ADAPT Denver Protesters arrested for Senator Gardner Office occupation

ADAPT Denver protest and arrests

Senate Vote on Health Care bill delayed until after July 4th Congressional Recess

In Denver, ADAPT, protested at Senator Gardner's office starting on Tuesday June 27th. The protesters wanted a letter signed by Senator Gardner that he will vote no on the Healthcare Bill. For more history on ADAPT watch a fantastic 21 minute summary here from the June 23th Rachel Maddox MSNBC show.

There are so many articles published it is hard to keep up. . As of this writing, 8pm Friday night June 30th, this Denver Post article is most  current and has great still photos from the actual arrest here

There were a dozen or so people in his office starting on Tuesday morning, June 26th and many more out on the sidewalk at 1125 17th Street in Downtown Denver. There was a lot of media coverage local and national- see more here. Here is a first hand account posted on Facebook by Carrie Ann Lucas here

By Thursday evening, June 29th, ten protesters inside Senator Gardner's office were arrested. Nine were taken to the Denver Jail and one was evaluated, issued a summons and released after the police said they would not take her to the jail due to her ventilator. Ironically, the police had a RTD bus on site, with the very lift that ADAPT demanded back in their historic 1978 protest at Broadway and Colfax. A plaque is installed there to recognize Denver's civil rights action,  which catapulted accessibility in public transportation. 

There is some disparity in stories noted in this Channel 7 report. Senator Gardner's office said they would not call the police yet the police spokesperson reported that a staff person from Senator Gardner's office had signed the complaint. Trespassing and resisting arrest are among the charges. 

As of 7:45pm Friday night, June 30th, at the writing of this post, the jail is delaying release of the eight jailed protesters. Their finger prints and bonds were completed this morning. Some feel the media presence might be a contributor.  Carrie Ann Lucas posted a first hand account on Facebook here. They are asking people to come down in support. 

People are requested to support as possible, and can follow updated on Carrie Ann Lucas Facebook page or Atlantis ADAPT on Facebook. The Twitter hashtags have updates as well #SaveMedicaid and #ADAPTandRESIST.

As of now, 8pm Friday night, people are at Justice Center 490 West Colfax Ave Denver. After their release, they may return to Senator Gardner's office at 1125 17th Street Denver. 

ADAPT Protest goes mainstream- many links Learn Denver's role!

Washington DC ADAPT protest results in arrests.

Fantastic coverage on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddox show with 21 minutes of Disability history, with Denver prominent, ending with why people’s very lives depend on Medicaid. 

The coverage of these brave activists are mainstream, coverage across media outlets!

 Time Magazine , Rolling stone, CNN, Mother Jones

And so many more… Will the Republicans in Congress listen?

JBC meets re Payment issues HCPF, Court arraignment, and more

6/20/17 The Colorado Joint Budget Committee (JBC) meets, includes provider payment HCPF item. Many providers of medicaid services have not been paid for all the services provided, for months. This is due to change from Xerox to HPE. The agenda includes the item of payment issues with HCPF medicaid providers listed for 10:45am-11:45 (chair has discretion to change agenda) Meetings are public, there is no comment period, it is rather a discussion between medicaid department HCPF and legislators about payment issues. https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/schedule1_69.pdf Location JBC Hearing Room, 3rd Floor Legislative Service Building 200 East 14th Avenue Denver, CO 80203 (303) 866-2061 http://leg.colorado.gov/agencies/joint-budget-committee
Can listen live audio or video here http://leg.colorado.gov/committee/granicus/929571

6/20/17 Arraignment of host home providers, 2016 Arvada fire- three deaths and one seriously injured. Arvada Fire on May 14 2016. Three people died- a young mother  and her 5 year old child (who happened to be visiting and the daughter/granddaughter of host home provider) and an adult client resident receiving supports died in the fire. Another adult client was seriously injured in the fire. Parker Personal Care was the residential agency and house was owned by an LLC that has Scott Parker as principal.  An arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal charging document in the presence of the defendant to inform the defendant of the charges against him or her. In response to arraignment, the accused is expected to enter a plea.
Monday June 19  8am 100 Jefferson Court Parkway Golden 80401 Courtroom 4D Case #17CR604 Arrive early to go through security if you wish to come, public is at discretion of the judge and behavior of observers. 

Three deaths and one serious injury following  smoking by providers, and smoldering cigarette butts. Parker Personal Care was the employing residential agency.
Here is an article http://denver.cbslocal.com/2017/02/16/caregivers-charged-in-deadly-arvada-house-fire/

6/14/17 DA McCann creates new units at Denver DAs- for at risk adult cases. 

There are multiple reports of  use of Adult Protective Services (APS) for false accusations against providers. The well intended mandatory reporting appears to be used sometimes inappropriately, as a management tool, to punish some providers. It is important not to misuse the time and manpower of valuable police resources with erroneous reports. When the accusations are deemed unfounded, the harm is already done: innocent people and clients are being hurt and harmed by false allegations. APS often will not share the outcome or details, stating they are not required to do so. Their authority is very broad..

There has only been one known conviction of a person abusing/neglecting a person with IDD (Benz case in Boulder recently) and she did not serve a day in jail.  


"Beth McCann, Denver DA, announced on Wednesday that her office has created a new Elder Abuse Unit. Denver police also have created a new Special Victims Unit to specialize in protecting the same population." 
"Colorado enacted mandatory reporting laws for at-risk elders, who are over 70, in 2014, and followed that with similar requirements for crimes committed against adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities"

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/06/14/denver-police-protecting-elderly/

6/21/17 3:30om Rocky Mountain Human Services (CCB for Denver County) has their Community Advisory Council at 3:30,RMHS offices at  9900 E Iliff Ave, Denver, CO 80231- it is open to public. Approximately 14.8 Millions of mill levy dollars are currently allocated from local Denver Property Tax dollars for Intellectual disabilities and unmet met needs, Come participate- Mill Levy funding and more info at https://www.rmhumanservices.org/mill-levy-program
Meeting Agenda for June 20th 3:30pm meeting at at https://www.rmhumanservices.org/sites/default/files/documents/20170620_ml_advisory_agenda.pdf

Do you know if and where your local property tax dollars go for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (most counties have an IDD mill levy)? This is why county commissioners (Board of County Commissioners) should retain local control of their local tax dollars. Most counties in Colorado have local IDD mill levy (property tax) that has been historically awarded with little question to the local CCB. With Conflict Free Case Management, as soon as the Summer of 2018 (per Colorado's medicaid agency, HCPF), there will likely be choice of Case Management Agencies (no longer the "one and only choice" of CCB). Also, many feel the counties should allocate the funds, not a private entity like a CCB. So, get involved at YOUR county level. Learn how it works, testify at your public comment time and keep me posted on what you learn. Denver City Council has opened their ordinance and code to open their $14.8 Million beyond the historical "all to the CCB" approach.

Lots on Calendar- Check it out- Other County Commission meetings for their local mill levy IDD tax money, CCB board meetings, Colorado Medicaid agency aka HCPF meetings, and more- check out under calendar at www.changecoidd.com and email me if you have events for me to add! 

Spring, a Time of Change! 

1. SB17-1343 Conflict Free Case Management Sailed through both chambers in the legislature, at end of session!
*Gretchen Hammer, Director of Office of Community Living shared in House Committee that rules and regs will be promulgated and through the Medical Services Board in 12-18 months which will allow additional case management agencies to be certified to provide case management in Colorado. (This will allow more than one case management agency for increased choice, currently limited by state statute to just one of the 20 Community Centered Boards by catchment area).
*The definition of conflict-free case management (CFCM)  is included in the bill and reflects the policy that case management services are provided to a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities who is enrolled in home- and community-based services by an agency that is not also providing the same person services and supports unless a federal exemption is approved. More at:
http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb17-1343

2. Local Mill Levy- Denver is leading as model for broadening use of local mill levy tax payer dollars for unmet needs of residents with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities. Local Case Management will be different with more than one agency allowed. 
*Denver City Council on January 9, 2017 made ordinance change and codification for their Mill Levy (a property tax initiative) to enable more entities to apply for Mill Levy funds, to expand choice and prepare for Conflict Free Services coming down from State and Federal Level.
Changes include:
*Approximately $14.5 million/year of Denver mill funds are by code, possible to make open for wider proposals (beyond the CCBs). Denver’s CCB Rocky Mountain Human Services will have a new contract starting 1/1/2018, for services. Denver DHS is the agency over the mill levy management.
*Contracts for purchasing services and supports for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities through any other entity or organization that provides such services. The Denver City Council SAFE Committee on 5/17/17 discussed a set aside of funding in the new contract, with a new RFP process for considering other proposals, not from CCBs
*Transfer of revenue to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to request  matching federal funds to provide Medicaid- approved waiver services to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This doubles the local mill levy tax, to enable more services. (Currently no county in Colorado is taking advantage of this federal match.)
January 9, 2017 Council meeting video link, Bill 1071 starts at  40 minute mark. http://bit.ly/2pHICpt

3. Denver Post article about January 9th 2017 Denver City Council Ordinance Hearing and Change with Mill Levy Accessibility http://dpo.st/2j0H7Mt
 
4. Medicaid Billing System IT Contractor still mired in problems Late March Denver Post Article http://dpo.st/2oYRXIh
If you or your providers  are still experiencing payment issues, drop an email to mpwelchco@gmail.com and get a list of steps to escalate your claim to the State Medicaid agency Healthcare Policy and Finance. They do not want to clients to lose providers, or providers to be impacted and need your proactive steps to expedite payment.
 
5. Denial of PAR
If you or your provider agencies are experiencing issues with denial of prior approval of services, please drop an email to mpwelchco@gmail.com for information on process depending on service. I am tracking these, especially Community Connector service in the CES waiver or any therapies (PT, OT, Speech) that are medically necessary for the client. There are people at the state to engage for a review and also rights for appeal.

6. Other news, calendar events to add or concerns? Email mpwelchco@gmail.com

But what can I do? Take the first step!

There are many ways and levels of involvement. 

1. Start by knowing what is available- and get to truth. Use the internet and read.

2. Attend a meeting- maybe at your local CCB, or County Commissioners to start local, most have a local mill levy property tax that is earmarked to support unmet needs of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, learn how to access those funds. Multitudes of meetings for State medicaid meetings are at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/hcpf/committees-boards-and-collaboration

3. Look at this www.changecoidd.com website calendar for many ways to get involved. Sign up for the newsletter at the SUBSCRIBE tab on same website.

4. If you have benefits through your private insurance, medicaid and or a medicaid waiver, learn what is available.

5. Talk to other parents, they will assist with information and your learning curve.

6. Find the gratitudes and joys daily with your life, and write them down.

 

Issues with waiver services denials?

If you are experiencing issues with denials or challenges with any waiver services, here are action steps. Lately seems Community connector is an issue in the CES waiver.

Send a short email

Remember these folks get hundreds of emails so more facts and less narrative

Include:

 

1.       Address to your  case manager/resource coordinator, anyone at CCB you want to include, if you know  their supervisor, as well as Health Care Policy and Finance (HCPF) State officials,  who have ASKED you to notify them of issues.

                Brittani Trujillo, State Manager over case management brittani.trujillo@state.co.us

                Jennifer Martinez, Director of Division of Developmental Disabilities (DIDD)

2.       Your contact info- email and phone

3.       Waiver recipient full name

4.       Which waiver they are on

5.       Community center board, and case manager name

6.       Billing service/ Category (Community Connector, etc)

7.       Short summary of issue (dates, denial, any documentation you can attach to email)

8.       Desired action at state level

If you don’t hear back, follow up.

 

 

 

 

Conflict Free Case Management Bill moving towards passage

HB17-1343 Conflict Free Case Management (in Community Centered Boards) passed unanimously out of Senate Appropriations committee early this morning. I was the only person signed up to comment, and I shared in about a minute that this has been a long time coming since I started on a 2014 State Medicaid department HCPF task force! I also said I hoped CMS was ok with the long 5 year implementation (Could be done much faster IMO) and that in house committee that Department rep Gretchen Hammer said in 12-18 months the state will have rules promulgated to allow for other Case Management Agency, allowing choice for families beyond CCBs. 
Next Stop? Senate of the Whole - The Floor.

Payment Issues for Colorado Medicaid Providers

On March 1st, Colorado Medicaid billings changed from Xerox to Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE). This change has been fraught with issues, and most providers have been impacted financially, due to no payments, delayed or partial payments. Feel free to share this post with your providers or clients.  We are in this together and can help: we need short term solution to get provider paid and services restored AS WELL AS getting the HPE system fixed for long term. All medicaid billing is subject to this new HPE system from doctors, to respite providers, to day programs, residential agencies, therapies like speech, OT, PT, ABA and anyone billing for any medicaid services, including waiver services. 

The information below was targeted to providers of Division of Intellectual Developmental Disability (DIDD) PASA providers, but any agency or entity that bills medicaid could be impacted, especially smaller providers. Feel free to share this information, the goal is to help maintain providers and prevent them from dropping medicaid clients or closing their practices entirely. PLEASE SHARE.

Direct Service Agencies have shared that they are still due a lot of money and may be stretched to the limit. If you are needing payment and are suffering, the state has the money, and can get you paid. 
The lesson from all your stories is that PASAs who voice their need are the ones getting paid. Please share back your experience, to help others.

  • Many direct service agencies whose denials are challenging to resolve are requesting a “warrant” for services provided, (basically a check manually cut).  
  • Others have had success getting their error codes/billing issues resolved so their HPE claims are successfully processed.
  • Some suggest reaching out via a short email that is concise to targeted recipients.
  • Others have contacted HCPF or their legislators and even shown up person at the Capitol or HCPF to wait until their issue was resolved.
  • If one chooses to email, include your agency name, phone number and all addresses (especially if more than one location).
    Include a total balance of outstanding billable services.

 
To make this email easier,  the emails are listed below, to cut and paste (also add your state legislators from areas you serve, all emails are on the state legislature website).

Included emails below:
State Medicaid Agency Healthcare Policy and Financ
e- Sue Birch (HCPF), Jed Ziegenhagen (HCPF), Joanne Svenningsen (HCPF),

DIDD Specific - Jen Martinez (Director DIDD at HCPF), and Barb Ramsey (Director of Office of Community Living over DIDD at HCPF)
Also the 6 members of the Joint Budget committee- Senator Lambert (chair), Rep Hamner (co-chair), Senator Moreno, Rep Young, Rep Rankin, Senator Lundberg.
And Jennifer Brown, journalist covering this at the Denver Post. 
And Micki Hackenburger, Axiom lobbyist for Hewlett Packard Enterprises, the HPE of this software program.

Here are Emails for easy cut and paste:
Susan.birch@state.co.us,  jed.zeigenhagen@state.co.usjoanne.svenningsen@state.co.us,jennifer.martinez@state.co.usBarbara.Ramsey@state.co.us ,
senatorlambert@comcast.net,  rephamner@gmail.com,Dominick.moreno.senate@state.co.us,dave@repdaveyoung.com,  
bob.rankin.house@state.co.us,   kevin@kevinlundberg.com,jbrown@denverpost.commicki@axiompolitics.com

 

 

 

What is new on Denver's Capitol Hill? 


1. Family Support loan fund

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/01/31/disabled-families-loan-bill-house-vote/

link to house committee meeting audio and testimony, Maureen Welch Parent testimony toward end

http://coloradoga.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=20&clip_id=10191

link to bill and history http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb17-1078

2. Update on DD "comp" waiver waitlist

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/02/02/wait-list-adults-disabilities-months-years-long/

Presentation on waitlist starts at

Audio testimony starts at about 1:07 marker Maureen Welch, parent testimony about 1:40

http://coloradoga.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=46&clip_id=10243

3. Conflict Free Case Management Bill to be introduced this session, as a JBC bill. This is to come into compliance with the Federal Final Rule, Colorado is currently in non-compliance.  

4. The Audit of Developmental Pathways should be released soon, done jointly by Arapahoe and Douglas County Commissioners, on the local Mill Levy tax revenue uses at the Community Centered Board.

http://www.denverpost.com/2016/12/06/arapahoe-douglas-counties-disability-funding-audit/  

 

Denver Ordinance opens local property tax to wider proposals and federal matching funds

Denver sets bar for opening local mill levy funding 

Denver Auditor Tim O'Brien exposed the misuse of local property tax at the local Community Center Board in December 2015 report. 
“Because of our audit, we had a number of meetings last year with state legislators, Denver City Council members, and the families of the intellectually and developmentally disabled clients.  The need for new legislation emerged from those meetings,” O’Brien said.  “I’m proud that we were able to play a part in improving services for these residents not just in Denver, but throughout the state.”
https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-auditor/newsroom/2017/city-council-adopts-audit-recommendations-for-intellectually-and0.html

Approximately $14.5 million a year of property tax is now opened to proposals, more than the one historically designated monopoly.
*Contracts for purchasing services and supports for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities through any other entity or organization that provides such services.
*Transfer of revenue to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing in order to receive matching federal funds to provide Medicaid- approved waiver services to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

January 11, 2017 Council meeting video link,
Bill 1071 starts about the 40 minute mark.
http://denver.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=180&clip_id=9887

Link to bill documents and the December  committee meeting discussion with video. 
https://denver.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2873695&GUID=FD0FA75F-7EE0-42A9-808B-3BFC0CD77DFF

 

Happy New Year- A reflection and look into 2017

2016 was a year of pressure to respond to the need for change in Colorado's Intellectual Disability services delivery system. Looking forward, 2017 will be setting the groundwork for years to come with the submitting of the 2019 drafts of the HCBS waivers (CES, SLS and DD) with new Federal Final rule compliance.  Also the next phase of the Affordable Care Collaborative (ACC). Of course, it is yet to be seen what will happen with medicaid programs and funding with a new Administration in the White House.
    We must be optimistic and continue the work to increase transparency, real consumer choice of both waiver targeted case management (only Community centered boards CCBS now) as well as direct services. We need to step forward to share our stories and strengthen our voices at at our county commission, local CCBs, State level at the Capitol, HCPF and other departments which are tasked with oversight at the regional centers, and investigations/enforcements (CDPHE and CDHS) and with our federal elected officials. 
CELEBRATIONS
*In December 2015
 the Denver Auditor's report of local county Mill levy funding exposed serious financial issues at Denver's CCB http://www.denverpost.com/2015/12/17/denver-audit-finds-shameful-misspending-for-intellectually-disabled/
*On December 31, 2015 The community united at a Press Conference to announce the need for accountability and transparency legislation.  http://www.denverpost.com/2015/12/31/parents-of-colorado-children-with-disabilities-fight-for-change/
*The legislative session was contentious, with SB16-038 Regarding transparency in Community Centered Boards being laid over four times in Senate committee but with strong community testimony, and lengthy negotiations,  it passed easliy through both chambers and was signed into law on June 1, 2016. State Audits will begin and transparency provisions will be put into Colorado Rules and Regulations in 2017. http://coloradofoic.org/governor-signs-ccb-transparency-bill-rocky-mountain-human-services/
*SB16-038 Details https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb16-038
*Employment First SB16-077 passed to address need for more employment opportunities for people with disabilities.  https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb16-077
*Late in 2016, responding to citizen concerns, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties set a precedent for local counties to proactively conduct an audit of their local mill levy money at Developmental Pathways, CCB. You too, can approach your county commission and request audits like families did in Douglas and Arapahoe Counties with audit as an outcome. Taxpayers deserve this accountability of voter approved local mill levy taxes.  http://www.denverpost.com/2016/12/06/arapahoe-douglas-counties-disability-funding-audit/

Somber Reality with Abuse Neglect Cases filed for Justice
There is so much work to be done to rid our system of abuse and neglect. There are many quality providers who are worthy of  recognition, respect and a real living wage. However it appears there is open season in Colorado for abusers and bad providers in the system to continue unpunished. 
*Passage of SB16-019 Concerning Mandatory Reporting of Mistreatment of an adult with a disability.  http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2015a/csl.nsf/fsbillcont2/E12A97A15F59EB1F87257DCC00575005/$FILE/109_enr.pdf
*Exposed abuse and neglect in the Colorado State Run Pueblo Regional center with Feds investigating http://www.denverpost.com/2016/09/27/pueblo-home-for-disabled-oversight-deficient/
*18 Pueblo Victims represented in a law suit against Colorado over violation of civil rights strip searches at Pueblo Regional Center in March 2015. http://www.westword.com/news/strip-searches-genital-manipulation-suit-accuses-state-of-abusing-mental-patients-8397208
*February 2017 Trial of Host Home Abuser Kelly Benz in Boulder County Courts http://www.dailycamera.com/erie-news/ci_30208773/erie-caregiver-accused-abusing-patients-set-trial-february
*December 2016 - 24 Felony Charges against school bus aide who abused students also in Boulder County Courts  http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-schools/ci_30694431/st-vrain-valley-bus-assistant-charged-24-felony

Three HCBS Waivers (CES, SLS, DD) Drafts will be submitted by HCPF to Federal CMS in 2017 to begin back and forth for the 2019 final waiver renewals. These are renewed every 5 years, and will cover 2019-2024. These will expand to include Consumer directed Services (SLS only) and compliance with new Federal Final rule (encompassing Conflict Free Case Management, integrated Settings Rule, and person centeredness in services). Be sure to submit online public comment on waiver drafts, reminders will be sent from this newsletter.

Changes in the Affordable Care Collaborative in Colorado will affect our state- learn more at   https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/hcpf/accountable-care-collaborative-program-improvement-advisory-committee


As we close out this reflection, let's remember those receiving services who left this world in 2016. They left us too early, many died peacefully with good care, of natural causes. Sadly, some deaths could have been prevented if our reporting systems were functional. We must celebrate life, and work hard to move the system forward to treat our community with dignity, quality care with choice of all services.
Let's remember the Arvada host home fire victims on Robb Street:  Tanya Bell (adult client in host home, age 39), visiting granddaughter of provider Marielle Covington (age 5) and her mother Christina Covington (age 24). This tragic case in Jefferson county recently went to the Grand Jury. We pray for their families and friends, as well as all who have lost loved ones in the disability community. 

Let's make 2017 a year to work for justice, and make Colorado a place where people get what they need,  when and where they need it. 
Peace to you and yours,
Maureen Welch mpwelchco@gmail.com

 

 

Shameful situations in Colorado.

The Pueblo Regional Center abuse goes largely unpunished. Media links below.
Where is the respect for human dignity for residents at the Regional Centers? The system has structural issues safeguarding individuals with intellectual disabilities across settings. There are two important cases in courts currently in Jefferson County and Boulder County.

  1. Pueblo Regional Center abuse results in only one conviction.  Make sure to watch the embedded video, which has some additional information from the reporter Chris Osher.

http://www.denverpost.com/2016/12/09/pueblo-regional-center-disabled-neglect-abuse-complaints/

  1. Hoping for answers in the Tragic May 2016 Arvada Host Home Fire that killed three. The case recently went to a Grand Jury in Jefferson County.

http://arvadapress.com/stories/Grand-Jury-reviewing-investigation-into-Arvada-fire,240209

http://www.denverpost.com/2016/12/07/grand-jury-investigation-arvada-fatal-group-home-fire/

  1. Boulder County Erie Abuse by Host Home Provider Kelly Benz. The person who got action was a temporary respite worker, not the supposed safeguards in the system. Her pretrial hearing was on December 1, 2016. Her trial is set for February 2017. This case is believed to be the first prosecution in Colorado of a residential provider for abuse and neglect of those with intellectual disabilities.

http://www.dailycamera.com/erie-news/ci_30208773/erie-caregiver-accused-abusing-patients-set-trial-february

Media Article Links- Pueblo Regional Center

Watch Full Pad-Co CCDC Joint press conference from 10/7/16 at State Capitol http://bit.ly/2dBeHu7

Since the press conference, the Google trackers shows 58 mentions in media Nationwide, from San Francisco to Kansas. This is validation that this issue is one requiring attention and resolution. 

Pueblo Abuse

4.22.15 Denver Post PRC Abuse- 11 on leave   http://www.denverpost.com/2015/04/22/eleven-placed-on-leave-at-pueblo-regional-center-allegations-of-physical-sexual-abuse/

8.8.16 Channel 9 Why aren't strip searches in the news?  http://www.9news.com/entertainment/television/programs/next-with-kyle-clark/feds-probing-illegal-strip-searches-of-mentally-disabled-by-cdhs/291248144

9.27.16 Denver Post ORIGINAL FIRST ARTICLE POST CMS REPORT  http://www.denverpost.com/2016/09/27/pueblo-home-for-disabled-oversight-deficient/

9.28.16 Editorial PRC http://www.denverpost.com/2016/09/28/a-good-start-on-reforming-abuse-of-colorados-developmentally-disabled/

Press Conference Coverage on Friday October 7. 2016

10.7.16 Denver Post PRC http://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/07/abuse-disabled-pueblo-center-residents-inspector-general/

10.7.16 Channel 7 ABC PRC http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/advocates-for-the-disabled-call-for-action-to-address-a-statewide-crisi

10.7.16 Channel 4 CBS PRC coverage http://denver.cbslocal.c om/2016/10/07/advocates-for-disabled-demand-action-after-abuse/

10.7.16 Pueblo Newsarticle http://www.chieftain.com/mobile/msearch/5220391-123/state-center-problems-disabled

Articles about Former Pueblo Director now working for a Grand Junction Case Management CCB

10/6/16 Denver Post Re: Speedie http://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/05/former-director-pueblo-center-disabled-abused-grand-junction/

10/8/16 Editorial http://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/07/are-bad-apples-being-passed-from-one-public-agency-to-another/

 

 

State Wide Crisis in Residential Care for Coloradans with Intellectual Disabilities

Read the full Federal report here:  http://www.ourwebs.info/HHServicesCMSPRCOnsiteReportPDF.pdf

and
http://www.denverpost.com/2016/09/27/pueblo-home-for-disabled-oversight-deficient/  

Excerpt: The federal report provides new details on the abuse, including that three residents had died, two from bowel obstructions and one who collapsed and was not given life-saving care because a staffer mistakenly thought there was a “do-not-resuscitate” order.


Concerns in the community extend beyond Pueblo Regional Center.

This is the tip of the iceberg and the community is united for justice and long overdue changes to safeguard our loved ones. Regional centers are components of a larger residential system in Colorado which is in need of attention statewide. Thousands of people with intellectual disabilities are in Colorado residential placements,  which are lacking effective and transparent supervision and oversight. 

  1. Erie Host Home provider Kelly Benz has her abuse neglect for her three host home clients, her husband was employed by the CCB Imagine, an agency with oversight responsibilities. http://www.dailycamera.com/erie-news/ci_29664481/indictment-erie-caregiver-physically-abused-failed-properly-feed
  2. Arvada Host home fire which killed three, one of whom was a client. The home met local code, which varies widely in true life safety.  http://www.denverpost.com/2016/05/16/woman-39-is-one-of-two-killed-in-arvada-fire-saturday-morning/ 
  3. Glenwood Springs where an overnight residential provider was sexually assaulting clients. http://denver.cbslocal.com/2016/05/25/jose-ignacio-echeverria-sexual-assault-colorado/
  4. When an agency investigator, employed at a CCB does try to do the right thing, he was terminated and had to sue. http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_20533666/ex-imagine-employee-says-he-was-fired-reporting

 
There are numerous reports, from all over Colorado, about a lack of comprehensive and transparent system for reporting and investigating abuse/ neglect cases for those with intellectual disabilities.  Now is the time for change.

Rise up!

Until lives of people with disabilities "matter" to the mainstream, and we get our issues to candidate/campaigns from county level, school district, to state and national offices, tragedies like this one in Japan (where 19 were murdered in their sleep at a center for people with disabilities) will continue with little to no media coverage.
This reflects to the Colorado level where the very agencies (CCBS and Co Dept of Health and Environment) who are supposed to investigate abuse and neglect are more interested in protecting the agencies who make money off the services of those with disabilities.
What can you do? Raise injustices you see, in solidarity. Take disability out of a silo and speak up at every opportunity. Yes, you will be told to be nice, to sit down, shut up and be grateful for what you have. But we must be vigilant and that means vocal and visible!
What will you do to contribute? This video is from Rooted in Rights- a great source- worth exploring their video stories...

http://bit.ly/2bhO7BY

August Update

Change- it is inevitable and uncomfortable. Soon the temps with drop, students will head back to school, the leaves will change colors and drop. And of course, it is a big political campaign season.

 I will be shifting the website around a bit, please be sure to check it out once in a while. 

Conflict Free Case Management Implementation Plan for CO is Online

A copy of the July 1, 2016 Conflict Free Case Management Implementation Plan is here

Conflict Free Case Management (CFCM) is a federal requirement, under the Final Rule,  from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). Colorado is not in compliance and will be required to have an approved plan in place or risk approximately $250 Million in Federal monies (the Feds match the State contribution.)

Colorado's Healthcare Policy and Finance department (HCPF) has submitted the CFCM plan to the General Assembly (Colorado State Legislature) through the Joint Budget Committee. This CFCM implementation plan was funded using a consultant Navigant, via a contract funded through HB15-1318. This report is the first plan toward compliance with CMS's requirement to reduce the inherent conflict of interests when Colorado's 20 state Community Centered Boards (CCBs) are the sole provider for eligibility and targeted case management; another conflict is that most do also provide direct services. The federal Final Rule does has found this current Colorado arrangement in violation of the new Federal Final Rule for CFCM.

Rocky Mountain Human Services- Meetings upcoming & Seeking Applicants to Serve

1. Board of Director Meeting Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

All RMHS Board meetings are open to the public. Public comment period at every board meeting. (303) 636-5600 9900 E. Iliff Ave. Denver  Co80231

2. Mill Levy Community Forum  Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 6:00pm 5600 9900 E. Iliff Ave  

Join us at the Mill Levy Community Forum to help determine community priorities for the Mill Levy, a fund RMHS receives from the City & County of Denver to increase and improve services for children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities. These funds come from property taxes collected by the City and are typically referred to as the Mill Levy. We want to hear from you! 

3. Mill Levy Advisory Committee Meeting    Friday July 22, 2016 2-4pm 9900 E. Illiff Ave Denver

RMHS enlists the assistance of community members with expertise in developmental disability services to advise the organization in its use of mill levy dollars from the City and County of Denver. These funds are used to serve children and adults with developmental delays and disabilities who live in the City and County of Denver. The Mill Levy Advisory Committee meets every other month. All meetings are open to the public, 

4. Apply to serve on one of the RMHS Bodies-

Board of Directors, Mill Levy Advisory Committee, Family Support Rocky Mountain Human Services is seeking  people with diverse life experiences to serve Rocky Mountain Human Services, the Denver Community Centered Board for Board of Directors (BOD) and Mill Levy Committee. Here is their website https://www.rmhumanservices.org/

     They have only had a few applications so far and there is an essential need to diversity their board and committees.  RMHS is in need of applicants from people with disabilities and also those with cultural experiences that are reflective of the community (cultural, linguistic, personal disability experiences, income and LGBT), even if the applicant ultimately decides against the opportunity, application is the first step. Currently the BOD is mainly male, Caucasian with white collar experiences and business community profiles. They desire a larger more diverse pool of applicants. The BOD can be up to 15 members, so plenty of room for additions.

The Board of Directors process and details are at https://www.rmhumanservices.org/board-councils

Mill Levy Advisory Committee advises the Board of Directors on uses for the county mill levy dollars, currently about $14 million a year but it fluctuates. It meets several times during the year. 

From the website:

In addition, the RMHS Mill Levy committee is recruiting new members. Please consider joining to provide your  input and advice on the efficient and impactful use of this funding.

The purpose of the Advisory Committee as outlined in the contract with the City and County of Denver is to have a forum in which members can provide advice to RMHS management and the Board of Directors. Committee members will have professional or personal knowledge of service for children and or adults with developmental disabilities, or have a keen awareness of the needs of the Denver community. The advisory committee will be convened for the primary purpose of receiving a briefing on the progress and direction of services that are supported by mill levy funds. Members will have an opportunity to provide feedback on current or proposed areas of mill levy expenditure.

Board of Directors information and nomination process:  https://www.rmhumanservices.org/sites/default/files/documents/bod_overview_nomination_policy2016_1.pdf

Nomination form for board and committee candidates (fillable pdf):  https://www.rmhumanservices.org/rmhs-council-committee-nomination-form

Information on the Mill Levy Committee:  https://www.rmhumanservices.org/mill-levy-advisory-committee

There are also  other bodies seeking members, Family Support Council and the Denver Providers Advisory Committee, information online https://www.rmhumanservices.org/board-councils