A few weeks ago we posted a video with a report Fox 9 news aired about the Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS) program. The Minnesota Department of Human Services sent a reponse to clarify some of the inaccuracies that were in that report. The Department of Human Services’ response to Fox 9 News in below.
This is a response to your news story about the Consumer Directed Consumer Reports story this past Sunday, Sept. 25. While it presented some very good aspects of the program, it also presented some inaccuracies that need to be addressed. Some of those points:
1) The written story (not the video version) said 23,000 people are participating in the CDCS program. The correct number of participants is 2,347.
2) The story said that the “state could write all these people a check.” The state does not write checks to recipients.
3) In quoting Mr. Ferrell, the story leads the viewer to believe that the program can be used to purchase computers, printers, digital cameras, cell phones, Internet service and memberships to the zoo and the Science Museum of Minnesota. While there are instances where program funds have been used to purchase such things as a cell phone or computer, these purchases are approved as needed for people with disabilities who have special needs requiring such items in order to be able to communicate. Membership to the above mentioned organizations or such items as cameras and Internet service are not to be purchased through the CDCS program.
4) The story also reported that the state is not able to track the program separately. I’m afraid I misled you to believe that is the case. It is not. The budget for the CDCS program is closely monitored and indeed, each participant’s budget is very closely monitored by what we call a Fiscal Support Entity(FSE). This is an organization approved by DHS that oversees the program participant’s budget. The FSE writes the checks for the recipient’s services and works with the recipient in managing the plan. On the state level, the budget for the CDCS service and all provider services budgets are very closely controlled and monitored.
Finally, our staff provided me with a detailed list of goods and services that shall not be permitted with the participant’s budget. In addition, I will include at the bottom a link to a CDCS program description that includes allowed and unallowed items.
Goods and services that shall not be purchased within the enrollee’s budget are:
•Services provided to people living in licensed foster care settings, settings licensed by DHS or MDH, or registered as a housing with services establishment;
•Services covered by the state plan, Medicare, or other liable third parties including education, home-based schooling, and vocational services;
•Services, goods or supports provided to or benefiting persons other than the enrollee;
•Any fees incurred by the enrollee such as MHCP fees and co-pays, attorney costs or costs related to advocate agencies, with the exception of services provided as flexible case management;
•Insurance except for insurance costs related to employee coverage;
•Room and board and personal items that are not related to the disability;
•Home modifications that add any square footage;
•Home modifications for a residence other than the primary residence of the enrollee or, in the event of a minor with parents not living together, the primary residences of the parents;
•Expenses for travel, lodging, or meals related to training the enrollee or his/her representative or paid or unpaid caregivers;
•Services provided to or by enrollees, representatives, providers or caregivers that have at any time been assigned to the Primary Care Utilization and Review Program;
•All prescription and over-the-counter medications, compounds, and solutions, and related fees including premiums and co-payments;
•Membership dues or costs except as specified in the service description and provider standards related to fitness or physical exercise;
•Vacation expenses other than the cost of direct services;
•Vehicle maintenance, does not include maintenance to; modifications related the disability;
•Tickets and related costs to attend sporting or other recreational events;
•Animals, including service animals, and their related costs;
•Costs related to internet access.
We at DHS feel that the Consumer Directed Community Supports program is an excellent way for people with disabilities to have more control over the care they receive and who provides it