DoHS Recognized for State Innovations to Advance Respite Care

The West Virginia Department of Human Services (DoHS) has been recognized by the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) for its policy strategies shared at the State-Federal Respite Summit on West Virginia’s partnership with managed care organizations (MCOs) and universities to train the workforce that supports children and adults with serious emotional disorders.
Earlier this year, NASHP hosted 16 state teams and federal officials from eight agencies in Washington, DC, for a peer-to-peer learning exchange on innovative models, strategies, and policies to increase access to high-quality respite care services. These innovations cut across important themes such as awareness and outreach, educating and strengthening the workforce, serving diverse populations, payment policy improvements, and cross-agency collaboration.
“As we strive to enhance our workforce infrastructure, it’s essential to intentionally address the needs of our diverse population,” said Cindy Beane, DoHS Bureau for Medical Services Commissioner. “Our Children with Serious Emotional Disorders Waiver program exemplifies our commitment to supporting West Virginia caregivers through innovative investments.”
Through the Medicaid 1915(c) Children with Serious Emotional Disorders Waiver (CSEDW) program, DoHS administers both in-home and out-of-home respite care for caregivers of children ages three to 21 with serious mental, behavioral, or emotional health conditions. The partnership between DoHS’s Bureau for Medical Services (BMS) and MCO partner Aetna includes a focus on workforce forecasting and provider network expansion. Most recently, West Virginia collaborated with West Virginia University to develop a person-centered, trauma-informed care training both in-person and online for West Virginia home and community-based service (HCBS) direct service providers.
NASHP’s Respite Summit Paper was disseminated to all states outlining the respite repository of innovations shared at the Summit for other states to replicate. NASHP is a nonpartisan organization committed to developing and advancing state health policy innovations and solutions.
In addition to West Virginia, other states that were highlighted during the Summit included Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin.
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