2015 Independent Provider Feedback Survey - Results

In the first draft of the state's two-year budget released in February, it was proposed that Independent Providers (IPs) be phased out over a three-year period by eliminating IPs' ability to become re-certified as Medicaid service providers unless they were to become employed by (1) a provider agency, or (2) a person who was directing their own services as the employer of record under a self-directed waiver (such as the SELF Waiver).

Many parents, family members, and advocacy organizations were anxious about the implications of Independent Providers' no longer being able to provide services under a model which they had grown highly accustomed. In an effort to gauge these individuals' opinions about the state's initial proposal, OACB conducted a survey from February 20 to March 30, 2015.  

Roughly 1,400 people responded to our survey, and the overwhelming majority opposed the state's plans as they were described in the budget. Their responses are categorized below.

2015 OACB Independent Provider Feedback Survey Results

During its initial discussions about the IP phase-out proposal, the state communicated its intention to expand the self-directed options available within each of the DD waivers to allow parents, family members, and people served to continue using their chosen providers, albeit under a self-directed employment model.  

In the weeks since the this proposal was made, dozens of people served by county boards and advocates for the developmental disabilities community have testified before the Ohio legislature in Columbus. In addition, hundreds of other advocates have written letters, made phone calls, and engaged their local representatives on this issue.

After receiving this feedback, the state has further clarified its plans for IPs and provided details that were not present in the original draft of the two-year budget. The Office of Health Transformation and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities have also stated that people served and families will retain their ability to choose their providers, and the state is considering pushing back the implementation of its plans for IPs to 2018.

State officials have also recommitted to their earlier plans to add self-direction provisions to existing Medicaid waivers by forming an official stakeholder workgroup (which will include representatives from DD advocacy and service organizations) to determine how these waivers can best be adapted for people who use the services of Independent Providers.

While the advocacy process on this topic will continue throughout the coming months, OACB would like to take this moment to thank all of the people served, family members, and advocates who participated in our survey and became engaged on this important issue. Your feedback was essential to helping OACB form its position on the state's proposal(s) and we are grateful for your insight.

We also want to thank state representatives and department leaders who have committed to improving the DD support system to the benefit of those it serves. OACB will continue to keep people served, family members, and advocates informed of the latest developments on this topic through the OACBInsider as well as through our Web site at www.oacbdd.org

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