Policy Change Forthcoming for Legal Guardians Paid to Provide Care to Brokerage Customers

Beginning January 1, 2014, guardians will no longer be allowed to be paid with brokerage support services funds. Please see below for a statement released today by Patrice Botsford, the Director of Office of Developmental Disabilities at the Department of Human Services. Please check in with your Personal Agent if you have questions.

View a FAQ document about the change here.

To: All ODDS Staff & Stakeholders
Message from DHS Director of Office of Developmental Disabilities Patrice Botsford

I wanted to talk with you about some of the new state plan (K Plan) changes that are beginning to emerge in our Developmental Disabilities program. Last month, I had the opportunity to talk with large and small groups across the state, and I hear the great appreciation each community has for its CDDPs, Brokerages and Providers. I also hear their questions and concerns about how the DD program will change in the near future for the people and families we serve.

One of those concerns is the issue of the state’s inability to continue to pay legal guardians and representatives as service providers in the new state plan.

This is a big issue for many in our community, and it is important to note that this change is not something we asked for or anticipated. It is a federal regulation of the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), and we are required to comply in order to secure the additional 6% funding that the K plan brings.

All of us at ODDS are aware, sensitive and concerned about the impact this will have on families as they make very personal and family-specific decisions regarding their status as guardians or representatives.

Families must make a decision whether the guardian will remain in place and not continue as the paid service provider and a new service provider chosen, or the guardianship may be terminated or transferred to another person through probate court so the current guardian can remain the paid service provider.

In order to provide as much time as possible we are asking that their decision be relayed to us via their case manager no later than December 1, 2013 for January 1, 2014 implementation.

No one is required to make their adult child a ward of the state, and this change does not mean that the parent is abandoning the adult child, or that the state doesn’t care about the family and the importance of those relationships.

We do care, and that’s why we have all decided to do the work we do to improve the lives of the individuals and families we serve. It is important to everyone that those family relationships remain strong, healthy and ongoing for as long as people desire them. The K Plan allows us to be better stewards of the investment Oregonians make in services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and I am personally grateful for the many people who have sent their concerns and thoughtful remarks.

Again, thank you for the incredible work you do, the thoughtfulness with which you do it and the support you provide to the I/DD community.

~ Patrice Botsford


2 thoughts on “Policy Change Forthcoming for Legal Guardians Paid to Provide Care to Brokerage Customers

  1. Regardless of how you verbalize your gratitude, Patrice, the State IS, Indeed, destroying the freedom of choice of the Special Needs Clients, by saying a Guardian or Representative cannot be the one to provide care for the Client. Whom the Client feels the most comfortable with or happiest with in the provision of his/her care, should NOT be up to the State, but to the person receiving the care. In their unending paranoia, the State entities, rather than taking a short amount of time in each case to determine if there is fraud occurring by the Guardian providing care, the State, as always, simply acts on their fears, forcing good, honorable people through a knothole, along with anyone who might have committed fraud of some sort. I find it sad that, as always, the State thinks it knows best in the lives of people it does not know. Our Special Needs folk, ie, DD/ID folk SHOULD have the right to personal care by whomever they choose, regardless of previous court dealings. While you mention that this person can give up Guardianship to continue care, it becomes obvious that it is not the person that is the issue, but their right to protect the estate of the client that is the issue. Why don’t you mention why this is important? Can you give us ONE REALLY solid reason, (other than “the State said”) for this prejudice against Guardians? WHY? I patiently await your response.

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