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Complete ADAPT Victory
HCPF withdraws cuts caps and changes
to Colorado Home Health
Dawn Russell celebrates complete victory
(DENVER July 18, 2002) Colorado ADAPT resolved the standoff with the Health Care Policy Finance (HCPF) committee today. After camping night and day for 13 days in front of the Colorado Human Services Building in downtown Denver, HCPF finally agreed to ADAPT’s demands of “no cuts, no caps and no changes” to home-health services.
“On July fifth there were people willing to walk away and take a cut,” said
Dawn Russell. “ADAPT said no, and 14 days later we got no cuts, no caps and no changes.”
Advocates had built a “sidewalk city” in front of the entrance to the Human Services Building but not blocking the single entrance. Each day state officials were reminded of the human factor in their decisions and saw the dedication of ADAPT.
“We did it, we are going home,” said Babs Johnson of Colorado ADAPT. “Monday’s letter really made her think.”
Babs Johnson referred to a letter from Colorado ADAPT to the Executive Director of HCPF that
clarified ADAPT’s position and restated how HCPF could resolve
the situation. Since that letter the negotiations were made with the advocates holding vigil in the streets. Various local agencies had been involved with the examination of the new rules; however, it was the dedication of ADAPT advocates that pushed HCPF to withdraw the cuts, caps and
changes (Read the Colorado ADAPT
“I am here to announce complete and total victory,” said Anita Cameron at the 1:30 pm press conference today. “No cuts in attendant services, and this victory comes on the Nelson Mandela’s birthday.”
Karen Reinertson the executive director of HCPF said the resolution was “unique in Colorado.” She praised ADAPT for generating a “recipient driven” proposal saying that advocates deserved “hearty congratulations.”
“They said ‘I know we have to give up something,’” said Karen Reinertson, “and they came back with a proposal.”
The victory was not just the direct policy change but also the demand of the local community not to accept going back to the institutional bias of the past. Denver is one of the more progressive communities in providing home options to nursing homes, but there is still an institutional bias in this state.
Although the nursing home industry controls most of the funds for Coloradoans long-term care, this action showed that people resent the idea of stopping the progress to alternative to nursing homes. Ultimately ending the unequal funding of long-term care is what the vigil is all about. Reimbursements to facilities are part of statute and not susceptible to cuts by
HCPF. Nursing homes; however, are the most expensive and least desirable form of long-term care.
Five of the advocates that began the HCPF vigil left for 3 days to send a similar message to the National Governors Association Conference in Boise Idaho over the weekend of July 14. Each state determines the level of Medicaid spending on nursing homes and the NGA has been slow to accept
MiCASSA (Read about the NGA ADAPT
action in Boise).
Between a low of 11 and a high of 22 people, spent the night on the sidewalk in the “tent city” without any tents. The advocates were fed with a constant stream of donated food and had a portable accessible toilet always around the corner.