Reneé Valletutti: Protecting those with developmental disabilities
Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 11:39 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 11:39 a.m.
As Washington looks at ways to fight fraud and waste in the Medicare and Medicaid systems, Florida is also struggling with Medicaid options that will meet the needs of all its residents.
Many persons with developmental disabilities use funding through the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid waiver for employment and living supports. These types of services provide a high quality of life to persons with disabilities and allow for greater independence and self-sufficiency to a population that is willing and able to attend school, work and play in the community, pay taxes, and vote.
It is important that as some Medicaid programs are shuffled neatly into HMOs and other managed care programs, a close watch is kept on the services that create meaningful lives for persons with disabilities. A vital part of the solution is the iBudget, administered under the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. This program of individually packaged budgets is designed to simplify and streamline the service system. Support and funds must be allocated for the implementation of this program statewide.
As a result of the efforts by State Sen. Joe Negron, R-Palm City, Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, and Sen. Nan Rich, D-Sunrise, there is some promise that our most vulnerable populations will continue to have flexibility in choosing the services which they most require. I encourage all our Florida Legislators to support the Senate Medicaid reform proposal that includes the iBudget and protections for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Florida Developmental Disabilities Council
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.