Waiver changes designed to benefit individuals with developmental disabilities

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DBHDSlogo-webState officials say proposed changes to Virginia’s system of care for children and adults with developmental disabilities will ultimately improve access to enhanced levels of home- and community-based support.

The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) recently unveiled its plan to amend the Medicaid waiver program that funds services for individuals with developmental disabilities. A waiver is a means of combining federal and state funds to provide long-term supports for individuals who are elderly or have disabilities. DBHDS and Virginia’s CSBs will no longer make a distinction between intellectual and developmental disabilities and will instead reference ID/DD as DD going forward.

Known as the “My Life, My Community” initiative, DBHDS officials note that the new waivers will add services and supports which are individualized, integrated and strength-based. The changes are expected to take effect July 1, 2016, pending final approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Under the new plan, Virginia’s Community Services Boards (CSBs) – including NRVCS – will assume single point of entry responsibility for all individuals with developmental disabilities. Officials at NRVCS note that the proposed changes will result in easier navigation of the service system and better services over the long-term.

For additional information and updates about the “My Life, My Community” initiative, be sure to visit the DBHDS website. Families in the New River Valley who are interested in learning more about waiver services are encouraged to contact NRVCS.

For children under the age of 18, please contact Leslie Sharp at lsharp@nrvcs.org or call 961-8355.

For adults ages 18 and over, please contact Lauren Tate at ltate@nrvcs.org or call 961-8313.

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