News

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In Home Support Waiver Listening Sessions

November 6, 2019

 

The In Home Support (IHS) Waiver provides Family Support/Service Coordination, Enhanced Personal Care Services, Respite, Environmental & Vehicle Modifications and Consultative Services to New Hampshire’s eligible children. Every five years the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) requires that the states renew their Home and Community Based Care 1915 (c) waivers.


The Bureau of Developmental Services (BDS) is working with the Institute on Disability (IOD) to provide listening sessions for stakeholder engagement. BDS encourages people to participate in the listening sessions or to provide input by email or mail. Sharing what has worked and what needs attention helps inform waiver changes in the application that will be available for public comment in Spring 2020.



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National Survey Results on DSP Retention

October 24, 2019


Below is a link to a White Paper from Relias that may be beneficial to review as we continue to work on the work force challenges related to Direct Support Professionals. The overall goal of the survey was to gain a better understanding of how agencies can boost DSP retention. It was completed during July of 2019. There were 842 total responses that were received. It was distributed through social media, email and partner organizations including the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, The Arc of the United States and the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR).


Some of the questions are related to what do you like most/least about your job, how long have you worked as a DSP and at your current agency, what motivates you to continue this work, in addition to pay increases or benefits- what else is important to you that your employer could do the stay for the next five years, what do you need more training on, etc. 



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The Budget Has Passed!!!

September 26, 2019


On behalf of its members and the individuals and families they serve, Community Support Network, Inc. would like to extend a sincere thank you to New Hampshire’s policy makers for their work in passing the 2020-2021 biennium budget, and for continuing to fund the Developmental Disability Waitlist over the summer to ensure that individuals would receive the supports they need. These bipartisan efforts from the Senate, House, Fiscal Committee and the Governor’s office, culminated in the state budget being signed into law today. 


The state budget provides full funding for the Waitlist and ongoing service budgets, and an additional $250,000 for each year of the biennium for Early Supports and Services. The budget also includes the first Medicaid rate increase in thirteen years for the Developmental Services System, which will aid in helping to address the work force challenges that individuals and families are facing. 


The advocacy from individuals with disabilities and their families has been instrumental in this process. The legislature and the governor were able to hear about the importance of funding the waitlist and rate increases, and supported developmental services from the beginning to the end of this process. New Hampshire’s families are grateful for their dedication and understanding! 



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NH Medicaid's Care Management Special Open Enrollment

July 22, 2019


There are going to be three Medicaid Managed Care Organizations in the State of NH to choose from soon. If you are happy with your health care organization that you have now you do not need to do anything and your coverage will continue as usual. If you are not, below are some steps that you can take along with additional documents that can help explain the different plan options. 


For Medicaid Managed Care plan members:

  • Open enrollment is August 1 through August 30, 2019.
  • There are three Health Plans to choose from - AmeriHealth Caritas New Hampshire, NH Healthy Families, and Well Sense Health Plan.
  • Effective September 1, 2019, all of the Health Plans must use the State’s Preferred Drug List (PDL). Impacted current members will receive information from their Health Plans about how this impacts their prescriptions.
  • Effective September 1, 2019, members must use either the Family and Friends Mileage Reimbursement Program or public transportation for Non-Emergency Medical Transportation unless they qualify for a ride.  Plans rules are available in the new Member  Handbooks (on Plan websites by August 1).
  • Members will be able to change Health Plans one-time between September 1 and November 29 as a result of the State’s new Health Plan contracts.
  • New Member Handbooks (to be effective September 1, 2019) will be available on plan websites by August 1.
  • AmeriHealth Caritas New Hampshire’s website will be live Monday July 22.


For more information, contact the Medicaid Service Center (NH Only) at 1-888-901-4999 (TDD Access: 1-800-735-2964), Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET. 


There are some documents below to help with making your decision on the right health care plan for you. 


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Support Our Workforce

May 6, 2019


Today more than 50 organizations became united as one to express the importance of supporting our workforce. There was a press conference supported by the New Hampshire Health Care Workforce Coalition to bring attention to the Medicaid reimbursement rates, state loan repayment program, electronic background checks and more. SB 308 supports a 5% rate increase in the first fiscal year of the next budget and a 7% rate increase in the second year across all Medicaid providers. New Hampshire has not had a rate increase in more than a decade! Families, agencies and health care organizations are struggling to hire and retain qualified health care workers when they cannot pay a livable wage. There are more than 2,000 vacant positions across all health care sectors. Now is the time to invest in our health care workforce.  


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An Opportunity to Get Involved!

April 19, 2019


Every other year New Hampshire strategically develops a state budget for the next two years. That process typically begins in the fall and runs through June of the following year. The Governor developed his budget and delivered it to the House in February. The House held three public hearings and spent several hours through multiple work sessions making adjustments and now, it is onto the Senate. Through the public hearings we have an opportunity to help inform policy makers of things that are important to us in the budget.
 

Public hearings have been scheduled for the Senate and it is important that we have a strong turnout of support and advocate for the things that are important to us which could include full funding for developmental services, a rate increase to support hiring and retaining qualified staff, or the support of early supports and services, oral health care for adults and more.
 

What is important to you? Which public hearing will you be attending? 


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House Budget Hearings

March 21, 2019


Over the past two weeks the House Finance Committee held three public hearings that took place in Laconia, Milford and Concord. Combined, there was more than twelve hours of public testimony that was given on a variety of topics including developmental services, work force challenges, mental health, domestic violence, NH Legal Assistance, student loan debt and more. Those that attended in support of developmental services wore pink scarves, shirts and stickers to show support. 


The finance committee will hold work sessions over the next several weeks to work through details of the bill and propose any amendments to the Governor's proposed budget. It will then be crossed over to the Senate in mid-April and the Senate will hold a public hearing in late April or the beginning of May. To stay up to date on this process and when things are scheduled to happen you can visit the link below.


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Institute on Disability Receives Challenge Grant for an Inclusive College Program

January 3, 2019


"The Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the John Vance ACCESS Fund, a donor-advised fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, to support the implementation of the UNH-4U program, a new initiative providing an inclusive college experience to students with intellectual disabilities.  The IOD is currently seeking an additional $150,000 in matching contributions necessary to begin the admissions process for students."


To read the full press release visit the IOD webiste below. 


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Continue to Fully Fund the Waitlist

December 7, 2018


CSNI would like to take a moment to thank all of the families, staff providers and partner organizations that joined us at the rally on December 5, 2018 to highlight the importance of continuing to fully fund the Waitlist and services within the developmental disability system. CSNI and some of its members along with ABLE NH cosponsored the event. Wednesday was organization day for the legislators and they had a packed schedule all day. 


Thank you to Senator Bradley who was able to find time to speak to the group about the importance of staying involved. Thank you to all of the families who were able to take time out of their day to share their story and the impact that the waitlist has, had or could have on their family. We are happy that CSNI’s board president, Sandy Pelletier, was able to close the event with a positive message. 


The 2019 legislative session is about to begin. It is a budget year where the legislature will be crafting a new budget for the two years to follow. It is vitally important that families continue to share their stories. Meet with your state representatives and build a relationship with them. There are upwards of 1000 bills each legislative session. There will be bills that impact all of us. Let your voices be heard. 


To learn more about how to find and contact your legislators you can visit our contact your legislator page. 


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General Election Results

November 9 2018


The General Elections took place on November 6, 2018. New Hampshire saw significant changes in the NH House of Representatives, the State Senate and the NH Executive Council. Chris Sununu was re-elected as the Governor of New Hampshire for a second term.


To see the updated results following the election you can visit the Secretary of State website below. 


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NH DHHS Seeks Public Input, Announces Information Sessions for 10-year Mental Health Plan

 September 25, 2018


The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is seeking public input on the development of its Ten-Year Mental Health Plan (Plan). The Plan will provide a framework to anticipate and address the mental health needs of New Hampshire residents, and feedback from stakeholders and the public will inform the development of the Plan.


To provide opportunities for the individuals and their families, advocates, providers, and elected officials the opportunity to provide input on the Plan, DHHS is holding 6 public information sessions in September and October throughout the State. Each session is scheduled for 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. To see a full list of the locations of the six meetings scheduled around the state visit the link below. 


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2018 NH State Primary Election Results

September 15, 2018


The New Hampshire Primary Elections took place on September 11, 2018. The link below has the results of the election. Here you can find information related to State Senate, House and Gubernatorial. It also has results from US Congressional Districts. The General Election is Tuesday November 6, 2018. 


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NH to Receive $1.23 Million In Federal Support from US Department of Education

September 10, 2018


Vocational Rehabilitation mission is to assist eligible New Hampshire citizens with disabilities secure suitable employment and financial and personal independence by providing rehabilitation services. They have experienced financial challenges which has placed them in an order of selection.  To  learn more about the services that Vocational Rehab offers you get visit their site here.


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DHHS Expands Medicaid to Schools

September 5, 2018


DHHS recently announced that it has developed interim rules to support NH School districts receive Medicaid reimbusement for certain services provided by the schools to students with disabilities who are on an IEP or a 504 plan.  For more details, click the link below to the DHHS announcement.