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Changes being made to health services for disabled individuals

The state is changing the way health care services are coordinated for people with developmental disabilities.

Posted: Apr 2, 2018 5:16 PM
Updated: Apr 2, 2018 7:01 PM

The state is changing the way health care services are coordinated for people with developmental disabilities.

The state has developed a new program to replace the Medicaid Service Coordination Program, with one called Health Home Care Management, starting July 1, 2018.

The new program will continue to provide the service cooridation that people with developmental disabilities currently receive, but will also integrate coordination of other services as a health care, wellness, behavioral and mental health services, through a single individualized plan for each member, according to the state website.

"Up until now Kelberman Center has been one of many local agencies that have been able to offer what's called Medicaid Service Coordination," said Eryn Balch, managing director of business operations at the Kelberman Center. "An MSC is a person that helps families get access to their services. The MSC traditionally will know what services and how many, that a person qualifies for... and they work with families to make sure they can access different program out and around the community, for many different agencies."

With the new program, care coordinators will no longer work for agencies, instead they will work for independent agencies.

"Hopefully it will actually even be more beneficial, because we'll be able to have a relationship with the care organization that serving even more families and we serve today," she said. "They will be able to know our programs we have for the right kind of people, and get us matched up with even more families."

The program will coordinate for health-related services like personal care, mental health, home health aides or medical services.

"It's not that they're going to lose services," said Karen Korotzer, CEO of The Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter. "We keep an eye on it because we don't want their services to go down, but it's really talking about and moving towards, how we can really work with the hospital system, health care providers, primary care providers, different agencies to make sure we're all working on the same page and making services and supports available to the people that we support here."

Families can choose whether to sign on with one of the six agencies or a more basic plan. There be meetings on the changes throughout the month. For a list of locations visit: https://opwdd.ny.gov

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