DDS Waiting List Meeting
September 8 2016
Working application date: February 2, 2006
Represented in attendance:
11 – Parent or Family Member
1 – Self-Advocate (person with a disability)
5 – DHS/DDS
2 – OHCA (Health Care Authority)
1 – OSDH (State Department of Health)
1 – News Media
1 – State Representative
1 – Candidate for Oklahoma House of Representatives
(Thank you Rep. Cyndi Munson and Roger Ford for coming to hear and learn from families)
Representing those on the Waiting List – 6
First Time Attendees – 6
Locations represented – Edmond, Norman, Kingfisher, Cashion, Oklahoma City, Mustang, Tulsa
Community agencies, programs or organizations represented: Center for Learning and Leadership/OK UCEDD, Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Oklahoma Family Network, Sooner SUCCESS, Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council, Tulsa ARC, Oklahoma Watch, Office of Client Advocacy, Special Courage Advocacy
DHS Update including budget – Mark Jones, DHS
Mr. Jones reported that with last the budget handed to DHS from the state legislature, they were short $100M in needed funds. DHS has some programs they are not allowed to cut or reduce such as Child Welfare in regards to the Pinnacle Plan. He also said the state match has increased thus causing a greater financial stress on DHS to provide the services needed. Mr. Jones said DHS looked internally to try and address the shortfall with administrative cost reductions. DHS offered VOBO’s (Voluntary Out Benefit Offers) three different times and is now moving forward with RIF’s (Reduction in Force). DHS was able to save $45M internally in addition to cutting or eliminating contracts for programs such as the program to support volunteer guardians or a program for kids with autism. Mr. Jones says even with the internal cuts DHS will not have enough money to cover the full year of services. DHS plans to request a supplemental funding when the legislative session starts in February. DHS has reduced staff by 1,200 over the past two years. Marie Moore reported that DDS has reduced their staff by over 27%, from over 600 staff to 489. She reports that most of the staff was not case managers or field staff.
Waiting List Update – Marie Moore, Interim DDS Director
Ms. Moore reported the date of application to be February 2, 2006, which is the same date as at the last DDS Waiting List meeting. She was asked the number of people that were added to the Waiting List. There were 32 people added to the list this past month which is in line with the average of about 30 a month added to the list. When asked about how many people were added to DDS waivers, she reported that in FY 16 there were 116 due to emergency situations. She also reported that more than half were children and most if not all are in custody of the state or public guardian. Someone asked how many were under the Public Guardian, Mr. Jones reported that the Public Guardian only has about 40 people in all so not many. Someone asked what is the Public Guardian, Mr. Jones explained that the Public Guardian is a court order placement, when the person is charged with a violent crime but has been determined “incompetent” to stand trial due to an intellectual disability and is considered a “danger to society”, they are placed in the care of the Public Guardian. Mr. Jones said these individuals are then placed in a “alternative group home”.
Ray Hester from DDS spoke about a new process to support senior citizens on the Waiting List. DDS has started calling all people on the Waiting List who are 65 years or older and offering the support through the Advantage Waiver. The Advantage Waiver is the waiver for adults with physical disabilities and the elderly. Mr. Hester said the DDS In-take staff is making contact with each of the individuals, their guardian or advocate and explaining what the Advantage waiver can do. If the person is interested in pursuing this support or wanting more information, DDS In-take will then forward their information to the Aging division for a follow-up. Mr. Hester said this new process has only been going on for about a month. So far they have referred about five people to the Aging division, there have been a few who were not interested in the Advantage or even DDS, some were already on Advantage, and some they are still trying to locate. Mr. Hester reported that a person who is choosing to accept the services through the Advantage Waiver will NOT be removed from the Waiting List and they will maintain their date of application.
One mom asked where families can get general information. She mentioned a challenge she had with her adult son’s services through DHS. She said that she received two different forms from the Kelly office at two different times during the year. She said one form was a short form and one was longer. When she asked someone they advised her to ignore one (this is not advised until you have full understanding of what the form is and what is required). She mentioned a Volunteer Guardian program and the loss of that program through TARC.
It was reported by Ms. Moore that the Volunteer Guardian program was brought “in-house” at DDS. Chris Castleberry is the contact person at the state office. His phone number is 405-521-4982
Discussion: Kathryn Brewer, Advocate General from the Office of Client Advocacy, explained that her office has a program called the “Special Advocates” unit. Ms. Brewer said that if a person has an issue with services for people with developmental disabilities or accessing those services, they can call her office and open a case with the Special Advocates unit. She said typically this unit is for specific issues with the projected outcomes being met within 90 days. She did explain there has been times it has taken longer, though. The phone number to the Office of Client Advocacy is 405-522-2720.
Personal care was a discussion point, too. Personal Care is a service provide through DHS or OHCA. Personal Care provides individual care to a person with a disability who needs assistance with personal care and daily living. Anyone on SoonerCare (Medicaid) can apply for Personal Care. To apply (Children on SoonerCare through TEFRA apply through OHCA) need to apply through their local DHS office. The program is managed through the Aging division, but children can apply. **One parent mentioned that they called the local office and was told that the program is only for people over the age of 21 – NOT correct. If a child is on SoonerCare through TEFRA, they will need to call 1-877-252-6002 to apply.
Personal Care: One parent asked if the child is receiving personal care, can the personal care aid (PCA) be left alone with the child. The representative from OHCA said No. I have asked to see the policy to confirm this. The representative explained that the PCA is not trained and that they are paid very low rates. A parent then said that the PCA’s are paid the same rate that HTS is paid and they receive no specialized training especially if they are a child on the IHSW.
Request from a parent: If the PCA is paid the same rate that HTS is, and if there is a policy restricting them from being alone with a child, the policy needs to be changed.
Personal care is a service that can meet a huge need for children with disabilities and the child DOES NOT have to be on a waiver, help while they wait!
Next Meeting Tulsa
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Skyline East II
6128 E 38th Street
Tulsa, OK 74135
Conference Room 3600