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Guidance: Supportive Technology Options

Using Technology for At-Home Remote Support

Supportive technology offers people with developmental disabilities personalized help with daily tasks at home. Remote Support (and Assistive Technology) can support a person who wants to be more independent in their home, working toward minimal supervision, or who wants to set up routines and alarms (reminders to take medication).

Remote Support uses two-way communication in real-time, like Skype or FaceTime, so a person can talk with their direct support professional (DSP), even when the provider is not in their home. The service also includes supports like sensors that can call for help if a person has fallen or cameras that show who is at the door. All Medicaid waivers cover the cost and maintenance of equipment used for Remote Support service delivery.

Due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) state of emergency, alternative options for service delivery need to be explored, as teams need to find safe staffing solutions quickly. A list of Remote Support vendors, the areas they cover, and how fast they can have a system operational is located on the department’s website.

Equipment for Remote Support

Updated April 29*

Equipment for Remote Support may be authorized under the Assistive Technology service as a one-time expense or as a monthly rental or lease.

To ensure payment requirements are not undue barriers to service delivery and provider reimbursement throughout the COVID-19 state of emergency, Assistive Technology equipment authorized on or after March 12, 2020, does not need to be authorized over the useful life of the equipment, which relaxes OAC 5123:2-9-12(F)(6).

Purchase or rental of Assistive Technology equipment shall include, as appropriate, internet service fees, monthly fees, and the manufacturer's and seller's warranties.

There is a $5,000 limit per waiver span on Assistive Technology equipment. Payment arrangements for one-time expense, rental, or lease must be agreed upon between the county board and the provider prior to claims submission. 

Authorization of services and associated costs are the responsibility of the county board based on the person’s needs and service that will best meet those needs, as agreed upon by the team.

Authorizing Remote Support Hours during COVID-19 State of Emergency

Remote Support hours (with paid or unpaid backup) may be authorized when the team identifies how a person’s health and safety needs can be met remotely during the COVID-19 crisis, including which needs might be met remotely, for what hours, and how backup support will be provided.

The person-centered team will identify the backup support person. Backup support may be provided on an unpaid basis by a family member, friend, or other person selected by the person receiving services or on a paid basis by an agency provider of Homemaker/Personal Care.

Remote Support providers and the person-centered team will discuss how to handle a known or reported emergency, including when emergency personnel should be called and when to contact the backup support person.

DODD support teams are available and consist of staff ready to help county boards and providers. 

DODD has set up a dedicated web page for department communications and links to helpful resources that will advise people with disabilities, their families, service providers, direct support professionals, county boards of developmental disabilities, and the community at large. 

For specific questions about COVID-19 and additional information and resources, DODD urges you to use the Ohio Department of Health’s call center. Call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634), or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.