Sunday, November 15, 2009

CDREA publishes new CMS definitions of case management for kids with disabilities

The Children's Disability Rights Education Association (CDREA) has published an article on the latest definition of case management services issued by the federal Medicaid regulatory agency.

The broad scope of required activities that must be included in "case management", coupled with the role that the individual or their designated health care decision maker play in determining these activities, gives families more control over the services they need than ever before.

While the document in question related specifically to children covered by EPSDT (i.e., under the age of 21 and receiving Medicaid), similarly written documents have been issued that cover individuals of any age who receive Medicaid because of their enrollment in what's called a "Medicaid waiver" program. 

In the state of Hawaii, for instance, anyone currently enrolled in the state's QExA program, and therefore receiving their Medicaid services through either Evercare or Ohana, plus anyone currently enrolled in the states Developmentally Disabled waiver program, are entitled to case management services.

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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.