Fathers Matter: An Update on Cuyahoga County’s Fatherhood Initiative

Fathers play an important role in our culture and our society. There are good programs across the country that are aimed at supporting fathers in helping them to be strong role models and examples in their family. However, there are not many public sector entities in which there is an entire division where the sole purpose is to support Fathers....

Ohio Announces Initial Approval of HCBS Transition Plan

On Monday, June 6th, the Ohio Office of Health Transformation released a statement announcing the recent initial approval of the state’s Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Transition Plan, by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The plan, submitted originally in March, 2015, was developed in response to new CMS rules for states operating 1915(c) HCBS Medicaid waivers. The new...

Cuyahoga County Council Health, Human Services & Aging Committee Meetings

On April 20, 2016, the Cuyahoga County Council Health, Human Services & Aging Committee heard from David Merriman, administrator for the Department of Child and Family Services, requesting approval of a contract for Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U). Y.O.U. was selected in response to a County RFP for the implementation of a summer youth employment program. At the time of the...

JMOC: Redesign Update and Panel Discussion

The Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee (JMOC) had a lengthy discussion on May 26th regarding alcohol and drug addiction. During the meeting, which featured a panel of experts in the field, there were two main points of conversation. First, there was a “status update” by Dr. Mark Hurst, Medical Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (ODMHAS),...

An Update on the Extension of Medicaid

Ohio’s Medicaid extension has received a lot of scrutiny from the media, policymakers, and policy experts since its implementation in 2014. This scrutiny has only increased in the past few months during Governor Kasich’s Presidential run and as the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) finalizes its statutorily required 1115 demonstration waiver, Healthy Ohio. While many have been extolling the value...

Update on Disability Determination Redesign (DDR)

As the state prepares to transition to a unified disability determination system, thus ending the Medicaid spend-down program, additional information about who will be affected by the transition, and the impact of these changes, has been released. The Governor’s Office of Health Transformation (OHT) published an overview of the changes. The impact of the state’s transition from a 209(b) state...

DODD Scorecard Suggests Progress on Budget Initiatives has been Slow

The Ohio Department of Development Disabilities (DODD) recently released updated data highlighting progress on several key initiatives, including expanding home-and-community based service (HCBS) waiver enrollment and increasing access to community employment. These initiatives were developed as a result of the last biennial budget, which included a $300 million investment in DODD services, mostly aimed at increasing access to community living...

State Hard at Work on Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan

As mandated by the Health Resources and Services Administration, HIV/AIDS Bureau (HRSA/HAB) and the Centers for Disease Control, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (CDC/DHAP), the State of Ohio has begun working on a five-year plan on HIV prevention and care needs, existing resources, barriers and gaps within jurisdictions, and how it plans to address them for 2017-2021. The plan is due...

Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services Update

On March 31, 2016, Daphne Kelker, Contracts Administrator of Cuyahoga County Job and Family Services testified in front of Cuyahoga County Council Health, Human Services & Aging Committee. The testimony surrounded the approval of several contracts.  One was a master contract for agencies to support the Cuyahoga County Tapestry System of Care program. The mission of the Tapestry program is...

CMS Release Final Managed Care Rule

On April 25th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the much anticipated final rule significantly updating regulations pertaining to managed care organizations (MCOs) participating in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program or (CHIP). MCOs are private insurance companies that provide, or arrange the provision of, services for Medicaid enrollees in exchange for a set amount of...