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.
VOR's August District Initiative: (August 1, 2014):
August is the perfect time to schedule a meeting with your Members of Congress at home. This is a perfect opportunity to meet face-to-face with your Senators and U.S. Representatives. For more information on VOR's message and handouts for your meetings click here. Thank you!
Protect Olmstead. Protect Choice: (June 18, 2014)
On May 15, 2014, the House passed H.R. 4660, the Commerce, Justice and Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for FY 2015. House Report 113-448 (at pp. 44 – 45) to accompany H.R. 4660 included this language, relating to the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Olmstead enforcement activities.
Tell Congress to Embrace Key Principles in Support of Disability Rights (October 29, 2013)
NY State OPWDD Placing Sex Offenders into Group Homes for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Recent media reports have indicated that NYS’s Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has been placing Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders into residential group homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. NYS classifies Level 2 offenders as having a moderate risk of repeat offense. Level 3 offenders are classified as having a high risk of repeat offense and pose a threat to public safety.
If you live in NY State and wish to take action on this issue, please go to:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently requested submissions and recommendations for how they might improve service in HCBS Waiver settings. VOR's comments focused on the need to expand and improve services for people not well suited to group homes as a way to imporve the services for people for whom those settings might be deemed appropriate.
We provided links to articles in our archives and from newspapers that illustrate VOR's position on these issues. The resources in this article should prove useful to many of our members in making presentations to their representatives, decision makers, and family groups.
All of the links in the footnotes will work once you download the pdf.
Ask Your Members of Congress to send letters to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to express concern about these agencies using federal funding to evict individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities from their Medicaid-licensed homes, contrary to individual choice and need.
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.
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)
The federal government should not support the use of federal dollars by federal agencies to aggressively pursue the closure of licensed facility-based homes providing good care to people with I/DD, without any regard for the input or insights of the affected residents and their families; and without regard to well-documented tragedies.