Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Colorado slashes medicaid budget for home based services

According to an article in today's Colorado Springs Gazette, cuts went into effect today stripping home and community based services from about 700 individuals with developmental disabilities.
The change was set into motion by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, which required that Colorado's reimbursement system be standardized after an audit found discrepancies in how Medicaid dollars were being spent ...The state's developmental disabilities division created a new model that bases benefits on a person's level of disability. The system also places limitations and caps on spending.
It sounds like Colorado may have done something like Hawaii did, moving people with disabilities from one type of medicaid program to another, with a subsequent loss of civil rights.

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About Me

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I'm the mom of a child with disabilities. Hannah's first neurologist said she might never develop beyond the level of a 2 month old infant, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. The brain damage was just too severe. Nine years later, she walks, uses a touchscreen computer and I've just been shown she can learn to construct sentences and do simple math with the right piece of technology. Along the way, I discovered I needed to teach myself what Hannah's rights to services really were. Learning about early intervention services led to reading about IDEA and then to EPSDT. I've been waiting for the Obama administration to realize the power and potential of EPSDT for the medical rights - including the right to stay at home with their families - of children with disabilities. The health reform people talk about long term care, and the disability people talk about education and employment, but nobody is talking about EPSDT. So I am.