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Announcement: DODD Waiver Redesign Initiative

Redesigning Ohio’s system of waiver services that support people with developmental disabilities and their families to achieve their vision of a good life. 

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to bring in expertise to work with DODD and partners to modernize and simplify the funding system for DODD waiver supports. The result will be the redesign, modernization, and simplification of current processes related to assessments, funding, rate setting, data collection, and establishing individual budgets for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waivers administered by DODD.   

All of this will be done with the primary goal to create a system of services that support people with developmental disabilities and their families to achieve their vision of a good life.  

A waiver is a foundational and widely used option to receive that support. Over 42,000 people with developmental disabilities in Ohio receive services through waivers while living on their own, with family, with a roommate, or with a paid caregiver. Through investment and policy improvement as well as the changing needs, wants, and expectations of people with developmental disabilities, the processes and systems we have in place have become overly complex for all involved. Although these changes were well intended to better assist the system, duplication of efforts and resources, additional requirements, incremental changes to numerous systems and applications, and a host of other modifications have resulted in this complexity. It has been over 15 years since Ohio has had a holistic review and modernization of the DODD waiver funding system.  

Stakeholders have collectively identified many of the issues and frustrations that exist with the current structure and we used that input to outline the opportunities and benefits of redesigning the system to improve Ohio’s support for people with developmental disabilities. Now is the time to ensure that the robust support system Ohio has built for people with developmental disabilities is in alignment with the needs and preferences of the people who are receiving those supports. 

Several changes were made to DODD waivers effective July 1, 2022, that took steps toward aligning services available and allowing more flexible access to services and supports.  This RFP represents the commitment to further simplify and improve the foundational systems of DODD’s waiver programs. 

Through this work our goal is to: 

  • Create a simpler and more streamlined funding system built on fair and logical payment systems; 

  • Continue to be good stewards of limited public resources by incorporating sustainable structures; 

  • Provide quality outcomes by establishing processes that are flexible enough to meet the diverse needs and preferences of people receiving services; 

  • Be responsive to choices made by the people served, in alignment with community supports; and  

  • Develop a system-wide vision and long-range strategic plan by listening to those we support, funding partners, and stakeholders. 

We are appreciative of the work and input from our community and partners that has resulted in the RFP posted. A great amount of work will be required to develop solutions and see these changes realized. This is a massive undertaking that will take time and effort of many people. As we have in identifying the necessity of this work and the development of the RFP, DODD will listen to your challenges, wants for the future, and ideas on how to get us there. There will be opportunities in the coming months to contribute and stay up to date on progress. 

View the full RFP here.