Important DDD Update
Update on CMW Renewal Application Listening Session and Comment Period
In the June 20th Division Update, it was announced that there would be a public listening session and 30-day comment period following the July 10 release of the Comprehensive Medicaid Waiver renewal Application. With numerous other events happening concurrently, please note that the CMW Listening Session is specifically intended to hear stakeholder comments/testimony regarding New Jersey's CMW Renewal Application. Comments/testimony on non-related issues will not be accepted at that time. In particular, please note there will be separate and distinct listening sessions held in early August to receive public comment regarding the Statewide Transition Plan.
 
In addition, the NJ Department of Human Services has announced that the public comment period for the Comprehensive Medicaid Waiver Renewal Application has been extended through August 12, 2016. As indicated previously, written comments may be submitted as follows:
 
Fax:        609.588.7343
Mail:      Margaret Rose, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS), PO Box 712, Trenton, NJ 08625-0712
Advisory Councils for Families and Self-Advocates Will Support Stakeholder Participation
The Division recently announced a proposed Consumer and Family Leadership initiative (CFL) that was well-received and generated a great deal of interest from families and self-advocates. Since that time the Division has been in ongoing discussion with the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities' Regional Family Support Planning Council (RFSPC) to ensure the CFL initiative would not duplicate RFSPC's efforts. As a result, the Division has revised the CFL proposal, as follows:
 
Together with the RFSPC Chairs and the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Division has determined the most effective way to promote regular engagement with families is through utilization of an existing network. With an active statewide network of families, the RFSPC is well positioned to take on this task, and therefore the Division supports the development by the RFSPC of a distinct Family Advisory Council (FAC).
 
The FAC is intended to be broader than just family support and will provide input to the Division in all areas, including the Supports Program, Community Care Waiver, and with regard to individuals living both in-home and out-of-home. The goal of the FAC is to facilitate a holistic representation of the families of individuals served by the Division, including all types of disabilities, and all geographic areas of the state. 
 
Members of the FAC will be selected from among the family advocates who serve in each of the state's ten RFSPCs, with each regional council nominating one or more of their members to serve on the FAC.  In order to serve on the FAC, a family advocate must first become a member of his/her local RFSPC.  To learn more about becoming a member of one of New Jersey's RFSPCs, please visit www.njcdd.org , where a dedicated FAC web page is in development, or contact Kyoko Coco at 609.341.3112 or kyoko.coco@njcdd.org .
 
The Division is also in early discussions with the New Jersey Self-Advocacy Project and Statewide Self-Advocacy Network (NJSSAN) to facilitate development of a similar Self-Advocate Advisory Council comprised of adults with developmental disabilities. Again, the utilization of an existing network will enable more effective participation of a broad range of individuals and regions.
 
We are deeply appreciative to the many individuals with developmental disabilities and families who responded to the Division's Consumer and Family Leadership proposal. The Division will be in contact with all those who expressed interest to ensure they have every opportunity learn more about the newly-forming Family Advisory or Self-Advocate Advisory Council. The Division's intention is that RFSPC and NJSSAN will support and coordinate the councils, and will invite and encourage ongoing participation from all interested individuals and families.
Quarterly Update Meetings for Families and Providers Announced
Beginning this fall, the Division will conduct quarterly update meetings for families and providers. These meetings are not intended as a forum for the expression of varying viewpoints or discussion of specific cases. Rather, these meetings will ensure regular, live opportunities for families and providers to receive important news and information directly from Division management. The first of these quarterly meetings will be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, with the Provider Update meeting scheduled from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM and the Family Update meeting scheduled from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM. Meetings will be held at the Division's Central Office location in Hamilton. Pre-registration will be required and details about requesting to reserve a seat will be sent out in early September.
Statewide Transition Plan Webinar to Coincide with DHS Release of Revised Statewide Transition Plan 
As many of you know, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on January 16, 2014 to ensure that Medicaid's home and community-based services (HCBS) programs provide full access to the benefits of community living and offer services in the most integrated settings.  The final rule, which became effective March 17, 2014, requires states to submit a Statewide Transition Plan (STP) for compliance with the HCBS setting requirements.
 
The NJ Department of Human Services submitted an initial draft plan on April 17, 2015. A revised draft Statewide Transition Plan is expected to be released in July 2016for public comment. Coinciding with the Department's release of the plan, the Division will be posting a pre-recorded webinar to provide an overview of the Statewide Transition Plan. Following release of the revised draft plan, DHS will hold three regional public listening sessions in early August. Details regarding these listening sessions will be provided when more information is available.
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