June 30, 2017, Gov. John Kasich signed the Fiscal Year 2018-19 biennial operating budget (HB49) for the State of Ohio, bringing the budget process to a close.
The current operating budget builds on the historic $286 million investment made two years ago by investing $65 million in new dollars over the biennium.
This new funding makes possible the initiatives outlined below and will strengthen opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to receive services in the community as well as meet the needs of those living at intermediate care facilities (ICF).
Home and Community-Based Services Waivers
The budget continues to prioritize home and community-based services and makes the following investments in programs that support individuals who choose to live and work in the community.
Increases waiver reimbursement to cover complex care needs. Individuals who are dependent in all areas of daily living require a workforce that is stable and well trained to meet their everyday needs and maximize their quality of life. The operating budget incentivizes providers to serve complex individuals by creating a complex care rate add-on starting in the fall of 2017.
Private Intermediate Care Facilities
Since 2013, DODD has been working with stakeholders to modernize the ICF system. As a result, the number of ICF residents has decreased 6 percent, but the residents who remain have greater needs. The budget recognizes this dynamic and proposes to modernize ICF reimbursement to support residents with higher acuity.
Many of you have been involved in the budget process -- from providing input, to testifying, to contacting elected officials to share your thoughts on budget proposals. While there is still uncertainty around the Ohio Department of Medicaid budget, at this time, DODD does not see that uncertainty having a direct effect on the initiatives outlined above.
The department thanks you for your assistance, support, and suggestions, and looks forward to working with you to improve the lives of Ohioans with developmental disabilities.