Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities

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“KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” Budget Eliminates Critical Needs Waiting List for Second Year in a Row

Third Year to Fund Waiting List Enrollment

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Florida Governor Rick Scott is again recommending funding to serve individuals with critical needs on the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) waiver waiting list. Governor Scott’s proposed 2015-2016 “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget includes $1.16 billion for APD with $8 million to serve the waiting list. The money will be used to enroll about 400 individuals into the APD Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver so they can use this funding for community services. This is the third year the Governor has recommended money to serve the waiting list and the second year in a row that the Governor has taken the action to eliminate the waiting list.

Governor Scott said, “We are excited that we are recommending the funding to again eliminate the critical needs waiting list this year. These life changing investments will create more opportunities for all Floridians to get the care and treatment they deserve.”

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “I cannot thank Governor Scott enough for his continued support of individuals with disabilities. For the third year, Governor Scott is recommending funding to serve people on the waiting list with critical needs. This money will allow everyone with critical needs to enroll into the Medicaid waiver in the coming year. For the past two years, APD has carefully managed its budget while also enrolling new individuals into the Medicaid waiver, which many people thought would be impossible. I appreciate Governor Scott’s ongoing confidence in APD and the people we serve.”

Also for the third year, Governor Scott’s budget proposal includes $2 million to assist people on the waiver and the waiting list who have indicated that they want to go to work. This funding will pay for Supported Employment and supported internship services for people with developmental disabilities.

Additionally, Governor Scott is recommending $2.9 million for a new APD data system that will provide service-specific information from providers regarding service delivery dates and progress, as well as better verification that services were delivered at the times and locations that were authorized by the agency.  Additionally, this data system will include an electronic client central record that will provide the agency with information that can be used to more effectively serve individuals with developmental disabilities by providing electronic information that will track provider services and the progress of the client.

Family Care Council Florida Chairperson Pauline Lipps said, “We applaud Governor Scott for his continued efforts to reduce the waiting list of individuals with developmental disabilities across the state of Florida. Through these efforts and the Employment First Initiative, individuals will be afforded the opportunity to pursue employment services in the community that could reduce the barriers of finding competitive employment for individuals with disabilities.”

Betty Kay Clements, parent and past chairperson of the Family Care Council Florida, said, “I am so pleased that Governor Scott’s 2015 “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget includes $2 million for APD to continue to support the employment contribution that individuals with developmental disabilities can make as they highlight their many abilities.  Given the opportunity, their contribution is not just that of personal growth, self-esteem, and a paycheck, but a job well done that also benefits their communities and Florida’s employers. Everyone benefits!”

The Association of Support Coordination Agencies of Florida chairperson Janice Phillips said, “We appreciate Governor Scott who continues to embrace the issues facing individuals with developmental disabilities. Providing money to move people with critical needs off the waiting list is an important priority, and I am so happy it is a priority of the governor too. Helping individuals move forward toward their goals is what we all want.  I am pleased that funding has been earmarked to assist people with disabilities with their employment goals.  Having a job is extremely important to everyone, including those with disabilities who are trying to enter the workforce and become productive citizens of our state.”

Area 2 Family Care Council Chairperson Lou Ogburn said, “We applaud the Governor for his efforts to reduce the size of the waiting list.  We are also pleased he is providing help to the developmental disabilities community in employment.  It is critical for those who are able and want to work to be able to earn a paycheck.  His understanding and push to help overcome some of the hurdles with finding willing employers is so important.  We are also pleased with the money for a new Client Data Management System in order to more closely track the services to individuals with developmental disabilities so can be offered more timely when possible.”

Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities President and CEO Suzanne Sewell said, “We are thrilled to see that waiver enrollment will continue in the coming year and that the Governor is investing in a strong provider network to meet the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. Providing community services to people with developmental disabilities is essential. We are pleased to see that Governor Scott is recommending about $8 million to continue to move new individuals into the Medicaid waiver and to ensure that a strong viable network is available to provide the services they need.”

“Special Olympics Florida applauds Governor Scott and the Legislature for dedicating critical funds that will help to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Florida. With this funding we are proud to work with APD to create communities statewide that value the contributions of all citizens,” President and CEO of Special Olympics Florida Sherry Wheelock.

To view the complete list of Governor Scott’s budget recommendations, visit www.KeepFloridaWorking.com.

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities.  The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit APDcares.org or call toll-free 1‑866‑APD‑CARES (1‑866‑273‑2273).

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Notice of Meeting/Workshop Hearing

DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
Agency for Persons with Disabilities
The Agency for Persons with Disabilities announces a public meeting regarding the iBudget algorithm to which all persons are invited.
DATE AND TIME: February 16, 2015, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., EST
This meeting will involve Microsoft Lync for sharing presentations over the internet. If you already have access to Microsoft Lync, please use the following link to join the meeting and then choose “Don’t join audio”:

https://meet.lync.com/apdfl/tracey.tolbert/D6JZLZ6J

In addition to the Microsoft Lync meeting it is necessary to also call in to the following number in order to access the audio. The call-in number and code are: 1.888.670.3525 Code: 510 653 9718.
If you do not already have Microsoft Lync installed, please follow the hotlink below and choose “Meeting Readiness”:
http://office.microsoft.com/client/helppreview.aspx?AssetId=HA102621125&lcid=1033&NS=OCO14&Version=14
You will be presented with two options: 1) install Active X or 2) download and install Microsoft Attendee. We recommend you install Microsoft Attendee.

PLACE: Agency for Persons with Disabilities, 4030 Esplanade Way, Room 301, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0950

GENERAL SUBJECT MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED: To invite input and feedback from Agency stakeholder groups, including self-advocates, family members, service providers, waiver coordinators, and advocacy organizations in updating and improving the algorithm formula used to predict resource needs for clients enrolled on the iBudget waiver and waiting list and used in the establishment of individual budgets for individuals on the waiver. The algorithm will provide an equitable distribution of available resources among individuals on the waiver based on an assessment process that includes client characteristics and a valid formal assessment instrument, and client choice of services and providers once the individual budget is determined. http://apdcares.org/publications/legal

Written comments may be submitted to iBudgetAlgorithm@apdcares.org.
A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting: Eva Fambro-Price, 4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 360, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, (850)922-2550, eva.fambro-price@apdcares.org.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this workshop/meeting is asked to advise the agency at least 72 hours before the workshop/meeting by contacting: Eva Fambro-Price, 4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 360, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, (850)922-2550, eva.fambro-price@apdcares.org. If you
are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service, 1(800)955-8771 (TDD) or 1(800)955-8770 (Voice).
For more information, you may contact: Eva Fambro-Price, 4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 360, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, (850)922-2550, eva.fambro-price@apdcares.org.

The meeting agenda can be found online at: http://apdcares.org/publications/legal/ 


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Notice of Meeting/Workshop Hearing

DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
Agency for Persons with Disabilities

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities announces a public meeting regarding the iBudget
algorithm to which all persons are invited.

DATE AND TIME: January 16, 2015, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., EST
This meeting will involve Microsoft Lync for sharing presentations over the internet. If you
already have access to Microsoft Lync, please use the following link to join the meeting and then
choose “Don’t join audio”:
https://meet.lync.com/apdfl/tracey.tolbert/G1KH0255

In addition to the Microsoft Lync meeting it is necessary to also call in to the following number
in order to access the audio. The call-in number and code are: 1.888.670.3525 Code: 510
653 9718.

If you do not already have Microsoft Lync installed, please follow the hotlink below and choose
“Meeting Readiness”:
http://office.microsoft.com/client/helppreview.aspx?AssetId=HA102621125&lcid=1033&NS=O
CO14&Version=14

You will be presented with two options: 1) install Active X or 2) download and install Microsoft
Attendee. We recommend you install Microsoft Attendee.

PLACE: Agency for Persons with Disabilities, 4030 Esplanade Way, Room 301, Tallahassee,
Florida 32399-0950

GENERAL SUBJECT MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED: To invite input and feedback from
Agency stakeholder groups, including self-advocates, family members, service providers, waiver
coordinators, and advocacy organizations in updating and improving the algorithm formula used
to predict resource needs for clients enrolled on the iBudget waiver and waiting list and used in
the establishment of individual budgets for individuals on the waiver. The algorithm will provide
an equitable distribution of available resources among individuals on the waiver based on an
assessment process that includes client characteristics and a valid formal assessment instrument,
and client choice of services and providers once the individual budget is determined.

Written comments may be submitted to iBudgetAlgorithm@apdcares.org.
A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting: Eva Fambro-Price, 4030 Esplanade Way,
Suite 360, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, (850)922-2550, eva.fambro-price@apdcares.org.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special
accommodations to participate in this workshop/meeting is asked to advise the agency at least 72
hours before the workshop/meeting by contacting: Eva Fambro-Price, 4030 Esplanade Way,
Suite 360, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, (850)922-2550, eva.fambro-price@apdcares.org. If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service,
1(800)955-8771 (TDD) or 1(800)955-8770 (Voice).

For more information, you may contact: Eva Fambro-Price, 4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 360,
Tallahassee, Florida 32399, (850)922-2550, eva.fambro-price@apdcares.org.

The meeting agenda can be found online at http://apdcares.org/publications/legal.


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APD Reviewing iBudget Decision

TALLAHASSEE —The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is reviewing the decision this week by the First District Court of Appeal (DCA) which found that the rules used in implementing the iBudget Florida waiver are invalid, thus overturning an earlier decision by the Division of Administrative Hearings.

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “Our goal is always to protect the health and safety of the individuals we serve. We are evaluating the effects, if any, on APD customers and the financial impact of this decision. We hope to minimize any changes this ruling will require for people served by APD.”

The DCA decision states that all APD customers should receive their iBudget algorithm amount as their cost plan amount. Therefore, APD will need to go through the rulemaking process again to comply with the court’s decision.

About 30,000 APD customers use the iBudget Florida Medicaid waiver to direct and receive Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). The HCBS waiver is funded by state and federal tax dollars to help people with developmental disabilities live and participate in their local communities.

iBudget Florida is a new way to deliver Medicaid waiver services. It has been approved by both the Florida Legislature and the federal government. The iBudget waiver provides greater flexibility to choose services that best meet the customers’ needs given their unique situations.

iBudget Florida is designed to make the funding process fair and equitable for all Medicaid waiver customers. It has increased opportunities for customers to direct their own care.

Some other customer benefits of iBudget Florida are:

  • Ability to reallocate funds not spent on services in one month for future service needs within a fiscal year
  • Access to dental services that were not available in the former tier waiver
  • Support coordinators able to use iBudget technology to reduce paperwork requirements and communicate efficiently with providers and APD, and
  • Greater opportunity for APD to use new funds to serve people on the Medicaid waiver waiting list.

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. For more information on iBudget Florida, visit iBudgetFlorida.org. To learn more about the agency, call 1-866-APD-CARES  (1-866-273-2273) or visit APDcares.org.


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Governor Scott Announces Elimination of Critical Needs Waitlist for Persons with Disabilities

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced all individuals with critical needs who have been on the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) waiting list as of July 1 will be offered enrollment in the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid waiver. Approximately 1,200 individuals will receive enrollment letters from APD in the next two weeks.

 

Governor Scott said, “We’re committed to providing every Florida family the opportunity to live the American Dream – and this year’s It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget invested another $20 million to move all remaining individuals with critical needs off of the waiting list, which is the first time this has happened in the history of the agency. This is the second year in a row we’ve been able to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families.”

 

These individuals join about 1,600 people who were offered waiver services last fiscal year. Additionally, the agency will continue to enroll foster children with developmental disabilities into the waiver that are adopted or reunified with family members.

 

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “I am so happy the agency is able to keep moving people off the waiting list so they may receive waiver services in their communities. I thank Governor Scott and members of the Legislature for this important funding for the waiting list and their support of our agency. We are making a difference in people’s lives.”

 

After individuals accept the HCBS Medicaid waiver enrollment, they must select a waiver support coordinator who will work with them to develop a plan to address needed services. APD customers also select which waiver providers they want to deliver their services.


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Update on iBudget Handbook

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) and the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) have reviewed and revised the iBudget handbook over the past several weeks based on public input.

The handbook is in final rule drafting with a public workshop anticipated to be noticed for mid-August.

After the rule workshop, AHCA and APD will meet to discuss all comments received, and then will proceed promptly to move to final rule promulgation which will include a public hearing.


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APD Presentation Schedule for Family Café

Family Cafe kicks off at the Orlando Hilton on June 6, and we hope that you and your family is able to attend.  The Agency for Persons with Disabilities will be conducting several presentations on June 6 and 7.  We also hope you will stop by our booth in the exhibit hall.  See APD’s presentation schedule below:

 

Friday, June 6

1:30-2:30 p.m. Aging in Place and Your Home, JR Harding (APD), Larry Baster (Elder Affairs)

1:30-2:30 p.m. Quality Services – What should you Know About Your Service Provider?, Denise Arnold, Edwin DeBardeleben

1:30-2:30 p.m. Human Trafficking, Meghan Murray

3-4 p.m.The Silent Epidemic: Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of Persons with Developmental Disabilities, Tom Rice

3-4 p.m. APD’s Billy Joe Rish Park – A Park for People with Disabilities, JR Harding

4:30-5:30 p.m.Increasing Successful Employment Outcomes, Nancy Butout

4:30-5:30 p.m. Achieving YOUR Goals – Perseverance, Determination, and a Little Help from iBudget Florida, Denise Arnold (APD), Robyn Stawski (Self-Advocate)

4:30-5:30 p.m. Traveling by Air as a Person with a Disability, JR Harding (APD), Delta Airlines

 

Saturday, June 7

11 a.m. – noon Meet APD Director Barbara Palmer, Director Barbara Palmer

1-2 p.m. What is Consumer Directed Care Plus Program (CDC+)?, (Spanish) Ivonne Gonzalez

2:30-3:30 p.m. What is Consumer Directed Care Plus Program (CDC+)?, (English) Ivonne Gonzalez, Susan Nipper

4-5 p.m. Airport Backstage Pass, JR Harding (APD), Delta Airlines+

 

For more information on Family Cafe, please visit their website at http://www.familycafe.net/