IDHW Statewide Tour

IDHW, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, is about to go on tour around Idaho to hear what you have to say.

Two months ago, we wrote about the new Community NOW! group. That is a group where adults with developmental disabilities and intellectual disabilities are at the center. They are sharing what they think about the supports that work best for them.

Now IDHW is going to travel to 11 places in Idaho to hear from adults with developmental disabilities and intellectual disabilities in those places.

You should get a letter about how to sign up to go when the tour comes near you. You have to call or email ahead of time to sign up. Sign up as soon as you get the letter to make sure you get in. People in eastern Idaho should have already gotten the letter. If you do not get one, please let us know.

The ACLU of Idaho, who represents all adults in Idaho's Medicaid DD services program, will also go to these events across Idaho. Just contact us if you want to talk more about these events.

Here are the places where the tour will go:

  • Idaho Falls (April 4)
  • Pocatello (April 5)
  • Twin Falls (April 6)
  • Boise (mid-April)
  • Mountain Home (mid-April)
  • Caldwell (late April)
  • Emmett (late April)
  • Lewiston (early May)
  • Grangeville (early May)
  • Coeur d'Alene (early May)
  • Sandpoint (early May)

Questions or feedback for IDHW?

Thanks for all the feedback! Many people have contacted the ACLU lately. We welcome all of your comments about the settlement and changes to come.

We try to make sure that the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare hears the feedback you give to us. But you can also share that feedback directly with the Department as well. They will try to answer your questions about the K.W. v. Armstrong settlement as well.

The email address to use is KW [at] dhw.idaho.gov.

The toll-free number is 1-844-793-1286.

You can always reach the ACLU of Idaho and our Legal Director Ritchie Eppink, by contacting us here.

Settlement Approved

Last Thursday, the judge decided to approve the K.W. v. Armstrong settlement. The judge held a hearing about it. At the end of the hearing the judge said he approved the settlement.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has already been working on the promises it made in the settlement. The official approval just makes sure that this work will continue.

Do you have questions about the settlement or the judge's approval? If you do, just let us know.

Community NOW! Work Group

This week a new group started. The group is called Community NOW! This group is talking about changes to the Idaho adult DD Medicaid program. People with developmental disabilities who are in the program are part of the group. Some people are family members of people with developmental disabilities who are in the program. There are also people from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in the group. Some providers and people from the ACLU of Idaho in the group, too.

The group had its first meeting this week, on Wednesday. The day before, on Tuesday, the people with developmental disabilities and the family members of people with developmental disabilities met to get ready for the big meeting on Wednesday.

The group is going to focus on the services you can get in the DD Medicaid program. The group is talking about services at home, services in the community, and services at work. The group is break into smaller groups to talk about home, community, and work. The smaller groups will meet six times over the next six months. The whole, big group will meet two more times: in April and in June. At the end of all the meetings, the group will have some final ideas for changes.

At the meeting this week, people talked about what the group would be doing. You can read about it in the packet that people got. Here is the packet:

Cover of the Community NOW! meeting packet for January 3 and 4, 2017

Cover of the Community NOW! meeting packet for January 3 and 4, 2017

After that, people broke into three groups. One group talked about life at home, one group talked about life in the community, and a third group talked about life at work. Then the three small groups told everyone else what they talked about.

Next, small groups will meet separately to talk more about home, community, and work. The next meetings will be on January 17 (home), 18 (community), and 19 (work). Although the meetings are just for those in the group, there are other ways to get involved if you are not in the group. You can start by contacting us.

If you have questions or comments, please just let us know!

 

Assessment Tool Update

The Department of Health and Welfare is picking a new assessment tool. This tool would replace the SIB-R. There was a meeting about it last month, in November. We gave an update about that meeting already.

Now we have a new update. The Human Services Research Institute, or HSRI, led the meeting in November. HSRI is the independent expert that the Department is working with under the settlement agreement. HSRI now has a report about that meeting. HSRI gave the report to the Department of Health and Welfare. The Department of Health and Welfare will now decide which new assessment tool to pick.

You can look at the report:

First page of the HSRI report about assessment tools

First page of the HSRI report about assessment tools

The report explains what happened at that meeting in November. It explains the things that the Department of Health and Welfare wants for the new assessment tool. It explains how the people at the meeting gave scores to the assessment tool choices.

The report explains that the people at the meeting picked the Supports Intensity Scale, or SIS, as the best choice.

The Department of Health and Welfare has not made a final choice. It might pick the SIS, but it still could pick something else. We will let you know when we find out what the Department picks.

New Email Lists

Do you want to get updates like these by email? Or are you an adult in the Idaho Medicaid DD program who wants to chat with other adults about changes to the program?

We have made two new email lists. One is open to everybody. We will share news and updates about the changes to the adult DD program. That list is called "KW News." "KW" is the name of the lawsuit about the program. It is called KW because those are the initials of one of the adults in the program who started the lawsuit.

Follow this link to join the KW News email list, open to everybody.

The other email list is just for adults in the DD program. If you are in the program and want someone to help you use the email list, the person you choose can join the list, too. On this list, called "Our Health," you can talk with other adults in the program about the changes that are coming.

Follow this link to join the Our Health email list, open to adults in the DD program and the people they choose to help them use the list.

If you have any trouble getting on the lists, just contact us and we can help you out.

Assessment Tool Meeting

There was an meeting to pick a new assessment tool this past Wednesday, November 2, 2016. It was at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The Human Services Research Institute, or HSRI, led the meeting. HSRI is the independent expert that the Department is working with under the settlement agreement.

At the meeting, HSRI talked about three assessment tools. The Supports Intensity Scale (SIS), the Inventory for Client Agency and Planning (ICAP), and the interRAI. The people at the meeting rated each of them in several areas.

Then HSRI used the ratings to rank the three tools: The SIS came in first. Then the interRAI. And the ICAP, which is based on the SIB-R, came in last.

Next, HSRI will write up a memo about the meeting. Then the Department will decide what it will do.

Do you have an opinion about the tool? Please let us know!

Here is more information about the meeting and the tools:

Picking a new assessment tool

In the adult DD program, you get assessed each year. The assessor meets with somebody who knows you well. The assessor uses a standard assessment tool. Right now, that tool is called the SIB-R.

This week, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is meeting to pick a new assessment tool. It will probably not be the SIB-R. Three choices it will consider are:

1. The Supports Intensity Scale (SIS).

2. The Inventory for Client and Agency Planning (ICAP). The ICAP is based on the SIB-R.

3. The interRAI.

Others have compared these tools. You can find some reviews and comparisons using web search engines like Google.

What do you think the new assessment tool should be? Please let us know. The ACLU will be attending a meeting with IDHW about it this week. Please let us know what you think before Wednesday, November 2, 2016, if you can.

Court gives preliminary approval to Idaho adult DD program changes

The court gave “preliminary approval” to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare agreement that will bring big changes to the Idaho adult DD program. Preliminary approval means that the Department now has to notify everyone in the program about the changes. If you are in the program, you will get a notice in the mail this fall. Read the notice carefully. On January 12, 2017, the court will hold a hearing to decide whether to finally approve the changes.

Learn more about the changes on the Q&A page.

Read the court’s preliminary approval and the settlement agreement document.