Texas applied for federal funds this summer for the Balancing Incentive Program to increase access to Medicaid community-based, long-term services and supports and a related program to expand the state’s network of Aging and Disability Resource Centers. The state currently has 14 ADRCs which serve 73 counties and work to make it easier for people to learn about and access services. Funding is authorized under the Affordable Care Act of 2010 for both BIP and the ADRC expansion.
The Balancing Incentive Program
The state’s BIP application has four main components which are intended to simplify the process to access quality LTSS that allow individuals to live in their own homes and communities with dignity. These will:
- Create a no wrong door/single entry point approach for LTSS eligibility determination and enrollment. This includes expanding the number of ADRCs around the state, creating a website and a toll-free number where people can get information about community LTSS options in Texas, request additional information and schedule appointments at local ADRCs for initial assessments.
- Develop a coordinated system that guides individuals through functional and financial eligibility determination.
- Ensure the state’s main assessment instruments capture meaningful information. This includes enhancing telephone and in-person screening capabilities, modifying current assessment tools and exploring the option of creating a new assessment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Provide conflict-free case management across the state’s LTSS programs by requiring that separate entities provide eligibility determinations, case management and direct services.
Texas submitted its application for the BIP program on June 29, 2012. The state has until the end of December to submit a three-year work plan that describes BIP milestones for reaching its goals. The Department of Aging and Disability Services is coordinating the state’s BIP activities, with some already underway.
Aging and Disability Resource Centers
In conjunction with applying for BIP, Texas applied for federal funds in July to enhance services provided by ADRCs and to create more. DADS hopes to know by the end of August if the state will receive these funds. The application includes two parts:
- An enhanced, statewide ADRC Options Counseling Program where counselors work with individuals and/or their caregivers to empower and support them in making their own, person-centered decisions on long-term services and support needs, resources, finances and planning. The ADRC system will serve all LTSS populations and payers, including individuals with physical disabilities, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, family caregivers, and seniors with functional impairments. A related application would expand home and community-based services for veterans plus counseling on their options.
- A supplemental opportunity to sustain the ADRC Options Counseling Program over time, in conjunction with transforming health systems.
For more information on ADRCs in Texas, visit the Department of Aging and Disability Services website.