Seasons Greetings Postcard to Send to Your Local Legislators
It is an excellent time before the legislative session gets busy to reach out to your local legislators. Sending a postcard or email is a good way to build or strengthen your relationship with them. We have made it easy for you to do this by creating a “Seasons Greetings” postcard. For more details click on this link: https://communityconnectme.org/ It has all of the instructions about how to find the contact information for your local legislators and how to download and send a card. -
Thanks and Seasons Greetings to you all!
Community Connect Maine
This statewide survey is being conducted by the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine (USM) on behalf of Maine’s Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS).
Maine Caregiver Survey
Maine wants to improve services that support older adults to live in our homes and in our communities as long as possible. As part of this, Maine wants to hear from you if you provide any kind of help or care to an older adult or an adult with a disability or if you are an older person who has primary responsibility for the care of a grandchild or other relative under the age of 18. This includes unpaid caregivers as well as caregivers who are paid to provide help to a relative or friend. This statewide survey is being conducted by the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine (USM) on behalf of Maine’s Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS). While the survey is voluntary, (you don’t have to do it), the findings will help the State and its community partners focus on the areas that are of greatest concern to you and other caregivers in Maine. Information about this survey, including a link to the survey, is also on the OADS’ website: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oads/news/news-details.html?id=1760587
Please feel free to share this survey with other people or organizations who might be interested. Thank you!
To begin the survey, click here: Caregiver Survey
DHHS OADS Quarterly Update: Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities & Brain Injury in their Homes & Communities
This update originally appeared on the DHHS-OADS website. Click here for the original post.
Quarterly Update: Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities
October 8, 2019
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home- and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government, and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.
Funding for these services was expanded in Governor Mills' biennial budget that took effect July 1, allowing DHHS to serve an additional 167 people in the current fiscal year under Section 21. We've started offering Section 21 services to additional people and expect to hit this target promptly.
Since our last update in May, the number of people served in Section 21 rose from 3,173 to 3,186, while those served through Section 29 grew from 2,281 to 2,286.
Table 1 provides a snapshot of the programs as of the start of this quarter of the year.
Most of the individuals on waiting lists for Sections 18, 20, 21, and 29 (1,219 out of 1,918, or 64%), currently have coverage under a different Section of MaineCare. This includes, for example, 978 people who are receiving services under Section 29 while they await services under Section 21 (Table 2), representing 60% of the Section 21 waitlist. As more new offers are made for Section 21 services, additional capacity will be opened in Section 29 as people move from one waiver program to the other.
The waitlists also include individuals who may not need waiver services currently but have added their names to the waitlists in anticipation of needing services in the future. This includes those who are added to the Section 21 waitlist when they turn 18 years of age, but who plan to continue receiving services under the Children's Services Section until they become 21 years old. The following charts show that most people on waiting lists are young adults.
None of those on the Section 21 waitlist are categorized as Priority 1, which includes people determined to be in immediate need of Adult Protective Services due to abuse or neglect. Those waiting are in the Priority 2 and 3 groups. The Department continues to serve all Priority 1 applicants by using openings that become available when people leave the waiver program (attrition).
With funding provided through Governor Mills' biennial budget, we are also establishing a crisis intake function for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, autism and/or brain injury. This will help to prevent and de-escalate crises by using specially trained crisis workers, providing better assessment of clinical needs earlier, improving program data, and taking pressure off overextended field workers.
Maine DHHS recognizes that there has long been a need to improve services for individuals with developmental disabilities and brain injury. While capacity to serve eligible people in Maine has grown, so too has demand - at a greater pace. And as important as the current waiver services are, they represent a limited set of choices for individuals and their families. Many have asked for services to be more flexible and more responsive to individual needs and phases of life.
The Department is receiving invaluable feedback from stakeholders on the Home and Community Based Services Advisory Committee, which is helping ensure Maine's compliance with federal rules that require all service settings to be as integrated in the community as possible. The Department also participated in listening sessions with the Maine Developmental Services Oversight & Advisory Board (MDSOAB) this summer, where many individuals and family members expressed the need for better information and family networking opportunities, a broader array of flexible service options, better person-centered planning that addresses the entire lifespan, more training for people at all levels of the system, and better support for people with challenging behaviors.
This and other feedback collected through multiple venues are informing the Department's plans for developmental services, autism and brain injury, which will be submitted to the Legislature in February. We look forward to finding ways to improve the quality and accessibility of these services.
This update originally appeared on the DHHS website. Click here for the original post.
New Developments at DHHS
October 31, 2019
Improving Transportation for Those We Serve
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides transportation to approximately 55,000 Mainers each year. This includes about 2.5 million trips to doctors' offices, educational classes, employment opportunities, and appointments.
These services are provided through various contracts to diverse populations with a range of needs, from children to working families to adults with disabilities. The cost is significant: $83 million per year ($30 million state General Fund), with nearly all covered with MaineCare funds.
We recognized an opportunity to improve and better coordinate these services, so in June 2019, DHHS convened a workgroup consisting of staff from the Offices of MaineCare Services, Child and Family Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Aging and Disability Services, and Contract Management to perform a comprehensive review.
The workgroup's objective was to assess DHHS transportation services and recommend improvements based on their evaluation. Throughout this process, the group examined quality, performance, and safety requirements in DHHS transportation contracts to identify opportunities for greater consistency and alignment.
The workgroup identified several challenges, including: the billing of multiple funding streams, overlapping client populations, and varying eligibility requirements and payment methodologies used across client populations.
The workgroup has put forth a series of recommendations to address these challenges. By the time transportation contracts are renewed on July 1, 2020, the group recommends that DHHS:
We will assess a number of options, which could include implementing a single statewide transportation system through a request for proposals (RFP).
Our work will also incorporate communications with clients and stakeholders to learn more about their experience and identify barriers to access to transportation services.
We will hold four listening sessions throughout the state in November:
We look forward to making DHHS transportation services more efficient, accountable and accessible.
Dear disability advocate,
Leading up to the February 11th primary, New Hampshire will be busy with many presidential candidate events.
ANCOR will be in New Hampshire the week of November 4 to support providers and the people we support to participate in town halls and rallies that will be hosted by the 2020 presidential candidates. The goal is to get the issues important to us in front of the candidates while they are in New Hampshire campaigning. See ANCOR’s Talking Points.
New Hampshire Public Radio’s events calendar is a good tool to track events, and the calendar is already pretty full. For example, in the past 24 hours, we’ve already attended a meet-and-greet with John Delaney in Manchester and a house party with Tulsi Gabbard in Exeter.
Are you available to attend an event or two? If so:
If you can’t participate this week but have time between now and the February 11th primary, you can reach out to Sean Luechtefeld, Communications Director for ANCOR, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.535.7850 x100.
You can find the Included. Supported. Empowered. Medium publication here. There, you’ll note a handful of stories that we’re slowly but surely adding to (we welcome guest contributions!), but of particular note, I’d call your attention to the first three installments in a series on DRCNH’s candidate survey. Another helpful read is this Quartz op-ed, in which self-advocate Bill Krebs (an ANCOR member in PA who ANCOR supported to place this op-ed) argues for the engagement of people with disabilities by 2020 hopefuls.
NEWS FLASH! You’re invited!
Come join the conversation about a Continuum of Care for those with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism
What? Listening Session of Interest to Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders, to Their Families, and to Those Who Care for Them
When? Thursday, September 26, 5 to 7 p.m.
Where? Community Concepts, 240 Bates Street, Lewiston (parking off Blake Street)
The Maine Developmental Services Oversight and Advisory Board (MDSOAB) and the Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) want to know how well the current system of care serves Maine citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities or autism spectrum disorder and how well it embodies these principles.
We invite comment on the following propositions, which we believe represent a set of principles that a good system of care should follow.
Partnership. Support for an individual is a partnership among the individual, family, community and government. The role of each party varies by individual, and over the lifespan of support.
Lifespan. People need different types and amounts of supports over their lifespan. Formal supports [provided by government] complement and supplement natural supports provided by family and community. Supports include affordable, stable housing; competitive employment; comprehensive healthcare; accessible, reliable transportation; financial stability; continuing education; and planning for aging.
Community Inclusion. People are included and engaged in their communities. Inclusion is promoted and facilitated by both natural and formal supports.
Person Centered. The person drives the planning process. The person, family, and community are all involved in planning supports as they evolve over time. Supports are based on the wants, goals, and needs of the individual and change over the lifespan. Self-advocacy and self-determination are primary values.
Choice and Flexibility. People are entitled to have a broad array of choices about how they live their lives and the form that supports take. Formal supports should be flexible and adaptable to individual preferences and needs.
Coordinated Access and Quality Outcomes. Supports should exist that are based on these principles, and if they do not there’s clear recourse and a path to solve problems or challenges.
Questions about this event? Contact Mark Kemmerle, Executive Director of the MDSOAB, at email@example.com If you cannot attend, you may send written comments.
Aucocisco School & Learning Center Young Adult Social Activities Group
(Click here for the flyer)
An exciting program for young adults to socialize and have fun!
This group is a social space to meet new people, and integrates theater games, drama play, and coffee/tea house time. It promotes relationship building and fosters skills in social behavior, communication, and social/emotional problem solving.
Dates: The group will meet on eight Tuesday afternoons from 4pm-6pm:
September 24; October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; and November 5 and 12, 2019.
Staff: The group will be led by professionals with experience in theater arts and working
with individuals of all abilities. The group leader will be Susan Bahadori, Speech and
Language Pathologist, and there will be guest artists.
Enrollment: Limited to 8
Cost: $240.00, scholarships available
Location: Aucocisco School and Learning Center
126 Spurwink Avenue, Cape Elizabeth, ME
Please call or email Aucocisco for more information and to register.
Phone (207) 773-7323; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2019 New England
November 6th- 7th
SPACE IS LIMITED!
Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel
250 Market Street
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
$249 Non-MACSP member
Disability Service Providers from all over New England (and beyond) will come together for this day and half long event.
November 6th -- Afternoon Session
(Attendees select one of the following Sessions to Attend)
I. Coming Your Way Soon – Fee-For Service May Soon be a Thing of the Past – Learn from 3 experts about Value-Based Purchasing, Alternate Payment Methodologies, and Pay-For-Performance
Presenters: Mark Davis – President and CEO of PAR – Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disabilities; Paul Saucier - Director of Maine/DHHS, Office of Aging and Disability Services; Olivia Alford – Director of Value-Based Purchasing, Maine/DHHS, Office of MaineCare Services
II. Overview of the CMS Community Settings Rule – The Why, the What and the When!
III. Introduction to supported Decision-Making: From Justice to Jenny to Justice For All – What was this landmark Supreme Court Case all about and how might it affect you?
Presenter: Jonathan Martinis, Esq., J.D. – Senior Director for Law and Policy, Burton Blatt Institute of Syracuse University
Post-Conference Reception hosted by
Gold Sponsor, Mutual of America
November 7th -- All Day
Round Table Discussions on issues such as:
Data Strategies to Reduce DSP Turnover with Doug Nafziger, CEO
BOOK A ROOM: Click here to book at our discounted group rate.
MACSP is partnering with the
Burton Blatt Institute for a
2 Part Webinar Series on
September 16th and 17th, 2019
Jonathan Martinis, Esq. and
Lydia Dawson, Esq., presenters
Part I: Introduction to Supported-Decision-Making in Maine
September 16th, 1pm-3pm
This webinar will provide a basic overview of the tenets of Supported Decision-Making and guardianship within the Maine Probate Code. Using the “Justice for Jenny” case as an example, participants will learn about how Supported Decision-Making can empower people to make their own decisions and direct their own lives with the help they need and want to do so.
Note: This is a repeat of the materials presented at the June 2019 SDM conference.
Part II: Supported Decision-Making in Maine –
Theory to Practice
September 17th, 1pm-3pm
This webinar will focus on using Supported Decision-Making in healthcare and finances. Participants will learn about how formal and informal supports can be utilized to make healthcare and financial decisions effective and accessible.
Cost Per Webinar:
$25 MACSP Members, Self-Advocates, and Family Members
$45 Non-MACSP Members
Lydia Dawson, Esq., currently serves as MACSP's Executive Director Lydia obtained her Juris Doctorate from Roger Williams University School of Law with a focus in public interest and access issues, which ensure support for Mainers with disabilities. She has served as a speaker and trainer both statewide and nationally on topics which include disability rights, due process, and guardianship and guardianship alternatives.
Jonathan Martinis, Esq., is the Senior Director for Law and Policy for the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, leading its efforts to ensure that older adults and people with disabilities have access to the services and supports they need to lead independent, inclusive lives. In 2013, Jonathan represented Margaret “Jenny” Hatch in the “Justice for Jenny” case – the first trial to hold that a person has the right to use Supported Decision-Making to make her own life choices instead of being subjected to a permanent, plenary guardianship. Since then, Jonathan has spoken to and trained thousands of older adults, people with disabilities, families, and professionals across the country about everyone’s Right to Make Choices and direct their own lives.
The following was disseminated by the Office of MaineCare Services on Monday, 8/12/2019:
MaineCare in Education Updates
MaineCare is currently working to finalize a new school-based services section of policy that will be added to the MaineCare Benefits Manual. In addition to adding new medical services for children, the new policy will provide detailed and clear instructions for providers regarding provision of services, record-keeping, and claims submission for the medically necessary services provided through the school-based services program. These changes will also ensure that services provided are clearly identified to ensure accountability for the state share of costs assessed to districts seeking reimbursement for medically necessary services to MaineCare members through IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). The Department will offer information to providers on this new policy through a number of scheduled in-person trainings across the state and online. Providers will also be able to request individualized training to meet their needs, conducted at their own on-site locations. More details on these changes, including the rulemaking timeline and public comment period, will be shared as they become available.
In the meantime, the MaineCare in Education webpage has been updated to provide additional support for school-based providers. These updates include:
MaineCare in Education School-Based Services Billing Guide
The MaineCare in Education 2019 guide has been updated to include more detailed descriptions of covered services and policy information regarding current documentation requirements for each service as it relates to the MaineCare school-based services policy that is currently in effect. Providers can view requirements for each covered service and more easily find related provider and documentation requirements mandated in current policy.
MaineCare in Education: An Overview for School Administrators
A presentation for school administrators, recently shared at the Department of Education’s Commissioner’s Conference is now available. The presentation provides a brief overview of MaineCare and the options that schools currently have regarding enrollment as MaineCare providers.
Quick Reference Fact Sheets
Accessing MaineCare in Schools
Audit Checklist for School-Based Services
Claims Status Review Quick Reference
Claim Submission Quick Reference
Medically Necessary School-Based Services
MIHMS Enrollment Checklist
All questions relating to MaineCare School-Based Services can be directed to MaineCareinEducation.DHHS@maine.gov.