N E W S U P D A T E --
May 7, 2011
Click on Florida Senator / Representative for contact information Back to Current News Update Section
Medicare Plan Enrollment changes ends on December 7, 2012
Medicare, DEADLINE to change plans December 7, 2012 If you are happy with your plan, no chg is needed.
If you have Medicare part D prescription drug coverage but wish to change plans
because it does not pay for
the medication you take, you may want to review other plans available that might pay for your meds.
Or if your plan limits which physician you can select, you might wish to investigate other plans using
the Plan Finder. Annual enrollment for plan changes ends on 12-7-12.
Locate new Medicare plans Click here> Plan Finder or Toll Free: (800) 633-4227 if you wish to talk to a person instead
Completing the “Personalized Search”
instead of “General Search” will give you more specific results.
Type in your Medicare number, birth date, your zip code and effective part A date if you have this. This will
give you your personalized search result. You can further refine your search for the best plan by entering info
on the Plan finders web pages that follow such as your medication and dosage info etc. These plan listings will help
you determine which plan covers the most. If you decide to change plans, do not miss the annual deadline.
Medicare General Medicare information, ordering Medicare booklets, and information about health plans.
Toll Free: (800) 633-4227
Medicare home page is: http://www.medicare.gov/
The largest enrollment in a FL
Medicare plan is Humana. There are many others of course. I just list this one
not because I endorse or recommend it, but because it has the largest enrollment in Florida. Search other
plans as appropriate to meet your health care needs since this one may or may not be the best for you.
Click here to compare Humana’s plans or learn more info. It will ask a
series of questions such as what
medications you take and dosages then give various plans they offer some free some with a monthly cost.
Begin by entering in your zip code, then follow the prompts on the pages that follow.
No HMO Managed Care for APD. Senate held strong despite the House pushing HMOs for our 50,000 DD citizens.
They heard their voices. Democracy still works.
Thanks for all of you that took the time to write, call, visit your senator or representative. It made a difference.
May 6th 2011 decided the HMO fate of APD. There will be none, at least from this session.
House already passed managed care for APD in CS/HB7107 bill.
Senate managed care bill CS/CS/CS/SB1972 pending May 5 or 6th.
Senate decides to amend it's bill to include the House HMO language,
then APD will go managed care.
If Senate keeps language in section 37 line 3318 of above bill and passes it without changing, it would have to return to the House to be voted on again by House.
So ask your Senator to keep
APD out of managed care which means keeping the language in line 3318
(excludes APD from HMO) of Senate bill CS/CS/CS/SB1972.
Last day of regular session May 6, 2011 - Conference committee to decide fate of HMO for APD.
If House-Senate conference committee members vote for APD HMO, here a what it could be like > click on HMO skit.
-15-30% APD provider rate reductions were reversed by Gov Scott since Legislature vowed to come up with the 175 million projected deficit.
-Conference committee of House and Senate to decide by end of session if APD goes to managed care HMO model.
Effective 3-24-11: NO NEW APD SERVICE INCREASES, except emergencies per Rule 65G-1.047, F.A.C.
Legislative Session begins 3-8-11 and ends April 30, 2011.
See House summary House Requires APD consumers to be enrolled into managed care HMO.
Senate Summary of Proposed Medicaid Reform legislation, APD, HMO and Budget as of 2-17-11 Actual .pdf bill here
Gov Rick Scott - APD dollar budget cuts (MS Word) download /
-Overall budget recommendations (pdf)
> Call, Email or Write your state Representative now. House likely to approve HMO & reduce APD funding which will reduce services otherwise.
Thank you for making hundreds of calls to the Senate. Your voices were heard in the State Senate in Tallahassee.
My sources indicate our grassroots efforts / testimony at the committee has gone well so far. Thousands of you
are being updated via email / website through Florida United for Choice The Senate committee indicated the DD
population is a priority. Here is the early Senate summary draft legislation as of 2-17-11. This will likely change.
House of Representatives version still has APD moving into the HMO model.
This meeting already taken place,
thanks for your input:
What: Agency for Persons with Disabilities Medicaid Reform / funding Meeting Watch Senate Health Human Services Mtg and session on Internet
When: Feb 15-17, 2011 @8am-10:15am
Where: Senate Bldg, Toni Jennings Committee Room in Tallahassee
Who: Subcommittee on Health and Human Services Appropriations
Why: They will make decisions on APD funding
Senators on Subcommittee & Emails / phone numbers to contact
Sen. Negron, Chair; Rep. 1-888-759-0791 (772) 219-1665 (850) 487-5088 Consists of Martin, and parts of Indian River, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie counties
Sen. Rich, Vice Chair; Dem. (954) 747-7933 (850) 487-5103 Consists of parts of Broward, and Miami-Dade counties
Sen. Gaetz, Rep. 1-866-450-4366 (850) 897-5747 (850) 487-5009 Consists of parts of Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties
Sen. Garcia, Rep. (305) 364-3100 (850) 487-5106 Consists of part of Miami-Dade county
Sen. Oelrich, Rep. (352) 375-3555 (850) 487-5020 Consists of Alachua, Bradford, Gilchrist, Union, and parts of Columbia, Levy, Marion, and Putnam counties
Sen. Richter, Rep. (239) 417-6205 (850) 487-5124 Consists of parts of Collier, and Lee counties
Sen. Sobel Dem., (954) 924-3693 (850) 487-509 Consists of part of Broward county
Revise Adult Day Training customer ratio
A P D Proposes Service changes
Laura Mohesky ,a fellow waiver support coordinator as well as a co-leader on the Florida United for Choice movement went to Tallahassee early February and issued the below summary:
She is also heading up to Tally again for above meeting. Thanks Laura for all your hard work.
Current service rates are based on ratios of staffing to clients of 1:1 1:3 1:5 and 1:10
This issue would create a new staff to client ratio of 1:15 and a new rate that is LOWER than the existing rates.
The new 1:15 ratio would be for clients who need to attend ADT for purpose of socialization and activities and would only affect clients over the age of 50
Utilization of Life Skills Coach in Lieu of Traditional Services.
This issue would eliminate respite, pca, supportive living, I.H.S.S. and Companion services and create a new service that combines these services into one. The objective of combining these services is to reduce redundancies and duplication.
Consolidate & Reduce Meaningful Day Activity Services
This issue to consolidate ADT, supportive employment, I.H.S.S, Companion and Respite services.
Flexibility will be needed for families and clients to be able to diret funds to those services most important to them. This flexibility would partially mitigate the negative impact of the funding reduction.
This option could result in increased utilization of institutional or other congregate care settings.
Equalize Solo and Agency Provider Rates
There currently exists two provider rates for providing the same servicds to clients. the two different rates are referred to as agency rates and independent rates. the agency rate is for those providers that have employees that are providng serices, and the indepdnent rate is for solo providers.
The agency rates are currently substantially higher than the independent rates. this issues would reduce the agency rate closer to the independent rate.
Legislatively mandated Tier Reductions for each budget category
If your total budget for all services exceed the newly revised lower tier total, then you will be
required to reduce or eliminate a service to comply with the new totals. Read my open letter
sent out to my consumers same day that I was notified of this which was 12-9-10. MORE INFO IN MY LETTER.
Current Old Maximum
Tier 1 = *$150,000 unlimited varies
Tier 2 = $ 53,625 $55,000 $ 1,375
Tier 3 = $ 34,125 $35,000 $ 875
Tier 4 = $ 14,422 $14,792 $ 370
* Tier One
limitation has not yet been implemented as of 12-9-10. However, even when
it is implementated, there are exceptions to exceed this maximum level provided
F.S. 393.0661(3) 2010.
Sign Petition against HMO: Click HERE to sign up. Then click petition tab
to sign. Forward this to someone else to sign. Don't allow your voices be silenced by the large HMOs.
Goal: 5000+ signatures to allow APD's I budgets to work and to vote no in HMOs managing APD. An HMO
take over would reduce services, reduce provider rates, eliminate support coordination case management. This
would silence independent advocacy for the disabled leaving them without a voice. The profit hungry HMO
would further limit consumer choices, provide only the bare minimum of services which would lead to poor
outcomes but instead would ensure maximum HMO profits at the expense of our vulnerable disabled citizens.
This is a disgrace and shameful. A list of representatives and senators that favor the HMOs over the disabled who
support or vote for APD program being managed by an HMO will be published. As a grassroots effort of the people,
we will continue to ensure that reporters, newspapers and other media outlets are aware of what is happening and
whenever a vote takes place as this issue unfolds in the months ahead. Florida United For Choice appreciates the large
numbers of you that have taken action and contacted us and called, written, visited your representative or senator about your concerns.
This grassroots effort is making significant headway thanks to your involvement.
As most of you are aware there is a Special Legislative Session . One of the things the legislature will be doing in this session is to over-ride a number of past Governor Crist vetos--none of them affect us or the population we serve directly. The OTHER objective is to agree to a statement of intent on Medicaid reform. Just under the surface here's what's going on:
Florida United for Choice--our advocacy group--is sending representatives to Tallahassee to see if we can get in on the discussion. We are not on the invited list of 'expert witnesses' (managed care organizations ARE), so it is really up in the air as to whether we will even get to talk to any one.
Here's what we need to do NOW:
There is a saying I have adopted in the recent days. In the end the only people that can really save disabled people in Florida are disabled people. They and their families must rise up and we have to get that started. Do it. Do it NOW.
HMOs may be taking control over your MW services and APD if the legislature votes to pass legislation this next session. HMOs have sold the idea to top law
makers that they can save the state money in APD and other medicaid programs if they allow they to take control of them for a set per capitated fee.
Bascially, pay a set fee per person, and HMO will cover the services that MW consumers receive currently. The problem is that HMOs are profit motivated
and to make money they have to cut expenses which translates into your services.
Support Coordination would be eliminated! They would replace it by you having to call a 1-800 number instead. Trouble is that even if you can get through to a
person on the other end, that person has a clear conflict of interest. They do not have your best interest at heart because in order for them to make the most
PROFIT possible, they need to reduce, eliminate or deny services to you and pocket this savings. To find out more about this troubling proposal, go to the
website: www.FloridaUnitedForChoice.com It is a grassroots effort to prevent HMOs from taking over APD and your services. There are sample lawmaker
letters to can use and much more information about this important subject. Committee meetings begin this fall and the regular session begins March 1, 2011.
I Budgets are coming in late 2011 or 2012. Being tested in Tallahassee area office currently. See powepoint presentation about IBudget here.
NCI is National Core Indicators: Florida recently joined over 27 other member states to join resources to improve measures to improve quality of delivered
services to Floridians with developmental disabilities. See learning center, terms here. What are the actually indicators? click here for word doc.
*APD provider rates and consumer budget tier cuts by 2.5% Read good article posted by Aaron Nangle's website article here.
A veto by Gov. Crist which e
tier category budget maximum reductions are still tentative as far as I have heard. APD in central office has been silent regarding how or when any reductions
will be taken so it is an educated guess at this point. They may take 2.5% reduction from the non-excluded other APD services using a computer program that
automatically makes these changes. Then revised authorizations would be sent out to the effected providers.
Last day of FL Legislature ended without passing Managed Care bill. So we have 1 more year before efforts by HMOs to pass managed care for APD resume next year.
Great Miami Herald article on managed care issue published April 23, 2010.
Managed Care bill HB 7223 conferenced version is going to Gov Crist. Write him to veto. To see details of bill & Sample Governor letter - click here MSWord Doc.
To view without MS Word on internet, right now click here. "By January 1, 2014, the agency shall begin implementation of statewide long-term care managed care for persons with developmental disabilities, with full implementation in all regions by October 1, 2015." Support Coordination will be terminated.
Case management will be taken over by your new HMO or PPN.
It is time (March 2010 through April 2010) to write an email to your senator or representative urging not to cut any services you value.
All medicaid consumers which include DD medicaid waiver consumers, will be required to become enrolled in an HMO administered program to access services if
vote passes in house/senate on 4-15-10. Full house and senate would then vote on including any amendments offered. Passed House now in conference then to governor.
Results of below DD budget compromised bill are as
Here is actual copy of Senate proposed CS 1468 as of 3-29-10 that will be voted on with cuts. Details I Budget.
Dental should be exception added in line 290 to 296. Dental should also be added as a tier 4 option.
Here is actual copy of House bill proposed which is more detailed than Senate.
Tier Level Current Proposed in bill Both House and Senate reduction bills will be voted on this Week Wed 3-30-10 !!!
Tier 1 = unlimited $120,000
Tier 2 = $55,000 $ 49,500
Tier 3 = $35,000 $31,500
Tier 4 = $14,792 $13,313
2010 A.P.D. BUDGET reduction proposals - click on each of 3 below links or this link that summarizes in more detail.
The State of FL must cut 3 billion dollars or so FY 2010/11 due to fallen
property values which means less revenue to spend. No one likes cuts.
Do you have some realistic ideas on how APD or other agencies could save money while actually improving services? You heard me right.
It is not an easy task for anyone, so speak up if you have some innovative / creative ideas. I have been working on some ideas of my own.
We didn't really see any cuts last year, that is basically due to the federal stimulus dollars the state received.
Here is a TV news story that aired on Orlando WESH Channel 2 news on 3-8-10 about possible APD budget cuts.
Discussed how a local SWOP ADT workshop may be impacted by these cuts.
After further research, I located legislative budget proposal doc which goes into more detail.
February 9, 2010 APD budget presentation to State of FL Legislative House of Representatives Health Care Appropriations Committee
1. IBudgets: (Individual Budgeting) - More details click on > Questions and Answers
- APD presented IBudget to Florida Legislature in February 2010.
- Determines MW budget funding levels via QSI, living situation, age etc
- Consumers with similar needs will receive similar funding levels as well as consumers with greater needs receive greater funding.
- Gives more flexibility with services and consumer involvement in spending
-APD not yet sharing IBudget algorithm which is really the essence of what criteria will determine consumers new budget (as of 3-9-10)
2. Flexible Benefit Service:
- Is optional for enrolled MW consumers
- Uses Medicaid providers
- ADT, companion, respite, I.H.S., SEmployment, SLiving
- Budgets must take a 8% cut to be a part of
- Option might begin as earlier as spring or summer 2010 per APD
3. New Quality Assurance / Person Centered Planning system:
-Uses national core indicators
- Fewer forms
- Complete forms online
- Issue service authorizations electronically
- Emphasizes the consumer abilities
4. Funding for Dental service
- For Tier 4: Now in Gov Crist's proposed budget
- Currently if you are in tier 4, dental is not an allowed service under MW funding. Legislature would have to still approve it.
Questions to Ponder and needed changes to our program
- Will this new IBudget take the place of current tier system and will it be fair?
- When will the annual rebasing of cost plan budgets be ended since rebasing process costs more money to conduct by APD / WSCs than they save
as well as not being very fair to many of our consumers? If they not ended, when will date for rebasing be changed from around thanksgiving /
xmas to earlier say in September? This is the only time many WSCs and APD employees take time off with their families and friends.
- When will APD and all of it's certified MW providers utilize a more efficient business model and become fully digital? Currently many providers
still snail mail volumes of papers to support coordinators (I get 110 pages/month from 1 provider) or APD each month to document their activities/
services when they could send a digital file such as a pdf file instead. All the major email services are encrypted already or at least a CD disk could
be mailed out instead. This change would save everyone time / money and would make data retrieval very fast. Very few items need to be originals
such as birth certificates, legal docs. SS card etc. but even these can be scanned from an original for safe storage and quick retrieval.
- When will providers not be required to send monthly bill invoices to WSC since they no longer do the provider billings and providers are responsible
for and should maintain their OWN documentation for billing purposes? Why does the WSC need a copy still? ABC lists out providers bills if needed.
Tier 4 changes per APD memo 12-18-09:
1. Family and Supported Living Waiver Services Directory no longer in effect.
2. Individual service level budget caps from FSL were eliminated for Tier 4.
3. Respite services no longer limited to 30 days or 720 hours as described in DD handbook.
Providers will still need to be enrolled in tier 4 (formerly FSL) separately to render services.
Tier 4 services are still limited to same FSL services but without the caps.
There have been unofficial discussions about the tier system being eliminated but this is not
confirmed. If the legislature were to do this, the new iBudget "Individual Budget" along with the QSI
assessment would likely determine appropriate service levels.
Rebasing APD notification letter copy here. > More info on.
Rebasing Procedures 2009: Basically by 11-23-09 notices to consumers that are to be rebased will be notified by APD. Depending on the amount to be rebased (reduced), your support coordinator (me) will work with you on what supports you decide to adjust to comply with the rebasing law. Revised budgets need to be completed by support coordinator due 12-8-09. The law states:
Please work with your support coordinator on this rebasing project. There will be appeal procedures like last year available. See rebase procedures. Basically if you didn't use a given service, then your budget is likely to be reduced by that amount. So my recommendation if to fully utilize the allocated services
amounts approved by APD for the coming year. Exceptions such as hospitalization or changing providers or if lost Medicaid may not count a given month in APD calculations.
Appeals decsion as of 8-21-09:
The First District Court of Appeals in
Tallahassee, Florida ruled that the Tiers for serving Persons with
Disabilities are invalid. Please see the attached link for the actual
1) the Agency failed to demonstrate it adopted a valid, reliable assessment instrument;
(2) the rules place an age limit on eligibility for Tier 3; and
(3) the rules automatically place some former waiver recipients into Tier 4 without an assessment.
Tier Questions to ponder
Does this mean APD just rewrites the rule to correct these errors and tiers are again valid?
Will APD just remove assessment tool language and insert APD criteria language instead?
How will they make the assessment instrument (QSI) valid and reliable?
Does this mean all 30,000+ APD consumers in Florida will transfer to unlimited tier 1 and if so for how long?
Will rebasing still keep a person's budget from growing or moving into a higher tier or unlimited?
Will cost plan budgets grow reflecting consumer needs based upon this appeals decision and then a short time
later be cut back again once rule changes are corrected by APD ? If so, doesn't this violate "continuity of
services" and "Choice" philosophy in outcome measures Council on Quality and APD support?
Will legislature get rid of tiers and replace with QSI and new IBudget?
CS/ SB 1660 Governor Crist signed into law 5-27-09. Basically it makes changes as follows:
(amending s. 393.065, F.S.)
1. Rebasing will take place annually. Basically spend funds in your cost plan or
lose them next year.
I sent insertion language that basically says that they won't count time frames when services
were interrupted such as going into hosptial, losing your Medicaid, or switching to another provider.
It appears they adopted this necessary more fair approach. Bill now states "
So your budget will at least have a fair chance in
not being arbitrarily reduced based upon factors
beyond your control. So fall 2009, we will be rebasing some budgets again.
2. Medication review service eliminated eff 4-1-10. "
" ...directing the agency to eliminate medication-review services"
REBASING COST PLANS basically is back on track and so reductions or
outright cuts will take place to comply with the law. Support Coordinators have
been asked to get all this done in a short time frame during the holidays.
Many of us have taken vacation as you have. So try to complete and mail your
request for a hearing as soon as you can if you do not agree with the amount of
the reduction. But remember APD will want to know why you think they
miscalculated the reduction, not that you merely think it is unfair, which is
not grounds for a hearing.
- Will 2009 be the last year consumers have to go through the sometimes unfair rebasing budget reductions?
Some cost plan budgets will be reduced via "rebasing" if consumer's budget prorated amount is more than 105% of last years expenditures cost plan budget. Amendment reduction deadlines are set by APD. Consumers / families must decide prior to the deadline what services will be adjusted.
Food for thought?
Why for second year in a row, is rebasing conducted at thanksgiving and Christmas time?
Highly inappropriate time for families, WSCs and APD staff trying to relax with their families over holidays. What timing ! If rebasing is to continue, should be conducted in Sept/October not Nov/Dec.
TIME TO WRITE AND CALL YOUR SENATOR if you are affected. You will be notified by APD and myself or your WSC if you are affected. A third of my consumers are affected by rebasing. click> REBASING EXPLAINED AND THE LAW.
WSCs were notified which
consumers will be "rebased" basically meaning cost plan reduced. Consumers
and families should also be notified. Fair Hearings will apply apparently.
If you are currently awaiting a hearing from tier, the state APD can still
rebase / cut your budget meanwhile if you qualify under their criteria!
If you file for a rebase hearing or legitimate explanations are identified why
is more than last year's budget, APD still wants WSCs to file an amendment to adjust reductions. They
have told WSCs they will not implement amendment reductions unless hearing is not granted or lost or
exceptions submitted are not validated.
TIERS. Tier 1 which is unlimited currently may be changed to a maximum of $120,000. If this happens, many consumers will end up in an ICF DD facility (nearly $50,000 cheaper to the state), which violates the "least restrictive" philosphy of APD, since ICFs are very restrictive and have little "community inclusion or natural supports." The trend to deinstutionalize consumers moving them from ICFs into the community seems to regressing backwards to instutionalization when costs get too high. The State may be realizing they can no longer afford the original philosophical basis of the Medicaid Waiver program - to have the least restrictive environment utilizing natural supports, integrating into the community discovering social roles, making their own choices to become as independent as possible to maximize their potential. Tiers 1-4 Criteria-Click HERE
QSI consumer interviews will eventually effect budget tier assignments based upon this assessment of need determining fund / tier category. There will also be follow up interviews to validate these QSI interviews called SIS. Call support coordinator if unsure about.
If you are assigned tier 4, certain services such as companion, dental and mental health counseling
are NOT covered on this "Family and Supported Living Waiver" you are transferring to within APD.
I might be able to transfer companion to "in home supports" if your current provider offers this under
this new waiver.
Tier 4 only pays for: ADT, Beh Analysis / Assistant, CMS, EAA, DME, in home supports, pers emerg
response, respite, SE, S.Lvg coaching, transp, and Waiver support coord. So if your service is not listed
here and you have been assigned to tier 4, then the service ended on 10-14-08. These new tiers were effective on 10-15-08.
If I am your support coordinator, please email, snail mail or fax me. GeoAndrew@aol.com or 407 246-1874 fax.
The annualized tier budget caps for spending on supports are as follows:
Tier 1 = no limit
Tier 2 = $55,000
Tier 3 = $35,000
Tier 4 = $14,792
What this means is that if your total spending in your cost plan is above the tier cap limit you
have been placed into, then you must work with the support coordinator to identify how your
budget can be reduced to comply with the cap. So if you are in tier 3 and current spend $40,000,
then you must cut $5,000. If you spend say $30,000, then no cuts are necessary since you are
under the $35,000 cap. APD has already sent out letters notifying you what tier number you have been
Remember, except for a higher tier level, this is a legislatively mandated change. The good news is
that services continue during an appeal for hearing, if filed within 10 days
of receiving your official APD notice letter. Bad news is that you may be liable to pay back to the
state APD any supports from effective date forward that are denied as a result of your hearing appeal
decision that you request. You only have 10 days (if you want services to continue) 30 days (if services
don't continue) from when you, the consumer or group home receives the tier notification letter,
in which to appeal and keep services. .
You may elect to call or write your state senator or representative in Tallahassee and indicate how this
change has effected you. Here is a form letter you can use for writing. You can call APD district seven
407 245-0440 for further clarification or to verify any statements above since this is my best
understanding of materials that were presented to me.
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