Among those of us who care deeply for and about people with developmental disabilities, I hope to hear emerge a new voice, ours, rising together for the benefit of all, harmonizing with reason, respect and hope, and transcending divisions, giving birth to a new era of creative cooperation.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011



In these lean times of budget crisis and harmful cuts I do not understand why anyone would even consider closing the RHCs. Ideological differences aside, just based on economics, this decision would be a BUDGET DISASTER!

•Yes, these high needs residents are more expensive to care for: no matter where they live they will be more expensive – moving them will only INCREASE their cost of care.

•Economy of scale – it is much more cost effective to care for these residents in the RHC - this is ECONOMY OF SCALE – think of a family who experiences a divorce. The living costs increase when they go from 1 household to 2 households.

•Reduction in services – Not only will the cost of care increase but there will be a drastic reduction in services with the moves that are being suggested.

•Cost shifting – maybe one budget would look better but the cost will still be there, actually increased due to not using the ECONOMY OF SCALE model.

•911 calls are 4-6 times higher in "community" group homes than at an RHC
•increased catastrophic care – increased medical expenses

The moves that are being suggested are immoral. I see a disaster waiting to happen and this process needs to be stopped and studies completed prior to these decisions being made and acted on. If RHCS are closed there is no going back – there is no other safety net and the providers will find that they are neither equipped nor capable of caring for these residents in a safe, healthy and humane manner.

Please do not consider the RHC closures as a cost-saving measure. It is exactly the opposite.

Cheryl Felak, RN
Disability Advocate