Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn is scheduled to sign the Illinois Medicaid package today, June 14. The package includes the change to the Determination of Need Score, which Access Living and others have been fighting against.
This is a photo of our long term care team moving someone out of a nursing home and into his own apartment. With the change in DON Score, moving out of nursing homes will be much more difficult.
The Determination of Need Score qualifies people for Home Services, programs that support people with disabilities living in their own homes.
In the new package, the Determination of Need Score has been raised. If it is signed by the Governor and goes into the affect, this is bad news for many people with disabilities.
Access Living is currently working with nursing home residents to identify who can and who wants to transition into the community. If the Determination of Need Score is increased, Access Living will not be able to move 90% of the people who we currently are able to move.
In the words of Amber Smock, Access Living’s Director of Advoacy, “That is what short sighted means---create a vision supporting community choice, and fail to support the policy-defined eligibility levels that allow the transition programs to run.” Amber is referring to the Governor and Illinois, which pledged to move toward community integration, but is not supporting that pledge.
There is still time to fight. Contact Governor Quinn at http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/pages/contactthegovernor.aspx. Tell him that changing the DON score will hurt community living.