Archive for Saturday, March 23, 2013

Advocates for people with developmental disabilities alarmed by bill before the Senate

March 23, 2013


— Advocates for people with developmental disabilities are expressing alarm over passage of a bill in a Senate committee that would prevent Community Developmental Disability Organizations, such as Cottonwood Inc. in Lawrence, from providing some services.

"We have a very efficient system," said Cottonwood's Chief Executive Officer Sharon Spratt. "This will gut our system," she said.

The bill would limit the services a CDDO could provide clients, including prohibiting a CDDO from conducting both eligibility determinations for services for a person and also providing those services. The bill, Senate Substitute for House Bill 2155, is scheduled for debate before the full Senate on Monday.

The legislation, advanced by Republicans on the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, also would allow people to obtain case management from a managed care organization.

Carole Koppes, whose daughter Sara receives services from Cottonwood, said she can't imagine Sara's case manager not being at Cottonwood.

"It would be a nightmare," Koppes said. "Your case manager is the first person you go to. They help you coordinate and help them (those with developmental disabilities) achieve their preferred lifestyle," she said.

The possibility of dealing with a managed care organization for long-term services for her daughter doesn't sound plausible, Koppes said. "I can't imagine calling someone in a call center," she said.

Tony Schwager of Lawrence, whose son Anthony's case manager is at Cottonwood, said "case management is a people thing; it's not a numbers thing."

Schwager said he supports efforts to reduce costs and make operations more efficient, but added, "You don't fix things that aren't broken."

The bill is part of the battle between advocates for people with developmental disabilities and Gov. Sam Brownback's administration over KanCare, the governor's overhaul of the Medicaid system, which put most of the state's 350,000 Medicaid clients into managed care plans run by for-profit insurance companies.

CDDOs have argued that those companies can handle medical needs, but aren't able to handle long-term support services for their clients.

Brownback agreed to delaying placing those services in KanCare, but under current law they will be brought in next Jan. 1. But advocates are pushing for permanent separation from KanCare for those long-term services.


chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

The "efficiency" of denying people needed services without the inconvenience of looking them in the eye when you do it.

DScully 5 years, 3 months ago

Brownback is a coward of the first order....

John Sickels 5 years, 3 months ago

The Kansas Republican Party is controlled by sadists and sociopaths who want to harm the weakest members of our society: people with developmental disabilities.

Dave Trabert? Where is Dave Trabert? I'm still waiting for the free-market solution to autism and DD.

Sadistic bastards.

KSManimal 5 years, 3 months ago

According to Brownback, adding layers of for-profit middle management will make things more "efficient" AND "improve" services.....

It never ceases to amaze me how many folks fall for that crap. Where do people think those profits are going to come from, if not from monies that would otherwise have been spent actually providing services?

John Sickels 5 years, 3 months ago

All they care about is money and profit.

ThePilgrim 5 years, 3 months ago

Once again, the legislature concentrating their very limited session time on bills that do nothing for the State but wage war on the poor, control people's personal lives, and help their cronies.

You only have four months of sessions you nimrods! This is the best you can do?

Instead of helping the State or creating jobs, they have presented several Senate bills on alcohol control, many on abortion - including the requirement to get an "unborn child" death certificate if a woman has a miscarriage (!). And they proposed creating a toll system on the turnpike to charge the driver by calculating the average speed used on the turnpike based on the difference between the enter/ingress and exit/egress times (SB213, which was introduced in the Committee of Federal and State Affairs, of which Tom Holland is a member. Shame on you Tom Holland).

ThePilgrim 5 years, 3 months ago

More taxes, tolls, control, in the name of safety, and vehicle emissions !

WHEREAS, The current Governor has expressed opposition to motor fuel tax increases to finance a new comprehensive transportation plan; and WHEREAS, Research indicates that operating motor vehicles at a reduced speed on highways diminishes accident risk and fatalities; and WHEREAS, The Kansas Legislature has not shown interest in legislation reducing motor vehicle highway speed limits; and WHEREAS, Reducing the speed limit on motor vehicles on highways would reduce vehicle emissions; and WHEREAS, The Kansas Turnpike Authority has recently increased toll charges system- wide while the motorist consumers are unable to temper this spiraling cost during inflationary times despite the fact that the Kansas Turnpike Authority continues to produce a strong profit in the hundreds of thousands of dollars annually: Now, therefore, Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas: ... (14 b): b) In addition to the tolls charged and collected under paragraph (7) of subsection (a), the authority is hereby authorized the option to develop and implement a system of tolls based on the average speed driven between entering and exiting the turnpike project.

ThePilgrim 5 years, 3 months ago

I got a better idea - charge people driving Prius and other hybrid cars additional money. They are using less fuel and "not paying their fair share" in fuel taxes.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 3 months ago

As much as possible, dismantle FDR's legacy. This is ALEC and the Tea Partys' goal. The Family has worked towards this end for decades. In some states, Kansas for example, the program is beginning and hitting on all cylinders. Read up on Doug Coe, Mr. Brownback's mentor since the late 1970's.

charles murtagh 5 years, 3 months ago

When people vote Republican or stay home on Election Day , this is what happens.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

"Schwager said he supports efforts to reduce costs and make operations more efficient, but added, "You don't fix things that aren't broken.""

In Brownbackistan, the motto is "If it don't need fixing, break it." (in ways that funnel public moneys to well-connected corporations.)

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 3 months ago

First of all, it is amazing to me that this story even appears in this newsrag, print or digital, since such stories that are badly reflective of the so called "conservative" (read "facists") antics are covered up by the "conservatives" of the management of this news outlet.

"Conservatives do not give one whit about the plight of developmentally disabled persons or anhyone else that is not in concert with their agenda. They regard such people as lazy, indifferent, and slothful people trying to get on the public dole. This is as it has been and evermore will be with thise disgusting right wing nuts.

meggers 5 years, 3 months ago

The article leaves out the fact that the bill expressly states that agencies like Cottonwood can no longer provide case management. Most people will have to get that service through their KanCare insurance company. The same for-profit insurance company that will also determine whether a person is eligible for supports and how much support they need. That is 'conflict of interest' on steroids.

UneasyRider 5 years, 3 months ago

Somehow I don't see someone on a help desk in probably India or even China would have a clue on what a person in crisis needs. These people need someone they can talk to in person, not someone who simply says, we'll get back to you shortly, maybe a few days. But we care for you, listen to our canned message while you wait.

John Sickels 5 years, 3 months ago

Still waiting for the coward and paid liar Dave Trabert to show up here and explain how non-verbal autistic and developmentally disabled people are supposed to negotiate with insurance company caseworkers.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.