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MiCASSA Charles Schleininger corsair Continued:

Allow consumers to choose among various service delivery models, including vouchers, direct cash payments, fiscal agents & agency providers, all of which are required to be consumer controlled.

Allow for an "individual's representative" to be authorized by the consumer to provide assistance in instances where the consumer is not able to direct his/her own care independently. A representative can be a friend, family member, guardian, or advocate.

Cover individuals' transition cost from a nursing facility or ICF/MR to a home setting. Examples of such costs include rent & utility deposits, bedding, basic kitchen supplies & other necessities required for the transition.

Serve individuals with incomes above the current institutional income limitation, if a state chooses to waiver this limitation to enhance the potential for employment.

Provide for quality assurance programs which promote consumer control & satisfaction.

Allow states to limit the aggregate amount spent at long-term care in a year to that amount the state would have spent for a year of institutional services for such eligible individuals.

Provide a maintenance of effort requirements so that states can not diminish more enriched programs already being provided.

MiCASSA also would provide grants for Real Choice Systems Change Initiatives to help the states transition from the current, institutionally-dominated service systems to systems more focused on community services & supports. Each state would create a Consumer Task force to develop a plan for transitioning services into a more community-oriented system. A majority of the members must be people with disabilities or their representatives. The Secretary of Health & Human services, along with the National council on disability, would review regulations & report to Congress on how to reduce excessive use of medical services. The Secretary would also establish a task force to examine financing of long-term care services.

More to follow.

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