Disability advocates testify on essential benefits

Marty Ford, representing the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Long Term Services and Supports Task Force, and Peter Thomas, representing the CCD Health Task Force, spoke to the members of the Institute of Medicine Committee charged with developing recommendations on implementation of the essential benefits package. They were asked to present on the inclusion of rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices in the Affordable Care Act. Marty Ford described how the term is used in Medicaid and provided examples of how it should be included in the health plans. Read their testimony at http://www.thearc.org/document.doc?id=2902 and http://www.thearc.org/document.doc?id=2901

The Arc and UCP to urge habilitation services be considered as essential benefits

On Thursday, The DPC’s Marty Ford will provide testimony to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on the development of the essential benefits package under the Affordable Care Act. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contracted with the IOM to develop recommendations that HHS can use to develop regulations implementing this part of the law. Her comments will focus on the inclusion of habilitation services as part of the benefit design. Habilitation services are those that enable a person with a significant disability to acquire, retain, improve or prevent deterioration of activities of daily living (ADL) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) skills and function over time.

National Council on Disability Forum

The DPC’s Paul Marchand and Marty Ford participated in the invitation-only National Council on Disability’s Earning Forum in Detroit. This regional policy forum focused on employment and financial security for people with disabilities and built upon discussions begun at NCD’s Living, Learning, & Earning Summit in July which launched a national dialogue on disability policy in the wake of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Participants discussed current challenges and opportunities to employment, the impact of health care reform, private employer perspectives, asset development and economic security, and a federal focus on employment. One half-day was devoted to employment issues specific to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Additional regional forums are expected to focus on the living and learning aspects of the summit. See the agenda at http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/news/2010/NCD%20Earning%20Forum%20Agenda%20_2_.pdf