Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Should UnitedHealth and Wellcare have the right to call for investigations by CPS or APS?

According to an employee of the Hawaii Department of Human Services, the two for-profit insurance companies running the state's Medicaid program are now able to call in complaints directly to Child Protective Services (CPS) and Adult Protective Services (APS).

Calls are coming in to DHS, according to the employee, with complaints that UnitedHealth and Wellcare are using the threat of calling CPS or APS to intimidate families into decreasing their requests for home services.

According to my source, the general threat is that if the person receiving care needs as many hours as the family is requesting, then it is not safe for them to be in their homes.

It's now no longer a threat to institutionalize their child, but a threat to take them away forever.

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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.