Samantha R. Town Hall Nov 18

We Hear You: Talk to the Lawyers, Share Your Stories The historic Samantha R ruling is exciting news! It means actual change, not just promises, and it is the biggest opportunity yet to improve the lives of thousands of people in NC with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). You may have questions. And we know you have your own story to share. We want to hear from you! REGISTER HERE Friday, November 18th TWO 60-minute community conversations about the new ruling 12:00pm AND 4:00pm (to register for the noon session click here) Emma Kinyanjui and Lisa Grafstein, DRNC counsel for the plaintiffs, will be on-hand to summarize the ruling and answer your questions. We will also offer opportunities for you to briefly share your story, experiences, and needs. Please limit your story to 3 minutes; if you need more time, we can reach out to you separately to talk with you more in-depth. Get up-to-date before the meeting! Ruling Samantha R., et al. v North Carolina and the NC Department of Health and Human ServicesDRNC CEO Virginia Knowlton-Marcus Statement on Samantha R. RulingFact sheets and FAQsRead Samantha’s Story

Judge Orders NC to End Segregation of Thousands of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

North Carolina must stop discriminating against thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and provide them the services and support they need to live in their communities, according to a recent ruling in a state lawsuit*. NC Superior Court Judge R. Allen Baddour issued the ruling in Samantha R., et al. v North Carolina and the NC Department of Health and Human Services, a lawsuit Disability Rights NC (DRNC) filed in 2017 on behalf of people who were institutionalized or risked institutionalization because the state failed to make sure they could get essential services in their communities. State law requires that disabled people have supports and services they need to live in the community as an alternative to institutionalization. In an earlier ruling in the case, the judge determined the state is violating state law by denying people with I/DD the choice to live in their communities instead of institutions. The latest order imposes specific, measurable goals to ensure that the state addresses serious and persistent gaps in the I/DD system so people with I/DD aren’t forced into institutions because they can’t get what they need to live safely and thrive at home. Continue reading

Tailored Plan Implementation Delayed Until April 1, 2023

GASTONIA, N.C., SEPTEMBER 29, 2022 – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) will delay the implementation of the NC Medicaid Managed Care Behavioral Health and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Tailored Plans (Tailored Plans) until April 1, 2023. The decision is unanimously supported by the leadership of the state’s six Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organizations (LME/MCOs). Tailored Plans, originally scheduled to launch Dec. 1, 2022, will provide specialized services for individuals with significant behavioral health conditions, intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DDs), and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), as well as physical health and pharmacy services. Partners members who will be eligible for the Tailored Plan will continue to receive their behavioral health services and I/DD and TBI supports through Partners and their physical health and pharmacy services through NC Medicaid Direct, just as they do today. The delayed start of Tailored Plans allows LME/MCOs, which will operate the Tailored Plans, more time to contract to expand their provider networks to support member choice and to validate that data systems are working appropriately. Continue reading

Currently allowing comments on new 1915i option Please read and comment if you have concerns. It will replace B3 services. 

Study finds racial, geographic inequities among recipients of NC disability services

For North Carolinians with intellectual and developmental disabilities, getting mental health treatment and other services that enable someone to live at home can be challenging.  Many parents and caregivers add their children with disabilities to a statewide waiting list to receive services under something called the Innovations Waiver, a North Carolina Medicaid program for people with disabilities who need regular assistance to continue living independently. Receiving these services can prevent people with disabilities from having no choice other than to live in a group home or other institutional setting. One Chatham County mother told NC Health News that she felt as if her teenage son with autism “hit the mental health care jackpot” when he finally got on the Innovations Waiver a few years ago.  Prior to receiving the Innovations Waiver, Bridget Narsh’s son Mason had been in and out of emergency rooms and psychiatric hospitals because there were so few other resources to help him. Read more.

Disability Housing Forum in Forsyth County

The historic Disability Housing Forum in Forsyth County this past Oct. 28th, 2021. Powerful presentation hearing from the voices of people with lived experience in disability, their family members, and professionals who shared resources and pathways to successful community-based living and supports. We gained a deeper understanding of the impact that the lack of available housing has on our community members who desire more independence and inclusion and possibilities for the future. We hope you have a chance to watch the recording and also review the PowerPoint slides.  (VIDEO LINK TO RECORDING)   Update: 2/17/2022 the Forsyth County Commissioner voted to approve a $150,000 planning grant to begin the inclusive housing project.  The Piedmont Triad Regional Development Council is excited to begin a formal proposal for Forsyth County to reapply for additional American Rescue Plan Act Forsyth County funding. 

If you or your child receives an Innovations Waiver

Once all documentation has been received & reviewed, the IDD Registry Coordinator will contact you for additional screening or to information. After all needed information is received and you have been placed on the Registry of Unmet Needs you can expect the following:  A screening (the Risk Support Needs Assessment) over the phone with the Registry Coordinator. This should take less than an hour. A Supports Intensity Scale. The evaluation team will contact you to set this up. It will take a couple of hours and usually takes place in your home. During this assessment, you should have at least two individuals present that know the member (can be family members or the member).  All evaluations and screenings should be completed within 90 days of the initial request for services.  The process needs to be completed within the 90 days. Once the assessments are completed and reviewed, you will receive a letter from the Registry team telling you of your status on the registry. This letter will include an effective date if placement has been approved.  If it is determined that you do not meet the eligibility criteria to be placed on the Registry of Unmet Needs, you will receive a letter stating the reason for the denial with instructions for the Appeals Process. You are encouraged to call the Registry Coordinator to discuss the decision and determine if additional documentation may assist in the process.  

NCDHHS Releases 2022-23 Olmstead Plan for the State’s System of Community-Based Services

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services published its Olmstead Plan, designed to assist people with disabilities who receive or are eligible for publicly-funded services to reside in and experience the full benefit of being part of day-to-day life in communities alongside those without disabilities. Developed with stakeholders from across the state, the plan’s goal is to divert people from entering institutions and to support those wishing to leave. The Olmstead Plan serves as a blueprint for how NCDHHS, the Office of the Governor and other governmental agencies and their partners, with support from the North Carolina General Assembly, make decisions about services to fund and support the health and well-being of North Carolinians with disabilities. The plan outlines an approach to the array of services and supports vital to community living. Access to housing, employment, home and community-based services and other supports are addressed in the plan. “The Olmstead Plan captures our Department’s total commitment to build towards the vision in which every North Carolinian can live, work, and thrive in their communities,” said NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “The plan supports building capacity in our community-based health care services and supports and furthering the infrastructure that enables health such as transportation, employment, and housing. I look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to implement this plan.” Read more

Massive Investment in Disability Services in Limbo

The U.S. Senate has yet to take up President Joe Biden’s roughly $2 trillion Build Back Better Act. The legislation, which was passed by the House of Representatives in November, includes $150 billion for Medicaid home and community-based services that people with disabilities rely on to live on their own or in group homes rather than in institutional settings. The historic investment is aimed at getting people off waiting lists and shoring up the workforce of direct support professionals who provide such services. Democratic leaders had hoped to push the bill through before Christmas, but the measure was stalled again in late December when Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said that he could not back the legislation. Because the Senate is divided 50-50 along party lines and Republicans have unanimously opposed Biden’s plan, the bill needs the support of every Democrat to pass. Read more

DHHS Delays Medicaid Tailored Plans Rollout Until December 2022

DHHS delays Medicaid tailored plans rollout until December 2022 The launch of a key Medicaid transformation initiative in North Carolina — tailored plans for behavioral health recipients — has been delayed by additional five months until Dec. 1, 2022. Individuals who need certain services to address a serious mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, severe substance use disorder, intellectual or developmental disability, or traumatic brain injury, may be eligible to enroll in a tailored plan. The state Department of Health and Human Services said in July that tailored plans could serve about 200,000 North Carolinians, or about 8.7% of the 2.3 million Medicaid recipients in the state.   Continue reading