After reading the letter from Senator Adam Kline on the previous post, I though people may also be interested in my response to him. I am posting it below.
From: Cheryl Felak [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 11:34 AM
Subject: RE: DDD Budget Errors and Missing Data
Dear Senator Kline,
To answer your questions – I’ll first tell you that every letter I have written and described I have attached the sources and original data. They are listed at the bottom of every letter – so to correct you, I’m not sending out “generalitles” and I am taking responsibility for research. My issues are not rhetoric or false accusations and for someone to say that I can tell that the letters have not been read.
I have attempted to shed the light but people have only said “I’ve seen the data” to which I do not believe they have – they have seen the presentations that Don Clintsman and others from DSHS report. Those presentations are generalities and do not give the results.
If you would like to see that data (even though I have already sent references and links in every letter – or at least try to) you can see them all on the www.becausewecare1.com website. If you look at the page “Questions to ask DSHS and DDD” I have put most of the documents there and will be adding more.
1. Cost of Care data is what I’m referring to specifically. I have the actual daily cost of care for the 30 highest costing residents that was given to me by Don Clintsmand and Mark Eliason. This again is only the residential (kind of like rent) cost and nothing more.
2. Cost of care. You can take a look at the DD-EMIS Waiver data – I reference this in almost all my letters and when you look at it you will see that the cost of care that is reported is only a fraction of what is spent for waiver clients. DDD uses this fraction of a cost to say it is what the whole cost is.
3. I have much objective data – you can go to my website at www.becausewecare1.com and I have attempted to post it all there. I have been writing to DSHS and DDD administrators this past year and have gained much data. Data that is not shared with legislators in the reports that are presented.
4. I requested copies of the Certified Residential Programs Cost of Care reports that each agency must submit to DDD each year. I used this objective data to come up with the cost of care for a client in a supported living agency home and what it costs that agency. I have referenced this also in many letters and this is in the citations that I give you in the letters.
I would love to sit down with you and actually show you the charts and data to explain them. There is so much information and it’s very confusing and I have found that many who analyze it do not even understand how the waivers work or what is included or not included in them.
I fully support a continuum of care. I recently attended the Community Advocacy Committee meeting (to which people who support a continuum of care are not invited because one must sign a contract that basically states that you want to close the RHCS. I can’t do that) Much of the meeting was about advocacy and had much false information regarding costs.
I brought this issue up with Lance Morehouse and Sue Elliott regarding why they report these costs and they say that they only take what DDD has given them and do not question it. I want to see the sources and that’s why I have researched this and have seen that what DDD reports as cost of care for community living is only a fraction of the true cost.
This is what I learned from that meeting also and I don’t believe that you may have heard this from others:
The last remaining residents from Frances Hadden Morgan Center are only moved to temporary housing. As reported by Don Clintsman, there was a smooth transition. These people do not have homes yet. The Washington State Housing Fund awarded Inland Empire Residential Resources $1,249,175 to build SOLAs in Kitsap (3) and King (1) counties. (http://www.commerce.wa.gov/DesktopModules/CTEDPublications/CTEDPublicationsView.aspx?tabID=0&ItemID=9621&MId=870&wversion=Staging see page 3) Once these new SOLAs are built, these residents will move into them. I don’t know what land they will be built on or if anyone knows that yet. I’m hoping to find that out soon.
I learned that the vacancy rate as reported by Community Resource Services Association only means an empty room. That room is not staffed. I have asked Scott Livengood what the time frame would be and what it would cost to hire and train staff so that a vacant room could actually be used. I have not received an answer.
I have toured a community ICF/DD – it has 10 rooms and is licensed for and states they do respite. When I was there, only 4 rooms were occupied and in fact one of those rooms was for a parent to use since their census was low. I asked about respite and was told that they don’t do that- it’s too expensive and they would have to hire staff for respite and the state does not pay enough for it, they lose money so no, they do not take respite clients. Yet, they are listed as a respite provider.
The Quality Assurance Assessments that DDD states they do are not done. I have a multitude of emails from Janet Adams (QA Chief) and Don Clintsman saying they are not done. I write every couple of months asking about them – still not done – no funds or time to do them. I have the actual questions and they are not objective and I would not consider them a good quality of life and quality of care assessment for our residents. I have written to the committees that work with this issue and will continue to try to have our state adopt an objective measure and one that non-verbal people can be involved in.
Thank you for contacting me. I hope that this answers some of your questions and helps to shed light on some of the information that I am trying to share. These are not empty accusations but facts from objective research. Please let me know if you would like to meet and I’d be more than happy to share more with you.