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Showing posts from October 22, 2017

Energy Assistance Program Begins Nov 1

Energy Assistance Program begins  November 1 The  Energy Assistance Program  (EAP) provides financial assistance to low-income households, below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level ($36,900 income limit for a household of four), to maintain utility services during the winter heating months through funding from the Federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) block grant.  The program is administered through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and implemented through Community Action Agencies with  outreach offices in every county.  These agencies provide the intake application process and utility vendor payments. Contact your local Community Action Agency or call 2-1-1 to learn about the program and how to schedule client appointments.

Share Your Story About the Importance of Medicaid Waivers

Share your story of how Medicaid home and community based services (HCBS), also known as Medicaid waivers, make life in the community possible.  NDRN is teaming up with The Arc, The Association of University Centers on Disabilities, and other disability advocacy organizations to share stories with government officials showing that community integration is possible for all people with disabilities, given access to appropriate HCBS.  Click here to share your story.

Autism, Elopement, and Water Safety Strategies

from Autism Society of Indiana: The problem our community faces regarding elopement and water safety issues needs a multi-pronged approach. In October 2017, we completed a  survey  and offered two community meetings. One meeting was attended by representatives from major partner advocacy organizations: ARC of Indiana, About Special Kids, Family Voices, Special Olympics. Some solutions are being worked on by advocacy organizations and will be longer-term than others. We are providing the following ideas/resources so that families can be aware of various programs that exist  today  to help with this serious issue. Your Child: Talk with your child’s waiver Case Manager about using Recreational Therapy, Community-Based Habilitation Individual (CHIO), PAC time to fund someone to teach your child water safety skills. A partner agency is contacting Medicaid about educating Case Managers better with regard to this. Report to Medicaid’s  Bureau of Quality Improvement Services  if 

Elopement and Water Safety

The Arc Insurance Advocacy Resource Center (INARC) Water Safety and Medical Necessity Can a water safety program be part of a health insurance funded medical intervention program? It is widely recognized that drowning is a leading cause of injury and death among persons with autism, especially young children. As such, water safety should be considered to be a health concern for persons with autism and should be allowed to be included in medically necessary behavioral therapy. Because drowning often occurs as a result of elopement (running away from care takers), behavioral plans may address both together. With that said, addressing these health and safety concerns must be done in a way that meets medical necessity criteria, insurer requirements for network providers, and behavioral therapy ethical guidelines for treatment and business practices. What  should  be allowable under health insurance: 1) Writing water safety and elopement goals into a behavioral treatment plan

Medicaid PA criteria for orthodontic services that allows for phased treatment

The Indiana Health Coverage Programs (IHCP) covers orthodontic services for members 20 years of age or younger only for cases of craniofacial deformities, whether congenital or acquired, or cleft palates.  Prior authorization (PA) is required for all orthodontic services. PA requests for orthodontic services are submitted on the Indiana Health Coverage Programs Prior Authorization Request Form (universal PA form) available on the Forms page at; do not submit on the IHCP Prior Review and Authorization Dental Request Form. Effective November 27, 2017, the IHCP will utilize revised medical necessity and PA criteria for coverage of orthodontic services. IHCP policy will also expand allowances and definitions for phased orthodontic treatment. These changes will apply to dates of service (DOS) on or after November 27, 2017. See entire bulletin here:

New Milestone Tracker App

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pleased to announce the launch of  CDC’s  Milestone Tracker   – a free app for tracking every child’s development in a fun and easy way. This app adds to the popular suite of free, family-friendly materials available through CDC’s  Learn the Signs. Act Early.  program. “Skills like taking a first step, saying those first words, and waving ‘bye-bye’ are developmental milestones all parents anticipate and celebrate,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D.  “This CDC Milestone Tracker app gives parents tips to help their child learn and grow, a way to track developmental milestones, recognize delays, and the ability to share this information with their healthcare provider.” CDC’s many activities supporting the launch of the app have already begun, complete with a  press release , social media promotion, and a Hill alert in Washington D.C. The new app offers Interactive milestone checklists for children ages 2 months throu

Legislative Update

from National Family Voices: THE ADMINISTRATION Executive Order on ACA-Related Changes On October 12, the president issued an  executive order   directing the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to consider making changes in current regulations and guidance governing health care coverage. It is important to note that the order does not in itself make any changes to current law or policy; it directs federal departments to consider making changes toward certain ends, as explained below. See  The President's Executive Order: Less Than Meets the Eye?  (Health Affairs Blog, 10/20/17) for a good explanation. Association plans.  The departments are directed to consider allowing insurance purchasers to form associations for the purpose of buying group insurance. Such  association plans could be sold across state lines  and might not be required to meet ACA standards. As a result, the plans would be less expensive,  attracting healthier people . Co