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DDS Service Modernization Initial Recommendations presentation: October 2023

Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) contracted with the consulting firm Alvarez and Marsal (A&M) in October 2022. DDS asked A&M to advise us on how we can best modernize DDS services to better meet the needs of people currently on DDS’s waiver program, in addition to people coming off the waitlist. This work is building off DDS’ already strong foundation of keeping pace with an ever-evolving service and support system. A&M conducted extensive stakeholder engagement, reviewed current waiver services and structures, assessed national leading practices to look at options and opportunities for Oklahoma to replicate, and processed and analyzed data to ultimately customize recommendations to improve access, services, and quality. 

We also encourage you to leave feedback and ask questions as we continue to work together on these efforts moving forward. 

The following is an overview of the initial recommendations for next steps:

  • Workforce strategies include launching recruitment campaigns to add DDS staff, staff for our community providers, and increase the overall number of providers across Oklahoma; retention of staff; a historic rate increase for providers in 2022; and a study of vacancy data.
  • Improve Information and Access by expanding on partnership with state agencies and ensuring better representation in print and web materials. DDS continues a concerted effort to make information easier to find and access, as well as offering navigation efforts through Liberty to help connect families with resources in their communities. DDS offers in-person information events including quarterly regional family meetings to help introduce waitlist families to DDS services and supports and hosts two-day Wellspring events for families who are currently receiving waiver services to help connect them with resources and to foster family mentorship. 
  • Increase Stakeholder Engagement by creating an Advisory Committee of those with lived experience to help guide and implement services and supports to modernize the system and by creating stakeholder groups for specific topics. DDS currently communicates consistently with providers through routine meetings, and with families through email newsletters and is working to further expand these efforts

  • In Self-Direction, DDS plans to add pre-vocational and transportation as service options. We are also creating an online searchable goods and services directory on the DDS website, and adding person-centered planning as a goods and services option.
  • Allow Legally Responsible Individuals (spouses and parents of minor children) as paid caregivers.
  • To incentivize Competitive Integrated Employment, DDS will evaluate value-based payments and expand their use, as well as research work-from-home and self-employment policy modifications.
  • For Residential Supports, DDS will expand transportation options, in-home support options, and partner with the Housing Authority to increase access to affordable housing.
  • To improve Crisis Services, DDS will develop a formal crisis intervention plan by assessing strategies, experiences, and barriers, which will lead to developing a crisis continuum and therapeutic stabilization options. 
  • DDS is going to expand access to Healthcare Coordination as a waiver service available to people in non-residential placements. 

  • Increase Data Transparency by sharing relevant data on the DDS website.
  • Expand the use of Quality Metrics to align quality review with individual and family wants. DDS’ goal for data-driven decisions aligns with quality services of tomorrow. 
  • Modernize Training by increasing competency-based training to SDS and families and conducting a review of the trainings offered to DSPs to eliminate outdated or redundant content. Training efforts will focus on increasing access to comprehensive, competency-based training for all caregivers, including family members and those in self-directed services. Special attention will be given to training on quality assurance, using data to improve services for people.  DDS is also working to allow providers to train physical management courses in lieu of DDS staff providing the training.  
Last Modified on Nov 15, 2023
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