Medicaid Co-Pays Clairfied.  Our friends from the Division of Developmental Disabilities sent me this clarifying information on who are exempted from the new Medicaid copayments.
The HFS notice clearly states that persons residing in ICFs/DD are exempt from all copayments.  However, it does not mention other DD-funded residential settings which are also exempt.  Persons residing in 24-hour residential settings funded by DHS DDD (CILAs and CLFs) are also exempt from Medicaid copayments. 
I realize you are also concerned about persons living in their own homes and family homes who are not exempt (and we are also).
Just to clarify who is copay exempt.  Persons residing in ICFs/DD and CILAs and CLFs.Speak Up Speak Out Summit. The Summit is scheduled for Oct 29 to 31, at the Hilton in Springfield this year. More information below:

The website is now updated for this year

Managed Care Lawsuit filed. Thomas Cook who presented at our Arc Leadership Conference on managed care and long term care in Wisconsin, sent us this update: Attorney Rock Pledl filed a lawsuit on behalf of 26 individuals with disabilities in the United State District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin against the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), DHS Secretary Dennis Smith, and three managed care organizations (MCOs) in the Family Care program –  Care Wisconsin, Community Health Partnership, and Northern Bridges.
The legal complaint details drastic cuts that were made in the payment rates for residential services, forcing service providers to provide discharge notices to a number of guardians of people with developmental disabilities. 
The plaintiffs are currently being served in homes operated by larger corporate providers and in smaller owner-occupied homes.  The suit alleges that payment reductions made by the MCOs were coordinated with DHS and that, as a result, the residential providers can no longer safely maintain these individuals in their community. 
In one case, the payment rate for a 44 year-old man with behavioral challenges was reduced by Community Health Partnership (CHP) from $177.51 a day in 2008 to $56.66 a day in June 2012.  In another case, the daily rate for a 34 year-old non-ambulatory man who is 100 percent dependent on group home staff for all personal hygiene and other care was reduced by Northern Bridges (NB) from $284.70 to $112.00 in August 2012.
The day programs of at least two of the plaintiffs are also being affected by the rate cuts.  One individual was forced by CHP to give up one day of programming at RFW in Action member St. Croix Industries so that she could live in a 4-bed Adult Family Home operated by Paradigm Services.  Another one of the plaintiffs, who is served by RFW in Action member Diversified Services in a supported employment enclave, is uncertain about whether she will be able to keep this job after the owner-occupied Adult Family Home gave notice to NB that she could no longer be served at the lower payment rate.
The complaint asks the court to certify the suit as a class action and requests a “permanent injunction directing all of the defendants to: (1) restore the rates paid to residential providers who serve the plaintiffs and the proposed class members to the rates in effect on January 1, 2012, and (2) maintain residential provider rates at the January 1, 2012 level until the defendants develop an accurate method of setting residential provider rates that does not discriminate against individuals with developmental disabilities.”

Read the Lawsuit.

Tony’s Letter to Senator Kirk.  Re: Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Dear Senator Kirk:
The Arc of Illinois represents the 220,000 infants, children and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities living in Illinois. We have over 10,000 individual members and 55 local chapters.
We appreciate your past efforts to support individuals with disabilities and request that you support for the bipartisan effort to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the principles of the CRPD include equality, non-discrimination, inclusion in society, accessibility, and respect for inherent dignity. Twenty-two years ago on July 26th, President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA, calling for the “walls of discrimination to come tumbling down.” Since that time, the ADA has been model legislation for ending discriminatory practices throughout the world and a key inspiration for the CRPD.
One hundred and fourteen nations have ratified the CRPD, including important allies of the U.S. The treaty reflects core American values such as the dignity of the individual, access to justice, respect for the home and family, and the right to education. The CRPD is consistent with not only the ADA, but also with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and numerous other U.S. laws.
The CRPD seeks to ensure that countries across the globe provide people with disabilities the same rights as everyone else in order to live full, satisfying and productive lives. To this end, the CRPD will create greater access for Americans serving, working, traveling, and studying abroad. The treaty package submitted to the Senate this May includes reservations, understandings, and a declaration that allows the United States to meet the obligations of the treaty without requiring any costs or changes in law.
 We, therefore, urge you to continue the bipartisan tradition of supporting the disability community by uniting in support of ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)