On Friday, November 2, INARF staff, The Arc of Indiana staff, Self-Advocates of Indiana, and Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services staff; along with INARF members Jim Allbaugh, Carey Services, Inc.; Patrick Cockrum, Sycamore Services, Inc.; Rick Adams, Benchmark Human Services; Allison Wharry, New Hope of Indiana; Randy Hall, Cardinal Services, Inc.; and Jason Meyer, Passages, Inc.; attended the 2018 CMS Region V State Summit, along with counterparts from other Region V states and representatives from the CMS Region V office.
This year’s Summit featured an informative presentation by Melissa Harris, Senior Policy Advisor for CMS Central Office, on the federal HCBS rule, electronic visit verification, and work CMS is doing to implement recommendations from the January 2018 Office of Inspector General report on issues with critical incident reporting in waiver group homes. In addition, Kim Opsahl, Director of State Partnerships with ANCOR, provided a thorough summary of Medicaid managed care and MLTSS implementation around the country.
Each state (Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Ohio) participated in “state share” presentations covering statewide data on Direct Support Professional wages, turnover rates, vacancy rates and state initiatives to address the DSP workforce crisis in their state. Shawn Fulton, President of Self-Advocates of Indiana, provided powerful comments on how the DSP workforce crisis impacts his waiver supports. Attendees then participated in a group activity in which participants from across states and stakeholder groups collaborated to identify key barriers and solutions to the workforce crisis.
Finally, each state provided updates on the status of Electronic Visit Verification (Sarah Chestnut presented for INARF) and the use of technology supports in their state, with a focus on how technology can be used to address the DSP workforce crisis. Kylee Hope, Director of Disability and Rehabilitative Services, was the featured speaker regarding the use of technology supports in Indiana.
The annual Summit serves as an opportunity for Indiana to learn from our Region V state partners and how they are experiencing and addressing similar issues, and vice versa. It also provides an opportunity for providers to interact directly with regional and national CMS staff. Each state provider association is limited to seven participants in order to keep the group size relatively small and interactive.
The INARF team served as the host provider association for the second time in the last three years. Additional information from the Summit will be shared at a future INARF Member Forum.