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NC Innovations Waiver Improvements

There are changes coming to the NC Innovations Waiver on November 1, 2016, which may affect members with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. These changes are expected to improve service effectiveness to meet the needs of those with Innovations benefits, and those on the waitlist, the Registry of Unmet Needs.

The Innovations Waiver changes will offer:

  • More choice
  • More flexibility
  • A more person-centered approach (a better fit for your individual needs)
  • More predictable costs

All Innovations recipients in North Carolina will receive a letter notifying them of any changes.

Changes to Individual Budgets

(Resource Allocation)

To make sure everyone gets exactly the help they need, the state will now use Individual Budgets to guide service planning.

Budgets are based on:

  • Age
  • Whether the member lives in a group home, other Medicaid-funded home, or private home
  • Support needs measured by the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS).
  • Other behavioral and medical factors

Individual budgets are a guideline only. The budget amounts do not constitute a limit on the amount of services that may be requested or authorized. All services covered under the Innovations waiver, including Residential Supports and Supported Living, should be requested to the full extent of the individual’s level of medical necessity, regardless of the individual’s budgeting category.

Changes to Services

  • Assistive Technology Equipment and Supplies: This service now allows for up to $50,000 in combination with Home Modifications over the five-year waiver period. The service may also cover repairs and “smart” technology. There is no set list of equipment, but rather broad categories to allow for more flexibility based on changing technology.
  • Community Guide: This service is now called Community Navigator.
  • Community Networking: This service can link individuals to volunteer groups even if participation may require additional supports.
  • Community Transitions: This used to be a one-time per lifetime service with a $5,000 limit. Now the service can be used more than once, using no more than $5000 within the 5-year waiver period.
  • Day Supports: Members receiving day supports must go to the Day Supports facility at least once a week unless enrolled in adult basic education classes. All individuals participating in Day Supports must receive education about alternatives.
  • Residential Supports: Members in Alternative Family Living (AFL) settings now have access to the Respite service. Licensed residential facilities can now have up to four beds.
  • Respite: The service can now be used in Alternative Family Living (AFL) settings, but not on the same day as Residential Supports.
  • Supported Employment: There is no more three year experience requirement. This service gives employers support for Americans with Disabilities Act rules. There is now long term follow-up.

New Services

  • Community Living and Supports: This is a new, flexible service for learning skills for independent living (habilitation), supervision, and support. It combines the Personal Care, In-Home Skill Building, and In-Home Intensive Support services.
  • Supported Living: This is a new service helping members live independently in a home they own or rent.

Removed Services

  • In-Home Skill Building
  • In-Home Intensive Support
  • Personal Care

Get more information

Partners is dedicated to explaining the details of all these changes to members and families. We are offering Innovations Waiver Update Trainings.

Topics will include:

  • Supports Intensity Scale
  • Current waiver services and service changes
  • Resource Allocation
  • Individual Budgeting
  • Self-Determination

Trainings are scheduled for the following dates/times:

  • Thursday, November 3, 2016 – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. (in-lieu of IDD Stakeholders Meeting)
  • Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017 – 6:00 -8:00 p.m.

All trainings will be held via video-conference at the following locations:

Thursday, November 3, 2016 – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
No registration is required to attend the November 3 training.

Partners Gastonia Office in the Board Room
901 S. New Hope Road
Gastonia, N.C. 28054

Partners Hickory Office in the Multi-Purpose Room, located in the basement
1985 Tate Boulevard S.E.
Hickory, N.C. 28602

Partners Elkin Office in the Board Room
200 Elkin Business Park Drive
Elkin, N.C. 28621

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Click the link under the training date, to register to participate at that location:

Partners Gastonia Office in the Board Room
901 S. New Hope Road
Gastonia, N.C. 28054

Partners Elkin Office in the Board Room
200 Elkin Business Park Drive
Elkin, N.C. 28621

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 – 6:00 -8:00 p.m.
Click the link under the training date, to register to participate at that location:

Partners Gastonia Office in the Board Room
901 S. New Hope Road
Gastonia, N.C. 28054

Partners Elkin Office in the Board Room
200 Elkin Business Park Drive
Elkin, N.C. 28621

Those with questions may contact their IDD Care Coordinator or call the Access to Care Department at 1-888-235-HOPE (4673).
More information can also be found on the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.

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