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Policy and Program Development Unit

The purpose of the Senior and Disabilities Policy and Program Development Unit is to facilitate the development, coordination and dissemination of policy and business procedures that guide the provision of quality and cost-effective long-term services and supports to eligible elderly or disabled individuals.  Sound policy development maintains the legal and programmatic integrity of SDS by ensuring adherence to relevant law and regulation controlling access to and provision of services.

Other duties of the unit include administrative maintenance of four Medicaid waivers, tracking and analysis of relevant state and federal legislation, and research on innovations and best practices in home and community-based services.  The P&P Unit also collaborates with other state agencies, service providers, stakeholders and the larger community to address systemic challenges to the provision of quality social services.

The scope of work of the Policy and Program Development Unit includes:

  • Development of policy and procedure for effective delivery of long-term services and supports.  This applies to all of the programs administered by SDS including those funded through Medicaid waivers and through state general funds (GF).  These activities will include the active participation of and input from service providers and other key stakeholders;
  • Development of standardized forms as needed for effective service delivery;
  • Administrative maintenance of four Home and Community Based Medicaid Waivers to meet the requirements of state and federal regulations;
  • Analysis of business practices and proposing changes designed to integrate and improve service delivery such as a universal application process and coordinated systems for processing eligibility documentation.
  • Research and reporting on best practice and quality initiatives in home and community based services as a contribution to continuous program improvement;
  • Creation of standards for services providers as a basis for performance outcome measurement;
  • Research, analysis and tracking of relevant state and federal legislation, regulations and budget issues.

The Policy Development Process

SDS is committed to stakeholder involvement in the policy making process.  When a policy is complex or changes provider business practice, the P&P Unit may convene a “policy workgroups” made up of SDS staff and community service providers.  In addition, SDS releases every draft policy affecting the way providers do business for review and comment.  The comments often result in policy changes that improve service delivery to the people we serve.  Use this link view policies currently available for review

On-Line Policy Manual

SDS is working toward greater policy integration across the multiple programs administered by the agency.  As these policy come on line they will appear in the new on-line SDS Policy Manual.  The new policy format includes the purpose of the policy, the responsibilities of SDS, providers, applicants and recipients, and procedures for carrying out the policy intent.  Use this link to view the manual.

Links of Interest

Alaska Statutes – This site provides access to current statute as well as the actions of the Legislature found in the House and Senate Journals and minutes of committee meetings.

Alaska Administrative Code – State agencies develop regulations needed to implement legislative intent.  The majority of regulations guiding the work of SDS can be found in Title 7 Health and Social Services.

On-Line Public Notice – This service allow public access to information about meetings of state agencies, grants available for bid, procurement activities, public notices and drafts of proposed regulations available for public comment.

BASIS – Alaska’s online legislative tracking program where you can find information on legislators and their staff, a schedule of committee hearings, agendas for legislative floor sessions and the status of bills moving through the legislative process.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) – CMS is the federal agency that administers Medicaid, including the SDS Medicaid Waiver programs.