The MediSked Blog

Let's Focus On the Good Things Happening in Ohio

Posted by Elizabeth Chatterton on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 @ 08:00 AM

There are a lot of sad things happening in our world at the moment, but there are some positives too - and we wanted to offer a big congratulations to our friends in Ohio who have just won federal approval to give more than 36,000 people with disabilities in their state more choices for community-based services.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services signed off on Ohio's preliminary plan, which was initially submitted in March.

This approval made Ohio the third state (after Tennessee and Kentucky) to meet the new federal requirements designed to move people with disabilities away from the more institutional-based services and toward truly community-based options. 

Ohio is ahead of the game,as they faced a 2019 deadline to implement the new rules. If they hadn't they could have faced the loss of federal funding, which covers 60% of all funds spent on programs for the disabled and seniors.

While this is a big step in the right direction, the true test comes once all of the changes are implemented and we can determine how many opportunities individuals really have to be involved in their communities. Some are concerned that changes are more focused on the settings where the services are delivered than they are on acheiving the best outcomes - and it's a valid concern. 

Yet, progress is progress and its something to be celebrated for sure! So, kudos to Ohio on their approval - and being ahead of the game! 

Just keep in mind, the entire country is watching. 

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Tags: 2016

Judge Threatens $1 Million per Year Fines After a Lack of Progress with Sheltered Workshop Transition Plan

Posted by Elizabeth Chatterton on Thu, May 19, 2016 @ 08:55 AM

The State of Rhode Island is in trouble after a serious lack of progress in a 2014 consent decree to move intellectually and developmentally disabled people out of sheltered workshops and other restrictive environments.

Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell Jr. ordered the state to take action (about 20 actions actually) or they could potentially face fines that could total as much as $1 million a year.
The mandated actions include the state hiring a program developer and employment specialist by the end of July and by August 1st they must "appropriately increase salaries, benefits, training, and supervision for district support professionals and job coaches."

Also included in the judge's plans is th creation of a “live database” that would enable the tracking of all involved individuals and their status. By July 29, the judge ordered, the state must provide him and Court Monitor Charles S. Moseley access to the entries from which they “will select files at random for verification.”
Most dates specified in Wednesday’s order come this spring and summer, but one is Dec. 31.
It was reported that “Governor Raimondo included a total of $6.8 million in her proposed budget to support the requirements of the Consent Decree, including $1.8 million for specific investments in integrated community employment and day services and $5 million to support wage increases for direct care workers.”  
Judge McConnell wrote that if the provisions of Wednesday's order are not met on schedule, he will hold a contempt hearing which could result in fines. "Total monies to be paid as a result of an order of this court will not exceed $1 million per year," he wrote.
The 2014 consent decree, considered a landmark in national disabilities rulings, followed a year-long investigation by the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division that found that Rhode Island grossly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Department of Justice cited “the state’s failure to develop a sufficient quantity of integrated transition, employment, vocational and day services and supports for individuals with I/DD.”
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Tags: 2016

Stop By & Say Hi at the ANCOR Conference! 

Posted by Elizabeth Chatterton on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 @ 11:55 AM

Happy Friday! 

If you're lucky, you're gearing up for a great weekend - and if you're really lucky you're getting ready to head to Chicago for the 2016 ANCOR Conference  - which kicks off on Sunday. 

I'll be there along with some other awesome MediSked representatives and we're looking forward to meeting a lot of amazing people, learning a ton, attending some fantastic breakout sessions, and coming back wiser and more inspired than ever. 

If you'll be there too, make sure to stop by our table and say hello! We'd absolutely love to meet you! 

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Tags: 2016