Relates to the administration of services offered by the office for people with developmental disabilities.
TITLE OF BILL: An act relating to the administration of services to people with developmental disabilities
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
This bill amends the Mental Hygiene Law to require the Commissioner of the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to develop a plan to overhaul and improve the front door process. The Commissioner would be required to develop the plan in collaboration with the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council and must submit the plan to the Speaker of the Assembly and Senate Majority Leader no later than October 1, 2014, with implementation beginning no later than December 1, 2014. The plan shall address issues raised by the front door, including timeliness of decision making, the need to expedite the delivery of services to individuals in critical need, development of a wait list and clear and consistent guidelines for the front door process.
The "Front Door" process was implemented by OPWDD to provide a rational means of allocating resources to meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families. However, allocation decisions has often been time consuming and inefficient without clear and transparent guidelines or sufficient administrative resources to act expeditiously and in the best interests of people who depend on critical services. Persons seeking placements, including persons in critical need, have been denied or have been significantly delayed in their receipt of services which are nonetheless available. Therefore, the Front Door cannot evaluate the level of additional resources necessary to care for individuals in need of services. While rational allocation of resources is a critical means of efficiently using resources, it cannot compensate for resources which are inadequate in the first place.
This bill seeks to address these issues by:
- Ensuring that critical needs are met in a timely fashion;
- Providing an expedited appeals process to review and approve of requests for critical services when the State has not responded to such requests in a timely manner;
- Creating permanent independent consumer support program to assist persons seeking services to understand the process, their rights to due process and to assist in the resolution of problems regarding services, coverage, access and due process rights;
- Providing linguistically and culturally appropriate information on services and access to services in a universally clear and transparent manner;
- Ensuring families the services of a Medicaid Service Coordinator without having to go through the front door process and providing a process to ensure that people in crisis are not subject to the front door process and receive immediate services.
- Report on the extent to which the front door policy, as it has been implemented, is consistent with applicable requirements for the home and community based waiver regarding timeliness of decisions, comprehensiveness of necessary services, choice, persons centered planning and other matters affecting the appropriateness and adequacy of services for people with developmental disabilities;
- Provide guidelines to facilitate and support the evaluation of postsecondary options consistent with the Commissioner of Education's Part 200 regulations;
- Requiring the Commissioner to consider utilizing non-profit developmental disabilities providers to provide administrative support to facilitate the Front door process and the timely delivery of services.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6641 IN SENATE February 21, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Develop- mental Disabilities AN ACT relating to the administration of services to people with devel- opmental disabilities THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The legislature hereby finds and declares that the policy known as the "front door" has been implemented to control the allocation of services to people with developmental disabilities. This has led to widespread complaints about service denials to people who are in crit- ical need of services, some living at home with aging parents who them- selves have disabilities significant enough to prevent them from contin- uing as their child's caregiver. Furthermore, widespread reports suggest that the number of persons in critical need is growing larger and more severe for a broad range of people with developmental disabilities, including those transitioning out of school, in addition to those who now live at home. Compounding these problems the state has elected to assume substantial decision making and administrative authority without having the means, resources or a clear process to efficiently and expe- ditiously carry out these functions. The consequence has been inordinate delays in the allocation of critical services, constrained choice and the inability to appropriately and efficiently redirect resources to better serve people and families in need. S 2. The commissioner of the office for people with developmental disabilities, in collaboration with the developmental disabilities advi- sory council established pursuant to section 13.05 of the mental hygiene law, shall develop a plan for overhauling and improving the front door process. Such commissioner shall submit the plan to the temporary presi- dent of the senate and the speaker of the assembly no later than October 1, 2014 and implement guidelines putting the plan into effect no later than December 1, 2014. The plan shall consist of proposals to address the following:EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13869-05-4 S. 6641 2
(a) Recognize critical needs of people with developmental disabilities living at home with persons whose ability to act as a caregiver has been diminished by age, disability or any other relevant factors and develop clear and transparent guidelines for when in-home placement is appropri- ate and when out-of-home placement is appropriate. (b) Develop, and update quarterly, waiting lists for services provided to people with developmental disabilities. (c) Provide clear and specific guidelines outlining criteria for when self-direction is and is not appropriate for each individual. (d) Provide guidelines for a clear, expeditious and transparent proc- ess for allocating residential placements and other critical services to persons based on their individual needs. Such process shall be consist- ent across the state and where exceptions are made such exceptions shall be made in explicit recognition of clear and rational factors. Such guidelines shall: (1) Ensure that critical needs are met in a timely fashion; (2) Provide an expedited appeals process to review and approve of requests for critical services when the state has not responded to such requests within 21 business days and to review state decisions which serve to unreasonably deny services, including the creation of a perma- nent independent consumer support program to assist persons seeking services to understand the process, their rights to due process and to assist in the resolution of problems regarding services, coverage, access and due process rights. (3) Provide linguistically and culturally appropriate information on services and access to services in a universally clear and transparent manner. Also, ensure that families can secure the services of a medicaid service coordinator without having to go through the front door process. (4) Provide a process to ensure that people in crisis are not subject to the front door process and receive immediate services. (5) Report on the extent to which the front door policy, as it has been implemented, is consistent with applicable requirements for the home and community based waiver regarding timeliness of decisions, comprehensiveness of necessary services, choice, persons centered plan- ning and other matters affecting the appropriateness and adequacy of services for people with developmental disabilities. (6) Provide guidelines to facilitate and support the evaluation of post-secondary options consistent with the commissioner of education's part 200 regulations. (e) In order to facilitate the administration of the "front door" process the commissioner may promulgate any necessary rules and regu- lations required to sub-contract with nonprofit developmental disabili- ties providers to provide administrative support after considering the ability and advisability of such providers to maintain records, perform needs assessments, educate consumers and families on the service system and assist in any other functions which may be required by the office. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.