THANK YOU for your support in our Petition Drive!!!!
A participant, Ed Little personally handed more than 600 signed petitions to Patricia Sastoque during a DDA meeting on Sept 22, 2016. The petition requested:
- Reserve all changes to Self-Directed Services for the proposed Amendment 3– after careful consideration from the SDS workgroup and input from SDS participants and families.
- Return the Self-Directed Services model to its own separate Waiver which would be rewritten by the workgroup and reviewed by SDS participants and families.
On September 26, 2016, DDA Director Bernie Simons issued a memo on September 26 stating that no changes would be made to SDS in Amendment 2. DDA official Patricia Sastoque met with SDS Network members and concerned citizens at DDA’s Southern Regional office in Laurel on Thursday, September 22, and agreed to form work groups to review proposed changes to SDS in an upcoming Amendment 3. Through the petition drive and other advocacy efforts, Network members have achieved postponement of changes to SDS. SDS families and participants will have ability to contribute input on Amendment 3. We gained valuable time.
However, there has been no proposal of a separate waiver, or assurance the changes will not appear in Amendment 3, or that the input from participants and families will change the outcome of the decisions. Our primary concerns are of the following changes:
- Requirement for participants to receive services from agencies and/or personnel with specialized certifications, with restricted availability; creating a new level of bureaucracy
- Restriction that participants cannot hire a relative.
- Budget changes for self-directed participants since they do not “have the administrative overhead” of agencies.
As of Monday, October 24, DDA has yet to schedule the promised work group meetings with participants and advocates. For now, we are removing our petition from the website; we are discussing presenting signed petitions to both Governor Hogan and to the Center for Medicaid Services regional director in Philadelphia. This includes over 100 petitions that have continued to come in since the 645 petitions were given to DDA at the September 22 meeting. We are also discussing a second petition that is more targeted on the desires of participants and advocates. We welcome your input on this.
We thank the many individuals who stepped forward to make our initial success possible. Thank you for including gathering 100s of petitions physically and/or referring people to the electronic petition. We need everyone to know that we are not done with preserving the rights of the participants of Self-Directed Services. Please continue to spread the word about these issues and check the website for updates. We are one voice and the voice for all. United we can be heard! Thank you again!