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Recent Major Events
Employment / Rights – DOJ Intervenes in Oregon Employment Lawsuit
Last week, the United States moved to intervene in the class action lawsuit, Lane v. Kitzhaber
, No. 12-cv-138 (D. Or.). The United States’ complaint in intervention alleges that the State has violated Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by unnecessarily segregating thousands of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in sheltered workshops, and by placing them at risk of such segregation, when they could be served in integrated employment settings. Individuals who are at risk of unnecessary segregation include youth with I/DD who are referred for admission to sheltered workshops after graduating from or exiting Oregon secondary schools.
The Department opened an investigation in October 2011 into whether Oregon is violating Title II of the ADA by placing persons with I/DD in segregated sheltered workshops when such persons are capable of working in integrated workplaces with appropriate supports and services, i.e., supported employment. The Center for Public Representation (CPR) and Disability Rights Oregon (DRO), along with two private law firms, filed Lane v. Kitzhaber to challenge segregated workshop placements under Olmstead. On August 6, 2012, the court certified a class defined as “all individuals in Oregon with intellectual or developmental disabilities who are in, or who have been referred to, sheltered workshops” and “who are qualified for supported employment services.” In June 2012, the Division filed a Statement of Interest in support of class certification and issued a Letter of Findings concluding that Oregon’s sheltered workshop system violated Title II of the ADA and Olmstead. This information was provided by The Department of Justice.
Medicaid / Medicare – California to Test Model of Providing Health and Long Term Services to Dual Eligibles
California is the fifth state to negotiate a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to test a capitated model of providing health care and long term services and supports to individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. California expects to enroll about 450,000 individuals in eight counties into Medicare-Medicaid plans beginning in October 2013. Individuals receiving services through California’s regional centers or state developmental centers or intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities will be excluded from participation.
Education – Department of Education Makes Change to Rule Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
The Department of Education made a technical change to the state maintenance of effort (MOE) rule under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The change was included in the continuing resolution (CR), the spending bill for the rest of the 2013 fiscal year that Congress passed last month.
Under an MOE, states cannot cut their own education spending below whatever amount they spent the previous year and still receive their full allotment of federal dollars under IDEA, unless they get special permission from the Department. A provision in the recent spending legislation clarified that while states that are out of compliance with the law will have their IDEA funding reduced, the cut will not be permanent. Instead, the reduction would just be for the year (or years) that the state was out of compliance and did not obtain a waiver. Once the problem had been fixed, the state could go back to its regular spending levels. Any surplus funds resulting from reductions in funding due to MOE violations would be divided among states that follow the rule as a one-time bonus.
Capitol Insider Schedule for April
Capitol Insider will not be sent out on April 8 or 15. Both the House and Senate will not be in session this week and the following week The Arc’s staff will be preparing for our annual Disability Policy Seminar. Please check the Capitol Insider Blog for policy updates.
Announcements – Paul Marchand Internship is Announced for Summer 2013 Session
The Arc is pleased to announce the selection of Jui Agrawal as the first intern under the Paul Marchand Internship. Ms. Agrawal brings a great deal of relevant education and experience to the position. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Policy and has volunteer work experience with chapters of The Arc and UCP, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and an international disability organization, in addition to an internship for then U.S. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE). The Paul Marchand Internship was created to honor Paul’s nearly four decades of advocacy on behalf of people with I/DD and leadership in the broader disability field. Paid summer, spring, and fall sessions will be available through 2015. Learn more about the internship at: http://www.thearc.org/document.doc?id=4043
Civil Rights – New Study Published by the Annals of Internal Medicine Discusses Accessibility Issues in Doctor’s Offices
A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that 22% of 256 medical specialists in four US cities could not serve a patient who uses a wheelchair. The doctors said that people who used wheelchairs could not get into their inaccessible building, could not get onto an exam table, or would not be able to receive assistance to transfer to an exam table. Gynecology was the subspecialty with the highest rate of inaccessible practices (44%). The journal published an editorial that describes the study and refers to a requirement in the Affordable Care Act that the Access Board develop accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment. Proposed standards were published in February 2012 and an advisory committee is working on refinements.
Civil Rights – Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Boston Globe published an article that gives an in-depth and accurate portrayal of the process of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in the U.S. Senate last year.
Emergency Management – Webinar on “Emergency Management and Preparedness – Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities”
The Pacific ADA Center is offering a free webinar on “Emergency Management and Preparedness – Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities” on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, at 2 p.m. (ET). The webinar will include representatives from building codes, evacuation chair development, and fire agencies to discuss how planning, building codes and evacuation chair and other technologies are being used to improve the evacuation of people with disabilities from high rise buildings.
To register go to: http://www.adaconferences.org/Emergency/Register/
Medicaid – Article Discussing the Threats of Block Granting Medicaid
The National Senior Citizens Health Law Program’s March 2013 E-Newsletter includes an article concerning the harm that could be caused by turning Medicaid into a block grant or into per person block grants. The House Budget Resolution that passed recently includes a proposal to turn Medicaid into a block grant.
Medicaid / Managed Care – New Report Summarizing Florida’s Long Term Care Managed Care Program
The National Senior Citizens Law Center published a new report last week, Summary of Florida’s Long Term Care Managed Care Program. Under Florida’s waiver approved by CMS last month, persons with level-of-care needs that would qualify them for nursing facility services will be required to enroll in managed care organizations (MCOs) in order to receive Long Term Services and Supports. The MCOs will be responsible for providing both nursing facility services and Home and Community Based Services. The application and approval of Florida’s new managed care program is available here.
Health Care – Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act Introduced in the House of Representatives
Representatives Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ) and Thomas Rooney (R-FL) have introduced the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act of 2013 (H.R. 1098). The TBI Act, first passed in 1996 and last reauthorized in 2008, currently authorizes programs in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct research and provide services to people with TBI and their families. The law also authorizes HRSA to make grants for the Protection and Advocacy for Traumatic Brain Injury (PATBI) program. The reauthorization would move TBI programs out of the Maternal and Child Health Children’s Program to acknowledge the impact of TBI across the lifespan, including older adults and returning service members/veterans.