Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities

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Freyvogel’s April 23 Tampa Bay Online Letter Twists the Facts

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Claim: “New budget format hurts the disabled and organizations.”

Fact: The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) formed a stakeholder workgroup to design and plan the implementation of the iBudget Florida waiver. Jim Freyvogel, president and CEO of the MacDonald Training Center, Inc., was a member of this workgroup. There was significant discussion at these meetings about how to design iBudget to benefit customers and providers. A major premise of iBudget is to fairly distribute funding based on the characteristics and circumstances of the each individual. The agency also conducts individual reviews for any person who received a reduction in funding to ensure health and safety needs are met. These reviews are critical part of the final determination of the funding for the individual.

Claim: “She received a drastic cut of $6,346 in service funding.”

Fact: Individuals moving into iBudget have several months to adjust their services prior to actual implementation. Additionally, anyone who has filed an appeal does not have their services reduced while the fair hearing is pending. More than 2,000 people have not taken any reduction while their appeal is waiting to be heard.  With iBudget, funding can be moved and reallocated to other services to meet the person’s changing needs within specific guidelines.

Claim: “Multiply it by 12,000 other individuals whose services are also being profoundly affected by iBudget cuts.”

Fact: Statewide approximately 60 percent of people did not receive any reduction in funding.  For those that did receive a funding reduction, there was an individual review conducted to ensure their health and safety needs were met with the new funding level.

Claim: “iBudget is endangering the cost savings that organizations such as MTC are able to pass on to taxpayers by supplementing the actual cost of services.”

Fact: MTC received $2.7 million in tax dollars last year serving APD customers. The Florida Legislature has directed APD to meet the health and safety needs of individual’s on the Medicaid waiver.

Claim: “The state must move to a more viable alternative.”

Fact: iBudget has been recently implemented as a viable alternative to the four-tier waiver system. iBudget was specifically designed to address a sustainable long-term alternative to serving individuals in their communities.  The iBudget waiver gives individuals choices on how to spend their taxpayer funding for community services and also provides immediate access to change services as needs change. This is the essence of the iBudget Florida waiver and why a majority of APD customers support it.

APD annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with the developmental disabilities of autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, spina bifida, and Prader-Willi syndrome. To learn more about the agency, call 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273) or visit APDcares.org.

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