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Action Alert - Public Policy

Public Policy News Alert
The NCCDD Public Policy team brings you updates from the NC Legislature and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). Read below for updates on the State budget and request for Public Comment on HCBS Waivers on HCBS Waivers.
The NC Legislature released the budget late Monday night. This is the second year of the biennium, so the purpose of the budget process is to make needed adjustments.  The budget process was unique this year with the it being drafted by leadership and released as a conference report.  This means that it skips the committee process and there will be no opportunity for amendments. The plan is for it to go through approval process by end of the week.  From a preliminary review, here are a few highlights.
  • There are additional cuts to LME/MCO single stream funding. The biennium budget passed last year included both recurring and non-recurring cuts, and this budget increased the recurring from $36,002,854 to $36,440,895 and increased the non-recurring from $54,605,823 to $71,189,458. Cardinal received the largest increase in cuts, while Trillium received a decrease and will have no additional cuts for the coming year. 
  • No Innovations or supports waiver slots were included in the budget. This is disappointing with the growing wait list. 
  • NC Association of People Supporting Employment First (NC APSE) will receive a grant of $125,000 to develop and implement training programs on the provision of evidence-based supported employment programs.  
  • The work requirements for receiving benefits that had been previously discussed did not make it in. This is good news!
  • Medicaid transformation was addressed through a section titled "Establish Ranges for LME/MCO Solvency" that sets financial and operational standards to determine if an LME/MCO is viable in the new Medicaid system as it transforms.  Practically speaking, the goal is to reduce the number of LME/MCOs that will be able to bid for the Tailored Plan. (The expectation is that HB 403 will be out this week and will include similar language, and will also allow the Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) to move forward with releasing RFPs for the Standard Plans as the first step in Medicaid transformation). 
NCCDD's Public Policy Team will continue to monitor and keep you updated.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published regulations for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) which became effective on March 17, 2014. All states must meet new requirements for individuals who receive services under a home and community based waiver.
CMS requires all states to develop a Transition Plan for each wavier program that is affected by this rule. The plan sets out how the state will assess current settings, and must include strategies, and timelines for meeting the requirements of the new rules. This plan will be developed with valued stakeholder input.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) would like your comments on this draft Transition Plan before it is finalized and submitted to CMS. Deadline to submit public comment is June 24th.   


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North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities
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