CMS Approves Two Waiver Renewals For Pa. with Big Changes to Day and Employment Supports

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have approved ODP’s Consolidated and Person/Family Directed Support (PFDS) waivers effective July 1, 2017.  These waivers introduced the most significant changes to the ODP system since the waivers were first established in 1983 for the Consolidated Waiver and 1999 for the P/FDS waiver.

The approved waivers enable Pennsylvania to act on the values and recommendations in the Everyday Lives –Values in Action planning document reflecting an alignment of programs with the federal HCBS requirements.

 Among the many changes are:

  •  Expanded eligibility to people with autism and to children from birth;
  •  Expanded opportunities for community engagement through the new Community Participation Supports services;
  • Expanded employment supports by adding Advanced Supported Employment, Benefits Counseling, transportation for those in residential homes, and by raising the P/FDS cap for individuals who receive employment services;
  • Promotion of physical and mental health wellness through art, music, and equine-assisted therapy, consultative nutritional services, and communication specialists;
  • Increased supports for families and increased opportunities for relationship-based living arrangements through the expansion of life sharing to people living with relatives, and;
  • The addition of four new services:
    • Supported Living (Consolidated waiver only)
    • Family/Caregiver Training and Support (both waivers)
    • Housing Transition and Tenancy Sustaining services (both waivers)
    • Participant directed goods and services (P/FDS waiver only)