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FYI Fw: Some more on IHSS in California - Managed Care

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  • Debra Marasco-McNulty
    ... From: Barnonhill@aol.com Subject: Some more on IHSS To: robert.maclaughlin@asm.ca.gov Date: Thursday, March 1, 2012, 9:34 AM From
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2012
      --- On Thu, 3/1/12, Barnonhill@... <Barnonhill@...> wrote:

      From: Barnonhill@... <Barnonhill@...>
      Subject: Some more on IHSS
      To: robert.maclaughlin@...
      Date: Thursday, March 1, 2012, 9:34 AM

      From Nancy 2/29 via the CDR membersXchange:

      From Ellyn Peace -- Pastoral Counselor/Life Coach at Private Practice Studied MA Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Ellyn gave me her permission to share this wherever it would do some good. Posted on the IHSS consumers Union group page at 3 p.m. today. -- Nancy

      Managed Care & Institutionalization: My Reality

      There has been a lot of speculation about what might happen to those of us using the IHSS program should the state implement managed care. In my lifetime, I have experienced both three years of institutionalization, as well as about four years of managed care and would like to share with you the realities of this system. For now, I will focus on managed care, as it would not be constructive to go into the details of my institutional experience here. If any of you want more information on that part of my life, please feel free to message me privately.

      During the 1980's, I lived and attended university in CT. While school was in session, I lived in the dorms and Voc Rehab gave me funds to pay my attendants directly. This worked out perfectly and was completely controlled by me, however, during school breaks it was a different story. Due my being on Medicaid (CT's version of MediCal), the only care I was eligible for during school breaks was managed care provided through an agency. I lived in a rural area, there was only one agency available. A nurse was assigned to determine what care I required and how and when it would be provided. There was absolutely no choice of attendants, so whoever the agency sent is who did my care and that could change on a daily basis. Once, an aid showed up staggering drunk and while I did have the right to refuse her care, I could not fire her, nor call for a back-up attendant. Ultimately, I went without care.
      The agency had a minimum number of consecutive hours, so although I only needed two hours in the morning, the aid stayed for four hours. This meant that my allotted hours got used up while the aid just sat around and then no one could come help me use the bathroom all day! Waiting from morning until night to use the bathroom resulted in urinary tract infections. Weekends were bad; holidays were impossible, so my mentally ill mother would be stuck caring for me, which meant I didn't get care. The extent of domestic tasks the agency allowed was making my bed; as no one was home with me all day, a family member would have to prepare a sandwich for me ahead of time so that all the aid had to do was hand it to me.
      And, of course, there were regular visits from a nurse to 'oversee' my care. These were both completely unnecessary as I didn't require nursing care and costly. Given all of these facts, there is NO WAY managed care can produce any financial savings for the state. It can be argued that not all agencies need be so rigid, but the reality is that by nature, an agency must put a certain number of regulations into place to define things for their workers. In so doing, there will be points of care for individuals that simply do not fit into said regulations, as each of us is unique. My home was converted into the institution that I thought I had escaped. Make no mistake, the government is not doing this out of concern for our welfare! The only factor being considered here is money and the ONLY way to save money using managed care is to decrease the care provided to each and every one of us.

      “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” -- Margaret Mead

      Susan Chandler, President
      CDR, Inc. (Californians for Disability Rights)
      IHSS CONSUMERS UNION Group on Facebook
      805 528-4695
      1193 17th St.
      Los Osos, CA 93402

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