Oregon Department of Human Services
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News Releases
Oregon DHS Seeks Public Comment on Amended Statewide Transition Plan - 06/16/17

In 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new rules to define community and home-based services. Service providers have to adhere to these rules in order to become eligible for Medicaid payments from the state. In return, the state receives federal matching funds only if the service setting is in compliance with these regulations issued by CMS. Initially, CMS gave states up to five years to comply (2019 deadline) but recently extended the deadline to 2022.

This is important to the State of Oregon and the citizens who benefit from these services, because approximately 70 percent of payments for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) are covered by those federal matching funds.

After receiving initial CMS approval, the Oregon Department of Human Services (Oregon DHS) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) drafted a revision to the transition plan outlining how the state will come into compliance with the federal rules within the new CMS timeframes. The state is seeking final CMS approval for Oregon's plan.

Oregon is considered a national leader in creating home and community-based care options. The state wants to maintain a high level of independence for citizens who currently receive HCBS or may require them in the future. Oregon DHS and OHA are looking for input from individuals receiving HCBS, family members, advocates, providers, delivery systems representatives and the broader community.

The new CMS rules require HCBS settings to be more home-like and less institutionalized.

The new rules require a better recognition and assurance of service recipient's rights and freedoms. This includes the right to have visitors at a time they choose, have access to their own food when they wish, or lock the door to their room, if they so choose. The existing HCBS settings may need to make adjustments. The purpose of the rules is to ensure that HCBS recipients can seek employment and work in competitive and integrated settings, engage in community life, control personal resources, and receive services in the community, to the same degree as individuals who do not receive HCBS.

All of Oregon's providers of HCBS have gone through an assessment to determine their compliance. Out of all these facilities, nineteen were identified as requiring heightened federal scrutiny. Heightened Scrutiny is a federal term that means that CMS will make the final determination of HCBS compliance as the setting presumably is institutional based on CMS criteria. Oregon believes these settings can overcome this presumption as detailed in the plan.

Oregon DHS is seeking public comment on the amended plan, which has been posted online at: http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/SENIORS-DISABILITIES/HCBS/Pages/Transition-Plan.aspx

Non-electronic versions of the Statewide Transition Plan are posted in local field offices and may also be viewed at the Human Services Building at 500 Summer Street NE in Salem.

Please submit comments in one of these methods: Send an email to hcbs.oregon@state.or.us.or send written comments addressed to HCBS Transition Plan Comments, 500 Summer Street NE E-09, Salem, OR 97301.

Deadline for comments is July 17, 2017. Mailed responses must be received by this date in order to be considered. The final amended Statewide Transition Plan is due to CMS by August 1, 2017.
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Oregon Ranked in Top Five on Nationwide Long-Term Services & Supports State Scorecard - 06/15/17

For the third time, AARP with the Commonwealth Fund and the SCAN Foundation published a national scorecard for long-term services and supports. This year's results place Oregon at #4 out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We scored at the very top for the indicator measuring support for family caregivers. Oregon dropped down a rank from #3 in the previous scorecard. According to the report, the three scorecards all have somewhat different methodologies and indicator sets, due primarily to changes in data availability. Ranks are not directly comparable between years.

The top five states on the list were Washington (1), Minnesota (2), Vermont (3), Oregon (4) and Alaska (5). The full report can be found at www.longtermscorecard.org .

The report measures every state against five key dimensions:
- Affordability and Access
- Choice of Setting and Provider
- Quality of Life & Quality of Care
- Support for Family Caregivers
- Effective Transitions

In Oregon, the Department of Human Services with its Aging & People with Disabilities program (APD) is responsible for many tasks and oversight related to these five key dimensions. Program Director Ashley Carson Cottingham said, "It is encouraging to see our state rank at the top of the list. The results confirm that we are focusing state resources on the right areas of safety and quality assurance, caregiving, housing and transportation. The report serves as additional motivation to work on service accessibility, delivery and broad availability."

Oregon's aging population will increase significantly over the next few decades. That means we will see a large increase in the number of individuals who will access long-term services and supports. It is our declared goal to ensure safety, independence and choice for Oregonians.

APD is preparing itself for the anticipated changes by updating our data systems, our work processes, and our organization as a whole. A particularly meaningful project in that context is the Centralized Abuse Management (CAM) system - a solution that will enhance the documentation, workflow and accessibility of abuse investigation information throughout all organizations involved in that process. We also continue our cooperation with advocacy and community groups, and other agencies, like Oregon Housing and Community Services, to ensure we are collectively able to meet the needs of aging Oregonians. The broader national discussion about possible cuts to Medicaid and other critical programs that older adults and people with disabilities rely upon, will have a direct effect on services available in Oregon.

As an organization, we are committed to innovative solutions for improving Oregon's system of long-term services and supports to better meet the needs of a rapidly growing aging population.

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To see detail about Oregon's ranking:
http://www.longtermscorecard.org/databystate/state?state=OR
Oregon's Fact sheet:
http://www.longtermscorecard.org/~/media/Microsite/State%20Fact%20Sheets/Oregon%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

WEAAD logo
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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2017 (Photo) - 06/15/17

June 15 is recognized worldwide as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD 2017). No one wants to imagine any person having to experience abuse throughout their life's course. Yet many older adults and people with disabilities do experience abuse - at the very time they are relying upon others to provide assistance to meet their most basic needs. As a society we must remain vigilant to protect vulnerable populations and to hold those who commit abuse accountable. People need to know the warning signs and the indicators of possible abuse. Raising awareness about elder and adult abuse is the first step to reduce the risk of abuse.

Elder abuse is often talked about as a "hidden epidemic." This is largely due to the circumstances of elder abuse remaining unrecognized or unreported. It is estimated that nationwide only 1 in 10 incidents is ever reported to protective services. In 2015, Aging & People with Disabilities Offices, Area Agencies on Aging and the Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigation screened in more than 13,000 reports of possible elder abuse for investigation. That is more than 35 reports for every day of the year. While this number seems high, we feel an uncomfortable certainty that this is only a fraction of the incidents that actually occur every day.

The victims are our grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, siblings, neighbors and friends. Abuse can occur anywhere -- in one's own home, in the hospital or in a long-term care facility. Victims often suffer in silence, abused by an individual they trust. Victims feel a sense of helplessness, weakness or embarrassment. They may not dare to speak up in fear of losing their home or placement in a facility. They may be concerned to lose one of the people, or maybe even the only person, who cares for them. They need us. They need us to know what to look for and how to speak up when we see something. Some of the key risk factors that make someone more likely to experience abuse are dementia or Alzheimer's Disease, social isolation and poor physical health.

Over the coming years, we will see an unprecedented rise in the number of people aged 65 and older. The time is now to educate ourselves, to prepare our protective services programs, to teach our friends and neighbors about identifying abuse, and to find ways to stay engaged with and connected to our vulnerable populations. At Oregon DHS, we are excited to be able to launch the first-ever statewide Centralized Abuse Management (CAM) system later this year to better protect Oregonians.

This year for WEAAD 2017 particular attention will be spent on financial abuse of older people. This specific abuse type - in Oregon we call it financial exploitation - has skyrocketed in recent years. From 2014 to 2015 alone, Oregon saw an increase of 19.6 percent in allegations up to 4,533 cases. Forty-six percent of the victims were abused by a family member with an average amount of $24,915 lost by victims. The estimated cost of abuse to our Medicaid and other government funded programs in Oregon in a single year is close to $2 million. Those are staggering numbers.

Call the statewide, toll-free hotline at 1-855-503-SAFE (7233) if you suspect abuse. We need your help. Also, please visit our website at http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/SENIORS-DISABILITIES/ADULT-ABUSE/Pages/signs.aspx for additional information.

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Links to other resources about elder/adult abuse:
U.S. Department of Justice: https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice
National Center on Elder Abuse: https://ncea.acl.gov/resources/state.html
Elder Justice Coalition: http://www.elderjusticecoalition.com/
National Adult Protective Services Association: www.napsa-now.org
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/educational-resources/resources-for-older-adults/

Attached Media Files: WEAAD logo
The Oregon Disabilities Commission Executive Committee will meet Tuesday June 20, in Salem - 06/13/17

The Oregon Disabilities Commission -- Executive Committee will meet on Tuesday June 20, 2017 from 1:30 p.m. -- 3:00 p.m. at the Barbara Roberts Human Services Building 500 Summer St NE, Room 160, Salem, OR, 97301. The meeting is open to the public.

The agenda includes regular executive committee business, review and approval of meeting agenda and prior meeting minutes, public comment, any announcements, ODC Business topics, other topics and next meeting agenda ideas.

People can also call into the meeting or attend via webinar: Conference line: 888-808-6929 Access code: 4517555.

The meeting location is accessible to people with disabilities. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact Alex Pelusi at Alex.J.Pelusi@state.or.us. Requests should be made at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

For questions about the meeting, please contact: Jeff Puterbaugh, policy analyst at Jeffrey.L.Puterbaugh@state.or.us
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Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Committee - Friday, June 23 in Salem, Oregon - 06/09/17

The Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Committee will meet Friday, June 23, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Human Services Building, 500 Summer Street NE, Room 473, Salem, Oregon 97301.

The meeting is open to the public.

Agenda items include: Public comment, legislative update, old business, and review of bylaws, next year's agenda, Hard of Hearing membership recruitment, possible interns and agenda items for the next meeting.

For those who cannot attend in person, there is a toll-free phone number: 1-888-808-6929, Participant Code: 4517555.

The meeting location is accessible to people with disabilities. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact Kelsey Gleeson at 503-947-5104 or kelsey.gleeson@state.or.us. Requests should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting.

For questions about this meeting, please contact: Theresa Powell theresa.a.powell@state.or.us

About the Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Committee:
The committee assists the Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Program (ODHHSP) by providing information and expertise on issues affecting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
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Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Committee - Executive Team to meet Tuesday, June 20 in Portland - 06/08/17

The Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Committee -- Executive Team will meet Tuesday, June 20, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Portland State Office Building, Room 515, 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland. The meeting is open to the public.

Agenda items include: Public comment, legislative update, old business, review of bylaws, next year's agenda, retreat and agenda items for the next meeting.

For those who cannot attend in person, there is a toll-free phone number: 1-888-808-6929, Participant Code: 4517555.

The meeting location is accessible to people with disabilities. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact Kelsey Gleeson at 503-947-5104 or kelsey.gleeson@state.or.us. Requests should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting.

For questions about this meeting, please contact: Theresa Powell theresa.a.powell@state.or.us

About the Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Committee:
The committee assists the Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Program (ODHHSP) by providing information and expertise on issues affecting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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Medicaid Long Term Care Quality and Reimbursement Advisory Council to meet Wednesday, June 14 in Salem - 06/02/17

The Medicaid Long Term Care Quality and Reimbursement Advisory Council meets Wednesday, June 14, 2017, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Barbara Roberts Human Services Building, Room 166, 500 Summer St. NE, Salem. The meeting is open to the public.

Agenda items include: announcements, public comment, consumer representative vacancies, safety, oversight & quality update, legislative update, and council business.

For those who cannot attend in person, there is a toll-free phone number: 1-888-808-6929; Participant Code: 4517555.

The meeting location is accessible to people with disabilities. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact Jeffrey Puterbaugh at 503-947-1189 or Jeffrey.L.Puterbaugh@state.or.us. Requests should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting.

For questions about this meeting, please contact: Max Brown, 503-945-6993 or max.brown@state.or.us.

About the Medicaid Long Term Care Quality & Reimbursement Advisory Council: The Medicaid Long Term Care Quality and Reimbursement Advisory Council (MLTCQRAC) was established by the 1995 Legislative Assembly to advise the Department of Human Services Aging and People with Disabilities program on changes or modifications to the Medicaid reimbursement system for long-term care and community-based care services.
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