Why VOR is Asking Congress to Oppose Renewing Money Follows the Person
In September, 2018 VOR sent out 2 Action Alerts, asking Congress to pause and reconsider HR 3506, the EMPOWER Act to renew the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program.
MFP does not decrease the waiting list. In fact, people who move from ICFs using MFP often take precedence over the people at the top of the waiting list. MFP has been used to decrease the population of ICFs, thereby decreasing their efficiency and economy of scale. This leads to the closure of ICFs, despite the fact that ICFs are an integral part of our full continuum of care and are supported by CMS.
Representatives supporting the MFP renewal claim that the bill is intended to help people access services appropriate to their needs. VOR is not opposed to bills that help individuals receive the services they want, but we are concerned that MFP only works one way. It only serves people who wish to leave larger congregate care facilities and sign on for waiver services. If the sponsors of this legislation wish to ensure that people receive the care they need, why is there nothing to help people who have been underserved in the waiver system access care in an Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID)?
Thousands of people would like to receive ICF-level care. Why is there not a provision in MFP guaranteeing that when an individual leaves an ICF to move into a waiver setting, their bed at the ICF will be given to someone on the waiting list who desires that level of care, thus ensuring the viability of the facility.
We hope that congress will pause and reconsider the full implications of MFP, and create a bill that meets the needs of all people with intellectual disabilities.