Oct 01

URGENT: Personal Support Workers MUST Fill Out Provider Enrollment Agreement Form, ASAP

Changes are happening at the State administrative level. The State is working on rolling out K Plan services and SEIU is working to finalize union contract negotiations with the State (ratification forthcoming shortly).

In order to remain qualified as a Personal Support Worker (PSW), to receive a provider number from DHS which will eventually be required in order to continue to receive payments, and to be listed [optionally publicly] on the forthcoming Registry and Referral System (RRS), Oregon DHS is requiring each Personal Support Worker (PSW) to fill out and return to DHS a Provider Enrollment Agreement (PEA) form. This applies to all providers qualified as Domestic Employees and as Independent Contractors.

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Aug 14

K Plan: Change is Coming to Oregon DD Services

Heretofore, Developmental Disability services have been provided under the Title XIX (Title 19) Medicaid Waiver, and have worked well enough. However, the system has not been without its faults. Over the last several months, the State of Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) has been working on implementing a new funding and service delivery model: Community First Choice Option or “K Plan“. The State has said that it will increase both the overall amount of funding provided by Medicaid for disability-related service delivery in Oregon and the flexibility of service delivery, thus offering consumers additional choice in how and where their services are provided.

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Oct 22

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Ask. Listen. Believe.

“Earlier this month, Department of Human Services Director Erinn Kelley-Siel directed the attention of DHS employees to the fact that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The numbers can be overwhelming – during 2011, Oregon domestic and sexual violence programs received 175, 295 calls for assistance and were unable to meet 20, 681 requests for shelter. The United States Department of Justice estimates that at least 25% of American women during their lifetime will experience violence at the hands of a partner, spouse or loved one.”

“The work of the Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigations brings us close to many of Oregon’s victims because they are our clients and the adults that we investigate reported abuse on behalf of. They are made particularly vulnerable to abuse by virtue of their increased dependence on others, a diminished ability to communicate, disability, lack of information about abuse, or a perceived lack of credibility and limited options and resources.”

“The Crime Against People Disabilities section of the 2007 Crime Victimization Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, reports that people with disabilities experience violent crimes, including domestic violence and sexual assault, at rates that are 1.5 to 2 times higher than the general population. People with cognitive functioning disabilities suffered the highest rates of violent crime than populations with other types of disabilities.”

“For the Office of Developmental Disability Services and all of our community partners, our professional responsibilities and moral obligation is to be vigilant for the potential of domestic violence involving those we support. To do this we need to ask, listen and believe.”

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Oct 08

Reminder: Personal Support Worker Dues Deductions Begin in October

In June 2011, Personal Support Workers voted in favor of representation by SEIU Local 503. This means that all Support Providers in Oregon classed as “Personal Support Workers” under House Bill 3618 (including PSWs who are not members of the union) are represented by SEIU Local 503.

This is just a quick reminder that, in compliance with House Bill 3618 and the Collective Bargaining Agreement between SEIU (Service Employees International Union; AKA SEIU Local 503) and the State of Oregon, union dues or “fair share” contributions will begin to be automatically deducted from Domestic Employee wages for all Personal Support Worker hours worked after September 30th, 2012.

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Oct 05

Breast Cancer Awareness Month & “The Right to Know”

It's your life. Nobody can protect it better than you. (Breast Cancer Awareness Banner)The CDC reports that women with disabilities between the ages of 50-74 report nearly 5% less mammography use than women without a disability of the same age.

Women with a disability are more likely to die from breast cancer — even when diagnosed at the same stage as women without a disability. Regular screening (via mammogram) is the key to early detection of breast cancer, which can lower your risk of dying from the disease.

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