In New York State, 4 out of 9 disabled people are insured by Medicaid. It is typically the only insurance that covers home and community based services that keep our people out of institutions. Yet, these services are far from perfect, and even though it has been over 20 years since Olmstead, we are still fighting for our right to live in the community with access and dignity. Below are the specific topics our group is fighting:
Changes to Home Care Services
Under Medicaid, disabled people can enroll in Personal Care Services (PCS) through an agency, or in Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA), where they are able to hire their own PCAs (Personal Care Assistants) and direct their own care. New York State and the DOH has not only been making severe budget cuts to these programs, but also trying to change regulations and eligibility criteria. If they succeed, many in our community will either be stuck at home with no services, or forced into an institution.
Luckily, we have until Sept. 14th 2020 to tell the DOH to #SaveCDPA. Please read our Save CDPA Toolkit for information on what exactly the proposed regulations entail, how to submit feedback to the DOH, example talking points, and a short guide to using social media as a tool for advocacy. You can also join our summer webinar series that go over these matters and provide an opportunity for a Q&A or others ways to get involved.
Helping the Community Navigate Medicaid
Although 26% of New York’s population is enrolled in Medicaid, the system itself remains largely complicated, elusive, and filled with regulations and bylaws that oftentimes don’t make themselves readily available to the public. There are income restrictions we must follow and numerous programs within Medicaid that we can chose from– but all of this information is difficult to access without social services, disability lawyers, or doing copious amounts of your own research and combing through legal jargon.
The Downstate NY Chapter of ADAPT finds it so important for consumers of Medicaid to be able to have all of the facts, knowledge, and options available to them in a clear, concise, and accessible manner. We are currently working on putting together our Guide to Navigating Medicaid that will include the different types of Medicaid (Managed Care, Waivers, etc), the programs available to us (home care, community habilitation, etc), how to navigate working while on Medicaid, and other important information. Be on the lookout, our document is coming soon. Many find it helpful to understand the intricacies of the system they are interesting in advocating reform for — and we hope to provide help with that.
EVV – Electronic Visit Verification
CDPA in NYS is transitioning to use EVV for our PCA’s to keep track of their hours working with us. CDPA companies have to pick their EVV technology by July 24th 2020 and implement them by the start of 2021.
EVV technology options range from having our PCA clock in and out on our phones by calling a number, to apps that track their location, to facial recognition software. Activists across the state are trying to make it abundantly clear to the state how much certain technology would be a direct violation of our right to privacy.
Our chapter of ADAPT is working on compiling a list of what CDPA agencies work with what EVV technology so that consumers can be informed and pick agencies they are comfortable with. Be on the lookout for this document that is coming soon. Once this information is gathered, our chapter of ADAPT will work tirelessly to fight these systems that are a direct violation of our right to privacy, and we could use your help!
Interested in what you see here?
To join our Save CDPA and Medicaid working group, fill out our membership form or shoot us an e-mail. Have any ideas on what the Downstate NY chapter of ADAPT could be doing in our fight for Medicaid reform? We would love to hear from you.