Do not eliminate targeted case management for individuals with developmental disabilities
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The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has decided to end its contracts with four organizations that provide Targeted Case Management services for roughly 2,200 adults with developmental disabilities. This will put 79 people out of work.
Targeted Case Managers work with people age 16 and up who have developmental disabilities, helping them get necessary services and care. They serve as advocates, for example, as people get and keep jobs, transition to independent living and find doctors and therapist.
Among the many services the case managers provide is helping the developmentally disabled qualify for targeted case management. Once that is set up, case mangers can help clients navigate the transition form high school and living at home to entering the workforce and independent living. They can help secure housing by getting people Section 8 vouchers, and keep people in their homes by resolving issues with landlords and making sure people aren't taken advantage of.
Case managers can also help people find medical and therapy providers and make sure they get appointments and take medication.
In some cases, a person can have the same case manager for years or decades, building a relationship that creates a high level of understanding. One individual in Miles City Montana, has had case management services for 25 years and was devastated by the news of these changes.
These and other cuts are due to the $227 Million shortfall in Montana’s budget . The contracts with A.W.A.R.E. Inc., Opportunity Resources, Helena Industries and the Central Montana Medical Center will expire on March 31, 2018. These contracts will not be renewed.
“Under these cuts, clients who are not eligible for Medicaid will no longer receive case management services.
Jaci Noonan with Anaconda-based A.W.A.R.E. said it serves 600 clients and will close offices in Red Lodge, Miles City, Sidney and Glasgow. Around 20 people will lose their jobs.
Deb Heerdt, director of case management for Helena Industries, said 732 people in Butte, Anaconda, Great Falls and Bozeman will lose services and 26 employees will lose their jobs.
Jamee Barman, case management supervisor with Central Montana Medical Center in Lewistown said 70 people will lose their services from the center.
The directors say losing case managers could cause some of their clients to end up in nursing homes or without the services that allow them to stay in their own communities.”
Case managers aid in all aspects of their clients life including assessing basic needs, developing care plans for their clients well being, monitoring services and cost plans, as well as responding to crises to ensure all clients health and safety.
With these budget cuts, they are taking the work load of many and giving it to 1 individual. This will reduce services to being very basic. This could put the well being of many individuals at risk. DPHHS will reconvene on January 19th to finalize this decision. If we can all band together and show our opposition to this tax cut we may be able to reverse the decision.
Please help us by signing this petition and showing your support for targeted case managers as well as those with developmental disabilities who rely on their case managers for many of their daily needs.
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