The Development of DDSN’s Provider/Service Directory
The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) began the statewide implementation of person-centered services in South Carolina in 1996. An essential element of this approach is choice of service providers. Offering choice of provider is also consistent with state-of-the art practices in service delivery and federal requirements for services funded by Medicaid.
In 1998 DDSN changed its policy to allow consumers and families to pick any qualified provider from which to receive services regardless of whether or not it is a Medicaid reimbursable service. Between 1998 and 2002, seven (7) organizations began providing DDSN services, adding to the forty-four (44) local disabilities and special needs (DSN) boards and other community service providers. Further, individuals served by a DSN board could choose to be served by a different DSN board expanding choice opportunities even more.
During the four-year period between 1998 and 2002, every qualified organization requesting to become a DDSN service provider was approved. However, because the interest shown by potential new providers was limited, in 2002 DDSN initiated the development of a national solicitation to create a Provider/Service Directory. This initiative was done in conjunction with the State Budget and Control Board’s Materials Management Office (MMO) and has yielded positive results.
The Qualified Provider solicitation will continue for five (5) years and allows application to the qualified provider list during the year. The use of the solicitation process handled by MMO assures a business-like, competitive process.
Organizations interested in providing services funded by DDSN go through a process to become qualified, including appropriate licensure or certification as may be required. Once approved, the provider’s name, a description of the types of services they offer along with the areas of the state in which their services will be offered, will go on a list available to all consumers and families. Individual consumers and families will then select the provider(s) from the list that they feel will best meet their needs within the amount of resources assigned to them based on their level of disability.
Link to the FAQ for Qualifed Providers.