IMPLEMENTING THE NEW OREGON NEEDS ASSESSMENT (ONA)

What’s changing and when?
The Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities has developed a single assessment to be used in determining the support needs of children and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) in our state. Beginning in the summer of 2018, brokerages and other case management entities will begin using the new assessment. The new assessment is called the Oregon Needs Assessment (ONA).

Didn’t we just implement a new assessment for brokerage customers?
Oregon rolled out its first iteration of the ANA (Adult Needs Assessment) in 2013 following direction from CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services). The initial tool ODDS created was based on a foster care assessment tool and over the course of the last several years has been changed multiple times for myriad reasons. Today, the ANA Version D is the tool used for brokerage customers. Beginning summer 2018, as brokerage plans renew , the ANA Version D will be phased out and replaced by the ONA.

Who does the assessment?
With the ONA comes another change: the person who does your assessment. For the past five years (and thirteen years before that in a less formal manner) your Personal Agent has been responsible for assessing disability-related support needs. Under the new guidance, brokerages are required to have a separate staff person conduct your assessment. We know that change – particularly one as personal and important as a change in the assessment used to determine the support you receive to live independently – can be challenging. At Independence Northwest, we have chosen to use existing, long-time staff as our Assessors. Through use of talented, seasoned professionals with extensive experience serving brokerages and the I/DD community in general, we intend to bring a respectful and sensitive approach. Our aim is to create the smoothest possible transition.

May I see a copy of the state’s new assessment tool?
Sure. ODDS has posted a PDF version of the tool here. 

What happens with the results of the assessment?
Assessors are responsible for entering specific information into the state’s central information database, eXPRS. Reports will be available from the eXPRS system after the ONA is complete.

Can I have a copy of my completed assessment?
Absolutely.

Who should take part in my assessment?
That’s up to you. When the Assessor contacts you to set up your appointment, be sure to speak with her about the people you would like to either have present at the meeting or people you would like her to contact by phone for further discussion and input.

Does my Personal Agent need to be present at the assessment?
No. In fact, prior to your ONA with one of our Assessors, your PA will have already met with the Assessor to discuss your current plan and most recent needs assessment. Even if your PA isn’t at the meeting, he/she will absolutely provide input and offer support to the Assessor.

Will this assessment be used to determine what’s allowable on my next ISP?
Right now, the ONA does not calculate the amount of services you are eligible for. ODDS is continuing its work on tool verification and testing in an effort to develop future Service Group Levels. Until those are determined and announced, the results from your most recent ANA-D will be the source to determine Attendant Care hours. If there is a change in your support needs, a new ANA can be completed by your Personal Agent to see if you are eligible for additional services.

What services does the ONA assess for?
The ONA, like the ANA (Adult Needs Assessment), is strictly for services that help you live independently in the community (primarily Attendant Care/ADL/iADL supports.) Transportation, Behavior Supports, and Employment are not affected.

Will my services change as a result of the ONA findings?
ODDS has guaranteed that no one’s services will be reduced at this time as a result of the assessment findings. However, as stated in the letter from ODDS to customers: “At some point in 2019, the ONA may change the number of hours of service you receive”. We have no information beyond that statement at this time, but, as always, we will keep you updated as we learn more.

What if I disagree with the findings?
Please speak with your Personal Agent if you have questions about or disagree with the ONA findings. ODDS has recently posted a Process for Disagreements to its Compass Page. As with any service provided to you through I/DD services, you also have the right to file a formal complaint.

What resources are available to me to learn more?
Be sure to check out ODDS’ website in addition to Independence Northwest’s Facebook page for the latest updates on the ONA. We will update this page as we learn more.

Last Update: 03 July 2018

Note: The timelines above are specific to individuals with September 1st, 2018 plans. To find out timelines for your planning, check out the table below.