Did you know that the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver program in North Dakota permits the state to furnish an array of services to help beneficiaries live in the community? It does, and is approved under authority of §1915(c) of the Social Security Act, and is known as the Traditional IID/DD Home and Community Based Services Waiver. The best part is that within the scope of what the HCBS waiver can provide, assistive technology (AT) devices and services can be covered!
There are two sections of the waiver that identify AT as an additional covered service. Both are found in Appendix C: Participant Services C-1/C-3: Service Specification which begins on page 54 of the document link provided in the first paragraph.
The first section of the HCBS waiver that covers AT is found under Environmental Modifications on pages 55-58 of the document link in paragraph one. These modifications can include the use of AT, and the service covers purchases, installation, and as necessary, the repair of these home modifications. A sampling of the home modifications covered include ramps, grab bars, handrails, lifts, elevators, roll-in shower, sink modifications, bathtub modifications, water faucet control, widening of doorways/hallways, adding turnaround space, and provision of a wide range of specialized accessibility/safety devices like automatic doors, specialized alarms and electronic devices to control the participant’s home environment.
The second section of the HCBS waiver that covers AT is found under Equipment and Supplies on pages 59-61 of the document link in paragraph one, and covers AT devices and services.
The waiver identifies AT as including:
- the evaluation of the assistive technology needs of a participant, including a functional evaluation of the impact of the provision of appropriate assistive technology and appropriate services to the participant in the customary environment of the participant;
- services consisting of purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices for participants;
- services consisting of selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
- coordination and use of necessary therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as therapies, interventions, or services associated with other services in the service plan;
- training or technical assistance for the participant, or, where appropriate, the family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives of the participant; and
- training or technical assistance for professionals or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of participant.