Looking Ahead in 2018… A Message from NASDDDS Executive Director

Well, no one can say 2017 was not an interesting year.  At NASDDDS, we spent a good deal of time tracking and deciphering federal legislation that would have big influences on state I/DD operation agency budgets.  Although we did not take a stand on the merits of health care repeal or the tools of per capita caps, we did take a position on the impact of the possibility of $800 billion removed from Medicaid.  (http://www.nasddds.org/news/nasddds-statement-opposing-proposed-graham-cassidy-heller-johnson-legislati/).  We also provided an informational webinar on how per capita caps and block grants work so state members could be prepared to be part of any conversations within their state on this topic. (http://www.nasddds.org/resource-library/general-information-on-administering-state-programs/per-capita-caps-and-block-grants/).

Throughout the year, we worked closely with CMS and the Administration on Community Living on HCBS regulations, tracking state transition plans and sharing strategies and outcomes with members. Beginning in fall of 2017, CMS organized three work groups between national association staff (NASDDDS, NASUAD, NAMD, and NASMHPD) and state directors from each association.  The groups focused on 1. HCBS regulation implementation and Heightened Scrutiny, 2. Process review of 1915c applications, and 3. Health and Welfare.  These groups are continuing into the New Year and we believe the input from state leadership is having a positive impact on these issues.  We hope to have updates for all the members by mid-winter.

Lastly, we have been in communication with staff from the Office of Inspector General and Department of Justice regarding the reviews of abuse and neglect in select states, and expect they will issue guidelines to the states early in the year.  In November, we completed a health and welfare review on incident management systems and provided a state-assessment guide to assist states in assessing their own system. (http://www.nasddds.org/news/nasddds-issues-report-on-incident-management-and-mortality-reporting-in-sel/).

In all of our work, we strive to provide states with timely analyses of federal policies, information on state of the art programs and service delivery practices within and across states, and information on national policy initiatives.  We hope to support your busy year with these efforts!  Happy New Year!