Assistive Technology can be used as a creative solution to help with a person's health and safety and can support a person’s desire for more independence at home, in the community, or at work This service enables people to use smart or electronic devices to increase their independence and reduce reliance on paid caregivers to help with a person’s needs. It includes things that can
- help a person cook safely,
- call for help if someone falls or hurts themselves while at home alone,
- and remind a person to take medications.
The service also pays for consultation to make sure people are matched with the right technology to meet their needs, the appropriate equipment, and equipment training for the person as well as for their paid or unpaid caregiver.
Assistive Technology is always combined with Remote Support but can also be used as a standalone service.
When to Apply this Service
The person’s service and support administrator, or SSA, will assess them for a need for Assistive Technology. If there is a need, the SSA will include it in the person’s individual service plan.
Ohio is a Technology First state, which means Assistive Technology must be considered before traditional staffing models when authorizing services for a person with developmental disabilities or writing an individual service plan.
In order to incorporate Assistive Technology in the person’s plan, an SSA should
- identify where a person is at risk for health and safety or wants increased independence or privacy,
- evaluate if the person already owns technology that can meet their need,
- and talk to supportive technology providers to see if technology can meet those needs.
When evaluating if a person already has technology that can meet their needs, consider items, such as tablets, smartwatches, smartphone applications, etc. For example, a smartphone task app could help remind a person to take their medication or a smartwatch can buzz to keep a person on task.
Monthly fees for apps or devices, like personal emergency response, are billable under Medicaid home and community-based services waivers. These fees cannot exceed $75 per month. That does not include internet service or equipment.
The cost of all components of Assistive Technology equipment must not exceed $5,000 per waiver eligibility span for all waivers.
Using a Level One waiver, payment for Assistive Technology, Environmental Accessibility Adaptations, Home-Delivered Meals, and Specialized Medical Equipment and Supplies, alone or in combination, must not exceed $7,500 within a three-year period.
Providing this Service
Agency providers that have a Medicaid provider agreement and are DODD-certified can provide this service.
Assistive Technology is provided as a one-on-one service.
The provider agency is required to provide all training about Assistive Technology and the equipment to the person and their caregiver.
Assistive Technology has three components:
An evaluation of the needs of a person that includes a functional evaluation of technologies available to address their needs and support outcomes in their individual service plan.
Consultation is not required every time a person is authorized for Assistive Technology. It is a tool available when a person needs more information about what technology is the best match for their need.
This component includes the cost of Assistive Technology equipment and may include engineering, designing, fitting, customizing, or otherwise adapting the equipment to meet the person's specific needs. It also covers the internet service necessary to use the equipment.
Internet services can be purchased through the equipment component. Internet service must be purchased through an authorized Ohio Assistive Technology provider. Like any wavier service, there must be a documented need to authorize internet services. All alternative funding source must be exhausted before the waiver can be authorized for purchase of internet services.
Assistive Technology support includes education and training that helps a person use Assistive Technology equipment. It also includes the training needed for the person's family members, guardian, staff, or anyone else who provides natural supports or paid services, employs the person, or is otherwise substantially involved in activities being supported by the Assistive Technology equipment.
Assistive Technology support may include coordination with complementary therapies or interventions, or making adjustments to existing Assistive Technology to ensure it continues to support the person.
Training Requirements for this Service
After initial provider certification and completing annual training requirements, the following is required to provide this service.
The agency provider must receive training from the Remote Support vendor about how to operate and maintain the Remote Support equipment.
Billing and Payment Information
All services must be delivered as specified in the individual service plan and authorized in Payment Authorization for Waiver Services, known as PAWS, to be successfully submitted for payment through eMBS.
Rates and limits for Assistive Technology are contained in the service rule's appendix.
Consultation billing is outcome based.
Equipment is billed per item.
Support is billed in 15-minute units regardless of ratio size.