A new wave of progress in healthcare is coming

EP Magazine * August 2013 * by Matt Holder, MD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of the Lee Specialty Clinic and the President of the Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry

On June 11, 2014, Governor Steven L. Beshear presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Lee Specialty Clinic in Louisville, Kentucky. While this ceremony celebrated the opening of just one clinic in one city in the United States, this single event marks one of the most significant developments in healthcare for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in decades.

The Lee Specialty Clinic focuses exclusively on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Its core services include primary care medical services, specialty medical services, dental services, psychiatric and behavioral services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and crisis intervention services. These services are provided in an interdisciplinary fashion, whereby the professionals who provide them communicate with each other for the benefit of the patient. The Lee Specialty Clinic also serves as a teaching and research program where students from any healthcare discipline can learn, intensively, how to care for people with I/DD. Finally, and perhaps most important of all, the clinic model is reproducible. Its funding model has been approved at the federal level and its coordinated through the Medicaid system. This means that any state that desires to create such a model can do so.

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Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

Source: WrightsLaw

Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities allows you to search for services in your city, state or region by clicking on a map of the United States. 

 

Intermediate Care Facilities, Plus: Online Research Tool

FindTheBest is a free online research hub that equips people with information and research tools to access to information on hundreds of topics, including a listing of Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities with the ability to search by city, state or region. 

VOR shares this website as one of many resources and makes no guarantee as to the accuracy, adequacy, currency or completeness of the FindTheBest listing. 

 

A Growing Burden on Caregivers: Natural Supports

Natural supports are typically free caregiving provide by a disabled person’s immediate family, and sometimes extended family and friends.

According to NASDDDS, close to 60 percent of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) receiving services live in their families’ home (National Residential Information Systems Project RISP 2010) which means that families are primary support for the majority of people enrolled in services. This percentage of people getting supports in their home has been growing as states look for alternatives to 24-hour residential arrangements.

In this difficult economy, it is quite tempting for policymakers to support and expand free natural supports, with urging by advocates who leverage this temptation and oversell the virtues of natural supports while also seeking closure of specialized residential (large and small), supported employment, and other services. “Supporting families is the pathway to a sustainable system and a sustainable future” (Nancy Thaler, Executive Director, NASDDDS).

Read more.

Related Research: Disability Caregiving Can Be Health Hazard, Study Finds (December 2012)

 

Community Services Checklist

VOR supports individual and family choice. For some individuals, an ICF/MR setting best serves that person's specialized and intense needs. For others, a community setting is desired and more appropriate. 

Individuals and families who are considering a transition to community placement must be educated about all community-based options. Any transition should occur only with the approval of the family and guardian, and only after a period of intense scrutiny of available community options.

Families and guardians have many things to consider when evaluating competing choices. Every person viewing a program sees different areas of importance and priority that determine whether that program and provider are acceptable or unacceptable. It is a very personal choice.

To aid in that process, a “Community Check List” document has been prepared that contains many questions to ask of potential providers, and things to look for.

Credits: The Community Check List was first developed by Polly Spare, the past President of VOR. PROOF, a VOR affiliate in Kentucky, with the help of Anne Montgomery and the Council on Mental Retardation (Section 6), provided updates.  

 

Resource Links for Families and Advocates

Contact Information:

    *If a listed organization does not have a website, please contact VOR at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 877-399-4867 for contact information.

Links - In alphabetical order:

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