Family Connection of South Carolina, Disability Advocacy Day

Disability Advocacy Day!

Join us March 2, 2011 at the State House for Disability Advocacy Day. This is an important day for our legislators to see the families/children who are affected by the decisions they make.

For complete details on times, parking, and events for Disability Advocacy Day, visit

http://www.familyconnectionsc.org/disability_advocacy_day/

Join us and BE HEARD!

DDSN and Medicaid

Budget Updates

1) Notes from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget hearing, held on Tuesday, February 2nd.

* New appointed Director of DHHS is Tony Keck
* Medicaid has budget deficit of $228 million
* Keck confirmed that there is no action the agency can take by July (new fiscal year) to resolve this budget crisis
* The five-member Budget and Control Board will have to decide how to pay off that deficit when it meets next week.
* Recent budget reductions will only save the state an estimated$3-$4 million.
o Medicaid Bulletin concerning Discontinuation of Adult Dental Services
o Medicaid Bulletin concerning Clarification of Private Therapy Reductions
o Medicaid Bulletin concerning Reductions Update January 31, 2011
* Provider rates (i.e. doctors, therapists) will most likely be cut. Some providers will opt out accepting Medicaid if this should occur.
* DHHS will carefully look at the cost effectiveness and quality of care delivered through Managed Care Organizations and the Medical Home Network.

2) The Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) presented their budget on January 25 to the Ways and Means Committee. Last year, DDSN received $40 million in non-recurring stimulus money that helped DDSN meet their budget needs. DDSN has that hole of $40 million this year and unless it is filled, programs will be cut. DDSN has now posted the budget sheet on their website. (Click here to view) If you start at the bottom of the document and move up, this is a general reduction guide. You will see what programs will most likely be impacted based on the amount of money the legislature approves. More than 3000 people are on waiting lists for waivers.

3) If your family/child will be impacted by the DDSN reductions or Medicaid cuts, now is the time to share your story. Even if you are not sure of how your child/adult child will be impacted, you can just let them know what the services have meant to your family. The legislators are faced with very tough decisions, and real stories do help them understand the impact of their decisions. Please stay positive about what services have meant for your family/child.

Here is how to voice your concerns:

1) Visit the SC Medicaid Crisis-Help Our Children page on Facebook. Click on “Like” at the top of the page to join in the discussion and follow updates. This page was created by a parent and will allow you to participate in discussions and keep current on Medicaid bulletins, etc. You can also share your story and talk to other parents about the reductions.

2) Share your story with us and others by emailing your story and how you and child(ren) will be impacted by the proposed reductions. We ask that submit, with your story, your name, phone #, address, email address, and whether or not you are willing to speak with members of the media. Send stories to info@familyconnectionsc.org with Medicaid Story as the subject.

3) Contact the following NOW and share your concerns:

* Your legislators-click here to find them and how to contact
* The Governor-click here for contact information
* Tony Keck, the new SC DHHS Director-send letters to:
o SC DHHS

Tony Keck

Director’s Office

PO Box 8206

Columbia, SC 29202-8206

* SC Budget and Control Board-Members are, including the Governor:
o
Treasurer: http://treasurer.sc.gov (Curtis Loftis, Jr.)

Comptroller General: www.cg.state.sc.us (Richard Eckstrom)

Chairman, Senate Finance Committee: Hugh Leatherman

Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee: Dan Cooper

They will begin meeting on February 8 to make decisions regarding the State Budget.

The biggest way to impact the shortfall is to speak to members of the Budget and Control Board, since they are the ones who can recognize our deficit at their next meeting on February 8. If they do not, we may have to cut off all provider payments in March because we simply wont have any funds to pay them.

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