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Provider Selection Process and Free Choice of Provider

Federal law requires that all Individual Options and Level 1 Waiver recipients have the free choice to select their provider. An individual who receives services paid by the waiver program can choose any provider who is certified for and willing to provide the requested service. The Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD) support administrator (SA) will explain the specific procedures that are required by law when and individual wants to choose a new provider, a different provider or an additional provider.

Individuals may find a certified provider by accessing the official registry of certified providers on the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) website ( As a supplement to that registry, individuals may also access information about providers at the CCBDD Provider Search Tool (PST) at or from the CCBDD website at ( The PST enables providers to create detailed profiles about themselves, their services, philosophy, availability, etc and may be helpful to individuals who are looking for a provider.

If an individual needs a provider, and does not have a specific provider in mind, the SA will prepare a referral to be posted on the PST. The individual can select from agency providers (who hire staff to provide the services), individual providers (self-employed individuals who are certified by DODD) or can consider all providers.

The referral gives providers general information about individuals, their preferences and services requested. Providers can then determine whether they are available and interested in providing services to the individual. Referrals are posted on the PST, and providers can access the referral at any time until it expires.

Providers respond to the SA indicating their interest, and the SA takes the positive responses to the individual and the family to determine who they would like to interview. At this time, the providers may also request additional information about the individual in order to assure that they can provide the necessary support.

The individual interviews the providers and makes a se lection. The provider may accept or decline the request to provide services. The SA completes the Individual Service Plan (ISP), and the Payment Authorization of Waiver Services (PAWS) is generated and submitted to DODD. DODD authorizes the PAWS.

This process may adjust if there is an emergency need for supports or if the individual prefers to work with a particular provider. In that case, the SA may contact a provider directly rather than submitting a referral in the PST.

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Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities
1275 Lakeside Avenue East
Cleveland, Ohio 44114-1129
PHONE: (216)241-8230 - FAX: (216)861-0253