Service Coordination Committee

Responsible for Service Coordination Forum : held annually in the spring

Meetings: As Necessary CHECK CALENDAR & BELOW

Carol Lincoln, Chair, Director of Medcaid Service Coordination, UCP NYC,, 718-859-5420 x 225

MDDC Meeting Minutes – 6/8/17

  1. Introductions were completed.


  1. Minutes from the last meeting were approved; if you would like to refer to past minutes, they are always available on the DD Council website: (


III.       Announcements :

See Flyers distributed at meeting



Program vacancy list is attached, along with information on Family Reimbursement.

NYC FAIR – Family Advocacy Information Resource

There will be a Town Hall Meeting with Jason Helgerson, NYS Medicaid Director on June 12, from 6-8pm. There will be a discussion of how the Medicaid Transformation impacts people with I/DD. See attached for more details and registration information, or go to Questions for Mr. Helgerson can be submitted prior to the meeting:


District 75 – DOE

The latest Travel Training newsletter is attached.


ADAPT Community Network – formerly UCP of New York City

Information for an upcoming free workshop on 6/16 on parenting children with autism spectrum disorder is attached. Call 718-436-7979 ext. 704, or email


Information is attached for service vacancies, including family reimbursement and free evals in Manhattan. Also see attached for a Parents With Special Needs program.

For more information about these programs, or the Autism Family Support Series, Autism parent support group, an Adult Yoga group, psychological evaluations, and all other services, call YAI Link at 212-273-6182, email or go to


Camp Oakhurst

See attached for information regarding out of home respite opportunities.


Peggy Groce

Marco announced the retirement of Peggy Groce and acknowledged the profound contributions she has made to the deliberations of the Council.


Marco showed a humorous/sad video entitled “An Easy Trip to Get a Bagel,” about the obstacles encountered by people who use wheelchairs in travel around NYC. You can access the video at


Presentation: Malik Abdur-Razzaq, Director, Marketing & Enrollment; Annrose Bacani, Marketing & Developmental Disabilities Information Specialist; Partners Health Plan

In view of the fact the Partners Health Plan (PHP) had presented previously to the DD Council, Malik did not go through the basic powerpoint but instead discussed aspects of the Plan that might be unfamiliar to us. Malik reminded us that PHP is a FIDA/IDD plan: a managed care plan specifically for OPWDD-eligible adults with both Medicaid and Medicare in the downstate region. PHP is the only plan in the nation providing managed care specifically for the I/DD population. PHP is a pilot precursor to mandatory managed care. In development for 5 years by downstate I/DD provider organizations, it meets the requirements of conflict free case management. Mandatory managed care will be implemented in 2022. Marco pointed out managed care is going to happen, and we need to be part of the discussion.


Benefits of PHP include: Care coordination. Large network of providers (PHP tripled amount of I/DD Medicaid providers). Care manager is a nurse and can arrange all hospital discharge needs (wheelchairs, rehab, etc.) unlike residential nurses. Nurses as well as families have access to the PHP nursing platform. Care coordinators are social workers. PHP now has a PAL program that connects a person with someone in the community who has similar likes (e.g., tennis, cooking, boxing); care coordinator makes the match. Plan can authorize new OPWDD services, home attendant services, self-direction budgets, and durable medical equipment without having to go to Front Door. Plan is responsible for recertifications. PHP covers certain items not covered under OPWDD (telemedicine, safety devices, tablets to prompt the person to take meds, certain communication devices, transportation by Logisticare to religious observances, shopping, etc.).


Providers are paid their full Medicare or Medicaid rate. Claims are paid within 13-18 days.

PHP reaches out to enroll doctors already serving people with I/DD. They have had good success in getting approval for brand-name medications: 99% approval.


Savings are expected to come from efficiencies over time. Current goal is to save ¼ of 1% over 5 years.


Please see attached powerpoint for more information.


  1. State News – Donna Limiti
  • High needs funding: template funding ends July 1 for new people. CMS has agreed to the OPWDD proposed methodology for high-needs funding, for additional staffing, for new people in residences. As of July 1 new people may apply for high-needs funding.
  • Respite: CMS has agreed on a fee structure for 5 respite groups. Transportation has been added to some of the groups. Providers must be sure to bill for the correct respite category. New rates roll out July 1. Agencies must submit a form to get retroactive transportation money for people already served.
  • RRL/CRO: RRL was a list of all who request residential services for any time in the future. CRO was a list of those needing placement imminently. OPWDD is now developing one spread sheet instead of two, which will indicate which people have immediate needs.
  • RFA for Care Coordination Organizations: a draft RFA will be circulated this month.
  • Group are working to address Self-Direction issues.
  1. City News – Sandra Piggee

No report given.


  1. IAC/Federation – Jim Malley

The IAC conference is June 8 and 9. Some IAC training sessions are on hold due to office renovations. A new IATS transportation agreement will be implemented in July. IAC staff continues working to oppose the proposed 911 legislation, which would require mandated persons to call 911 for every allegation of abuse or neglect. Work on next year’s budget is already underway.


VII. Committees

Family Support Services: Next meeting will be Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 10:00 am – noon, Sinergia, 2082 Lexington Ave., 4th floor. The topic will be special education advocacy, by Advocates for Children. Information: Yesenia Estrella (212) 643-2840 x 349;


Legislative: Lynn Decker explained that the Assembly Guardianship bill, to address constitutional issues of 17A guardianship, is not out of committee. The 911 bill (see above under IAC) seems to be moving. Jim Malley announced that the Manhattan Legislative Breakfast will be March 9, 2018. Next meeting to be announced. Information: Jim Malley (212) 928-5810 x 101;


Transition: Kathy Kelly announced that at the next committee meeting the focus will be on the June graduates and on topics for next year. Next meeting Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 9:30 am – noon, AHRC, 83 Maiden Lane, 11th floor Board Room. Information: Kathy Kelly (212) 780-2724;

Manhattan Family Support Services Advisory Council: Margaret Puddington reported that the Council met last week and had an outstanding presentation about medications that affect behavior, including what is known about medical marijuana, by Dr. Peter Della Bella, child and adult psychiatrist. Next meeting to be announced. Information: Margaret Puddington (212) 799-2042;


Service Coordination: Carol Lincoln reported that the annual forum was very well attended. There was an excellent presentation by Kate Bishop on the future of MSC. Marco expressed the Council’s appreciation of those who worked so hard on this event. The next meeting will be Friday, June 9, 2017, 10:00 am – noon, Contemporary Guidance Services, 52 Broadway, 4th floor. The topic will be Partners Health Plan. Information: Carol Lincoln (718) 859-5420 x 225;

VIII. New Business

Lynn Decker announced that the Housing Alliance will have recurrent meetings. Meetings so far have been productive. She also announced a rally today on behalf of the 400 families, some with I/DD, who use CDPAP for personal care from the agency Concepts for Independence. HRA has terminated its business relationship with Concepts with little notice given to families, who must now choose from a list of 10 (unfamiliar) agencies.

Elly Rufer asked for a volunteer or volunteers to help with DD Council electronic efforts. If interested, please contact her at











FSSAC Meeting Minutes – 5/17/17

  1. Announcements


Margaret Puddington explained that the Manhattan Family Support Services Advisory Council (MFSSAC) is a subcommittee of the Manhattan Developmental Disabilities (DD) Council.  The DD Council is made up of providers, government representatives, family members, and self-advocates.  The mission of the DD Council is to improve the lives of people with DD and their families.


The MFSSAC is made up of family members and self-advocates.  The mission of the MFSSAC is to inform families about new services and changes affecting services and to get input from families about their ideas regarding everything that affects the range of DD services.  We welcome new Manhattan families—of all ages and with all types of developmental disabilities.  We generally have a speaker at every meeting on a relevant topic relevant.  Please join us.


Families are also welcome at the DD Council and all its subcommittees.  The Family Support Services Committee discusses issues affecting services for families whose children are at home with them.  The Transition Committee discusses issues relating to the transition of students from school at age 21 to adult day services.  The Legislative Committee discusses critical advocacy issues that affect services for people with DD.  (See item 2 below).  The DD Council discusses current developments and challenges in the field, with reports from government representatives as well as the subcommittees.  The DD Council also has speakers on topics of interest to the DD community.



Family Support Services Committee
Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 10:00 am – noon
Sinergia, 2082 Lexington Ave., 4th floor
Information:  Yesenia Estrella (212) 643-2840 x 349;


Transition Committee
Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 9:30 am – noon
AHRC, 83 Maiden Lane, 11th floor Board Room
Information: Kathy Kelly (212) 780-2724;


Legislative Committee
Next meeting to be announced.
Information: Jim Malley (212) 928-5810 x 101;


DD Council
Thursday, June 8, 2017, at 9:30 am – noon
SNACK, 316 East 53rd Street
Information: Marco Damiani (212) 947-5770 x 456;


Next Manhattan Family Support Services Advisory Council
Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 5:30-7:30 pm
Topic: Medications That Can Improve Challenging Behaviors, by Dr. Peter Della Bella, psychiatrist
Birch Family Services, 104 West 29th Street (between 6th and 7th Aves.), 2nd floor training room
Information: Margaret Puddington (212) 799-2042


  1. Important Advocacy Issues – Margaret Puddington

Unlike school, which is an entitlement that is guaranteed to children, services for people with DD are not an entitlement.  Even if you qualify for DD services, there is no guarantee you will get them.  If there is a shortage of services or a shortage of funds, families may have trouble getting needed or desired services.

It is important for families to understand a little about the funding for services for people with DD and about legislation that could impact the funding.  Over the past decades DD services in New York State have been relatively robust.  Part of the reason is that this field has always had strong advocacy not only from providers and the state but also from family members.  We families have been effective advocates for securing new funding and holding on to existing funding.  Families have gotten new services developed and prevented budget cuts.  We don’t always win, especially in the last decade, but we are successful a good deal of the time.

One critical advocacy issue is to raise the salaries of direct service professionals (DSPs), the people who provide hands-on care to our children.  The field is experiencing real difficulties in recruiting and retaining DSPs because of the low salaries for this important work.  We just recently achieved some success is gaining a small increase in DSP salaries, but it is not nearly enough to make a significant difference in hiring and keeping staff.  It is essential that we continue advocating for higher salaries in the coming years.

The other extremely critical issue we are facing now has to do with Medicaid funding.  First, some background information:

New York State has a comprehensive menu of services for people with DD: family support services and respite services, which you’ll hear about today, as well as residential services and adult day services of various types.  The services are delivered through the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.  Some services are paid for exclusively with state dollars—many family support services are paid that way.  Other services are paid for by Medicaid waiver dollars, a mix of federal and state dollars.  Medicaid pays for over 90% of services for people with DD.

Right now an effort is underway by President Trump and Paul Ryan, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, to do away with Obamacare and replace it with a new version of health care.  A big piece of the restructuring is Medicaid.  Medicaid is very expensive, and the new administration wants to cut costs by making it a block grant to states or a per-capita grant.  Regardless of the details, what it means is that either way states would get a fixed amount of money and no more.  It is basically a way to cut Medicaid funds by cutting the amount that states would receive.  If there were to be a big cut to Medicaid, services for our children would be limited; some services could be eliminated altogether.  This is a huge threat to our children.

Why is this important?   Because all of us need DD services.  All of us are in that same boat.  If we want that boat to float, we must take responsibility to advocate.  People who attend MFSSAC meetings will  be able to stay informed of the most critical advocacy issues via e-mail alerts to make phone calls or send e-mails or come to rallys.  Please respond to those alerts.  It’s up to us to preserve what we have.  Nobody will do it for us.  If we don’t step up, nobody will.

Elly Rufer provided the first such alert:  NYC Fair, a family advocacy group, is holding a meeting with Jason Helgerson, Monday, June 12, 6-8 pm, in Manhattan.  Helgerson, is the NYS Medicaid Director.  This is a huge opportunity that such a key person is coming to meet with families. It’s important to have a huge turnout for this meeting, to impress Helgerson with the numbers of families who care so deeply about preserving Medicaid funding for our children’s services.  Please see the attached flier for details about the meeting.

  1. Speaker: Janet Davis, OPWDD: An Overview of Services for Families Whose Children Live at Home

Janet Davis is the Family Support Services Liaison for Manhattan OPWDD.  Janet explained that the family support services program started in 1984.  At that time Manhattan had 20 programs; now there are over 100 programs.  Family support services are a variety of services to support families in keeping their child at home.

To receive OPWDD services, the individual must be OPWDD-eligible:

  • The individual must have DD (including intellectual disability, neurological impairment, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and similar conditions) AND
  • The onset of the disability occurred before age 22 AND
  • The disability must be likely to continue indefinitely or be lifelong.

To document the disability, the person must submit a psychological evaluation, a psychosocial evaluation, and a medical evaluation.  School psychologicals do not usually contain the needed information.

The first step for people who need services but are new to OPWDD is to call the Front Door.  The Front Door will determine the person’s eligibility, assess what services are needed, and authorize needed services.  The Manhattan Front Door can be reached at 646-766-3220.

Janet recommended that while trying to access needed services, families get a small notebook and keep a record of their calls: whom did you speak to, what was the subject of the call/meeting, what did they say.  This will help families to keep track of their contacts because over time, conversations, names, etc., can be forgotten.

Janet discussed the Manhattan Family Support Services Directory.  This info-filled directory can be found on the website of the Manhattan DD Council:  On that site, press Menu, then Resources, then FSS Directory.  Janet pointed out that the Directory contains a useful list of acronyms, and a listing of general resources.  She explained that the Directory is divided by types of program (for example: Advocacy, Recreation, Respite), with definitions of each type of program.  All the programs provided through OPWDD are free.  Other programs are also included in the Directory, and some of those have fees. Janet explained the different types of programs and gave examples of each. She encouraged the families to go home and explore the Directory for what they need.  She especially suggested that families read about the “population served” and “description of services” to see which are appropriate for their child.  Each program is different: some serve adults, some serve children, some serve people who are independent, some serve people with behavioral challenges.

Janet can be reached at 646-766-3330 or

Please see the attachments for additional announcements. MFSSAC handouts May 2017