ABI Waiver

June 2017

HB 7190.  AN ACT CONCERNING MEDICAID PROVIDER AUDITS AND ELECTRONIC VISIT VERIFICATION.    To ensure the efficiency and responsiveness of programs administered by the Department of Social Services.  Signed by Governor Malloy 6/27/17.  Effective Date 7/1/17.  

February 2017

Change to Unit of Measure for 1546P – Independent Living Skills Training 

The Department of Social Services (DSS) has made the policy decision to change the unit of measure for procedure code 1546P - Independent Living Skills Training (ILST) from per hour to per 15 minute.  This change will be effective March 1, 2017 and affect all 1546P services performed on date of service March 1, 2017 forward.  On March 1, 2017 Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) providers will see that 1546P prior authorizations (PA) have been modified on the www.ctdssmap.com portal and in the Santrax system to reflect the change to the unit of measure.  Information copied directly from CTDSSMAP website. 

November 2016

From DSS CT Medical Assistance Programs Notifications:  Finalized Implementation Dates for Non-medical and Home Health Services 

The Department of Social Services has finalized the implementation dates for the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) program.  The implementation date for non-medical services is January 1, 2017 and Home Health related services is February 1, 2017.  Providers have been successfully using the EVV system and DSS strongly recommends that providers who have not yet begun to use it, do so prior to the implementation dates. 

October 2016

Watch for a letter from UConn about the ABI waiver participant survey! This fall, UConn Health, Center on Aging is interviewing ABI waiver participants on behalf of the Department of Social Services. A UConn researcher will call participants to ask about their experiences with waiver services. This is your opportunity to let your voice be heard and give honest feedback to DSS regarding your waiver experience and your satisfaction levels.  Whether you choose to participate in the survey and how you answer the questions will not influence your waiver services in any way. If you wish to speak to someone about the survey, please call Martha Porter at UConn at 1-877-773-6158.

Notice of Intent to Review the Acquired Brain Injury Waiver-Posted on DSS website Tuesday August 28, 2016

In accordance with the provisions of section 17b-8 of the Connecticut General Statutes, notice is hereby given that the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services (DSS) intends to renew the Acquired Brain Injury Waiver. The current waiver expires on December 31, 2016.  There are no changes to eligibility, services or rates.  The only changes to this waiver pertain to routine operational issues. 
A complete text of the waiver renewal and amendment is available, at no cost, upon request to the Community Options Unit, Department of Social Services, 55 Farmington Ave., Hartford, Connecticut 06105; or via email to shirlee.stoute@ct.gov.   

Draft Application for CT ABI Waiver 1 with CMS approval start date of January 1, 2017

Updated Statewide Transition Plan for ABI Waiver Alignment with the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Final Regulation Setting Requirements August 2016

The Department is reviewing all the state's Medicaid wavier programs for compliance with the federal Home and Community Based settings requirements.  The state will file a report with Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) regarding the state's evaluation of the existing waiver program and how each setting meets or does not meet the federal HCB setting requirement. Public comment period has ended.

State of CT Regulation of Department of Social Services Concerning The Acquired Brain Injury Waiver Program

The link above is to the new ABI Waiver Operational Policy that will become effective on July 1, 2016. This Operational Policy will supercede the current ABI Waiver Operating Policy, which is often referred to as the ABI Waiver Regulations, and which have been effective since April 1, 2013. Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 17b-10, the Department is permitted to, and intends to operate under these new rules beginning July 1, while in the process of adopting them as regulations. The new operational policy/proposed regulation, and Notice of Intent, were posted on both the state's ERegulations website and the Department of Social Service website. 

ABI and ABI II Waiver: Transition of Case Management Services June 1, 2016

Effective June 1, 2016 the case management services that were provided through the Social Work staff at the Department of Social Services and/or other providers, will by provided by agencies contracted with DSS.  The agencies that are contracted to provide Case Management to ABI Waiver participants are Southwestern CT Area Agency on Aging, Western CT Area Agency on Aging, and CT Community Care. The agency that provides the case management services will be determined by the participants' city/town of residence. Participants or their representative will be contacted by the case management service provider to schedule a home visit to initiate the transition and share additional information on the care management services that will be provided.

For questions or need for additional information about the transition please contact:
Amy Dumont, LCSW, 860.424.5173, amy.dumont@ct.gov
Beth Carangelo, RN, 860.424.5098, beth.carangelo@ct.gov
Charlaine Ogren, LCSW, 860.424.5485, charlaine.ogren@ct.gov

March 2016- ABI Waiver II Wait List and Availability of Slots Update

There have been ongoing concerns raised about how the ABI Waiver II wait list and slots are managed-in terms of availability and access.   

BIAC Position:  It is the opinion of the Brain Injury Alliance of CT that the Department of Social Services (DSS) has a responsibility to aggressively move forward in meeting their obligation to fulfill the mandates of the ABI Waiver II for filling the approved slots as outlined in the CMS approved application.  While we recognize that at the current time DSS reports significant limitations in resources, we have the expectation that they will identify and commit to a plan of resolution immediately as a high priority.   BIAC Letter to Richard McGreal, CMS March 11, 2016.

Previous Developments

In an effort to update interested parties regarding discussions pertaining to ongoing dialogue in the brain injury community about ABI Waiver II slots, following is a link to a sequence of written correspondence between Elaine Burns, DSS Commissioner Roderick Bremby and DSS Deputy Commissioner Kathleen Brennan for your review. This is being done with the permission from all parties. Correspondence Sequence ABI Waiver II Slots

Disclaimer: It is the intent of the Brain Injury Alliance of CT (BIAC) to provide community members with the most updated information possible regarding current issues, including the ABI Waiver Program.  This is provided within our effort towards full disclosure, transparency, and within the full context of the larger picture.  BIAC fully recognizes that various people and entities within this dialogue may have different perspectives, opinions, and interpretations specific to the waiver program guidelines under CMS. While we put forth the totality of these discussions, BIAC does not share agreement on all points.

On January 13, 2016:  OPM Secretary Benjamin Barns and Department of Social Services Commissioner Roderick Bremby responded to Elaine Burns with the following letter.  DSS/OPM Joint Response Letter 

On January 6, 2016:  HCBS Program Director Kathy Bruni sent the following letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)  Letter to CMS from Kathy Bruni at DSS (as referenced in letter posted above).

ABI Waiver II

In May 2014 the ABI Waiver II bill passed by consent. HB5402 was signed by the Governor June 2014. The application was submitted to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for final revisions and approval. CMS approved the application which became effective December 1, 2014.

CMS Letter of Approval for ABI Waiver II

Application for ABI Waiver II

For clarification or questions regarding the ABI Waiver Program please contact:

Kathy Bruni, Division Director
Department of Social Services
Phone: 860.424.5177
Email: Kathy.a.bruni@ct.gov

ABI Waiver Advisory Committee was established by Public Act No. 14-150

For questions contact Kayleigh Royston at  Kayleigh.royston@cga.ct.gov


Please contact the Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut — general@biact.org or call 860.219.0291 with any questions.