The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) will soon have a new leader, as Dr. John Wernert takes over as Secretary on July 21st. Debra Minott, who has held the position since January of 2013, will be transitioning out of her role on July 5th. Former FSSA Secretary Micheal Gargano will be acting Secretary during the transition. This change is coming at a critical time for FSSA, as the Pence administration attempts to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP). INARF and its Government Relations team are working on your behalf to continue to advance several initiatives in the midst of this transition.
The INARF Vocational Rehabilitation Rate Reform Workgroup, for example, has developed a new service model intended to increase flexibility within the system, eliminate bias against individuals with the most significant disabilities, improve outcomes, and appropriately reimburse Supported Employment providers. This model attempts to blend the positive attributes of results based funding with a fee-for-service component. This should allow the flexibility to address individual obstacles instead of choosing a specific tier at the point of eligibility.
INARF also continues to work closely with the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS) on efforts to move to a Residential Habilitation and Support (RHS) daily rate. Developed by INARF's Rate Reform Workgroup, their recommendations included a draft service definition containing documentation requirements and specific outcomes around satisfaction, community integration and direct support professional stability and training. The Workgroup continues to meet on the development of recommendations for day services, specifically facility-based group services to be included in the Family Support Waiver (FSW) renewal in 2015.
INARF's Innovation and Systems Change and Industry Infrastructure Committees are focused on researching best practices relative to shifting to increased community-based programming. Family, safety/security, and effective funding must be considered in any transition model. INARF staff obtained information from its national partner ACCSES on states that have either completely transitioned to community-based programming, or are in the process of transitioning: Rhode Island, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, North Dakota, Washington, and Oregon.
In moving forward on this important issue, the INARF Board is focused on efforts to build the system's capacity to support access to greater community options. This is consistent with the organization's commitment to promoting access, options, and choice. For questions or feedback on these or other industry issues, please contact Christiaan Campbell or Keith Digman.