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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 Consumer Price Index (aka standard inflation measure) 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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Businesses IN SUPPORT (Updated 12/9/19)

 

Advocacy Groups:

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 Disability Services

  • Starpoint

 

Corporate and Community Support:

Provider Agencies:

  • A Better Life Experience, Inc. (ABLE)

  • A Brighter Community, LLC

  • Ability Specialists

  • Activity Options

  • All Friends, Inc.

  • Altra Services Inc.

  • Ariel Clinical Services

  • Ascendigo Autism Services

  • Behavior Services of the Rockies

  • Belk Model, LLC

Provider Agencies Continued:

  • Bethesda Lutheran Communities

  • C4C, LLC

  • C.A.R.E. Inc

  • Colorado Autism Consultants

  • CommonWorks

  • 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

  • Freedom Career Services

  • FRIENDS of Broomfield

  • Garden, Inc.

  • Jewish Family Service

  • Jordan Residential and Vocational Services

  • Karuna Care Services

  • Laradon

  • Metro Support Services

  • Mosaic

  • Nursing and Therapy Services of Colorado (NTSOC)

  • Oliver Behavioral Consultants

  • Overture

  • Parker Personal Care Homes, Inc.

  • Pueblo Diversified Industries

  • Quality Life Services

  • Rehabilitative Rhythms Music Therapy

  • Rocky Mountain Pathfinders, LLC

  • Sample Supports

  • Schaefer Enterprises

  • Stepping Stone Support Center

  • Support, Inc.

  • Thrive Community Options

  • VitalCare

  • Wellspring Community

  • Wild Sun Behavioral Services, LLC

Self Advocates, Parents, Guardians, and Friends    IN SUPPORT (Updated 12/4/19)

  • Alexa Mapes (Denver)

  • Alicia Spear (La Plata County)

  • Amanda J (Resource Coordinator)

  • Amber Smith (Colorado Springs)

  • Amy Schmedeke (Craig)

  • Andrea Morrow-Kraljic (NMSC in Englewood)

  • Andrew Knight (Colorado Association for Music Therapy in Fort Collins)

  • Andrew Scorsone (Littleton)

  • Annette Richter (USA Technologies in Aurora)

  • Arnetta Starnes (Parent in Denver)

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

  • Barbara Ramsey (SGPC in Denver)

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

  • Beverly Winters (DDRC in Lakewood)

  • Birte Kalz (Littleton)

  • Brandie Montoya (Durango)

  • Brittany Lauer (Ariel Clinical Services in Grand Junction)

  • Bryan Simmons (Cottonwood Community Alternatives in Englewood)

  • Caitlin Coffield (Inspiration Field in La Junta)

  • Carl DeGolier (Castle Rock)

  • Carol Silvestain (Parent)

  • Caroline Dekkers (FGI in Fort Collins)

  • Caroline Rettig (Para Educator in Montrose)

  • Carrie Morris (North Metro Community Services, Inc. in Westminster)

  • Catherine Kiene (Durango)

  • Catherine Sounart (Canon City)

  • Celeste Ewert (Envision in Greeley)

  • Chelsea Johnson (Durango)

  • Chelsey Heath (Ariel Clinical Services in Grand Junction)

  • Cheryl Bryant (Durango)

  • Christopher Ruge (Support Inc in Evans)

  • Christy Liden (Ariel Clinical Services in Grand Junction)

  • Cindy Muller (Englewood)

  • Corrine Farney (Direct Support Professional in Broomfield)

  • Crystallene O'Shea (Community Living Alternatives in Aurora)

  • Daniel Parsons (Be The Change in Durango)

  • Darcie Doolin (Ariel Clinical Services in Grand Junction)

  • Debbie Klein (FGI in Fort Collins)

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

  • Deirdre Noble (Vail Symposium in Vail)

  • Deirdre Pepin (Horizons in Steamboat Springs)

  • Diana McFail (Centennial)

  • Doug Shepherd (Westminster)

  • Duane Roy (SCDDS in Trinidad)

  • Elizabeth Alire (Ariel Clinical Services in Grand Junction)

  • Erica Tafoya (Denver)

  • Eva Groves (Cottonwood Community Alternatives in Elizabeth)

  • Eyerusael Mengesha (Host Home Provider in Denver)

  • Frank Wilkins (Ken Caryl)

  • Gerald Bellendir (Greeley)

  • Gitanjali Shrestha (Host Home Provider in Longmont)

  • Grace Hendricks (Ariel Clinical Services in Grand Junction)

  • Greg Arbour (Denver)

  • Gregg Wilson (Community Living Alternatives in Aurora)

  • Gwen Bonilla (Support Inc in Aurora)

  • Hannah Shilling (Social Worker in Grand Junction)

  • Heather Hagen (DDRC in Conifer)

  • Helen Hollar (La Junta)

  • Jack Swift (Lone Tree)

  • Jacob Spencer (Overture in Longmont)

  • Jakeob Cox (Caregiver in Boulder)

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

  • Jeffrey Sheley (Ariel Clinical Services in Grand Junction)

  • Jenelle Wininger (Overture in Denver)

  • Jennifer Torres (Cottonwood Community Alternatives, Inc. in Englewood)

  • Jessica Eppel (Mosaic in Denver)

  • Jessica Peck (Greeley)

  • Jessica Cannon (Steamboat Springs)

  • Jessica Hartman (Arvada)

  • Joann Marshall (Arvada)

 

  • Joann Owen (Firestone)

  • John Klausz (Mountain Valley Developmental Services in Glenwood Springs)

  • Joye Miller (Laradon in Denver)

  • Judi Hulvey (Brighton)

  • Judy Stevens (Broomfield)

  • Karen Caldwell (Pueblo)

  • Karen Roberts (Denver)

  • Karen Wainscott (Envision in Greeley)

  • Karen Zeid (Boulder)

  • Kathryn Shepherd (Westminster)

  • Kathy Plunk (Grand Junction)

  • Katie Kushnir (Belk Model in Wheat Ridge)

  • Katie Trotter (Overture in Highlands Ranch)

  • Keelin Schaffrath (Grand Junction)

  • Kelly Britton (Mosaic in Grand Junction)

  • Kenneth Berry (Activity Options in Lakewood)

  • Kevin Graves (CommonWorks in Colorado Springs)

  • Kristie Braaten (DDRC in Lakewood)

  • Laila Gillam (Centennial)

  • Laura Ayers (Mountain Valley Developmental Services in Glenwood Springs)

  • Laura Leach (Denver)

  • Lee Carter (Centennial)

  • Lila Downing (Englewood)

  • Lina Watkins (Community Living Alternatives in Arvada)) 

  • Linda Kranz (Manitou Springs)

  • Lori Schult (Laradon in Denver)

  • ​Madeleine Robinson (Denver)

  • Madeline Landgren (Steamboat Springs)

  • Marcia Francis (Bethesda Lutheran Communities in Englewood)

  • Marilyn Robinson (Grand Junction)

  • Mark J. McCluskey (Pueblo Community Resources in Pueblo)

  • Mary Ann Tillman

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

  • Matthew Magnotta (Brighton)

  • Meg Reynolds (Elizabeth)

  • Melanie Goodman (Longmont)

  • Michele Majeune (DDRC in Lakewood)

  • Misty West (QAFCP in Westminster)

  • Nola Restesan (RN, BSN in Aurora)

  • Paul Tafoya (Lakewood)

  • Pauline Davis (Logan, Thomas, Johnson CPA LLC in Denver)

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

  • Rebecca Ely (Grand Junction)

  • Reid Duvall (Horizons in Steamboat Springs)

  • Rob DeHerrera (DDRC in Lakewood)

  • Robert Froehike (Physician)

  • Robert Loomis (Evans)

  • Robert Marisette (Community Options in Montrose)

  • Robin Phillips (Lafayette)

  • Roger Jensen (Retired CCB CEO in Salida)

  • Ronald Skabo (Lakewood)

  • Ronald and Mary Ann Stevens (Greeley)

  • Ruth Coyle (Arvada)

  • Sandy Duran (Laradon in Denver)

  • Sarah Henrich (Mosaic in Denver)

  • Sarah Knight (Grand Junction)

  • Sharon Chamberlain (Ariel Clinical Services in Grand Junction)

  • Sondra Cordova (Community Connections in Cortez)

  • Stan Neverve (Westminster)

  • Steven Baker (Greeley)

  • Susan Hartley (The Imagine Project in Denver)

  • Susan Reynolds (NMSC in Westminster)

  • Susan Mizen (Horizons in Steamboat Springs)

  • Tatum Heath (Horizons in Steamboat Springs)

  • Tauni McRae-Couch (Guardian)

  • Terry Jost (Steamboat Springs)

  • Theresa Vosberg (Lakewood)

  • Thomas Bruch (Greeley)

  • Thomas Dwyer (Physician from Montrose)

  • Vanessa Lehman (Colorado Springs)

  • Vickie Kelemen (Ariel Clinical Services in Grand Junction)

  • Wendy Rainford (Louisville)

 

 

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!

 
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END MY WAIT Terra Jeff Co.jpg
END MY WAIT Paul from Lakewood in Jeff C
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
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END MY WAIT Julianne from Craig, Moffat
END MY WAIT Christopher from Pagosa Spri
END MY WAIT for Jaime Jared in Littleton
END MY WAIT Elizabeth Lynn from Grand Co
END MY WAIT Hannah from Canon City in Fr

Testimonials of people who just got off the wait list

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

 
Tyler from Littleton in Jefferson County
Kathi in Idaho Springs in Clear Creek Co
THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT Kelsey from
THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT Nathan Arap
THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT Jaran from
THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT Ashleigh in
THANK YOU FOR ENDING MY WAIT Cindy 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
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
 
 

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Email: info@alliancecolorado.org
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Denver, Colorado, 80203

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