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Legislator Contact: Emma Hudson emma@emmahudsonconsulting.com

The Time Has Come to END THE WAIT!!!

A proposal to ensure access to quality services and enhance IDD system capacity

BACKGROUND:

 
Colorado currently has three Medicaid waiver programs that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD): Children’s Extensive Supports (CES), Supported Living Services (SLS), and Developmental Disabilities (DD). These waivers provide supports in the person’s home and community to help with activities of daily living like bathing, getting dressed, finding and getting to work, and participating in community life. They are critical to ensuring that people with IDD can access the services they need to fully participate in their communities. Community-based IDD services are a unique marriage of the public and private sectors; the private agencies that provide them rely on Medicaid reimbursements for 90-98% of their revenues.

 

On February 27th, 2019, Alliance, The Arc of Colorado and JFK Partners displayed 3,000 flags in front of the Denver City and County building to demonstrate the lives of those impacted by the wait list and our commitment to work together on a solution to eliminate it. We hope that you will take a moment to appreciate that each of these flags represents a person whose support needs aren’t getting met.

 
 

THE PROBLEM  


Waiting List for DD Services 


Unfortunately, despite the intensive level of care needed by people on the waiting list, it continues to grow and today totals about 3,000 Coloradans. Many of these individuals have been waiting more than a decade for the critical supports they need to fully participate in their communities. Despite a 2014 General Assembly decision (HB14-1051) to direct HCPF to create a comprehensive plan to eliminate the waiting list by 2020, no clear plan currently exists. While we have made some progress to help people come off the waiting list in recent years, a long-term solution is sorely needed.

IDD System Capacity 

Because Medicaid is the only funder of these services, IDD providers rely on Medicaid reimbursements for 90-98% of their revenues and they cannot shift costs to the people they serve or private insurance payors like other Medicaid providers. IDD providers are therefore disproportionately affected by economic factors such as the rising minimum wage and inflation. In 2008, the baseline rate structure for IDD services was set at only 76% of the cost of doing business. Since then, rates have continued to lag far behind inflation and increasing costs. For example, in the last five years, the Colorado minimum wage has increased 34.7%, while IDD waiver rates have increased only 11.6%. This disparity will be compounded by local minimum wage increases allowed by legislation passed in 2019. These decades-long structural financing issues and new challenges are placing strain on the service system, and - most importantly - limiting access to services for Coloradans with IDD and their families.

System capacity and addressing the waiting list are inextricably linked – adding more people to an underfunded system simply means that, instead of waiting for enrollment, people wait to find providers.


We call this the “invisible waiting list”.

 

THE SOLUTION 

 

To advance the goal of eliminating the waiting list while ensuring system capacity, the General Assembly should:

  • Commit to a 6-year, phased-in elimination of the DD waiting list. In each of the next six years, Colorado should enroll one-sixth (about 500 people) of the individuals on the DD waiver’s As Soon As Available waiting list; and

  • Tie future increases to the Denver-Boulder-Greeley Consumer Price Index (CPI) to ensure the availability of providers to serve new and existing enrollees.

THE COST 


Year one of the six-year waiting list elimination coupled with a rate increase based on CPI (approximately 2.7% in 2018) amounts to $26 million General Fund (not including savings from people moving off the SLS waiver). For every dollar Colorado invests, the federal government provides a 100% match, doubling the impact. Once fully implemented after six years, the lives of 3,000 Coloradans and their families will forever be changed.  

 

Supporters of this 2020 End the Wait Initiative!!!

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IN SUPPORT (Updated 11/7/19)

 

Advocacy Groups:

  • Disability Law

  • The Arc of Colorado

Provider Agencies:

  • A Better Life Experience, Inc. (ABLE)

  • A Brighter Community, LLC

  • Ability Specialists

  • Activity Options

  • Ariel Clinical Services

  • Ascendigo Autism Services

  • Behavior Services of the Rockies

  • Belk Model, LLC

  • Bethesda Lutheran Communities

  • C.A.R.E. Inc

  • Colorado Autism Consultants

  • Community Advantage

  • Community Link

  • Community Living Alternatives

  • Community Outreach, Inc.

  • Community Support Services

  • Continuum of Colorado

  • Cottonwood Community Alternatives

  • Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health - Colorado

  • Dungarvin Colorado, Inc.

  • Dynamic Dimensions, Inc.

  • Easterseals Colorado

  • Elevated Supports

  • Evergreen Service Providers

  • FRIENDS of Broomfield

  • Garden, Inc.

  • Jewish Family Service

  • Jordan Residential and Vocational Services

  • Karuna Care Services

  • Laradon

  • Metro Support Services

  • Mosaic

  • Oliver Behavioral Consultants

  • Overture

  • Parker Personal Care Homes, Inc.

  • Pueblo Diversified Industries

  • Quality Life Services

  • Rehabilitative Rhythms Music Therapy

  • Sample Supports

  • Schaefer Enterprises

  • Stepping Stone Support Center

  • Support, Inc.

  • Thrive Community Options

  • VitalCare

  • Wellspring Community

Community Centered Boards:

  • Blue Peaks Developmental Services, Inc.

  • Colorado Bluesky Enterprises, Inc.

  • Community Connections, Inc.

  • Community Options, Inc.

  • Developmental Disabilities Resource Center

  • Developmental Pathways

  • Eastern Colorado Services for the Developmentally Disabled

  • Envision

  • Foothills Gateway, Inc.

  • Horizons Specialized Services

  • Imagine!

  • Inspiration Field

  • Mountain Valley Developmental Services, Inc.

  • North Metro Community Services

  • Southeastern Developmental Services, Inc.

  • Southern Colorado Developmental Disabilities

  • Starpoint

 

Parents, Guardians, and Friends:

  • Amanda J (Resource Coordinator)

  • Barbara Kenyon-Mohrlang (Community Living Alternatives, Inc. in Aurora)

  • Barbara Sharp (Happy Days Again, LLC in Aurora)

  • Birtie Kalz (Littleton)

  • Carl DeGolier (Castle Rock)

  • Carol Silvestain (Parent)

  • Cindy Muller (Englewood)

  • Eyerusael Mengesha (Host Home Provider in Denver)

  • Deborah Neill (Adoptive Mom/Guardian from Grand Junction)

  • Deirdre Noble (Vail Symposium)

  • Deirdre Pepin (Steamboat Springs)

  • Erica Tafoya (Denver)

  • Frank Wilkins (Ken Caryl)

  • Jayne Tschirhart-Short (Community Support Services, Inc. in Aurora)

  • Joann Marshall (Arvada)

  • Joann Owen (Firestone)

  • Joyce Miller (Laradon in Denver)

  • Laura Ayers (Mountain Valley in Glenwood Springs)

  • Linda Kranz (Manitou Springs)

  • Karen Wainscott (Envision in Greeley)

  • Karen Zeid (Boulder)

  • Mary Ann Tillman

  • Matt Payne (Community Connections, Inc. in Durango)

  • Paul Tafoya (Lakewood)

  • Peter Bell (Parent/Ascendigo Autism Services in Carbondale)

  • Robert Froehike (Physician)

  • Tauni McRae-Couch (Guardian)

  • Thomas Dwyer (Physician from Montrose)

 

Corporate and Community Support:

 

 

ENDORSE THE END THE WAIT CAMPAIGN

We will add your agency name to our list of supports above!

 

SIGN THE END THE WAIT PETITION

We will share this petition with the Colorado General Assembly and Governor Polis!

 
END MY WAIT Amy from Hayden in Routt Cou
END MY WAIT Zachary from Ft Collins in L
END MY WAIT Celeste from Manitu Springs
END THE WAIT for Brennan (Final).jpg
END MY WAIT Julianne from Craig, Moffat
END MY WAIT Christopher from Pagosa Spri

Testimonials of people who just got off the wait list

Have a story? Let us know at info@alliancecolorado.org

 
THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT Asriela fro
THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT Jean Marie
THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT  John from
THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT Ron from Pa
THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT Kristi West

Frequently Asked Questions-FAQ  (Coming Soon)

Have a question? Ask us at info@alliancecolorado.org

 
 

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR

 

At Alliance, we believe every voice matters! Visit the www.votesmart.org website to easily search for your legislator using your zip code or home address. Get informed! Get heard! Contact your legislator today!

Alliance Members, we track all 100 legislators and match members with with representatives and senators in your service area. Please contact Josh or Kylie for more information!

THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT Jaran from
THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT Ima in Crai
THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT Leo from Co
THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT Missy from

Get in Touch

Alliance Colorado

 

Tel: 303.832.1618
Email: info@alliancecolorado.org
Address​​​​​​: 

1410 Grant Street Suite B-305

Denver, Colorado, 80203

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