Human Services seeks comments on amendments to the Medicaid autism spectrum disorder waiver

Heather Steffl

BISMARK- Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder, providers and other interested stakeholders are invited to provide public comment on proposed amendments to the state’s Medicaid autism spectrum disorder waiver.

The North Dakota Department of Human Services is seeking federal approval to amend the waiver to reflect recent state legislative changes. Comments will be accepted through July 30, at 5 p.m. Central Time.

The Medicaid autism spectrum disorders waiver provides services to eligible children and supports parents in their efforts to maximize their child’s development, while also preventing out-of-home placements.

The waiver is being amended to increase the qualifying age of children who can be served from through age 13 to through age 15 and to add 54 more slots to serve a total of 150 children. The waiver is also being amended to add electronic visit verification requirements to respite services and to increase provider rates. The North Dakota Legislature granted providers a two percent increase in 2021 and a 0.25 percent increase in 2022. The services affected by these increases are service management and respite care.

The draft waiver amendment is online at Copies will   also be provided upon request.

Individuals can submit comments by emailing, or calling 800-755-2604 or 701-328-4630, or 711 (TTY), or by fax at 701-328-1544. Comments can also be mailed to  the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Medical Services Division, Attn: Autism Services, 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 325, Bismarck, N.D., 58505-0250.

After the public comment period ends, the waiver will be submitted to the federal Centers  for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Based on the CMS timeframes for review and approval, the waiver is expected to be effective in November 2021.