluntary and not mandatory.
The anonymous survey takes about 15 to 20 minutes or less to complete online. To protect people’s privacy, the online survey does not ask any information regarding a person’s name or address, though does ask general information about the person filling out the survey.
In addition to English, the online survey was also translated in sixteen languages that Medi-Cal is required to use in California.
The survey can be accessed online at:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DDS_Rate_Survey
:   There is no hard copy version of the survey.
The Department of Developmental Services – the state agency that oversees, under contract, the 21 non-profit regional centers who determine eligibility, handle caseload issues and fund the community-based organizations and individuals who provide the actual services and supports – is required to submit the finished the regional center provider rate study to the Legislature by March 2019.  That requirement was part of a special session bill in 2016 (ABx2 1) that also included significant funding increases for regional centers and a wide range of providers.

 

WHAT THE ONLINE REGIONAL CENTER CONSUMER & FAMILY SURVEY IS SEEKING
The online regional center consumer and family survey seeks information from people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families on services and supports they are receiving – or not receiving. This includes questions about the quality of services or availability of services.
The questions in the online survey are connected to the issues regarding regional center provider rates, which is the money from the State (most of it matched by federal Medicaid dollars) that are paid to regional center funded community-based organizations and individuals to provide those supports and services. This includes issues that are connected to unmet needs due to lack of services for various reasons, including ethnic and cultural disparities and geography.
Like the previous online regional center provider survey, the online consumer and family survey is voluntary and not mandatory.
The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) said the information from the both surveys and also other information (including public input from the soon to be announced regional meetings or forums) will be critical parts in helping the Brown Administration this year and the new Administration next year come up with recommendations to the Legislature due by March 2019.
Those recommendations in the rate study will likely be a subject of the Legislative budget subcommittee hearings that includes public comments in March-April 2019, and also the subject of the new Governor’s proposed budget revisions in May 2019 – known as the “May Revise”.  That will be followed by a final round of Legislative budget subcommittee hearings that will likely include the rate study and possible proposals either from the new Governor or from legislators (or both) with public comments.  Depending on the economic and political environment next year and other factors, that in turn could lead to possible increases in rates for some – or all –  regional center funded providers possibly in the 2019-2020 State Budget year that begins July 1, 2019.
The regional center provider survey and the regional center consumer and family survey are two pieces of a larger rate study of regional center funded providers that was required by state law passed and enacted in 2016.  That rate study is meant to address what Brown Administration officials, legislators from both parties, people with developmental disabilities and families, providers, regional centers, and advocates have publicly agreed is a major State issue regarding the need for more funding for services and supports for hundreds of thousands of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, including community-based organizations and workers who provide those services and supports.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE REGIONAL CENTER CONSUMER & FAMILY SURVEY
For questions or comments about the regional center consumer and family survey, send email to: CASurvey@hsri.org
For questions about the regional center provider rate study, send email to: vendorsurvey@dds.ca.gov
Regional Center Provider Rate Study Webpage (Department of Developmental Services website):
https://www.dds.ca.gov/ratestudy/
Burns and Associates (consulting firm hired by Department of Developmental Services to conduct the rate study under the department) webpage on the regional center provider rate study:
http://www.burnshealthpolicy.com/ddsvendorrates/

Self Determination Program: DDS Announces Initial 2,500 SDP Participants Selected

October 1, 2018 –The Department is pleased to announce that the initial 2,500 participants for the Self-Determination Program have been selected.

The Department will mail notification letters to all individuals to communicate their selection status.  To find out if you were selected to participate, you may enter your UCI (Unique Client Identifier) number at https://www.dds.ca.gov/SDPverification/index.cfm.

Please view this updated information at https://www.dds.ca.gov/SDP/SDPUpdates.cfm

copy of notification letters: SDP Selection Letter 10 1 18 

SDP Not Selected Letter 10 1 18

Call for Applications for Disparity Funds Program

Department of Developmental Services Announcement

Date:  August 17, 2018

In 2016, ABX2 1 (Chapter 3, Statutes of 2016) added Welfare and Institutions (W&I) Code section 4519.5(h) to the W&I Code and allocated funds to the Department of Developmental Services (Department), to assist regional centers in the implementation of strategies to reduce disparities in the purchase of services (POS).  In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016/17, the Department solicited regional center proposals and approved funding for projects to reduce disparities and promote equitable access to regional center services and supports.

 

In 2017, trailer bill language amended W&I Code section 4519.5 to allow community- based organizations (CBO) to apply for and receive funding to address disparities and/or equitable access to services. The Department is accepting proposals from regional centers and CBOs for funds available in FY 2018/19.

 

Regional centers and CBOs are invited to respond to this call for applications for the Disparity Funds Program. Applicants that submit proposals must comply with the instructions contained in the attached Guidelines for Applicants. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. PST on October 16, 2018. The Department will review proposals and respond to each by November 30, 2018.

A list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) will be posted to the Department’s webpage and updated following the conference call on 9/13/18. If you need copies of any of the documents referenced in this packet, please contact:

 

Regional Center Branch Department of Developmental Services 1600 9th Street, Room 340, MS 3-12

Sacramento, CA 95814, disparityfundsprogram@dds.ca.gov (916) 654-2297

Self Determination Program Implementation Updates

June 18, 2018

The Department, in collaboration with the self-determination advisory workgroup and other stakeholders, has been working on the major components necessary to implement the Self-Determination Program (SDP). Outlined below are some of the major components requiring completion prior to the SDP becoming operational. The list below is not exhaustive but includes the key components and steps under active development.

The Department will post updates on the progress of each component.

  • Federal Funding Approval
    As noted in the June 7, 2018 update, the application for federal funding, or Waiver, was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Status: Completed
  • Individual Budgets – Target for completion: August 15, 2018
    Task: Finalizing guidance information on how the individual budget amount is calculated, and the process for adjusting the budget when needed.
  • Financial Management Services (FMS) – Target for completion: August 31, 2018.
    Task: Finalizing FMS vendorization requirements and rates.
  • Independent Facilitators – Target for completion: August 31, 2018.
    Task: Defining the role(s) an independent facilitator may play and how this may be different if a participant chooses to select their service coordinator to fulfill the functions of an independent facilitator.
  • Participant Selection – Target for completion: October 1, 2018
    Task: Selection of the initial SDP participants. It’s important to note that only those individuals who have participated in an informational meeting and whose names have been received by the Department will be considered for selection as participants in the SDP. The Department will provide a final date for submission of names to be added to the selection group for random selection (by the Department) in a future update. Information for those who are interested on how they can be considered for participation in the SDP can be found at www.dds.ca.gov/SDP/sdpEnrollment.cfm.
  • Home and Community-Based “Settings” Requirements – Target for completion: October 31, 2018.
    Task: Finalizing training materials on the federal requirements, how they apply to services in the SDP and the assessment process for ensuring all services, or “settings”, meet the requirements. Due to federal regulations effective in March 2014, everywhere someone receives services (e.g. the “setting” where the service is provided,) must promote, and not prevent, community participation and inclusion. The target date projects time needed to provide training to those who will be involved in the assessment process.
  • Orientation Materials – Target for completion: October 31, 2018.
    Task: Finalize all orientation materials. The orientation materials will form the basis of the information participants need to support them in the SDP. In addition to the components above, the orientation will include information on what services are available in the SDP and tools to help participants choose qualified service providers. Training for those providing these orientations will also be necessary prior to participant orientations.

GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS 2018-2019 STATE BUDGET AND TRAILER BILLS

June 27, 2018 – Governor Edmund G.”Jerry” Brown Jr. today signed this afternoon the 2018-2019 State Budget and budget trailer bills – the 16th and last state budget before he leaves office in January.
“When I took office back in 2011 with the state facing a $27 billion deficit, I pledged to work with the Legislature to fix California’s financial mess,” said Governor Brown. “Today, the final budget I sign delivers on that pledge and prepares us for the future.”
The Governor was joined today by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (Democrat – San Diego), Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (Democrat – Lakewood) and  legislative budget chairs Senator Holly Mitchell (Democrat – Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Phil Ting (Democrat – San Francisco).
“This budget is the product of all of us working together to craft a fiscally responsible plan that serves the people of California while at the same time saves for the future,” said Senate President Pro Tem Atkins. “I especially want to thank Governor Brown’s leadership – in this, his last budget – for helping to bring back California from a historic recession and onto a solid economic footing.”
“Devastating budget cuts first compelled me to run for the Assembly. I thought we needed to do better, and this budget does better,” said Assembly Speaker Rendon. “There is more to do, but by investing in our people and saving for the future, this budget gives us the tools we need to keep doing better.”
“Governor Brown has done an admirable job in leading our state out of budget deficits to financial stability. This is a spending plan we can be proud of because it makes the right investments and reflects many of California’s values,” said Assemblymember and Assembly Budget Committee Chair Ting. “I’m especially glad we were able to partner with cities and counties to help them address the homeless crisis with unprecedented funding for more shelters and services.”
“This budget strikes an appropriate balance that strengthens our state’s fiscal stability with an unprecedented level of reserves, while prioritizing investments that will address the pressing needs of this state,” said Senator and Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Chair Mitchell. “We continue to work toward restoring programs that still have yet to be made whole from devastating cuts during the great recession and prioritize funding to confront the challenges associated with homelessness and disaster response.”

For full text of the Budget Act and associated legislation, visit: www.leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Additional details on the 2018-19 State Budget can be found at www.ebudget.ca.gov.

 

Self Determination Waiver Approved

The Department is very pleased to announce that the application for federal funding, or Waiver, for the Self-Determination Program was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  This news represents an essential step toward providing people who receive regional center services and their families an alternative way to coordinate their services, with more freedom and control over how the services are provided and the individuals who support them. We would like to express sincere appreciation for the assistance and guidance from the Department’s self-determination advisory workgroup and other stakeholders, which has been instrumental in gaining CMS’ approval of the Waiver. We also thank and recognize the work and technical assistance received from many representatives of CMS and California’s Department of Health Care Services.

 

In October 2013, Governor Edmund G. Brown signed Senate Bill 468, authored by Senators Bill Emmerson and Jim Beall and co-authored by Assembly Members Holly Mitchell and Wesley Chesbro, into law. This law, championed by remarkable and determined self-advocates, family members and advocacy organizations, established a statewide Self-Determination Program that adheres to the following principles to ensure those who participate have:

 

  • Freedom – to exercise the same rights as all citizens; to establish, with freely chosen supporters, family and friends, where they want to live, with whom they want to live, how their time will be occupied, and who supports them;
  • Authority –  to control a budget in order to purchase services and supports of their choosing;
  • Support – including the ability to arrange resources and personnel, which will allow flexibility to live in the community of their choice;
  • Responsibility – which includes the ability to take responsibility for making decisions in their own lives and accept a valued role in their community, and
  • Confirmation – in making decisions in their own lives by designing and operating the system that they rely on.

 

Self-determination in California began almost twenty years ago as a small pilot project in limited areas of the state, with the intention of eventually expanding the program statewide.  The time from the start of the pilot project, to Governor Brown’s signing of the law in October 2013, to now has only heightened the desire to implement self-determination broadly in California.

 

While approval of the Waiver represents the key step towards implementation of the Self-Determination Program, the Department and the self-determination advisory workgroup must continue to focus on finalizing program components for implementation.  Providing information and support, in particular training and orientation materials, needed to assist those who are selected and choose to participate is central to implementation and is in the final stages of completion.  We remain committed to implementing this important program and look forward to the continued collaboration, not only with the Department’s advisory workgroup, but also the local volunteer advisory committees and the Statewide Self-Determination Advisory Committee.  The Department will publish a timeline with key dates for implementation by June 18, 2018.  Updates will be posted on the Department’s dedicated website page for Self-Determination at: https://www.dds.ca.gov/SDP/.  If you would like to be notified of future updates about Self-Determination, please send an email to sdp@dds.ca.gov.  Information for those who are interested on how they can be considered for participation in the Self-Determination Program can be found at https://www.dds.ca.gov/SDP/sdpEnrollment.cfm

 

Please join me in celebrating the approval of the Self-Determination Program Waiver and thanking the Department’s self-determination advisory workgroup for their dedication and countless hours of work to make it happen.

 

 

NANCY BARGMANN, Director

Department of Developmental Services

 

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