Developmental Disabilities Services funding is at risk as Oregon faces a significant budget deficit. Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS) and the newly-created Oregon Health Authority (OHA) are now formulating budget priorities for the current and upcoming two year fiscal cycle. If DD services are important to your family, friends, business and/or community, EMAIL DHS TODAY at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The budget projections are grim and there will be cuts! Community Forums have been held throughout Oregon over the past few weeks to discuss DHS/OHA budget and funding priorities. However, the number of people speaking on behalf of DD services were minimal. It is essential that DHS / OHA leadership hears about the importance of the services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
DHS / OHA SPRING 2010 COMMUNITY FORUMS
1) Protect Funding for Services to People with Developmental Disabilities
DD services support one of Oregon’s most vulnerable populations across the lifespan through a diverse array of services. DD services are cost effective and efficient. Many of these services have already experienced reductions over the past several fiscal cycles including employment / day services and family support. There are no budget reductions that will not significantly impact the lives of vulnerable individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
Background: The challenge facing Oregon is how to maintain funding even for existing services. The DD Coalition will join with other organizations to prioritize human services to vulnerable populations and to address the resource issues in the Oregon budget.
2) Protect Access to Adult Support Services
The Staley Settlement Agreement has resulted in cost effective and efficient delivery of services to adults with developmental disabilities entitled to Medicaid services. Access to Adult Support Services provided through the system of nonprofit brokerages must be preserved.
Background: The Staley Settlement Agreement ends in June of 2011. There are discussions occurring to extend the Agreement but it is not a given that will happen. It is important to maintain the current service structure, services, and access to supports.
3) Memorandum of Understanding Needed between DHS and OHA
Seniors and People with Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities Program must maintain the ability to operate services and implement quality assurance / quality improvement even if DHS no longer has the Medicaid Authority. There must be a detailed Memorandum of Understanding to protect the integrity of DD services.
Background: When DHS splits and OHA is created, the actual authority for Medicaid moves to OHA. A detailed agreement between the two agencies is needed to assure that the DD program can continue to implement and improve services.
4) Continue to Utilize the Fairview Community Housing Trust for its Intended Purposes
The Fairview Trust represents a promise made to Oregonians with developmental disabilties and families. By providing small amounts of funding for physical adaptations and accommodations, it fulfills a committment to community based living for hundreds of Oregonians with developmental disabilities each year.
Background: The Fairview Trust was established with the assets from the sale of the Fairview Training Center property. It is designed to serve generations of Oregonians with developmental disabilities.The funding is most often used for critical home modifications that address the health and safety issues. If the trust fund dollars are used by the state for other purposes, it is very unlikely that they would ever be replaced.
***Additional Public Participation Opportunity***
DHS and OHA have created new mission statements, and have created surveys that provide an additional opportunity for stakeholders to express their opinion regarding agency priorities. Please visit the DHS/OHA agency transition web site at www.oregon.gov/OHA/transition/vision.shtml to see the proposed mission statements and take the surveys.
NOTE: These surveys close on May 26! ACT NOW!