Newsroom > DHHS News Release

December 17, 2009

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

Division of Developmental Disabilities Waiver Programs Get High Rating

Lincoln - A federal review of developmental disability waivers shows that Nebraska achieved the highest rating given by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
“CMS found that Nebraska substantially meets each of the assurances reviewed, and ‘substantially meets’ is their highest mark,” said Kerry Winterer, CEO of the Department of Health and Human Services. “This is a significant accomplishment for the Division of Developmental Disabilities. I’d like to thank the Legislature for providing the resources and support we needed to successfully meet the federal requirements.”
States receive federal funding for community services through programs called “waivers” that allow flexibility in developing the mix of services that best meet the needs of individuals. CMS reviews a state’s waivers 18 months before expiration of the waiver. The Division of Developmental Disabilities’ three primary waivers for residential, day and comprehensive adult DD services expire December 31, 2010.
CMS required the Division to provide evidence that a quality management system has been established to address assurances set out in each of the waiver applications and evidence that the quality management system is being carried out and evaluated.
“Last March, we submitted evidence that filled three 3½ inch binders, and CMS was on site in May to go over that evidence and gather additional information,” said Jodi Fenner, director of the Division. “The November 30 final report reflects how hard employees have been working to meet federal standards and provide quality services.”
Forms, meeting minutes, training attendance records, and a large amount of Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement data were submitted to CMS for review. Other information described the program standards and processes in place; the roles of the Program Specialists, Disability Services Specialists, Service Coordinators, and Supervisors (e.g. certification of qualified providers, technical assistance, certification reviews, Individual Program Plan development and reviews, Service Coordination monitoring, eligibility determination, accurate authorization and payment, etc.); and the make up and responsibilities of the Quality Improvement committees.