How can Maine state government operate more efficiently?

Folks, I proposed cost saving in DHHS OACPDS - Developmental Services that would reduce the cost of Home Support services by $40,000,000.00.

Transition 25% of the 2,800 individuals who have mental retardation and/or autism living in Group Home living arrangements (cost: average $120,000 year) to Shared Living Homes (cost: $47,000 year). In most situations, individuals are likely to enjoy the opportunity to live with one adult or a couple or a family that would provide the support that the individual requires. If we transition 550 individuals (25%) to Shared Living Homes, we will realize a savings of $40,077,000. This initiative, similar to theLegislative initiative in 2007 to transition 200 individuals from Group Home (Comprehensive Waiver Section 21) to Shared Living Homes over two years. We can transition people over one or two years. Part of the federal/state savings can be used to transition 350 individuals, who graduated from high school and have been sitting at home without supports, to the Support Waiver (Section 29). Additional savings of federal/state funds can transition additional citizens from the Section 21 Home Support Waiver Wait List to Home Support (preferrably to Shared Living). We can also return five to seven million dollars of the state portion to the General Fund and reduce the state budgetv deficit by that amount. Please consider this proposal. I urge the Governor through DHHS Commissioner Mayhew to convine a workgroup of regional and central office staff to establish proposals to submit to the Legislature and Governor on how to effectively utilize the current OACPDS budget and more efficiently serve the citizens with disabilities who can transition to Shared Living Homes, save millions of dollars and provide critical services to those individuals with mental retardation and/or autism that have been waiting for services for a significant period of time. We can and we must better manage of resources - your tax dollars. Thank you.

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    Peter AlexanderPeter Alexander shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    3 comments

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      • MaxMax commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I work for DHHS. This plan would seriously reduce the level of care these people get and the Dept. is just not willing to do this. And, they shouldn't.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have seen people flourish in Shared Living Homes. Companies seem to be magnets for staff that is less desirable for clients with disabilities. The trend lately has been to move people into shared living and I have seen with my own eyes a young lady that was being restrained on a weekly basis, now has no restraints. Its been over a year. Staff develop a mindset that isn't always appropriate. Monkey see then monkey do. So sad. Would rather see people in individual homes out in the community. However, a Case Manager must be checking in with these folks just to ensure their safety. However, this is suppose to be happening in Group Homes, but tend to happen more over the phone as they feel that the management at the home are doing their jobs. Assume wrong in some instances!

        Also once clients are in Shared Living their medications won't be so expensive. Living in a Company they fear mistakes. Therefore, no generics are usually used. Staff purchase Johnson and johnson baby power, Vaseline as well as Tylenol and Advil. Purchasing all OTC medication name brand costs taxpayers. With the number of people in group homes saving as much as $2 per an item, just changing the brand seems feasible.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Ok, it is a shuffle game for sure. I think what I would need to know about this is what exactly is the $120 K paying for in the Group Home setting? Would it be more cost effective truly? Here's what I mean. In general, people living in group homes are fully staffed 24 hours a day. Along with this, they are fed, given personal care, have highly trained clinical staff providing case management, treatment planning and emotional support. Nursing supervision is available as well. Let's not forget the representative payee. Often this is available through the agency running the group home or there is a financial person handling it. Seldom is crisis services, police, ambulance, ER visits due to behaviors, and the daily living skills are taught ongoing. Transportation is also provided for outpatient services as well. Does your calculations account for these?

        In a shared living situation have you accounted for respite services for providers, in home support services such as personal care attendants, transportation costs for out patient service connections such as doctors, dentists, etc. and direct living support specialists in the shared living situation and case managers? There is a need to pay for a representative payee as well. It seems like it would save a lot of money but the reality is that it does not save as much as you say.

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