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Continuing Wayne County Cuts and Terrible News from the State | DDadvocates.com

Our last newsletter asked that we not forget all those who are experiencing  service cuts, that we continue to advocate not only for family members and friends, but for all the developmentally disabled in Wayne County, and that we push to get the 2008/2009 Budget Year reductions reversed before the next budget year starts in October. While there was some hopeful news in the last message, this message is ALL BAD NEWS:

Health  and Safety Service Cuts Continue

In earlier newsletters we wrote about un-authorized service cuts occurring in Wayne County. Following is a portion of a note I received from a parent concerning the fact that Speech Therapy services are still being cut in Wayne County, a potentially life threatening policy for those with Dysphasia – a swallowing disorder.

Apparently Eating Monitoring (determining the texture of food and the way they should be fed) falls under the responsibility of a Speech and Language Pathologist.  This includes monitoring Dysphasia (swallowing disorder).

I was told CLS seems to be getting away from including Speech and Language Pathologists in the Person Center Planning sessions for clients in group homes instead relying on nurses or doctors, who may only have one day or so of training on the subject.  This could create dangerous situations.

If some poor resident chokes to death because they had no one to advocate for him or her, that is a tragic incident that may have been avoided with the proper monitoring.

Please remain vigilant toward any unauthorized service cuts for Speech and Language and any other services. This can be difficult for families to spot working through a multi-page Plan document. Where there is no family involved, I have been advised that protecting the rights of the individual falls to the Personal Agent and the Home Administrator.

Governor’s Executive Order Slashes CMH Funding

This evenings news reports that the Governor’s Executive Order to be Released tomorrow (May 5) includes significant cuts to CMH Programs (the main funding source for services to the Developmentally Disabled). Worse yet, the cuts will come to programs that provide Medicaid matching dollars. So the projected $16.0 million in spending cuts will result in $36.8 million fewer federal dollars coming to the state and a total program reduction of $52.8 million. Obviously, this will not all flow to services for the Developmentally Disabled-but as we learned this budget year in Wayne County, what impacts CMH, impacts services to the Developmentally Disabled. This is bad fiscal policy any time but it is especially outrageous for the most cash-strapped state in the nation to deliberately turn back federal dollars where they are so needed!!

The following is from the CEO of a Wayne County Provider Agency indicating that cuts of from 4% to 15% are possible as a result these self imposed Medicaid cuts – received this morning. Note the urgency!!!

This message has a link to a Friday Fax…it is put out by a trade association of Michigan Mental Health Board Members and very informative.

The news is rather shocking.  The word is that Michigan will impose cuts on Medicaid system programs.  Surprise since the Federal government reimburses for most of the Medicaid expense, so Michigan will lose tens of millions….of dollars. This could mean deep cuts to the programs we have from 4% to 15%.

Consider sending the contents of the article to your members, and urging them to contact legislators now like today.

Click Here For The Full Article

What to do today??

Call, write or e-mail your State Representative, State Senator and the Governor. Tell them:

I am opposed to the proposed 2009/2010 Medicaid cuts as bad fiscal policy but more importantly because they will put thousands of our most vulnerable citizens at risk. The proof of this is the experience we had this year in Wayne County when funding cuts to providers of services to the Developmentally Disabled resulted in significant numbers of health and safety issues being reported and in unauthorized service cuts which in some cases put clients at risk.

Call, write or e-mail your County Commissioner. Tell him or her:

The 2008/2009 funding model for providers of services to the Developmentally Disabled must be corrected so that all reductions still in effect are reversed (4% Residential and 10% Vocational) immediately. Otherwise they stand the risk of being compounded by what’s happening in Lansing – putting even more of our citizens at risk.

Send this note to your 10 best friends and ask them to do the same (if you’d rather we do the follow up, just send their email addresses and request that we add them to the distribution list)! Don’t limit this to Wayne County Residents only. The Governor’s Executive Order will impact every county…..

Elected Official Contact Information Attached

Because tonight’s message is so urgent, I am once again attaching county and state contact information. We know that many other groups facing cuts will be contacting their elected officials tonight and tomorrow; let’s make sure our voice is recognized and our issues defined so that we have a say in the outcomes.

Thanks again and keep up the good fight!

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