FCBDD reducing the wait for waivers

The Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities plans to further shrink its waiting list for Medicaid waivers in 2022, enrolling dozens of people each quarter.

“We hope to be well under 100 by the end of the year,” said Lee Childs, director of the Service Coordination Department. “We’ve already gone from more than 10,000 to 700 or so.”

Waiting lists for the Medicaid waivers that pay for home- and community-based services had ballooned in Franklin and other counties over the years; at one point the state total approached 50,000 names. But the list was far from accurate, leading to the establishment of a “Fix the List” coalition that helped to craft new guidelines for determining eligibility.

In the past, families had been able to add names to the list on their own with little or no input from service coordinators. That led to prioritization problems, jurisdictional mistakes and, sometimes, years-long waits for people in need. “Some people didn’t even know they were on the list,” Childs said. “We had one person on the list who was living in Guam.”

FCBDD Superintendent/CEO Jed Morison praised efforts by the state and agency staff to whittle the list and create fair, manageable processes for waiver enrollment. “There will always be someone waiting, but the goal is to get down to a point where we are always on top of it,” he said. “Our staff has done a great job identifying those with immediate and current needs.”