OKLAHOMA CITY – Assessments began on Wednesday, Sept. 1 that will ultimately enable the state to eliminate the waiting list for developmental disability home and community-based services. That’s according to Sen. Paul Rosino, vice chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, and Senate Appropriations Chair Roger Thompson, who have been working with the Department of Human Services (DHS) to address the issue.
Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, said Liberty Healthcare of Oklahoma has now begun case-by-case assessments to determine individual needs and the costs of getting the nearly 6,000 Oklahomans on the waiting list the services they need.
“With these assessments, for the first time, the Legislature will be able to determine the cost for eliminating that waiting list for Oklahomans who need support to live, work and thrive in communities throughout our state,” Rosino said. “We’re also providing families service navigation to connect them immediately to services currently available while they are waiting.”
Thompson said beginning the assessments was a huge step forward on behalf of thousands of Oklahomans and their families who’ve been waiting for services, and applauded Rosino for his work.
“This was a priority for me this past session as well. Thanks to the visions of DHS, we will be able to serve those who need it most in a more efficient, timely manner,” Thompson said. “Our job at the capitol is to help the people of Oklahoma, and that is exactly what was done thanks to the leadership of Senator Rosino and his passion for helping the developmentally disabled.”
Secretary of Human Services and Early Childhood Initiatives Justin Brown underscored the importance of beginning the assessments.
“We are on fire to eliminate the waiting list for Oklahomans with developmental disabilities,” Brown said. “In addition to the contract with Liberty, we have contracted for a new case management service, issued a request for proposal (RFP) for analysis of a healthy rate structure to ensure people can get the services they need, and will soon issue an RFP for consultation by a national expert to help us modernize our overall service array to better meet the needs and expectations of self-advocates and families.”
DHS Chief of Staff and Operations Samantha Galloway said support has never been greater for eliminating the waiting list.
“The plan is bold and incredibly ambitious, but we are committed to staying the course and pushing hard to do right by Oklahoma families,” Galloway said. “Eliminating the waiting list isn’t the end goal. The end goal is supporting people with developmental disabilities to be served in a way that they believe gives them a good life and empowers them to be valued members of their families and communities.”
For more information, contact:
Sen. Roger Thompson at 405-521-5588 or email Roger.Thompson@oksenate.gov
Sen. Paul Rosino at 405-521-5618 or email Paul.Rosino@oksenate.gov