Disability Waiver Redesign Raises Concerns

A proposed redesign of Wyoming's Medicaid waivers for those with disabilities has raised concerns among those who provide and receive services under the existing program.

Four Sheridan County legislators heard the concerns Monday night during what Representative Rosie Berger called a “listening session” at the Sheridan County Senior Center.

In addition to Berger, others at the two-hour event included representatives Kathy Coleman and John Patton, and Senator John Schiffer.

The redesign of the Medicaid waivers is mandated by the Senate Enrolled Act 82 passed by the Wyoming Legislature earlier this year. Berger said the redesign is intended to streamline and reduce costs to those currently on the adult waiver program, so services and benefits can be offered to more people.

Officials with the Wyoming Department of Health say the redesign will optimize services for current clients while extending services to people who are currently on a waiting list. But many service providers say the redesign will disrupt the lives of their clients.

Berger said there is also concern because the measure reduces compensation for respite care. Department of Health officials say the revision could eliminate long-time case managers and providers, and replace them with regional case managers as one way to free funds for those currently on the waiting list for services.

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