Transitioning People with Disabilities from Crowded, Congregate Facilities to Protect Them from COVID-19

Currently hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities continue to be housed in state-run or state-contracted institutions, or nursing homes, making them very vulnerable to the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Centers Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a 66-page toolkit to encourage and help states rebalance long-term care offerings for people with disabilities to favor home and community-based services over large institutions.  We need federal and state authorities to act quickly on these guidelines to protect countless lives of people with disabilities

Community Options CEO Robert Stack sent a to letter calling on further action from CMS

He also sent a letter to states with the worst problems of warehousing people with disabilities in institutions or nursing homes, urging them to take action to quickly transition their residents out of these facilities. The letters went to NJ, NY, PA, SC, NC, TX and IL.

View more articles about how Community Options has supported deinstitutionalization here.

Letter to CMS urging transitioning people with disabilities during COVID

Community Options_HELP Letter_2020.pdf December 14, 2020Seema VermaAdministrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services7500 Security BoulevardBaltimore, MD 21244 Dear Administrator Verma, In October, members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) formally requested that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issue guidance for mandatory comprehensive data collection and reporting on…

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A much-needed transition during the pandemic

December 1, 2020 | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette online article During the last eight months, we have witnessed the deaths of so many people with disabilities as a result of COVID-19. The percentage of people in institutions is significantly higher than those living with their families or within small community-based homes. The reason is very simple: size…

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CMS Action to Expand Community-based Options Cited as First Major Move in Decades Supporting People with Disabilities

November 30, 2020 | Press Release.pdf | insidernj.com Advocates Call for Acceleration of Effort Due to Disproportionate Mortality Rates of People with Developmental Disabilities due to the Pandemic PRINCETON, NJ – Nov. 30, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a 66-page toolkit designed to encourage and help states rebalance…

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The pandemic’s impact on the developmentally disabled is preventable. Here’s how

November 23, 2020 | northjersey.com A study released in November by the nonprofit FAIR Health found that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are three times more likely to die of COVID-19, compared to the general population. Yet, even as the pandemic surges again in New Jersey, nothing has changed to prevent this tragedy, especially…

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Trio of U.S. Senators call for more COVID transparency in psychiatric facilities, homes for people with disabilities

November 13, 2020 | tennesseelookout.com Three U.S. senators are asking federal officials to require psychiatric institutions, group homes for people with disabilities and other treatment facilities for children and adults to report COVID-19 data and make it available to the public. Nursing homes have been asked since the onset of the pandemic to report coronavirus…

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New Study Reveals Disproportionate Impact of Pandemic on People with Disabilities; Mortality Rates Triple That of General Public

Advocates for Developmentally Disabled Note Lack of Data for Congregate Care Facilities Means That Mortality Rates Could Be Even Higher November 16, 2020 | Press Release.pdf | InsiderNJ.com online article PRINCETON, NJ – November 16, 2020 – A new study has found that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are three times more likely to…

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Hidden Crisis: Advocates Support Call by US Senators For Improved COVID-19 Data Collection on All Congregate Care Facilities

November 09, 2020 | Press Release.pdf Research by U.S. Senate HELP Committee Staff Reveals “Substantial Lack of Data”  for Children and Adults with Mental Illness and Disabilities Princeton, NJ – November 9, 2020 – Several U.S. Senators have called upon the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to issue guidance for mandatory comprehensive data…

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With the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the disability community remembers her most important decision on the U.S. Supreme Court.

September 22, 2020 | The Baltimore Sun With the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (“Ruth Bader Ginsburg funeral services set; President Trump expects to announce Supreme Court pick by the weekend,” Sept. 21), the disability community remembers her most important decision on the U.S. Supreme Court. In her 1999 majority opinion, she stated “we confront…

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Justice Ginsburg Remembered as Staunch Advocate for People with Disabilities

September 21, 2020 | Press Release.pdf Statement by Robert Stack, President and CEO of Community Options PRINCETON, NJ – SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 – “With the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the disability community remembers her most important decision on the Supreme Court bench. Justice Ginsburg’s decision in Olmstead v L.C. enabled people with disabilities not…

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