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Furthing DISCO project, OPWDD Launches Agency Start-up Grant

Furthing DISCO project, OPWDD Launches Agency Start-up Grant

November 3 Deadline Another Milestone in Shift to Managed Care

Nov. 9, '14
By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

With qualifying non-profits having just submitted their paperwork, the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is one small but significant step closer to its DISCO managed-care overhaul.

The Developmental Disabilities Individual Support and Care Coordination Organization (DISCO) is the OPWDD’s model for the future.  Under the DISCO model, non-profit OPWDD partners like Hamaspik which support individuals with developmental disabilities will be funded by regional DISCOs instead.

Non-profit entities qualifying to become DISCOs submitted their applications for Start-up Grants this Nov. 3.  (Applications for full Certificates of Authority (COAs) may be submitted later, what with there being no deadline for those.)

The DISCOs are private-sector organizations that will fund the full range of disabilities services and supports that are currently provided directly by the OPWDD or through partner non-profit organizations.

Qualifying organizations must demonstrate the fiscal reserves that would render them sufficiently stable to take on DISCO responsibilities, as well as the resources and overall experience that would grant them readiness to hit the ground running on Day One.

The DISCOs will operate on the managed-care model, replacing the traditional fee-for-service payment model with one that gives DISCOs monthly capitated rates to judiciously spend on each individual.

It was relatively early on in his first term as the state’s chief executive that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo rolled out the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT), a public- and private-sector committee whose dozens of cost-cutting suggestions contributed to the state’s balanced budget.

Among them was the introduction of managed care.

Working toward implementing the specific MRT suggestions pertaining to the state agency, the OPWDD began gearing up for eventual transition to a managed-care model of its own.

The DISCO model is slated to go into partial effect on October 1, 2015, when individuals can voluntarily sign up with their regional DISCO plan of choice.