By Gina Macris
Two experts with broad experience in developmental disabilities will provide their perspectives on best practices Tuesday, Jan. 8 at the next meeting of the Rhode Island Senate commission studying “Project Sustainability,” the state’s much-criticized fee-for-service reimbursement system for private service providers.
Mary Lee Fay is executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS), based in Alexandria, VA.
William Ashe helped develop Vermont’s current “bundled” payment system. So-called “bundled” payments cover a defined set of services for a specific period of time. The system allows for individualized funding around each person’s unique needs, according to a description of the program Ashe wrote for the Vermont legislature in 2016. He is also involved in current efforts to update the Vermont payment system.
Ashe has experience in state government in Massachusetts and as a longtime private provider of developmental disability services in Vermont.
He has collaborated with the independent federal court monitor who is overseeing Rhode Island’s compliance with a 2014 federal consent decree intended to desegregate the state’s developmental disability service. Ashe has accompanied the monitor, Charles Moseley, on site visits and has written reports that have been incorporated into Moseley’s recommendations to the U.S. District Court.
Fay worked for much of her career for the state of Oregon, becoming director of developmental disabilities, a post she held for 11 years before she moved to NASDDDS in 2012. She is credited with leading the way for Oregon to become a leader in high quality services that allow adults with developmental disabilities more control over their lives.
For her first three years at NASDDDS, Fay focused on working with states to engage adults with developmental disabilities with their communities. She was named executive director in 2015.
Both Ashe and Fay were recommended to the commission by Moseley, the monitor in the consent decree case.
According to a spokeswoman for the commission chairman, Sen. Louis DiPalma, D-Middletown, Moseley said both speakers:
are familiar with the way different states manage services
are familiar with DD funding policies, practices, and requirements under Medicaid;
understand rates, rate setting, and provider billing processes;
understand the impact that funding has on the ability of individuals to live and experience full, productive, and integrated lives; and
understand approaches other states are using and lessons learned by their successes and challenges.
The Jan. 8 Commission meeting will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Senate Lounge at the State House.