Last week, Congress passed the 2016 Spending Bill. Several VOR members have been working with the Labor Health & Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee to try to get protective language written into the bill that would favor VOR's positions on choice and the rights of the I/DD population. While we succeeded in the House, the Senate LHHS Subcommittee did not agree and the House language was changed.
While we did not achieve the language we wanted, we did achieve some language which will hopefully be a step forward in bringing pressure on the Administration to address our grievances with federal policies which allow federal funds to support law suits brought in the name of individuals with cognitive deficits without their legal guardians’ approval.
VOR Positions on Key Federal Legislation Impacting People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
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.
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)