Strategic Priorities

2016 Olmstead Consumer Taskforce Legislative and Policy Priorities

  1. Build Community Provider Capacity and Consumer ChoiceAdvocate for increased access to providers, and their capacity to serve individuals with disabilities across Iowa. Consumers should have meaningful choices regarding service providers, and barrier free access to health care, employment, recreation, education, and supportive services they need to fully participate in the community of their choice.Areas to Monitor:
    • Provider reimbursement rates
    • Staff wages
    • Staff training
    • Community capacity to support Iowans who have challenging behavior or complex medical needs
    • Consumer choice

    Transportation Access

    Advocate for increased access to dependable transportation for Iowans with disabilities, including those in rural areas. Consumers should have access to high quality transportation in order to maintain independence and participate in all aspects of life in the community including health care, employment, education, and recreation.

    Areas to Monitor:

    • Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT)
    • Refueling Assistance Legislation
    • Accessibility of existing transportation options, including cost, hours of operation, and ability to accommodate all disabilities
    • Barriers to access in rural communities
    • Low or limited reimbursement to providers

    Housing Access

    Advocate for increased opportunities for individuals with disabilities to rent or own housing in rural and urban communities that is affordable, safe, accessible, and livable. Consumers should have sufficient support across their lifespan to maintain housing in settings of their choice that promote maximum community participation and integration.

     Areas to Monitor:

    • Use and promotion of universal design principles
    • Eligibility criteria for housing assistance programs
    • Education or awareness opportunities for builders, landlords and state agencies
    • Utilization or supply and demand reports of accessible housing

    Reduce Waiver Waiting Lists

    Advocate for increased access to services for individuals waiting for funding for home and community based services. Consumers should have access to services in their community of choice in a timely manner, including those who currently reside in an institution and those who are at risk of placement in an institution.

    Areas to Monitor:

    • Legislative appropriations for reducing the wait for services
    • Impact on adjustments/interpretations made to waiver funding, eligibility criteria, implementation of the HCBS Waiver program
    • Medicaid’s institutional bias

    Mental Health and Disability Service Regions

    Advocate for adequate funding and infrastructure at the regional level to provide core and core plus services. Consumers should have access to care, regardless of type of disability.

    Areas to Monitor:

    • Provision of services to people with developmental disabilities, brain injury, physical disability, and other types of disabilities.
    • Expansion of core plus services that increase the ability for individuals to live safely in the community
    • Reports on financial viability for regions, and reports regarding services provided

    Transition to Medicaid Managed Care

    Monitor the transition to Medicaid managed care to ensure access to quality care and community supports do not decrease. Consumers should have access to information, services and supports they need to maintain a life in the community. The transition to managed care should not create interruptions, delay or changes in services during and after the transition.

    Areas to Monitor:

    • Impact on consumer access to necessary specialists, medications, medical devices, and other services and supports
    • Representation of consumers on managed care advisory boards
    • Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman and Health Care Ombudsman Alliance
    • Changes to services and rates of institutionalization
    • Adequate provider networks
    • Provider concerns, including rate structure
    • Access to easy to transparent, easy to understand information and answers for consumers and providers