TALLAHASSEE —The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is reviewing the decision this week by the First District Court of Appeal (DCA) which found that the rules used in implementing the iBudget Florida waiver are invalid, thus overturning an earlier decision by the Division of Administrative Hearings.
APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “Our goal is always to protect the health and safety of the individuals we serve. We are evaluating the effects, if any, on APD customers and the financial impact of this decision. We hope to minimize any changes this ruling will require for people served by APD.”
The DCA decision states that all APD customers should receive their iBudget algorithm amount as their cost plan amount. Therefore, APD will need to go through the rulemaking process again to comply with the court’s decision.
About 30,000 APD customers use the iBudget Florida Medicaid waiver to direct and receive Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). The HCBS waiver is funded by state and federal tax dollars to help people with developmental disabilities live and participate in their local communities.
iBudget Florida is a new way to deliver Medicaid waiver services. It has been approved by both the Florida Legislature and the federal government. The iBudget waiver provides greater flexibility to choose services that best meet the customers’ needs given their unique situations.
iBudget Florida is designed to make the funding process fair and equitable for all Medicaid waiver customers. It has increased opportunities for customers to direct their own care.
Some other customer benefits of iBudget Florida are:
- Ability to reallocate funds not spent on services in one month for future service needs within a fiscal year
- Access to dental services that were not available in the former tier waiver
- Support coordinators able to use iBudget technology to reduce paperwork requirements and communicate efficiently with providers and APD, and
- Greater opportunity for APD to use new funds to serve people on the Medicaid waiver waiting list.
APD annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with the developmental disabilities of autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, spina bifida, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information on iBudget Florida, visit iBudgetFlorida.org. To learn more about the agency, call 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273) or visit APDcares.org.