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.