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.

Toward this potential, DD EXCHANGE is for conversation, civil sounding off, sharing of stories, experience, information, resources, and inspiration, giving and receiving support, and creative problem solving.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

RHC Services to Non-RHC residents with DD in WA State

     A benefit to non-residential habilitaton center (RHC) residents with DD is closer to becoming reality. Many years ago, "community" residents were coming to Fircrest School (an RHC) for professional services: dentistry, therapies and medical services.  It was not entirely wonderful for the Fircrest residents because money allocated for their care was being shared to service the needs of the "community" residents for whom there were not enough professionals in the community-at-large with the  needed special DD expertise.   But, it was a huge boon to the those who lived off campus.
     Then, the program was shut down.  Word was that a powerful leader in one of the strongest anti- RHC groups was behind the shut down.  I believed it because I had once heard her tell a task force   that parents and guardians of people with IDD would rather forgo services than have them in an RHC.  (The topic on the table, then, was respite;  she was subsequently proven very wrong.)    
      The basis on which the services to "community" residents were shut down was solvable, but the strong, anti-RHC bias that  persisted not only in her group, but also among bureaucrats left over from previous administrations, had continued to stalemate a pretty obvious solution.
Now, this week, we have news that seems to herald the beginning of a turn-around. From Kevin Harris, Sr. Facilitator-Health Policy in an email to Matt Zuvich, ActionDD Board of Directors:

"I did confirm with HCA that RHC medical professionals could provide services to community members at the RHCs and receive payment from the MCO’s for these services. This would require strict cost allocation to ensure no duplication of Medicaid funding. HCA recommended serving the community members on different days than the institutional residents, to avoid any confusion related to who was receiving services for cost allocation purposes. This would also require the medical professionals to be contracted as service providers for the MCOs, meaning they would have to meet all credentialing requirements of the MCOs. It is unclear as to whether the state itself could contract with the MCOs as a health care provider at the RHCs for this population, this would need further exploration. "