As more families move off the waitlist, the Oklahoma Human Services Developmental Disability Services division (DDS) is hosting the second round of regional meetings across the state.
Last year at the Meadows Center for Opportunity, Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill. Stitt signed House Bill 4466, which provides $32.5 million to reduce the 13-year wait for developmental disability services. The $32.5 million will go toward supporting individuals on the waitlist and increasing care provider rates by 25%. On October 1, the provider wait time increase became effective.
Waivers under Section 1915(c) allow states to offer HCBS as an alternative to institutional care in nursing homes, intermediate care facilities for people with intellectual disabilities, and hospitals. Case management, homemaker/home health aide, personal care, adult day programs, habilitation, and respite care services are all included as HCBS services in the Act. To prevent institutionalization, the Secretary may also authorize additional services.
States can use HCBS waivers to provide specialized services to specific populations, such as the elderly, people with physical or developmental disabilities, and people with particular diseases like HIV/AIDS or traumatic brain injuries. States may establish restrictions on waiver program enrollment and average costs per person to ensure they do not exceed the waiver’s cost-neutrality requirement.
HCBS waivers are generally approved for three years. Individuals who have Medicaid and Medicare may have their waivers approved for five years. This also grants them a five-year renewal period.
Monique Pendleton’s son Josiah has been on the waiting list since 2006. He is 19 years old and wants to become a minister. The announcement gave Pendleton hope. She hopes to use funding from Josiah’s waiver for his educational needs, including a direct support professional to help him with reading and writing.
Medicaid must be expanded to serve all Americans in need. Millions of people’s lives may be nearly unbearable without Medicaid. Care cannot wait, so it needs to be expanded. Medicaid coverage can mean the difference between life and death. Medicaid’s services are necessary for millions of Americans, including myself.
Douglas, Kaylee. “More Meetings Held for Families Coming off of 13-Year Waitlist for Disability Services.” KFOR, Nexstar Media Group, Inc., 24 Jan. 2023, https://kfor.com/news/local/more-meetings-held-for-families-coming-off-of-13-year-waitlist-for-disability-services/.
“Gov. Stitt Holds Ceremonial Signing of Bill Aiming to End Long DDS Waitlist in Oklahoma.” KOKH, Sinclair Broadcast Group , 11 Oct. 2022, https://okcfox.com/news/local/oklahoma-developmental-disability-services-eliminated-kevin-stitt-paul-rosino-meadows-center-for-opportunity-justin-brown-13-year-wait-house-bill-4466.
Thomas, Kilee. “DHS Unveils Plan to End 13-Year Waitlist for Developmental Disabilities Services.” KOCO, Hearst Television, 21 July 2022, https://www.koco.com/article/oklahoma-disabilies-waitlist-dhs-help-families-money-plan/40683408.
“Waivers.” Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, U.S. Federal Government , 8 Dec. 2020, https://www.macpac.gov/medicaid-101/waivers/.