Sunday, February 7, 2016

Washington State : ICFs providing necessary services

Washington State Residential Habilitation Centers are part of the full range of services necessary to serve people with developmental disabilities. RHCs are Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID) that are funded and regulated by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. They are facilities that provide services to people with the most intense medical and behavioral needs. 

ICFs/IID have other names depending on the state such as Human Development Centers, Developmental Centers, Training Centers, etc.

Unfortunately, these centers are closing all over the country because of a deliberate misinterpretation of the 1999 Supreme Court Olmstead decision, by a misguided desire by states and the federal government to save money, and by the zealotry of federally-funded disability rights organizations that oppose institutions on principle without consideration of the individual needs and circumstances of people served by ICFs/IID. 

Instead of expanding the use of these centers to meet the needs of their surrounding communities, the 2014 HCBS (Home and Community-Based Settings) rule makes it almost impossible for the greater community to access the resources of ICFs. The HCBS rule disallows funding for settings in the proximity of ICFs or for ICF services unless they meet strict "heightened scrutiny" criteria. This has the effect of marginalizing people who live in these facilities and their families and cutting off solutions to serving people with severe disabilities in the community that could alleviate their desperate need for services.

Here is background information on ICFs/IID.

Because We Care - Beyond Inclusion is a great source of information on RHCs in Washington State and commentary on the need for a full continuum of services and care for people with DD.

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