Meetings with Assemblywoman Carol Murphy, Assemblyman Benson and DHS Staff
Long time friend and champion for ABCD, Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D7) joined the Early Intervention Providers Association in January to discuss the current status of EI providers who have effectively not had a rate increase in 16 years and are still awaiting damage payments for the faulty implementation of the Earl Intervention Management System from 2017-2019. The assemblywoman spoke of the importance of early intervention services to children who are disabled or who have developmental delays and vowed that this will be an issue that she will talk to her colleagues in the legislature from her “soapbox.” As promised by ABCD ED, it took members only 30 seconds to become fans of the assemblywoman whose compassion and integrity are a ray of hope to all around her.
Wendy Yosco, the Director of the Provider Performance and Monitoring Unit (PPMU) in the Division of Developmental Disabilities joined the quarterly Quality Assurance Forum for an hour-long and information heavy discussion on COVID testing, vaccinations, EVV auditing, coordination of oversight, ISPs and IRecords to name but a few. It was a great and informative meeting. As one member wrote to ABCD after the meeting, “It is great to have direct contact with those from DDD. Oftentimes, it is perceived as a “them/us” relationship and it shouldn’t be. It is so helpful to get a face or voice and hear DDD’s perspective.” Thanks to Wendy for a great meeting!
On January 27 DDA and QA Forum heard an excellent presentation Patient Safety; The Quality Management Systems Approach by Dr. Vincent Barba, Vice President of Patient Care and Safety, Chief Medical Officer, Matheny Medical and Education Center. The presentation focused on the need to accept the reality that no system will work if it relies solely on perfect performance – human error must be anticipated. As a result, providers must be obsessed with patient safety to the extent that it is the way that care and services are delivered. Punitive polices and zero fault tolerance will often lead to quality failures. The culture of quality requires all staff to have a seat at the table and to understand that parallel to patient safety is staff safety. Thanks to Dr. Barba for the care and commitment he provides to our population and for sharing his passion, knowledge and expertise with us.
Assemblyman Dan Benson (D14) joined EIPA in February and proved once again that no one understands EI like he does. Assemblyman Benson discussed his desire to find ways to access federal CARES funds to help pay for what he anticipates may be an increase in pent up demand for EI once the pandemic slows down and is over in addition to being updated on EIPA’s advocacy efforts regarding the FY’22 Budget. He also gave a thumbs up to amending his legislation which would appropriate for FY’21, $180 million to human service providers under DHS and DCF who have been financially harm by COVID to include Early Intervention in DOH. Our deepest thanks to the Assemblyman for helping us start this budget cycle with energy and hope.
Ellen Nalven of PLAN/NJ joined February’s CFO Forum to present on the new 2018 requirements for representative payees who are responsible for ensuring that the beneficiaries need’s for food, clothing, shelter, medial care and personal comfort are met. Many changes including the beneficiaries right to select their rep payee and increasing oversight and monitoring which in addition to SSA now includes state’s protection and advocacy organization (DRNJ in NJ). PLAN/NJ provides unique services to NJ residents which includes special needs trust administration, legal guardianship, rep payee and home visitation monitoring all of which are coordinated through the individual’s life plan. Check out their website at www.plannj.org. The meeting finished with a presentation by Alison Goodrich, AED of Support Coordination for CAU and a member of ABCD’s Support Coordination Alliance. Alison explained the process for obtaining access to goods and services for the individual, working her way through most of the items available and making us aware of pitfalls along the way. Thanks to Ellen and Alison for two great presentations.