On October 30th, 2017, Oregon Developmental Disabilities Director Lilia Teninty released the following statement regarding the Oregon Needs Assessment:
“We’ve reached some important milestones I want to share with you. The summary below reflects a great deal of work done by everyone in our service system – ODDS staff, CDDP and Brokerage staff, providers, people with I/DD and their families. Thank you for your thoughtful feedback and your efforts to help us get to this point.
The journey to create the ONA started in 2013. The Legislature told ODDS to implement a single, uniform assessment tool. It would be used for everyone we support, regardless of setting.
We engaged a stakeholder group for the project. We also hired Mission Analytics Group. Mission Analytics’ role was to ensure the ONA is a validated tool for all service settings.
The project team members have been diligent. They worked through technical challenges, revisions to the questions, and more. They conducted hundreds of assessments that were used to test the validity and reliability of the ONA. They managed two rounds of pilot testing.
We are close to rolling out the ONA. All individuals receiving I/DD services will be assessed using the ONA in 2018. We need to start the ONA assessments in January to be able to collect data needed for the Compass Project.
Based on input from advocates and partners, we asked CDDPs and Brokerages to work with us to identify staff to administer the ONA. CDDPs and Brokerages are identifying staff in their entities to perform the assessments. The ODDS assessment team will also assist with administering ONAs in rural areas of the state.
From January through June, staff will use both the ONA and the current assessment tool. In July, the ONA will be the official assessment. The ODDS assessment team will train the CDDP and Brokerage staff who will use the tool. The team will also provide technical assistance and quality assurance. They will do this to ensure the tool is administered consistently across the state.
The ONA will be administered by a staff person who is not the person’s case manager.
Benefits of separating case management from the assessment include:
- Removes real or perceived conflicts of interest.
- Improves objectivity and consistency.
- The case manager may still take part in the assessment. The case manager will not be responsible for the results of the assessment itself. Instead, the case manager can support the person and provide information to inform responses.
Our journey to create the ONA is reaching its destination. Thank you to the many people who are making it possible.”
You may have heard that Brokerages and CDDPs/counties are facing serious cuts.
Locally, we expect a pretty significant hit to disability services, primarily in the case management and crisis arenas. At the federal level, not only is case management in the cross hairs, but so are your in-home brokerage supports. When you hear politicians talking about healthcare reform, it’s not only about medical care with your doctor or at a hospital. It’s important to understand that Brokerage services are Medicaid services. Most county/CDDP services are Medicaid services. The K Plan is a Medicaid service. For the past four-plus years, the vast majority of services for thousands of children and adults with disabilities in Oregon has been funded through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – a Medicaid program. And the Senate proposal (now called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017) led by Mitch McConnell directly targets the reduction of home and community based services for people with disabilities (including brokerage services.)
This message is a simple ask: please contact your legislators and tell them your story as soon as possible. You can send an email or make a call. A vote is possible following Independence Day.
The great folks at the Oregon Developmental Disabilities Coalition have created easy-to-use advocacy instructions to help you get started. This is a key moment in the history of services for people with disabilities. Please take a moment to share your story and let your voice be heard.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Everyone has a story, and there is power in sharing it. If Medicaid matters in your life, NOW is the time to share your Medicaid story with members of the United States Senate. They need to understand the positive impact Medicaid has in lives of millions of Americans with disabilities each and every day.
WHAT DO YOU SAY?
- I am your constituent.
- I am a person with a disability [or I am a family member of someone with a disability or I am a professional in the disability field].
- “Please do NOT allow cuts or caps to Medicaid.”
- “Because of Medicaid, I have healthcare and supports to live in my community. For example, I use my services to _____________________________________.”
- “If I don’t have these Medicaid-funded supports, my life will be harder because _____________.”
HOW TO CONTACT UNITED STATES SENATORS
Oregon’s Senators, Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Jeff Merkley, are both very supportive of the disability community and will not be voting for this bill. However, they still need to hear your story because they can share it with their Senate colleagues and they are keeping tallies of the contacts they have with their constituents so each contact you make is extremely important. Even if you have reached out to them already, please share your story again and ask for their support in stopping this legislation that would have a devastating impact on the disability community. Reach out to them by phone or email or via their website or on social media – whatever modes work best for you. Make calls to their offices in Washington DC at 202-224-3121
Send them an email at:
Share your personal story about Medicaid in their story banks: www.merkley.senate.gov/share-your-aca-story and www.wyden.senate.gov/trumpcare-story
Reach out to your family and friends across the nation to support your advocacy efforts to save Medicaid by contacting their United States Senators and urge them to vote NO on the BCRA! Please encourage your family and friends to call their United Senators via the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to reject the current draft of the BCRA.
We want all U.S. Senators to be urged to reject Medicaid Cuts & Caps, including:
- Alabama: Shelby
- Alaska: Murkowski & Sullivan
- Arizona: Flake
- Colorado: Gardner
- Florida: Rubio
- Georgia: Isakson
- Indiana: Young
- Louisiana: Cassidy
- Maine: Collins
- Missouri: Blunt
- Montana: Daines
- Nebraska: Fischer & Sasse
- Nevada: Heller
- North Dakota: Hoeven
- Ohio: Portman
- Pennsylvania: Toomey
- South Carolina: Graham
- South Dakota: Rounds & Thune
- West Virginia: Capito
- Wisconsin: Johnson
Thank you for your continued support and advocacy for essential services for Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities! And thank you to the I/DD Coalition for the materials to share.
Oregon is currently facing at a significant budget deficit and in order to deal with the issue, our state legislature is looking at places to reduce, discontinue, or rearrange funding. There are several areas the legislature is considering cuts in the coming months, many of which were outlined in the Governor’s Proposed Budget:
- A reduction in brokerage and county/CDDP case management funding
- Elimination of the Family Network program
- Elimination of Regional crisis services
- Elimination of the Fairview Housing Trust Fund
- Partial rate increase to Direct Support Provider wages
You can learn all about the proposed budget cuts and adjustments in this great article by brokerage association director Katie Rose. Remember, these are cuts mentioned only in the Governor’s budget – legislators may be looking at other ways to adjust funding to balance the budget.
How You Can Help
This Saturday, attend the Town Hall at PCC Sylvania in Portland! The Joint Committee on Ways and Means has scheduled a series of Town Hall meetings across the state. Having advocates from the I/DD community show up and give testimony at these public budget hearings is very important. This is a unique opportunity to tell legislators what your services mean to you and why keeping service networks strong is important for you and your family. We have heard that legislators aren’t getting a lot of feedback from the community on services – please take this chance to make your voice heard.
What to expect if you go? Be prepared for large crowds, and plan to arrive early, especially if you want to sign up to give testimony (at least 1 to 1 ½ hours early). The sign-up sheet for testimony fills up quickly. Even if you don’t plan to give testimony, your presence at these events, wearing or waving something yellow in support of the DD Community, will send the message to legislators that the DD Community is unified in its support of DD programs and services.
RSVP and connect on the event Facebook page here.
When: Saturday February 11th 12 – 2pm (Be there as early as 10:30 or 11:00 if you want to speak!)
Where: Main Mall, Amo DeBernardis CC Building PCC, Sylvania campus 12000 SW 49th Ave, Portland
To support your participation in these statewide budget town halls, the I/DD Coalition will ensure a host will be on site at the event to provide you with fact sheets, advocacy stickers and more. Please register for this event via Facebook to stay informed and receive the latest information.
Thanks to our friends at the I/DD Coalition and GO! Project for their great work organizing the community and providing the content for this post.
Important information just posted from the State of Oregon regarding Personal Support Worker pay and the PPL transition:
“The PSW payroll run for the end of Dec 2016 pay period has generated 10,612 checks/direct deposit payments to PSWs. Of those, 1,332 were direct deposit (13%) and 9,280 were physical paper checks (87%).
Due to Federal Banking Regulations ODDS was unable to transfer previous direct deposit information PSWs had with TNT to PPL. As a result, in order to make direct deposit payments, PPL must have a new direct deposit form on file from the PSW.
PSWs who sent PPL their direct deposit information before 12/22/16 had a bank pre-note test done and will receive direct deposit. For the 1,332 payments made via direct deposit, the funds should start showing in PSW bank accounts today (Wed 1/18/17) by 11:00 am PST and be there by 5:00 pm PST.
If PPL received the direct deposit information from the PSW after 12/22/16, the PSW can expect a paper check for this pay cycle.
The paper checks were mailed by PPL yesterday afternoon (Tue 1/17/17) and should be received in 2-3 business days.”
Source: eXPRS Facebook page
The following notice was emailed to all Personal Support Workers working with INW customers on 12/13/2016:
The state has announced that it is shortening the time you have for submitting your time sheets by one day in the next payroll cycle, due to the changeover between TNT and PPL as state fiscal intermediary. In order to receive payment on time, you must have your time sheets in no later than Monday, December 19th, 2016. Brokerage processing time has been cut as well, pretty much eliminating our flexibility on late submissions.
P.S. – If you haven’t followed up on requests to turn your paperwork in to PPL, please do so now. We continue to be concerned about the low number of PSWs who are considered “good to go” in PPL’s system. If you’re not set up properly in the system, there’s no way to get you paid on time.
Click here for the 2017 PSW Submission and Payment Schedule