Governor Pat McCrory has released his vision and priorities for the health and wellbeing of North Carolina’s citizens. Working with Secretary Brajer and the Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Directors, the Governor highlighted the need for critical support services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
Medicaid Service Expansion:
• The Governor’s proposal adds 250 Medicaid Innovations Waiver slots to provide services and help individuals with developmental disabilities and autism continue to live in their community of choice. ($2.5 million)
• Families who rely on Medicaid for support (waiver and Medicaid health insurance) will have the ability to access the same services for autism that were approved under last year’s autism insurance legislation through the state’s network of Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). This means children with Autism Spectrum Disorder will be eligible for services (such as Applied Behavior Analysis and other evidence-based practices) under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment program, or (EPSDT). The Department of Health and Human Services will work with stakeholders to develop a Medicaid State Plan Amendment that outlines delivery of the covered intensive behavioral health treatments. This State Plan Amendment will be submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by Sept. 1, 2016.
• Invests 3 million dollars to create 320 new slots for the Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults. This program supports older adults with disabilities and those facing Alzheimer’s to stay in their homes and receive critical support services.
• Recognizing the need to support family caregivers, the budget proposal includes $1 million to increase respite funding
Crisis Services - Invests in child facility-based crisis centers that work closely with Juvenile Justice, foster care programs and schools. These crisis centers will collaborate with case managers and families to address the behavioral health needs of children who are dually diagnosed with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. ($30 Million)
Ensure high quality early childhood programs by increasing Pre-K slots– Finally, the Governor’s proposal will increase access to high quality education experiences for an additional 400 at-risk 4 year olds, including children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ($2 million)
The Arc of North Carolina supports these recommendations and we will continue to advocate and monitor the progress of these critical funding requests during the short session.