Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Legislation


Update on Ball v. Kasich - VOR Files Amicus Brief

VOR has requested permission from the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Ohio to file an amicus brief in support of individuals with intellectual disabilities and their family members who have acted to prevent a class-action suit brought by Disability Rights Ohio (DRO).  DRO's suit seeks to reduce or remove funding in Ohio to Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) and sheltered workshops in favor of community care options.   While community settings are appropriate for many individuals with disabilities, not all disabled individuals can handle or benefit from them.  VOR supports a continuum of care to accommodate the diverse needs of all people with disabilities, including settings which provide higher levels of care for people with severe and profound needs.

Report on the 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill

Last week, Congress passed the 2016 Spending Bill. Several VOR members have been working with the Labor Health & Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee to try to get protective language written into the bill that would favor VOR's positions on choice and the rights of the I/DD population. While we succeeded in the House, the Senate LHHS Subcommittee did not agree and the House language was changed.

While we did not achieve the language we wanted, we did achieve some language which will hopefully be a step forward in bringing pressure on the Administration to address our grievances with federal policies which allow federal funds to support law suits brought in the name of individuals with cognitive deficits without their legal guardians’ approval.

You may read or download the text of the bill here

Support Mandatory Background Checks For Medicaid LTC Direct Care Staff

Abuse and Neglect of Vulnerable Populations Widely Recognized: 
Mandatory National Background Checks for Direct Care Workers Needed

In support of its voluntary national background checks program for states, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), noted that “long term care (LTC) patient abuse, neglect and misappropriation of funds have been identified as a widespread problem for millions of Americans receiving LTC services.” (CMS National Background Checks Program).

VOR is grateful to Congress for its past support of national background checks. The 2003 Medicare Modernization Act (Section 307) provided for a demonstration program, and the Affordable Care Act’s national background check grant program was even more robust. According to CMS, "both actions point in the direction of potential national applicability." (National Background Check Program (NBCP) For Long Term Care Facilities and Providers: Frequently Asked Questions," CMS (Updated January 2014)).

We agree and now ask for Congressional support in making this necessary program mandatory.

Read full position paper

Other resources:

Safe at Home Developing Effective Criminal Background Checks and Other Screening Policies for Home Care Workers (AARP / NCSL, 2009)

Safe at Home: State Summaries (AARP /NCSL, 2009)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General: Memorandum Report: State Requirements for Conducting Background Checks on Home Health Agency Employees, OEI-07-14-00131 (May 29, 2014)