Following a full morning of concurrent sessions, the afternoon's General Session focused on an industry update and an overview of INARF's Rate Reform Workgroup's efforts to work collaboratively with the Division of Developmental Disability & Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) to explore rate restructuring options.
INARF President/CEO Kim Opsahl opened the session with a review of key issues impacting Indiana's provider community. At a National level, she echoed many of the issues shared by Diane McComb during the Legislative and Critical Issues Forum (see article above).
Closer to home, Ms. Opsahl advised that the 2014 legislative session, which will convene on January 6 in the House and January 7 in the Senate. Key issues during session include early childhood education, infrastructure funding, business taxation and the skills gap. Ms. Opsahl also noted that INARF recently offered testimony on the Neighborhood Assistance Program, ensuring that lawmakers understand how providers rely upon this program for funding.
Administratively, Ms. Opsahl highlighted FSSA's new strategic vision and priorities (see above), noting that the agency's focus on driving the market will provide exciting opportunities for members to partner and develop creative solutions. She also offered updates on happenings within DDRS, including the recently submitted waiver amendments, and the Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services' efforts to visit facility based employment sites. Details from Ms. Opsahl's presentation will be posted to the INARF website next week.
The General Session concluded with a panel presentation by INARF Rate Reform Work Group members Steve Cook, Jim Van Dyke and Patrick Cockrum regarding Work Group initiatives during 2013 and beyond.
Mr. Cook kicked off the presentation with a discussion on Wellness Coordination. He reviewed the history of this service (formerly known as Health Care Coordination) and provided information on the proposed service definition and rate methodology. This definition was included in the waiver amendment recently submitted by the Division to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for approval. CMS has 90 days to review and act upon the amendment, which, if approved, would result in Wellness Coordination being implemented during early 2014.
Next, Mr. Van Dyke presented information on the Work Group's proposed daily rate methodology for Residential Habilitation and Support services. The proposed model is for supports greater than 35 hours a week (RH2O) and is intended to refocus the system on outcomes. Working in collaboration with DDRS, the Work Group plans to refine the rate methodology and develop appropriate service outcomes in the hopes of including the re-worked service in a future waiver amendment in late 2014.
Lastly, Mr. Cockrum provided a brief update and discussion on the Work Group's progress with developing a new rate methodology for facility based day services. The goal of this effort is to simplify the rate methodology and reduce (or eliminate) its use of ratios. The Work Group hopes to have a day service proposal ready to share wtih DDRS within the first part of 2014.