The Department of Health and Human Services is the federal agency most directly responsible for ensuring that Disabled Americans who need Long Term Services and Supports receive them in the most integrated setting. Although there have been increased opportunities for community living, many individuals with disabilities remain trapped in nursing facilities or other institutions and many of the initiatives that underpin the progress we have made are being eroded or eliminated, as HHS leadership espouses support for harmful changes to the programs and services that keep people with disabilities living free in our own homes and communities.
ADAPT demands that HHS Secretary Alex Azar meet with ADAPT to commit to the following:
1. Protect Medicaid
Fund the program adequately. 10 – 20% annual reductions are detrimental to the services and supports folks rely on.
Do NOT block grant Medicaid to States. Stop all the rhetoric around attempts to block grant Medicaid.
Reinforce maintenance of efforts in states’ programs; for example, do not support elimination of services such as Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT).
2. Invest in the Community-Based Long-Term Services and Supports Workforce
Designate resources toward wage improvement.
Develop demonstration projects to explore worker benefits, recruitment, and retention.
Include community attendants in “network adequacy” requirements for managed care organizations.
3. Support Olmstead Rights
Issue explicit support for making the Money Follows the Person demonstrations permanent.
Develop and implement a “litmus test” for evaluating states’ demonstration projects, state plan changes and waiver proposals/renewals to assure people with disabilities receive long term services and supports in the most integrated setting.
HHS will work with ADAPT and states to ensure disaster planning and resources offer community-based services and supports to remain in the community, instead of institutionalization or hospitalization, to provide for the safety of people with disabilities seeking shelter.