Bill S3020-2011

Establishes a program of tiered eligibility for services offered by OPWDD for persons with learning disabilities and other complex neurological impairments

Establishes a program of tiered eligibility for services offered by the office of mental retardation and developmental disabilities for persons with learning disabilities and other complex neurological impairments.

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  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
  • Feb 7, 2011: REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3020

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to establishing a program of tiered eligibility for services offered by the office of mental retardation and developmental disabilities for persons with learning disabilities and other complex neurological impairments

PURPOSE: This bill directs the Commissioner of OMRDD to develop and implement a two tiered service delivery model to target individual's specific needs and provide quick response during crisis for persons with learning disabilities and other complex neurological impairments, including high functioning autism spectrum disorders.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill adds a new section 41.59 of the mental hygiene law outlining legislative intent, defining terms, directing the Commissioner of OMRDD to establish a program of tiered eligibility for services for persons with learning disabilities and other complex neurological impairments and sets forth the elements of such a program. It also directs the Commissioner to develop a reimbursement methodology for intensive services navigation as described in the bill and to consult with a statewide association specifically representing individuals with learning disabilities and related services providers.

Section 2 of the bill provides for an effective date 180 days after enactment provided however that the Commissioner of OMRDD is authorized to promulgate any and all rules and regulations necessary to implement the act.

JUSTIFICATION: Individuals with learning disabilities are disproportionately afflicted with other problems in society. For example, up to 60% of adolescents in treatment for substance abuse have learning disabilities, 48% of those with learning disabilities are out of the workforce, 44% of those on welfare (TANF) were found to have a learning disability, 50% of juvenile delinquents tested were found to have an undetected learning disability and 31% of students with learning disabilities will be arrested 3-5 years out of high school to name just some of the sobering statistics.

All too often, our failure to appropriately provide educational and support services for persons with learning disabilities results in the tragic and costly use of "last resort" programs. When you consider the large proportion of incarcerated New York State youth who are known or suspected of having a learning disability, or the numbers of adults with learning disabilities in our State correctional facilities, or the disproportionate number of persons with learning disabilities receiving income supports, in addition to many other safety net programs and initiatives serving persons with learning disabilities, then you will see the huge costs of this tragedy, in both human and fiscal terms. Yet research and experience

demonstrates that modest investments in educational and supportive services for persons with learning disabilities will have a substantial positive impact on the lives and relationships, while providing substantial savings to taxpayers.

Over the last 15 years OMRDD services have become more Medicaid oriented and, as a result, individuals who used to be qualified to received learning disability services often do not get qualified for the services today. This proposal aims to provide a mechanism for the state to respond to a crisis and to provide early intervention rather than have people's only option be to wait for and pursue full OMRDD eligibility. It creates a two tiered system. In tier one intensive service navigation would be provided for a 3 to 6 month period and be oriented to crisis intervention. Individuals all of whom have some form of a neurological impairment and have recently experienced some type of life changing event that has resulted in some form of crisis. If the situation stabilized, the services would end. However, if the need persisted and more direct intervention was required, individuals would move into Tier 2 where service navigation would continue and intensify and a process of assessing the individual's adaptive behavior and providing new adaptive skills would begin. Tier 2 would also be provided for 3-6 months and would end with either services ending or they would continue to apply for OMRDD eligibility having accurate information on the level of the person's handicapping condition and the impact it is having on the individual's daily life.

This bill aims to provide assistance to those suffering from learning disabilities who are experiencing crisis in their lives as a result of that disability with assistance in navigating the situation, and if necessary moving toward an application for OMRDD eligibility. It is a triaged approach to serving many individuals in our society who are falling through the cracks.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: 180 days after enactment.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3020 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 7, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. HUNTLEY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Develop- mental Disabilities AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to establishing a program of tiered eligibility for services offered by the office for people with developmental disabilities for persons with learning disa- bilities and other complex neurological impairments THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new section 41.59 to read as follows: S 41.59 TIERED SERVICES ELIGIBILITY. 1. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. THE LEGISLATURE HEREBY FINDS THAT INDIVIDUALS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES AND OTHER COMPLEX NEUROLOGICAL IMPAIRMENTS ARE OFTEN NOT PROVIDED ESSENTIAL SUPPORT AND HABILITATIVE SERVICES DUE TO THE LACK OF ESTABLISHED OFFICE FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOP- MENTAL DISABILITIES' ELIGIBILITY PROTOCOLS. THIS INCLUDES INDIVIDUALS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES, HIGH FUNCTIONING AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS, SUCH AS ASPERGER'S SYNDROME, AND A NUMBER OF OTHER COMPLEX NEUROLOGICAL- LY BASED COGNITIVE DISABILITIES. UNFORTUNATELY, THESE INDIVIDUALS ARE THEN LEFT TO NAVIGATE THEIR LIVES AND THE CHALLENGES OF THEIR DISABILI- TIES WITH MINIMAL OR NO ASSISTANCE. AS A RESULT, SUCH INDIVIDUALS OFTEN LEAD LIVES OF GREAT DIFFICULTY AND VULNERABILITY THAT MAY INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, EXTENDED PERIODS OF INCARCERATION, LIFELONG DEPEND- ENCE ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, AND VICTIMIZATION, COUPLED WITH MANY OTHER NEGATIVE AND COSTLY OUTCOMES. IN RESPONSE TO THIS GROW- ING PROBLEM, THE LEGISLATURE HEREBY DIRECTS THE COMMISSIONER OF DEVELOP- MENTAL DISABILITIES TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A PROGRAM OF TIERED ELIGI- BILITY FOR OFFICE FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES' SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES AND OTHER COMPLEX NEUROLOGICAL IMPAIRMENTS. THIS TIERED SERVICE-DELIVERY MODEL WOULD ALLOW SERVICES TO
BE TARGETED AND BASED ON AN INDIVIDUAL'S SPECIFIC NEEDS, WHICH FOR SOME MAY BE MORE INTENSIVE AND FOR OTHERS RELATIVELY MINIMAL. THIS MODEL WILL ALSO FACILITATE RAPID RESPONSE TO ADDRESSING PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY INDIVIDUALS IN CRISIS. PROVIDING SERVICES THAT ARE TRULY NEEDED WILL BE MORE COST EFFECTIVE AND A MORE SENSIBLE OPTION THAN THE CURRENT ELIGI- BILITY PROCESS UTILIZED BY THE OFFICE FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES. 2. WHEN USED IN THIS ARTICLE, UNLESS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY STATED OR UNLESS THE CONTEXT OTHERWISE REQUIRES: (A) "LEARNING DISABILITY" MEANS A DISORDER IN ONE OR MORE OF THE BASIC PSYCHOLOGICAL PROCESSES INVOLVED IN UNDERSTANDING OR IN USING SPOKEN OR WRITTEN LANGUAGE, WHICH MAY MANIFEST ITSELF IN AN IMPERFECT ABILITY TO LISTEN, THINK, SPEAK, READ, WRITE, SPELL OR TO DO MATHEMATICAL CALCU- LATIONS. THIS INCLUDES SUCH CONDITIONS AS PERCEPTUAL DISABILITIES, MINI- MAL BRAIN DYSFUNCTION, DYSLEXIA, DYSGRAPHIA, DYSCALCULIA, DYSPRAXIA, AND DEVELOPMENTAL APHASIA; (B) "COMPLEX NEUROLOGICAL IMPAIRMENT" MEANS AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER, SUCH AS ASPERGER'S SYNDROME, OR OTHER COGNITIVE DISABILITIES OF A SIMI- LAR NATURE AND RESULTING IN SIMILAR NEEDS BY AFFECTED INDIVIDUALS; (C) "INTENSIVE SERVICE NAVIGATION" MEANS A SERVICE WHOSE PRIMARY FUNC- TION IS TO CONNECT PERSONS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES AND/OR OTHER COMPLEX NEUROLOGICAL IMPAIRMENTS TO APPROPRIATE SERVICES AND SUPPORTS. INTENSIVE SERVICE NAVIGATION COORDINATES ALL SERVICES FOR A PERSON WITH A LEARNING DISABILITY OR OTHER COMPLEX NEUROLOGICAL IMPAIRMENT INCLUD- ING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES, PARENTING CLASSES, SUPPORT GROUPS, RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES, VOCATIONAL SERVICES, AND EDUCA- TIONAL TRANSITIONAL PLANNING AND ALL BASIC NEEDS OF THE INDIVIDUAL. THE SERVICES OF THE INTENSIVE SERVICE NAVIGATOR ARE TIME LIMITED AND ORIENTED TO SHORT TERM CRISIS INTERVENTION. 3. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY INCONSISTENT PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER OR ANY OTHER STATE LAW, THE COMMISSIONER OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES SHALL ESTABLISH A PROGRAM OF TIERED ELIGIBILITY FOR SERVICES OFFERED BY THE OFFICE FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES FOR PERSONS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES AND OTHER COMPLEX NEUROLOGICAL IMPAIRMENTS. SUCH PROGRAM SHALL CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS: (A) WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL PRESENTS TO A SERVICE PROVIDER SEEKING SUPPORT SERVICES, THE SERVICE PROVIDER SHALL DETERMINE IF THE INDIVIDUAL IS PRESENTING WITH A LEARNING DISABILITY OR OTHER COMPLEX NEUROLOGICAL IMPAIRMENT. IF THE SERVICE PROVIDER DETERMINES THAT THE INDIVIDUAL IS A PERSON WITH AN APPARENT LEARNING DISABILITY OR OTHER COMPLEX NEUROLOGI- CAL IMPAIRMENT, AND THAT SUCH INDIVIDUAL REQUIRES IMMEDIATE SERVICE IN ORDER TO PROTECT AND PROMOTE THE INDIVIDUAL'S HEALTH AND SAFETY, OR THAT THE INDIVIDUAL OTHERWISE FACES A CRISIS SITUATION THAT CAN BE HELPED BY SERVICE AND ASSISTANCE, THE SERVICE PROVIDER MAY IMPLEMENT THE TIERED SERVICES ELIGIBILITY PROGRAM; (B) TIER ONE OF THE TIERED SERVICES ELIGIBILITY PROGRAM WILL CONSIST OF THE IMMEDIATE PROVISION OF INTENSIVE SERVICE NAVIGATION. THIS PROVISION OF SERVICES WILL BE PROVIDED FOR UP TO SIX MONTHS IN DURATION. THE SERVICE MAY END ANYTIME PRIOR TO THE END OF THE SIX-MONTH PERIOD IF THE INDIVIDUAL AND SERVICE PROVIDER AGREE THAT NO FURTHER SERVICE OR INTERVENTION IS REQUIRED. IF THE INDIVIDUAL AND SERVICE PROVIDER AGREE AT THE END OF THE SIX MONTH PERIOD THAT THE NEED FOR SERVICES PERSISTS AND MORE INTERVENTION IS REQUIRED, THE INDIVIDUAL WILL MOVE INTO TIER TWO; (C) TIER TWO OF THE TIERED SERVICES ELIGIBILITY PROGRAM WILL BE PROVIDED FOR UP TO AN ADDITIONAL SIX-MONTH PERIOD AND PROVIDE:
(1) CONTINUATION AND INTENSIFICATION OF THE INTENSIVE SERVICE NAVIGATOR'S EFFORTS TO STABILIZE THE INDIVIDUAL'S CRISIS SITUATION; (2) A PROCESS POTENTIALLY LEADING TO FULL ELIGIBILITY FOR OFFICE FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES' SERVICES. AS PART OF THIS PROC- ESS, THE INTENSIVE SERVICE NAVIGATOR WILL CONDUCT AN ASSESSMENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL'S ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR LEVELS, CONDUCT AN ASSESSMENT OF AN INDI- VIDUAL'S ABILITY TO EFFECTIVELY LEARN AND PUT INTO PRACTICE NEW ADAPTIVE SKILLS, AND GENERALLY PREPARE THE INDIVIDUAL FOR THE ELIGIBILITY PROC- ESS; (D) IF DURING TIER TWO, THE INDIVIDUAL LEARNS NEW SKILLS AND THE CRISIS SUBSIDES, THE INDIVIDUAL AND SERVICE PROVIDER CAN AGREE THAT SERVICES BE TERMINATED PRIOR TO THE CONCLUSION OF THIS TIER; AND (E) IF THE INTENSIVE SERVICE NAVIGATOR AND INDIVIDUAL AGREE THAT THE INDIVIDUAL WOULD BENEFIT FROM ON-GOING SERVICE AND SUPPORT, THE INTEN- SIVE SERVICE NAVIGATOR WILL ASSIST THE INDIVIDUAL IN APPLYING TO THE OFFICE FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES FOR A FULL ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATION. 4. THE COMMISSIONER OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES SHALL, IN CONSULTA- TION WITH EXPERIENCED SERVICE PROVIDERS, DEVELOP A REIMBURSEMENT METHOD- OLOGY FOR INTENSIVE SERVICE NAVIGATION AS DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION. SUCH REIMBURSEMENT SHALL COVER THE SERVICE PROVIDER'S REASONABLE COSTS FOR PROVIDING THIS SERVICE AND BE PAID TO THE SERVICE PROVIDERS AS PART OF THE USUAL AND CUSTOMARY COST REIMBURSEMENT PROCESS. 5. IN DEVELOPING THIS PROGRAM, THE COMMISSIONER OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISA- BILITIES SHALL CONSULT WITH A STATEWIDE ASSOCIATION SPECIFICALLY REPRES- ENTING INDIVIDUALS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES AND RELATED SERVICES PROVIDERS. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law; provided however, that the commissioner of developmental disabilities is authorized to promulgate any and all rules and regulations and take any other measures necessary to implement this act on its effective date on or before such effective date.

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