The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) has been involved in some substantial statewide changes as of late. The introduction of electronic visit verification has forced both independent and agency waiver providers to change how they track and bill their services.
However, additional initiatives are also in works. Ohio DODD is in the process of developing a standardized format for individual service plans (ISPs) across the state. They are developing a statewide, uniform template for ISPs which could be used by all individuals who receive services in the Ohio developmental disabilities system.
What is an Individual Service Plan?
According to the American Psychological Association, an individual service plan is the main design or blueprint of services and supports for a person with a developmental disability. The specific details of these plans vary from state to state, but they are created by professionals, paraprofessionals, the person receiving the services as well as other concerned parties such as advocates and family members.
A well-constructed ISP includes relevant, comprehensive assessment findings, desired and preferred outcomes. Well organized ISPs also identify the full range of services and supports to be provided in order to achieve these outcomes. Ideally, individual service plans are person-centered and focus on the needs of the individual receiving the services.
A good individual service plan, sometimes called an individual support plan, clearly states what things are the most important for an individual with developmental and intellectual disabilities. This helps everyone who is involved in developing the plan to clearly understand what is important. Some key elements that create high-quality individual service plans are:
- Displays the individual’s unique abilities.
- Clearly displays the individual’s preferences and personal choices.
- Has realistic, specific and measurable goals.
Modern ISPs must provide for the detailed tracking of specific goals, objectives and individual skills. At the same time, ISPs should also include data collection, goal tracking and report generation. In addition, these modern plans should be secure and HIPAA compliant.
The Role of County Boards and Service Coordinators:
In the state of Ohio, the state-wide county boards and service coordinators have a substantial influence on the ISP process. County boards identify and assist residents in their counties who need supported living services. Ohio legal code states that during this process, county boards will also help individuals develop an individual service plan.
When developing the ISP, the individuals are allowed to choose a residence that is appropriate according to local standards, the individual’s wishes and roommates or housemates (if any). An ISP also lists the services needed in order to live in an individual’s residence of choice. In a similar fashion, plans will mention the service providers from which the services will be received. The choices available to an individual shall be based on available resources.
An individual service plan for supported living is effective for a defined period of time which is agreed to by the county board and the individual. In determining this time period, the county board and the individual shall consider the nature of the services to be provided and the manner in which they are customarily provided.
A crucial and necessary part of this process is the individual’s service coordinator. If individuals, or their guardians, who are eligible for services wish to choose a waiver provider, they should inform their assigned service coordinator. A service coordinator will then schedule an individual service plan meeting in order to plan specific waiver services. During this process, they will complete an ISP/Payment Authorization for Waiver Services (PAWS) and set a start date for services to start.
Ohio Individual Service Plan Templates:
Beyond the previously mentioned rules, there is actually considerable variability in ISPs across the state of Ohio. Some observers argue that a single template or universal form is needed in order to standardize the process and deliver more consistent HCBS waiver services.
With this goal in mind, the Ohio DODD has developed the OISP workgroup. The term OISP workgroup stands for Ohio individual service plan workgroup. The group’s objective is to create a common, statewide ISP and assessment template.
The hope is to produce a standardized process that will generate more clarity and can easily be replicated and readily used by individuals across the state.
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