CLAG meeting hears ADAPT’s demands
Colorado ADAPT took over the agenda of the Community Living Advisory Group (CLAG) at today’s meeting and inserted demands for the state department of Medicaid. ADAPT scratched out one agenda item for the committee and demanded that Suzanne Brennan and Lorez Meinhold agree to develop an Olmstead Plan, solve the problem of Medicaid eligibility for people transitioning from nursing homes and work with ADAPT to develop state housing vouchers for the Money Follows the Person grant.
The problem with Medicaid eligibility is that one day in the Nursing home an individual is Medicaid eligible in Colorado. The day they move out into the community; however, the state is unable to find them Medicaid eligible and home services are not provided.
“For the past ten years advocates have been trying to solve this procedural problem,” said Dawn Russell of Colorado ADAPT. “What this means is that people will transition out of nursing homes without services set up in the community. Before the roll-out of Colorado’s Community Choice Transition program we need to change that.”
Joslyn Gay asked why moving out of an institution was not similar to “moving into home and community based services?”
Tim Cortez, the director of the Colorado Choice Transition program answered her question by validating the problem. He explained that a coding change had to be entered into the Colorado Benefits Management System by a county technician. Without that coding change, said Tim Cortez, providers will not supply services. Mr. Cortez however suggested the problem was only in the Denver Metro region and that a solution was currently in the works for the limited area of the problem.
Dawn Russell pointed out that in the current system statewide the application to change service from the institution to the community cannot be made until the day of the individual’s move. Therefore, if the county tech is off work or busy with other items, the person transitioning will go without state services.
Anita Cameron of ADAPT demanded an Olmstead Plan by June 22 of this year. She noted that the plan was four years overdue and Colorado already had put a lot of work in developing Olmstead recommendations; but had not made a plan.
Josh Winkler briefly explained the third ADAPT demand for the state to develop vouchers to go with the MFP program launching on Friday. Colorado found that two-thirds of the people transferring from institutions will need a housing voucher, but they failed to include any housing component in the plan to help people move from nursing homes. Josh explained how the state could subsidize housing and still recover significant Medicaid savings by having citizens avoid expensive institutions.
After a short break, the group came back together and Suzanne Brennan the Colorado medicaid Director stated that she and Lorez Meinhold the Deputy Executive Director of the Department of Health Care Policy and Finance agreed with the ADAPT demands.
We agree with ADAPT’s concept for state vouchers and will set up a meeting with ADAPT, the disability community and the JBC. We will work with ADAPT to have an Olmstead plan by June 22, 2013; use a pilot program to solve the problem of Medicaid eligibility for nursing home transition starting March 1 for the soft development period.
/s/ Suzanne Brennan
/s/ Lorez Meinhold