The Family Support Coalition of New Jersey is an advocacy network made up of families who care for a family member with an intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD) and provider agencies throughout the state. The Family Support Coalition supports the power of families and individuals with I/DD to shape policies that impact their lives.
January 11 (Wednesday), February 14, April 18*, June 6, September 12, November 7, and December 5
All meetings are from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm at:
2751 Brunswick Pike
For directions: http://www.mcl.org/branches/direct.html#law
*The April 18 meeting will be held at the Arc of Mercer, 180 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm
IMPORTANT DEADLINE: CMS Request for Information - Comments due January 9, 2017
On November 9, 2016 CMS issued a "Request for Information" (RFI) to all stakeholders asking for input on ways to increase access to home and community-based services. Per the CMS website, “Home & Community-Based Services (HCBS) provide opportunities for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their own home or community rather than institutions or other isolated settings.” Compliance with HCBS is the driving force behind the Statewide Transition Plan (STP). These services already account for more than half of Medicaid’s long term care spending. However, the CMS notice underscores the challenges to expanding community-based services including state budgets, provider availability and reliance on managed care.
Your input is crucial in the effort to make home and community-based services accessible for your family member or those you serve as a provider. This is an opportunity that we MUST take to tell CMS what does and does not work for individuals with I/DD. CMS has requested that comments center around the questions below.
- What are the additional reforms that CMS can take to accelerate the progress of access to HCBS and achieve an appropriate balance of HCBS and institutional services in the Medicaid LTSS system to meet the needs and preferences of beneficiaries?
- What actions can CMS take, independently, or in partnership with states and stakeholders, to ensure quality of HCBS and beneficiary health and safety?
- What program integrity safeguards should states have in place to ensure beneficiary safety and reduce fraud, waste, and abuse in HCBS?
- What specific steps could CMS take to strengthen the HCBS home care
Comments can be submitted 2 ways:
- Electronically. You may submit electronic comments on this regulation to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the “Submit a comment” instructions. Search "HCBS" and select “Medicaid Program: Federal Government Interventions to Ensure the Provision of Timely and Quality Home and Community Based Services”
- By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address ONLY:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Department of Health and Human Services
Attention: CMS-2404-NCP.O. Box 8013
Baltimore, MD 21244-8013.
Statewide Transition Plan: Amended plan submitted to CMS December 8, 2016
DHS submitted its response to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) review of NJ’s Statewide Transition Plan. After several months of stakeholder meetings and comment period, the Department of Human Services submitted the amended plan for CMS’ review and approval. The amended plan can be viewed at http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dmahs/info/hcbs_trans.html.
The amended plan reflects many recommendations made by stakeholders like you and eliminate many previously included restrictions that would have impacted on housing availability and individuals' choices. As CMS and NJ continue to move forward stakeholders will stayed informed on CMS review and approval of the amended plan as well as monitor the implementation of the STP to ensure individuals with I/DD have access to services and housing choices that will allow them to live full lives in their communities.
Direct Support Workforce Crisis
In July 2016 a steering committee chaired by the Arc of NJ was created to address the Direct Support Professional (DSP) workforce shortage crisis and obtain increased wages in NJ for those DSPs working with individuals with I/DD in New Jersey with the creation of The Coalition for a DSP Living Wage.
Steering Committee Members: The Arc of NJ, The Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens wtih Disabilities, The New Jersey Association of Community Providers, Autism NJ, NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities, and the Family Support Coalition of NJ.
The Coalition is comprised of families, community provider agencies, DSPs and, most importantly, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). These members share a common belief that individuals with I/DD deserve to live rich and meaningful lives as fully integrated members of our communities. Toward that end, DSPs, who play a critical role in meeting this objective, must be paid a living wage. To learn more about the the crisis please read the Coalition's Fact Sheet: Here
The Coalition for a DSP Living Wage Website is coming soon!
As the campaign kicks off full steam in 2017, the website will provide a resource for more information and ways you can advocate on this critical issue that impacts every individual with I/DD - without DSPs there are no services! Please become informed about this campaign and consider supporting these efforts by becoming a member and participating in advocacy efforts.
Additional resources can be found at: http://directsupportcrisis.org
2017 Timeline for Students Aging Out
Are you or someone you know going to transition out of their educational entitlement in 2017? DDD has provided valuable resource for anyone aging out of school in 2017. Please go to 2017 Timeline for Graduates Aging Out of the School System (“graduates timeline”) on how to plan for this life transition.
NJ CAT (New Jersey Comprehensive Assessment Tool)
All individuals eligible to receive and/or currently receiving Division-funded services must complete the NJ CAT.
Individuals applying for Division-funded services the first time complete the NJ CAT as part of the Intake process. The DDD Intake process, including completion of the NJ CAT, can be completed any time after an individual turns 18 (NOTE: Division-funded services are not available until age 21). Students turning 21 and transitioning out of school can complete the NJ CAT in the fall/winter of their last year of school.
Results are summarized based on the following areas: self-care, behavior, and medical and converted into a score which determines each individual's “tier” assignment (Tier A-E and F in very rare cases). In addition, an acuity differentiated factor may be added for individuals with high medical and/or behavioral clinical support needs (Tiers Aa, Ba, Ca, Da, Ea and Fa). Tier assignments will be used to determine level of support needs and individual budgets.
The NJ CAT is completed one of two ways: Online via a password protected link that is sent to the survey informant from Rutgers DDPI or over the telephone with a representative from Rutgers DDPI. Click HERE to view/download the NJ CAT assessment prior to completing the actual assessment.
Tier Assignments: Tier Request Process Discontinued
Please note that the Division has discontinued the tier request process effective September 1, 2016 and Request for Tier Assignment Forms are no longer accepted by mail or by secure upload. Please do not attempt to upload tier requests to the secure site, as the “tier request” dropdown option has been eliminated.
Mailing of tier assignment letters to individuals who completed the NJ CAT assessment between November 1, 2014 and August 31, 2016 is currently under way. For NJ CAT assessments completed after September 1, 2016, a tier assignment letter is mailed to the individual (and to the guardian, in cases where the individual does not reside with the guardian) 2-4 weeks after the NJ CAT completion date.
Please direct any questions to the Fee-for-Service Help Desk at DDD.FeeForService@dhs.state.nj.us.
Webinars geared to assist students with I/DD, their families, and school personnel in understanding the DDD system and how to prepare to access needed services after exiting the school system are available on the DDD website.
To view any of the Division’s archived webinars and to register for upcoming webinars, please visit the DDD Webinars page.
To improve Division communication to constituents, community partners and other stakeholders, DDD has launched an inclusive e-news bulletin that will be distributed to subscribers on an as-needed basis. To subscribe, please send an email to: DDD.Communications@dhs.state.nj.us.