June 30, 2014
Your Monday Morning Update:
I am a list maker. I can rarely be found without a writing tool in my hand and a scrap of paper within reach. With the legislative session done, I thought our relationship was on hiatus for a few months….but due to my compulsive habit, my list runneth over. It’s time to purge!
Let’s get this show on the road:
1- The 2014 election is on the horizon. Are you registered to vote? If not….get to it! If you’ve registered before but have changed your name, moved or changed your party affiliation, you can “re-register” online. Talk about easy! Go to www.jocoelection.org/voters/VoterRegistration.htm for more information. If you are registering for the first time in Kansas, be prepared by provide evidence of U.S. citizenship when registering.
2- Speaking of voting, here are some important dates to list on your calendar.
- July 15 – Last day to register
- July 16 – Advance voting by mail begins (you can vote without even leaving the comfort of your own home)!
- July 21 – Advance voting in person begins
- August 5 – Primary election
To find out about Advance voting, go to www.jocoelection.org/voters/AdvanceVoting.htm
3- All State Representatives are on the ballot this year. Depending on your view of the world, it’s either been a very short two years….or a very long two years. This may be your opportunity to make some changes. To see if there is a primary in your district, click the following link: https://voter.jocoelection.org/Search.aspx
Remember, you can only vote for the party with which you are affiliated.
4- State revenues are far below what was estimated. If revenues don’t rebound in the next month or so, this next legislature will be in quite a pickle. Since IDD funding is reliant on State funding, we too could be stuck in that pickle jar. If you don’t know who to vote for, ask the candidates:
a. Are you willing to revisit the tax policy?
b. If not, where will you make cuts?
c. Vote accordingly
5- You may have heard about the new HCBS Settings Final Rule that just released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This rule has many individuals in services, families and providers in a tailspin. This rule sets guidelines for what the federal government deems appropriate for community-based settings. The State has done a survey of all providers and the services they provide along with the settings in which those services are provided. The State will evaluate those results and develop a plan which will be submitted to CMS. At this point, we are unsure which day and residential services meet the new guidelines. This has potential for many changes to services as we now know it. I’ll keep you updated as we gather additional information.
6- You may recall that the “underserved” waiting list (individuals who have one service and are waiting for an additional service) had to be eliminated per CMS. The State and the Managed Care Organizations (MCO) are in the process of working through that list. We hear very little about the 428 individuals from Johnson County that were on that list. We do know that 81 of those individuals are getting their additional service; however don’t know the status of the other 345. Makes me wonder…
7- The creation of “Health Homes” is another new initiative that Kansas is implementing in the next couple of months. A Health Home is not a place, but a coordination of care by various entities for individuals having specific diagnosis. Kansas will begin with the individuals on Medicaid who have a diagnosis of mental illness, diabetes and asthma. If individuals qualify, they will receive a notification shortly and be able to become part of a Health Home if they desire. This concept really has potential to save money and benefit participants.
8- A new website to gather and document the experiences of self-advocates and I/DD family members with KanCare has launched. www.kancareddwatch.com is intended to be a central place for folks to share stories, anecdotes, read links to news articles and access resource information. Check it out!
9- I’m sure by now, you understand that my list was basically full of things to tell you things that I only have tidbits of information about. Rest assured, everything was written on scraps, and no full pieces of paper were harmed in my listing endeavors.
My work here is done, so now I can toss the note fragments to the wind…and because I am me, I’m already starting another list.
Community Relations Manager
Johnson County Developmental Supports
10501 Lackman Road Lenexa, Kansas 66219
Direct 913 826-2212 | Office 913 826-2626
TDD 800 766-3777