by Bryce Rafferty, CDASS Participant
While I wasn’t born in the state of Colorado nor did I grow up here, I am beyond thankful for this state, it’s people, and the public healthcare that makes life in Colorado that much better for persons with disabilities. Most people know Colorado for its mountains, but most don’t know that Colorado State Medicaid is one of the best in the union. Speaking with another quadriplegic like myself from Iowa, I heard about how Medicaid in his home state falls far short of the coverage and quality of care that I enjoy on a daily basis. However, being on federal health insurance anywhere has its fair share of challenges, and it is the responsibility of the people to hold the government accountable and maintain the positives when they are threatened by changes or pitfalls in policy. Continue reading “The Vital Importance of Advocacy in Colorado”
This was a busy session as is typical whenever there is a new administration and many new legislators. Despite some unfortunate partisanship that caused delays, the reading out loud of 2000 page bills, hearings that occurred during a blizzard, and overnight sessions some great work did get done that will benefit the people of Colorado including people with disabilities.
Before talking about the bills, I want to call out the amazing CCDC team that worked at the Capitol this year.
CCDC wants to thank our many partners, in particular the Arc of Colorado, Arc of Aurora, Arc of Adams, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, the Colorado Children’s Campaign, 9-5 Colorado, ACLU of Colorado, Colorado Senior Lobby, Disability Law Colorado, Colorado Common Cause, PASCO, and Accent on Independence Homecare amongst others. We also want to thank Colorado Capitol Watch for a great product that made tracking the bills easier.
Because this was a year with many new legislators and many groups rushing to push through bills that had struggled in years past, many of which were bills we were going to support, CCDC made a deliberate decision to NOT run our own proactive bills this year but to focus on our coalition work, and building relationships with the many new Senators and Representatives. We laid groundwork for policies we want to promote over the next few years while focusing on the many coalition bills and responding to bills that affected our community. We followed 139 bills. This report shares the highlights-not every bill that we worked on during the session.
This is being dubbed the year of the renter. There were many bills that helped renters, along with some that will fund affordable housing.
THERE WERE A NUMBER OF BILLS RELATED TO THE COST OF PRIVATE INSURANCE AND HOSPITALS. PLEASE CHECK OUT THE COLORADO CONSUMER INITIATIVE OR THE COLORADO CENTER ON LAW AND POLICY FOR REPORTS ON THOSE BILLS.
Overall it was a good year. There were some disappointments, but there always are—now we have to make sure the bills we like get implemented and make sure people know about these new laws and programs.
CCDC wishes congratulations to our new Governor Jared Polis and looks forward to working with this new administration. Our expectations of a new governor are clear and doable. We look forward to advancing the rights of people with disabilities so that we can show our capabilities as full citizens. This means a dramatic increase in the number of people with disabilities who are employed. This means a dramatic improvement in the high school graduation of students with disabilities and making sure that students go to college or some sort of vocational program. This means a government that values people with disabilities by having high expectations and providing appropriate supports. This means a government that involves us at every level…on boards, commissions, as employees in state agencies, and on the transition team. Governor-Elect Polis stated last night that his administration will be inclusive. We expect to be part of this inclusion and to have disability representation in historic proportions and stand ready to help make that happen.
CCDC congratulates all of the representatives and senators that won their seats as well and we look forward to working with all of you on these same goals.
We will be solidifying legislative priorities for the next two years soon but among them will surely be:
1) Increasing protection for renters such as statewide source of income discrimination protection and habitability laws.
2) Extending the Mediciad Buy-In for Working Adults with Disabilities to people over the age of 65 and for more than 10 days in between jobs, even if we have to use state funds. With the federal government giving the states carte blanche we should be able to get approval.
3) Getting safety protections for people living in host homes.
4) Consumer direction for all HCBS services.
5) Improving our case management systems, especially transition from institutions.
We will be focusing on money for solid transportation that has a focus on transit and affordable housing that is inclusive of everyone including those with very low income. We will be working on increased accountability around behavioral health and overall health care in the Medicaid program.
On a federal level with the Democrats having a majority in the house, we will be holding Congresswoman DeGette accountable for her promises to us to fix the Electronic Visit Verification mess and exempt consumer direction and family caregivers. We will also expect help with improved access to quality complex rehab equipment (power wheelchairs) including accountability for repairs.
While Colorado definitely went blue, this does not mean that CCDC will stop working with our Republican allies. We have always been and always will be a bipartisan organization. Our issues cross both parties. Disability does not discriminate.
CCDC was very proud of the VERY STRONG voter turnout in the disability community. Approximately 90% of our members had already voted before Monday and we are sure the rest voted Monday or Tuesday. Voting is the first step of realizing NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US.
Despite a plethora of resources dedicated to case management, there is no true single case management system for those with high needs. There are fragments in some systems for some issues but they do not address holistic needs. There are case management systems that are really gatekeepers for government programs. Gatekeeping has its place but it is different than case management. Despite the many areas where case management is covered (even just in the Medicaid system) there has never been a process whereby the stakeholders and government get together to at least have dialogue, if not answer the following questions:
1) Who needs what level of care management across systems? What percent are likely permanent needs?
2) What are the specific tasks needed and how much time will this take on average?
3) What are the qualifications to do these tasks?
4) What are the quality measures to assess the performance of these tasks?
5) What is the cost to perform these tasks including maximum caseload size.
6) What are the total resources now dedicated to all case management?
7) What case management are we doing now that is not useful, not necessary, or could be done at a lower level?
8) How do we create a plan to take our current system and transform to a system that provides intensive case management where appropriate and reduces services where there is no benefit?
Case management is needed in the following situations:
*People with a serious but temporary medical condition or new illness, such as cancer for help accessing and coordinating medical and other resources.
*People with long-term disabilities who are unable to do their own case management and who have no family able to assist. This must be comprehensive and include non-medical issues even the mundane daily life activities that can overwhelm some people. Even dealing with a utility company or a landlord can require assistance for people with some disabilities.
Some individuals could learn to do more of their own management with teaching (or have a family member able to take over with some training) and others will need this high level over a lifetime.
This is not a huge number of people, but the lack of case management causes them to spend a lot of time in crisis and use emergency resources from multiple organizations. Case management of this type is labor intensive and requires a very low caseload and high level of training.
RAE Contact Information and Area Map
|Region||Regional Accountable Entity||Contact Information|
|1||Rocky Mountain Health Plans||Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|2||Northeast Health Partners||9925 Federal Drive, Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
|3||Colorado Access||Amber Garcia
|4||Health Colorado, Inc.||9925 Federal Drive, Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
|5||Colorado Access||Amber Garcia
Phone: (720) 744-5487
|6||CO Community Health Alliance||Phone: 303-256-1717 (Local) 855-627-4685 (Toll-Free)
|7||CO Community Health Alliance||Phone: 303-256-1717 (Local) 855-627-4685 (Toll-Free)
This post is a reproduction of the Policy Memo put out by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.
POLICY MEMO NUMBER: HCPF PM 18-002
TITLE: CONSUMER DIRECTED ATTENDANT SUPPORT SERVICES (CDASS)
IMPLEMENTATION IN SUPPORTED LIVING SERVICES (SLS) WAIVER
SUPERSEDES NUMBER: N/A
ISSUE DATE: August 3, 2018
EFFECTIVE DATE: August 15, 2018
DIVISION AND OFFICE: BENEFITS AND SERVICES MANAGEMENT DIVISION, OFFICE OF COMMUNITY LIVING
PROGRAM AREA: CONSUMER DIRECTION
APPROVED BY: GRETCHEN HAMMER
KEYWORDS: CONSUMER DIRECTION, SUPPORT LIVING SERVICES,
Part 3 of 3 in a mini-series about
It is meant to give you enough information to decide if you want to explore it further.
CDASS lets you decide who you want to support you and you hire them. You become the employer and you do not have an agency for the services (personal care, homemaker, enhanced homemaker & health maintenance) available using CDASS.
If you want to use the CDASS service delivery option, you have to use it for all the CDASS services that are in your plan. For example, if you only have personal care and homemaker services you can use the CDASS option for those. You cannot use CDASS for one of these services and get another from an agency. All of your SLS services that are not available through the CDASS option will continue to come through an agency.
To get started you will need to:
Part 2 of 3 in a mini-series about Consumer or Self Directed Care in Colorado’s Supported Living Services Waiver. It is meant to give you enough information to decide if you want to explore it further.
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy Finance is responsible for assuring the implementation of this Consumer Directed Option. They will be training Case Managers/Resource Coordinators to help individuals and families use the CDASS option. All training for CDASS is done through a contract with Consumer Direct of Colorado. Continue reading “Consumer Directed Attendant Support Services (Part 2)”
Coloradans using the Supported Living Services (SLS) Waiver will have the option to consumer or self-direct some of their services. People using some other Colorado waivers have had this opportunity since 2002. Until now those options have not been available in services specifically designed for persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
This article is Part 1 of an introduction to Consumer Direction in Colorado. It is a three (3) part information mini-series written primarily to help families of people with I/DD to understand consumer direction in Colorado and decide if you want to use this option for your son or daughter. This 3 part mini-series will be sent over the next 2 weeks. It is not intended to give detailed information.
Continue reading “Consumer Directed Attendant Support Services (Part 1)”