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ID/MR Update #08-06: ODP Budget Cuts, Medicaid Spending and State Cuts, ODP Consulting, Medications Administration, Lifesharing Newsletter, Autism Insurance Web Site, UCP Report on Inclusion, ADA Update
November 4, 2008

PA Budget Cuts
Governor Rendell has announced a need for $350 million in budget cuts to balance this fiscal year’s budget. Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) cuts include $1 million from the community mental retardation services appropriation related to the Money Follows the Person initiative and $1.3 million from Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded (ICFs/MR) by recalculation of the number of ICF days that will be used and not implementing Money Follows the Person. Autism services cuts of $3.7 million result from the program being implemented later than originally planned. For more detail see PCPA’s Legislative Info from November 3.

Medicaid Spending and Cuts
According to a recent report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services the combined state and federal spending for Medicaid programs across the country will total $339 billion in 2008, with spending projected to increase over seven percent annually in the next ten years. At the same time as these anticipated annual increases in costs and enrollment for Medicaid, USA Today (October 28, 2008), indicates the national economic downturn is forcing many states to cut back on services offered by Medicaid programs. Twenty-seven states have indicated budget gaps that may lead to cuts in Medicaid-funded programs.

ODP Consulting
ODP continues to add information to www.odpconsulting.net almost daily regarding cost reports, trainings, financial issues, etc. The latest include AE Training Sessions Q&A and Cost Report Training Q&A #7 are available.

Medications Administration
Effective December 31, ODP will no longer recognize the old Medication Training Program and licensing personnel will be looking for the document of the new course. The Medications Administration Train the Trainer Course is used to train non-licensed staff to administer medications in settings licensed under 55 PA Code, Chapters 2380, 6400, and 6600. Any questions may be directed to your regional ODP program office or Cheryl McCall (717-783-8751).

Lifesharing
The Lifesharing Subcommittee of the ODP Planning Advisory Committee has created a newsletter, Knots that Bind, available by subscription. Details are available by contacting Nancy Norwood (717-328-9482 or gsgifts@supernet.com) . The PA Lifesharing web site is www.pennsylvanialifesharing.org.

Consumer Directed Services
The Boston College Center for the Study of Home and Community Life announced the creation of a new center that will give states tools to implement a wide variety of consumer-directed care programs. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the US Administration on Aging this national center will offer training, technical assistance, research, and policy support. The center will build on lessons learned from the Cash and Counseling programs implemented in 15 states. Cash and Counseling programs allow individuals to select the type of care, who provides it, and to manage their own budgets to meet their personal care needs for community living. Information is available at www.cashandcounseling.org.

Autism Insurance
Pennsylvania offers a new web site (www.paautisminsurance.org) to provide information regarding the new Autism Insurance Act 62 of 2008. The new law goes into effect July 1, 2009. The Departments of Public Welfare, State, and Insurance are working together to implement this act. The law requires private health insurance companies or the Department of Public Welfare for those eligible for Medicaid to cover the cost of diagnostic assessment and treatment for children under the age of 21 for up to $36,000 per year.

A Case for Inclusion
United Cerebral Palsy released the 2008 A Case for Inclusion: An Analysis of Medicaid for Americans with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, ranking the 50 states on providing community-based supports. The report is available at www.ucp.org/medicaid.  Findings show:

  • There are still 173 large institutions housing 37,711 people;
  • Those being served in the community increased from 101,000 to 104,400;
  • Fewer individuals reported participant in competitive employment; and
  • Pennsylvania moved in its ranking from 29 to 15, indicating improvement in community inclusion opportunities.

ADA Amendment
President Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 which makes several important changes to the original act. An overview of these changes is available from the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania at www.drnpa.org.

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