November 7, 2016  

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Final Report: Outcome Data Project

In 2005, OACCA was a pioneer in developing one of the first software systems in the country for child welfare and behavioral health outcome management. The Outcomes Data Project was an innovative solution to support agencies' abilities to measure their program performance and provide an objective basis for clinical and financial decision making.  

The project concluded earlier this summer after nine years of operation.  We are now able to share a final report of the project, which features key data findings of the 7,688 admissions of children to various out-of-home care programs provided by 22 child and family service agencies.  View the report.

ODJFS Leadership Change

Dan Shook Becomes Child Welfare Director

Last month, ODJFS announced that Dan Shook, Assistant Deputy Director, was promoted to Deputy Director for the Office of Families and Children.  Dan will succeed Jennifer Justice who recently resigned to become a Vice President of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.  

Dan has been a partner to OACCA and our member agencies for two decades.  Most recently, we worked with Dan on HB 50 implementation, development of the Master Contract, and formation of the CANS Level of Care pilot project.  

We look forward to working with Dan in his new capacity as state child welfare director.  Top on our list of priorities with ODJFS is to finally get the deemed status initiative on track for implementation.  Feel free to send him a congratulatory email at

HB 50 Implementation Planning

Foster Care to 21

Thank you to the 180 advocates who participated in the "Ready to Launch: HB 50 Implementation Symposium" last month.  It was a very successful event.  OACCA provided a report from Ohio Fostering Connections which included the Task Force's Implementation Recommendations for ODJFS.  ODJFS provided a status report of HB 50 implementation.  A panel of providers explained how they provide transitional services today, and how they may in the future under the HB 50 program.  A CEO of a California agency explained how his agency serves foster youth through age 21 under their version of HB 50.  And finally, several foster youth and alumni spoke about their experiences aging out and how they envision HB 50 being successfully implemented.

ODJFS is aggressively planning implementation of the expanded Title IV-E entitlement program.  The department has formed an advisory council to advise them on implementation issues.  OACCA is represented on the Council by Mark MecumGeoff Hollenbach of Lighthouse Youth Services, and Jenny Gottfried of The Village Network. The Council's first meeting will be held on November 15.

Medicaid Re-Design Update

State Workgroup Meets

A month ago, the Department of Medicaid convened the Behavioral Health Re-Design Workgroup to make announcements about the Re-Design.  Key points from the meeting include:
  • Director John McCarthy of the Department of Medicaid announced that his Administration is “done” with the Re-Design “project" and is not open to re-visiting their rate-setting methodology for the new services.  
  • The budget model for the Re-Design has swelled to about $42 million in new spending. 
  • The state may drop the supervisor NPI requirement on Medicaid claims submitted by supervised practitioners.
The latest version of the rate spreadsheet can be accessed here.  Unfortunately, an updated version of the Provider Manual is still not available.  Finally, the latest version of the state's "201" training presentation on the Re-Design can be viewed here.

New Respite Care Benefit Moves Forward

Last month we reported that the Department of Medicaid is revising an existing in-home respite Medicaid benefit for children with disabilities to make it also available for out-of-home respite care for children with behavioral health conditions (excluding foster children).  The State is still on track to mandate each Medicaid Managed Care Plan to make this benefit available to eligible children and nationally accredited OMHAS certified providers on 1/1/17

There are still major problems with the draft respite care rule.  We are concerned that few providers would be able to leverage this new Medicaid benefit to the children they serve.  The benefit would pay for respite services provided by the agency's employees -- and therefore would not fund payment for caregivers who provide home-based overnight respite services, unless those caregivers were trained employees of the provider agency.  The Department of Medicaid recognizes and appreciates these barriers and expressed willingness to open the rule back up for revisions next year after it is implemented.

Please read the latest bulletin from the state on this new Medicaid service.  The state is requesting interested providers to provide them basic information about their agency and plans to deliver respite care.

201 Trainings & MCO Forums Continue

OMHAS and the Department of Medicaid have been leading a series of Medicaid Re-Design "201" trainings around the state to inform providers and stakeholders about the major changes underway.  The Medicaid MCOs have also been holding their own forums for community mental health agencies to learn about managed care and the "carve in" process which occurs on 1/1/18.  There are three more 201 trainings scheduled (11/14 in Zanesville, 11/15 in Canton, and 11/21 in Columbus/Reynoldsburg).  You can register online.  There are also three more MCO forums scheduled (11/8 in Columbus, 11/10 in Athens, 11/15 in Maumee).  Registration links are available here.

Member News

LHS Family & Youth Services Changes Name

TOLEDO, Ohio, October 18, 2016 – In a morning ceremony unveiling a new sign at its Ministry Support (corporate) office, Lutheran Homes Society, one of the area’s largest nonprofit providers of senior housing and services, officially changed its name to Genacross Lutheran Services. 

“Our new name reflects our expanding breadth of services,” said Rick Marshall, President/CEO of Genacross Lutheran Services. “It represents our promise to embrace changes in ourselves and our services whenever they enable us to serve those in and around northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan better.”

The name change came about after months of research and planning. The name, which was approved by the Board of Directors late this summer, acknowledges the fact that the 156-year-old organization, which began serving orphans and then seniors, has expanded its care and services in order to remain a viable and effective provider in today’s changing health care environment. 

“Today, Genacross Lutheran Services touches the lives of people of every age, across many generations,” Mr. Marshall explained. The organization’s services include youth care and treatment, family counseling, home health, inpatient and outpatient therapy, mental health counseling, community services, affordable housing, adult day services, and senior living options.

Genacross Lutheran Services continues to operate under the same leadership and with the same Board of Directors. The organizational structure has not changed, and the organization maintains the support of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and nearly 170 Lutheran congregations across the region. 

As a ministry of Lutheran Homes Society, moving forward, LHS Family & Youth Services will be known as Genacross Family & Youth Services.

White House Releases Parity Recommendations

Mental Health & Addiction Services

The White House Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force recently released its recommendations for improving the implementation of the federal parity law. The Task Force report details the Obama Administration’s parity implementation activities undertaken throughout the last eight years, outlines new resources available as of today, and offers a number of recommendations for future action. 

Among the Task Force’s recommendations for future action are:
  • Increasing federal support for state efforts to enforce parity. Among planned activities are $9.3 million in grant awards to states to support parity implementation; and two State Parity Policy Academies designed to help state officials advance strategies for parity compliance drawing on lessons learned from other states.
  • Developing additional examples of how non-quantitative treatment limitations (such as prior authorization decisions based on medical necessity) are regulated by the parity law. The Task Force notes that it will release an updated version of its “Warning Signs” document identifying potentially problematic cases of NQTLs. 
  • Increasing federal agencies’ capacity to audit health plans, including Medicaid MCOs, for parity violations. 

Richland County Breaks Ground on Transitional Age Youth Apartments

From the OMHAS E-Update

State Rep. Mark Romanchuk and Joe Trolian, executive director of the Richland County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, break ground on an eight-unit apartment complex that will house Mansfield-area youths as they transition out of the foster care system. (Photo Credit: Emily Dech, Richland Source)

In late September, Richland County officials gathered to break ground on an eight-unit, 6,500 square-foot apartment complex for transitional aged youth. The complex will serve young people aged 18-24.

Tenants, who will be able to live rent-free for the first 90 days, will learn skills that they may not have gained during their childhood. The project will fill a big gap in local services.

“This has easily been seven years in the making and we’re pretty excited to see it actually come to fruition,” said Joe Trolian, executive director of the Richland County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board. “We wanted to be able to come up with a space where we could teach individuals all those transitional age skills that most of us were taught by our parents.”

The project is estimated to cost around $1 million, which will be paid for by a $500,000 state grant and $500,000 in local funds from the Board. Officials hope to complete the project by May.


New Member Benefit

CompanyMileage specializes in reducing mileage reimbursement costs for home visit organizations and non-profits. Our web-based solution replaces employee self-reported mileage with point-to-point mileage calculations reducing mileage costs an average of 25%.

OACCA member agencies will benefit from cost-savings services from CompanyMileage as well as receive a 10% discount on their mileage and expense reimbursement solutions.  The discount applies to new and existing customers of CompanyMileage.

 See a demo at

CompanyMileage developed an automated web-based technology that accurately verifies employee mileage & manages the reimbursement process thus providing companies with significant savings on mileage reimbursement.

For more information, visit CompanyMileage's website or contact: Matt Harshfield at 877.677.0377 ext 203 or

Early Thanksgiving Dinners

For Foster Youth, Alumni, Supporters

For the past nine years, Thanksgiving has been a time for Ohio foster care youth, alumni and allies/adult supporters to gather together and share our voices, insights, talents, abilities and goals for the future.

We welcome current foster care youth age 14+, and former foster care youth ages 18+ attend.  Youth and alumni are welcome to bring one or more guests; please include them in your RSVP.

Registration is free, but required.


Funding Opportunities

Newspaper Articles

Reports & Resources

Committee Calendar

  • Foster Care and Adoption: 11/8 @ The Village Network Columbus w/ a special presentation on the heroin crisis by the Executive Director of PCSAO
  • Behavioral Health: 11/10 @ OACCA
  • Residential Center and Group Home: 12/1 @ OACCA
  • Learning Community for Seclusion and Restraint Prevention: 11/16 @ OACCA
All OACCA members are welcome to attend committee meetings.  Sign up for a committee by informing Carolyn.
Copyright © 2016 Ohio Children's Alliance, All rights reserved.

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