OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Waivered service providers that help serve the needs of disabled Oklahomans will benefit from retroactive rate increases.
Community Living, Aging and Protective Services (CAP) and Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) in Oklahoma will each get a 20 percent retroactive rate increase, according to Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS).
“We are grateful for the retroactive increase as it will help fill the gap in our budget,” said Robin Arter, Executive Director at Think Ability, Inc. “It is a much needed relief in our efforts in supporting Oklahomans with developmental disabilities.”
The interventions are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and retroactive from Oct. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020.
OKDHS is also seeking interventions for Jan. 1 through March 31, 2021, and April 1 through June 30, 2021, with 90-day increment subsequent payments.
Home and Community Based Waiver Services (HCBS) teams assess an individual’s needs and develops an annual care plan to address those needs.
The state uses waivers to offer community-based services as an alternative to institutional or nursing facility services, increasing independence and quality of life for the service recipients.
HCBS include the following services:
- Case management
- Employment and habilitation services
- Supports for individuals three years of age or older
Waivered services providers are experiencing a staff shortage to serve HCBS customers.
OKDHS officials attribute the staff shortage to businesses offering higher wages to the same labor pool, as well as dwindling qualified and skilled labor, increasing provider costs.
The add-on payments from the rate increases will bolster services and address the short-term qualified staff shortage, according to OKDHS.
“Our waivered services providers have done a phenomenal job in serving aging Oklahomans and individuals with developmental disabilities in their own homes and communities during a really challenging time,” said Samantha Galloway, OKDHS Chief of Staff and Operations. “These additional funds are a vital, yet short term, intervention to help providers mitigate workforce issues while a longer term solution is developed. We are equally excited about the opportunity to invest additional dollars in things that have a real and immediate impact on people’s quality of life, such as eyeglasses, dental and hearing aid services in a big way that is beyond what has been available in our single year budget historically.”
CAP and DDS will also offer an initiative to help individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities by doing the following:
- Purchase eyeglasses and hearing aids;
- Propose development of model smart homes;
- Expand assistive technologies;
- Offer staff education and direct support staff professional development programs.
Visit https://oklahoma.gov/okdhs/services/dd/developmental-disabilities-services.html to learn more about OKDHS’ Developmental Disabilities Services, including Home and Community Based Waiver Services. Visit https://oklahoma.gov/okdhs/services/dd/areacontactinfo.html to apply for services.
Visit https://oklahoma.gov/okdhs/services/cap/advantage-services.html to learn more about OKDHS’ CAP, including the Advantage Waiver program, or to apply for services.