Sally Berger, Division of Community Services at the Ohio Department of Mental retardation and Developmental Disability, Manager.
Sally Berger is manger in the Division of Community Services at the Ohio Department of Mental retardation and Developmental Disability. Sally is here to talk to us today about the Ohio Development Disability Profile.
What is the Ohio Development Disability Profile or the ODDP?
The ODDP is a clinical assessment, it’s not a comprehensive assessment, it does measure a subset of information about an individual that relates to their support needs and some life circumstances.
Why would the ODDP be completed?
The ODDP is linked very directly to one of our home and community based waivers, the individuals option waiver. And what it does, is once it’s scored is projects a funding range for the person, which means a range of dollars that would be available for their waiver services, such as personal care services, potentially transportation, it could be some adaptive assistive equipment, home modifications, those type of needs.
When would the ODDP be completed?
It should be completed in the process of an individual enrolling on the individual options waiver. Now in our state there are a lot of people waiting for that waiver and they’re on waiting list. But having it done several years or several months before services are going to start doesn’t serve any purpose. So it really needs to be done close to when a person is going to start receiving those services.
What does the ODDP measure?
It measures a variety of information about a person, some of it is about life circumstances, other is definitely related to support needs. There’s always as in any assessment, there’s your identifying information, it also measures some information about residents, does the person live with family, do they live alone, do they live with some other individuals. It measures disability descriptions, so what might be a diagnosed condition, potentially if there’s a psychiatric diagnosis. Then it measures different information; again, anything that would relate to the support needs that a person might have. That could be medical information; there is a section that measures sensory/motor that includes some communication information, gross and fine motor. There’s also one about cognitive capabilities, again there’s behavioral information, and a large section is about daily living skills; how much support a person needs in a variety of skills that are needed just to get through the day, from grooming and toileting to spending money and going on an outing, that entire range. It also measures a few things about what amount of voluntary care a person may have in their life at that time; do they have any support from family and friends. And then it also measures clinical services that a person may use, such as doctors, psychologist, social workers, etc.
Who would complete the ODDP?
At this time the ODDP needs to be completed by someone who has been trained through the Ohio Department of MRDD. It is always through a county board and most often the people who complete the ODDP’s are staff, that are at this time called, service support administrators; frequently you hear the abbreviation SSA, very much like a case manager, in fact, several years ago that was the title for the people that do that work. But they do have to be trained by the department and there’s also even an assessment at the end of that training to make sure that they do understand the assessment and how the questions need to be answered.
Would families, guardians, or other individuals in the person’s life be able to provide input into the completion of the ODDP?
Absolutely, in fact part of the training is to help the individuals that will actually be completing the assessment understand the value of getting information and input for how the questions should be answered from people who know the individual best. So that can be any of the people you have identified, obviously family members, can be other professional’s who know the person well, it can be direct care staff that know the person well, you can’t have an accurate assessment without getting that information from people who know the person.
Would the ODDP capture the needs of an individual that may change from environment to environment, day to day, individual to individual?
Yes it would. The questions are to be answered at the highest level of supports a person needs. So if some days a person can help select their clothes, other days they can’t, you’re going to measure that question at the highest support they ever need, so that that does capture the highest level of need that they have. So again, it’s about giving a range of dollars that could then be used and determine how much support needs t be purchased with those dollars.
How is a funding range assigned?
The tool is competed hopefully face to face, individuals talking, gathering information. Then the answers are entered online, meaning through the computer, and it comes into that application at the Ohio Departments of MRDD, and whatever score from those answers is done, is translated into a funding range, which then is sent to the county, really in real time, as soon as they his “submit” they have that back. So from that point they can start planning with the individual and the family, knowing the range of dollars they have to work with.
Talk to us a little more about how a funding level is assigned thru the ODDP?
One singe answer or response on the ODDP doesn’t necessary determine the outcome, in terms of what funding range is assigned, all of the answers are integrated together and that determines the score, which then of course assigns a funding range.
So this would include perhaps an individual with an autism spectrum disorder that actually had skills in a certain area?
Yes it would. Again the score isn’t based on a single diagnosis or the answer to one question. So if a person potentially has significant support needs in one area, but in another area in their life they have a lot of skill, the area where they need support would be considered, and would obviously be reflected in the funding range.
So what services would not be covered under the funding determined by the ODDP?
The only services that are not covered under the funding range of the ODDP are those that are called adult day waiver support services. Many people think of these as vocational, and most of them are such as, vocational habilitation, and support employment, but we also have adult day waiver support which is the person goes and simply has support throughout the day that’s not directly related to vocational services. For those services, there’s a separate assessment that’s done to determine the funding level for those individuals.
Does the funding determined thru the ODDP cover any transportation cost?
Yes, the IO waiver has a service of transportation that does cover transportation into the community that can be for shopping it can be for community activities, it’s a very broad transportation category. There’s another very specific transportation services called non-medical transportation that is related to adult day waiver supports, and that is covered through another assessment process.
What can a person, parent, or guardian, do if they do not understand or if they disagree with the results of the ODDP?
It’s always important that a parent or the individual try to talk to the person who administered the assessment to begin with, the SSA or whoever was employed by the county board. There are some things in that tool, they use definitions of common words that we think of it meaning one thing, but in terms of that assessment it is a clinical assessment and it might have a very narrow focus. So ask to have anything explained that you don’t understand. Now you don’t have to stop there, if even after that explanation you still don’t think the answer’s accurate, you can ask to have someone else administer the ODDP, if you really believe the person who did is not taking your input seriously or they’re not understanding it, that’s where you start with that.
And what if the funding range is too low to support the level of need?
First of all there has to be a conversation about what supports are most critical to the person and what is needed. I would think almost always people would like to have more dollars than less. And there has to be a least a conversation about are there other ways to maybe meet some of the needs so that the funding available from the waiver for the services that the waiver will provide adequate. Even when you do that, people may be as creative as they can, they’ve looked at everything that there is possible, there still’s just not enough dollars. There is what we call a prior authorization process, resubmit a request to the Ohio Department of MRDD, again supporting the need why is that extra funding needed and then you moved forward from there. And again, even if you would get a denial of your request, it’s a Medicaid service; there is always the option of a Medicaid appeal to ask someone else to consider that decision, if you truly believe the dollars are not adequate.
How would one initiate an appeal?
An appeal for a Medicaid service starts with the Department of Job and Family Services. Now, if you don’t understand how to do that, the SSA should most definitely help explain that to you. You don’t have to wait for the SSA to explain it; you can call the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and say that you want to appeal a Medicaid decision. You can start there, but the hope would be that the people you deal with locally will be able to help you through that process if you need support.
How can one obtain a copy of the ODDP and related information?
The quickest way if you have an internet connection is to go to the website for the Ohio Department of MR/DD which is www.mrdd.ohio.gov . The way that I found to find it fastest, there are several ways to find it on our website is click the Medicaid link which is along the top, once that loads you go to the left hand side there’s an area that’s called find it fast and there’s actually a link called ODDP, where you can get a copy of the actual assessment, there are the instructions for how to complete it, as well as a couple of guides to understanding it, available on our website.
After the initial assessment of the OPPP does it need to be revised or done on a regular basis?
It doesn’t have to be completed on any regular schedule, meaning every year or something along those lines. We train people that it’s very important that it’s redone when there’s a significant change in a person’s life. Sometimes those happen more than once a year, sometimes they happen three or four years apart, there’s no time schedule for how life happens, it just does. It needs to be redone when there’s a significant change that could impact the support needs of a person.
Do you foresee any changes in the ODDP assessment process?
Right at this time, we don’t have any particular plans for where we may go with that, I would encourage people to just always go to our website and look under Medicaid and look under waivers, because if anything ever changes with this, that’s where it would be.
Ohio Department of MR/DD www.mrdd.ohio.gov