The Disability Integration Act (DIA) is a seriously flawed bill. While the intention of the bill is to provide services for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it would eliminate existing services provided to the most severely impacted members of this population, and moving these individuals from their long-term homes into more isolated settings that provide fewer services, lower staffing ratios, and lower standards of care.
Recent media reports have indicated that NYS’s Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has been placing Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders into residential group homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. NYS classifies Level 2 offenders as having a moderate risk of repeat offense. Level 3 offenders are classified as having a high risk of repeat offense and pose a threat to public safety.
If you live in NY State and wish to take action on this issue, please go to:
In September, 2018 VOR sent out 2 Action Alerts, asking Congress to pause and reconsider HR 3506, the EMPOWER Act to renew the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently requested submissions and recommendations for how they might improve service in HCBS Waiver settings. VOR's comments focused on the need to expand and improve services for people not well suited to group homes as a way to imporve the services for people for whom those settings might be deemed appropriate.
We provided links to articles in our archives and from newspapers that illustrate VOR's position on these issues. The resources in this article should prove useful to many of our members in making presentations to their representatives, decision makers, and family groups.
All of the links in the footnotes will work once you download the pdf.
Please read and comment!
Ask Your Members of Congress to send letters to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to express concern about these agencies using federal funding to evict individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities from their Medicaid-licensed homes, contrary to individual choice and need.
Template letter for DOJ
Template letter for HHS
Abuse and Neglect of Vulnerable Populations Widely Recognized:
Mandatory National Background Checks for Direct Care Workers Needed
In support of its voluntary national background checks program for states, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), noted that “long term care (LTC) patient abuse, neglect and misappropriation of funds have been identified as a widespread problem for millions of Americans receiving LTC services.” (CMS National Background Checks Program).
VOR is grateful to Congress for its past support of national background checks. The 2003 Medicare Modernization Act (Section 307) provided for a demonstration program, and the Affordable Care Act’s national background check grant program was even more robust. According to CMS, "both actions point in the direction of potential national applicability." (National Background Check Program (NBCP) For Long Term Care Facilities and Providers: Frequently Asked Questions," CMS (Updated January 2014)).
We agree and now ask for Congressional support in making this necessary program mandatory.
Read full position paper
Safe at Home Developing Effective Criminal Background Checks and Other Screening Policies for Home Care Workers (AARP / NCSL, 2009)
Safe at Home: State Summaries (AARP /NCSL, 2009)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General: Memorandum Report: State Requirements for Conducting Background Checks on Home Health Agency Employees, OEI-07-14-00131 (May 29, 2014)