Relates to the administration of services offered by the office for people with developmental disabilities.
Ayes (59): Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Excused (2): Espaillat, Golden
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 January 1, 2015 with implementation beginning no later than April 1, 2015. 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.
JUSTIFICATION: 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 have 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 for individuals with developmental disabilities consistent with subparagraph 5 of paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 4402 of the education law.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6641--C IN SENATE February 21, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sens. CARLUCCI, AVELLA, MAZIARZ, RANZENHOFER, TKACZYK, VALESKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabil- ities -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- reported favorably from said committee and committed to the Committee on Finance -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee 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 that the policy known as the "front door" is being implemented to allocate services to people with developmental disabilities based on person-centered planning. 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, those living with aging caregivers, and those who live at home but are in need of more intensive services. Compounding this situation, it has been found that while individuals linger in inappropriate settings there are vacan- cies that remain at provider agencies. To reduce delays and create a more efficient and seamless coordination of services, it is paramount that transparent and more timely guidance is provided to individuals in need of services and their families. In addition, clear guidance must be given to providers of services to ensure that services are utilized in a meaningful and thoughtful manner. 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 implementing the front door process. Such commissioner shall submit the plan to the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly no later than January 1, 2015 andEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13869-13-4 S. 6641--C 2
implement guidelines putting the plan into effect no later than April 1, 2015. The plan shall consist of proposals to address the following: (a) The critical needs of people with developmental disabilities living at home with persons whose ability to act as 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. Such guidelines shall address what services are necessary to enable the family to continue to provide care for the person at their home and in accordance with proce- dures established by the office, when continued care by the family may adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of the person with devel- opmental disabilities and/or his or her family and require an independ- ent community setting. (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 individuals. (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 finally deter- mine authorized requests for critical services when the state has not granted such a request promptly considering the circumstances, provided, however, that such appeal must be authorized if the request has not been granted within ten business days. (3) Provide linguistically and culturally appropriate information on services and access to services in a universally clear and transparent manner. (4) Provide designated staff which may include a Medicaid service coordinator to assist prospective service recipients and their families with navigating the front door process. (5) Provide a process to ensure that people in crisis are not subject to the front door process and receive immediate services. (6) 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. (7) Provide guidelines to facilitate and support the evaluation of post-secondary options for individuals with developmental disabilities consistent with subparagraph 5 of paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 4402 of the education law. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.