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UPDATE ON HIGHER NEEDS FUNDING WORKGROUP

As part of the 03 waiver amendment, OPWDD has proposed changes to the Higher Needs Funding Methodology and subsequently assembled a workgroup to develop the language accordingly.

The chief distinction in the latest iteration is that the funding will now be available to individuals currently living in a supervised or supportive IRA provided that a “qualifying event” is triggered in his/her life. The draft language presented by OPWDD suggested these events are “accidents or events resulting in serious personal injury, a major psychiatric event or decompensation resulting in extended inpatient psychiatric hospitalization, OR a major medical event or prolonged illness that results in significant changes in the individual’s behavioral and/or medical functioning”. Significant change is defined as a “decline in a person’s behavioral or medical status or functioning that has occurred in the last six months and will not normally resolve without intervention by staff”.

The workgroup has communicated strongly to OPWDD that this methodology does not do enough to capture the person that is decompensating over time, or is already functioning at a level that requires additional support. Currently there is a heavy emphasis on a medical event or hospitalization as the trigger, and the workgroup suggested several adjustments to the language that would allow for more consideration of individuals who generally have severe behavioral issues. These recommendations are under consideration, but it is unclear if they will be incorporated accordingly. Stay tuned for further updates, or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have specific concerns.