Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
March 7, 2017

Contact
Julie Naughton, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-1695; (cell) 402-405-7202, julie.naughton@nebraska.gov

DHHS Identifies Efficiencies at BSDC, and Plans to Transition Bridges Program

Lincoln—As a result of a recent evaluation of services and the growing success of community-based services for those with developmental disabilities, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Developmental Disabilities (DD), will be rightsizing the Beatrice State Developmental Center (BSDC) and transitioning the Hastings-based Bridges program which is licensed as a community-based service for individuals with developmental disabilities.
 
“We have completed a thorough evaluation of each area at BSDC and Bridges to better understand systems, patient needs and requirements,” said Courtney Miller, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities.  “This included review of federal regulations, state regulations, licensing requirements and policies and procedures.” 
 
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) in 2014. This rule requires states to provide person-centered plans of care and to provide characteristics of settings that are home and community-based rather than institutional if that is best for the individual.
 
Each state must develop a transition plan for this review and make any changes needed to comply. This rule impacts the Bridges program.  Miller said Bridges is located adjacent to the Hastings Regional Center and the location, as well as the institutional characteristics of Bridges, will not be in compliance with the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waiver Final Rule about home and community-based programs. This means federal Medicaid funds will not be available for the Bridges program. The DD team will begin transitioning the six residents currently served by the Bridges program to other willing and capable providers. The department intends to redirect 12 of the 31 filled positions at Bridges to quality assurance roles within community-based services in the Developmental Disabilities area.
 
Currently, 481 BSDC team members serve 110 individuals. The department conducted a cross-departmental evaluation that sought an understanding of the intent of each position and how each position affects the individuals served and the regulations.  It was determined that there are similar positions doing similar tasks.  This duplication does not include front line services and therefore does not enhance the quality of resident care.  Due to this, DD is making the decision to rightsize BSDC. These changes, which affect 39 valued and dedicated team members, are important to allow BSDC to move forward and to continue providing quality services while being careful stewards of taxpayer dollars.
 
The Division of Developmental Disabilities will work with DHHS human resources, the Department of Labor and other partners to provide information about opportunities for those affected.
 
“BSDC is committed to providing and maintaining quality care,” said Miller.  “We are realigning staff resources to meet the needs of the residents in the ICF homes. BSDC will continue to meet all standards, quality care and regulatory requirements for an Intermediate Care Facility for the Developmental Disabled.” 

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