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Friday Mail

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January 23, 2015

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News Items:

Opportunities for Comments and Involvement

Governor Rick Snyder delivers 5th State of the State Address from RWC Advocacy

Governor Snyder began his plans for 2015 by highlighting the upcoming ballot question in May and urging all citizens to vote. The key highlight of the Governor's speech is what he is calling the "River of Opportunity." The goal of government programs will look at the whole individual and not "slice and dice" the  person based on program requirements.

Click here to read more. (pdf)   Documents released by Governor Snyder can be found at: https://rwcadvocacy.box.com/MISOTS15  top

State of the State Information for MDCH/DHS Stakeholders

Message from Nick Lyon (pdf) concerning Governor Snyder's soon to be issued executive order that will join the Departments of Community Health and Human Services to create Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to better serve our residents. top

New Policy Coordinator Position in Lansing for Michigan Alliance for Families (MAF)

The purpose of the Policy Coordinator is to serve as a Policy Coordinator for the Michigan Alliance for Families. The full-time position requires a bachelor's or master's degree in education, social science, human services or other related field and three years of professional experience or consultative or administrative experience in education policy, legal research, consulting, or training related to special education law. Click here for more information (pdf)

Please send resume with cover letter by February 13th to Sherri Boyd at sherri@arcmi.org. top

First-of-a-Kind Medicaid Mobile App and Online Portal Available Now In Michigan

More and more Americans are using smart phones and applications to access information and make daily life easier. In fact, smartphones are expected to generate 68 percent of the total mobile data traffic by 2017 – a 24 percent increase within five years.

 

Several state governments have tried to adapt their services to this burgeoning mobile trend. In Michigan, the Department of Community Health partnered with the private sector to announce

a first of its kind mobile application for citizens receiving Medicaid. The myHealthButton (myHB) application is designed to connect patients with their medical information from a remote location with a tap to their smartphones. top

UCP's New Community-Driven Resource for People With Disabilities
UCP is pleased to introduce a new community-driven resource for people with disabilities called My Life Without Limits. This initiative is a natural companion to UCP’s My Child Without Limits program, which was developed for the parents and family members of children with disabilities. A flagship website and online community, www.mylifewithoutlimits.org, will serve as the new program's focal point and is intended to become an online hub for people with a range of disabilities.

My Life Without Limits is designed to allow people with disabilities to join and receive the latest news and other benefits of community membership such as writing guest blogs, commenting on posts and resource pages and participating in polls and surveys. In the forum - coming soon - members can stir up conversations and ask for advice. Information and resources pertaining to education, entertainment and lifestyle, health and wellness, travel, relationships and more will be available and updated, with guidance from community members themselves. And, people can share new resources or upcoming events on the site or using the #MyLifeWithoutLimits hashtag on social media. top

Joint letter from DOJ and DHHS addressing the importance of states' implementation of the Final Rule while maintaining Title II obligations under the ADA

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) jointly issued the attached letter (pdf), which addresses the importance of States’ implementing the Final Rule in ways that comply with their obligations under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The letter instructs States to consider whether reasonable modifications are necessary to avoid placing individuals who receive home care services at serious risk of institutionalization or segregation. Specifically, the letter explains that states need to consider reasonable modifications to policies capping overtime and travel time for home care workers, including exceptions to these caps when individuals with disabilities otherwise would be placed at serious risk of institutionalization. top

The Able Act passed the U.S. Senate December 16th

A big bipartisan measure to enable people with disabilities to become more independent and to be able to achieve their dreams, just like everyone else, is becoming a reality. This follows on the historic Workforce Investment and Opportunities Act, which also passed recently and was already signed into law.                        top

Medical Services Administration Bulletin (MSA 14-58) Provider Enrollment and Service Verification

This bulletin addresses modifications to the requirements for provider enrollment and verification of provided services in the Medicaid Home Help program. Specifically, it updates and replaces processes identified in the Adult Services Manual. This bulletin will apply to all individual providers in the program who receive an individual rate for services. Additional guidance will be provided to agency providers as changes are made that would affect them. Click here to download bulletin.               top

Michigan Announces Implementation Timeline Change for MI Health Link

For Immediate Release - November 24, 2014

Lansing, Mich - The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) announced a change to the implementation timeline for MI Health Link, Michigan's demonstration project to integrate care for individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. MDCH has changed the start date from January 1 to March 1 to ensure that the program is prepared to deliver services and coordinate care. Enrollment will begin in February 2014. Click here to read more. top

Medicaid Home Help Providers Newly Subject to Criminal History Checks

The Department of Community Health has begun its implementation of criminal history checks on Medicaid Home Help providers. Home Help providers will also be entered in the Community Health Automated Medicaid Processing System (CHAMPS) for payment processing. Letters notifying the providers of these changes went out on November 20, 2014. The letter can be found here: http://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MIDCH/2014/11/20/file_attachments/342872/L%2B14-58.pdf

The criminal history checks began with newly enrolling providers on October 2, 2014 and all currently enrolled providers must be checked by March 31, 2015. Some criminal offenses will result in a mandatory exclusion of the provider, however a participant may request to select a provider who has a criminal history as long as the conviction does not fall into the mandatory exclusion category. There are limited rights to review and appeal.
Finally, providers who do not have any excludable offenses will have their name entered in a provider referral database unless they indicate that they are not available for referral. The policy bulletin outlining these changes and listing the excludable offenses can be found at https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/MSA-14-40_467265_7.pdf  
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Leaders in Policy Advocacy Now Accepting Applications for April 2015 Class in U.P.

Leaders in Policy Advocacy, an intensive leadership development project administered by the Arc Michigan and funded by the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council, is now accepting applications for the next class in the Upper Peninsula, scheduled to begin in April 2015.  Eligible applicants are adults with developmental disabilities and parents of minor children with DD. More information and an application form can be found here: http://www.arcmi.org/new/lipa.htm      top

A Quick and Easy Method of Screening for Medicaid Eligibility Under the Pickle Amendment: 2015 Numbers - from Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, by Gordon Bonnyman, Attorney, Tennessee Justice Center

"Screening for Medicaid eligibility under the Pickle Amendment is quick and simple. Without the necessity of performing any mathematical calculations, screening eliminates the great majority of those who are not eligible." Click here for more information on screening and a simple formula for performing necessary calculations.    top

Gov. Rick Snyder: State government must lead by example in efforts to hire people with disabilities - Executive directive calls for new policies, training across agencies, departments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Read entire press release (pdf)
Monday, Oct. 27, 2014
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan must lead by example and provide a welcoming environment for people with disabilities, encouraging them to work in state government in a competitive, integrated setting, Gov. Rick Snyder said.

 

Snyder on Monday issued an Executive Directive (pdf) requiring the government adopt a variety of policies and procedures eliminating hurdles faced by people with disabilities as they seek a career in public service.

 

Snyder also called for increased training for all state employees to raise awareness of disability etiquette and best practices, ensuring every employee is treated with dignity and respect at all times.                                                         top

Persons on Spend Down at Risk of Losing Essential Services - from Dohn Hoyle

Some persons with a developmental disability are facing a crisis, in most cases, not of
their or their families making. Recent changes, current circumstances and prior
decisions have persons on “spend-down” for Medicaid eligibility in jeopardy. They are at
risk of losing or being denied essential Medicaid and Medicaid funded mental health
supports and services.

Adoption of Healthy Michigan (Medicaid Expansion), possible miscalculation of the
General Fund savings Michigan would achieve and, perhaps, a failure to recognize one
important facet of Medicaid Expansion has potentially changed the entire landscape for
those persons who do not have Medicaid as a result of never having received SSI.

If Medicaid eligibility was through one of the approximately 40 other Medicaid programs, income, especially unearned income, over the protected income level for your county, will need to be spent for medical needs in order for the person to qualify for Medicaid (The pitiful monthly protected Income levels for Michigan range from $341, all the way up to $408). Qualifying for Medicaid is an essential factor in entitling a person with a developmental disability for Mental Health Supports and Services. A person with SSI eligibility established prior to receiving Social Security benefits has those benefits waived or not considered in determining their financial eligibility for Medicaid.  Click here to read more. (pdf) 
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MPAS Employment First in Michigan September 2014 Report

Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc., Developmental Disabilities Institute-Wayne State University, and Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council have completed their September report, Michigan Employment First in Michigan (pdf). It talks about the unemployment rates and strong reliance on 14c waivers.     top

Michigan Alliance for Families DVD “Making the Most of Early On®”  "Making the Most of Earlyon" is designed to help parents better understand and access the system of supports and services for children from birth through age three.
This video is chaptered into six easy to navigate topics:

  • What is Early On?

  • Parent to Parent Advice

  • Natural Environments

  • Problem Solving

  • Transition: Leaving Early On

  • Parent Survey

Each topic includes options for Spanish subtitles, Arabic subtitles, and English closed caption. In addition to the DVD, parents can find more early intervention resources at: www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/babies-and-toddlers.

Parents and professionals can view the videos via the Michigan Alliance for Families YouTube Channel  at www.youtube.com/michiganalliance.

A limited quantity of DVDs is available.

Contact info@michiganallianceforfamilies.org
“Making the Most of Early On®” was produced through an IDEA grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education to Michigan Alliance for Families.

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Michigan Alliance for Families' upcoming workshops can be viewed at:

 www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/upcoming-events/  Upcoming and archived Webinars can be viewed at: http://www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/webinar/

Check out our new brochure (pdf)        top

Michigan History of Our State Institutions for People with Developmental Disabilities

This video documents this regretful history and celebrates the hard work of families and advocates with the final closure of our last institution in Michigan in 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlg-g7l-MBg  top

The White House Disability Group E-mail Distribution List
In order to keep the public informed about various disability issues the White House has been hosting monthly calls. To learn about future calls, request to be added to the White House Disability email distribution list, by visiting the White House website.

These calls are open to the public and offer a unique opportunity to hear about important disability issues from individuals who work in the Federal government. You can also submit questions before the call at disability.gov.                              
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Michigan Alliance for Families Web site offers Resources to help Families

Michigan Alliance for Families is excited to announce that our website (www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/eo) now includes information to help families become more involved in the growth and development of infants and toddlers.

Michigan Alliance for Families, in partnership with Early On Michigan, announces resources to help families know their rights, better communicate their child’s needs, support the development of infants and toddlers, and prepare for the transition out of Early On into the preschool years. These resources are available to families, Early On Service Coordinators and Service Providers to increase the involvement of Michigan families in the growth and development of infants and toddlers.
Website resources include:

Handouts and video information on developmental milestones and how to promote development and learning through play

  • Handouts and video information to help families prepare to leave Early On and move on to Preschool
  • Learning tools to help families improve communication skills
  • Information to help families know their rights (Procedural Safeguards), including evaluation, Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) development, natural environments and service coordination.                       top

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