Skip to main content


Showing posts from November 1, 2020

COVID-19 Claims Reimbursement to Health Care Providers and Facilities for Testing, Treatment, and Vaccine Administration for the Uninsured

As part of the FFCRA, PPPHCEA, and CARES Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will provide claims reimbursement to health care providers generally at Medicare rates for testing uninsured individuals for COVID-19 and treating uninsured individuals with a COVID-19 diagnosis. A portion of the funding will also be used to reimburse providers for COVID-19 vaccine administration to uninsured individuals.  Read about the program in full here

Finding the Balance: A Shift to Person-Centered Practice

The Bureau of Quality Improvement Services offered a web-based learning opportunity about  Finding the Balance: A Shift to Person-Centered Practice . Providers, direct support professionals, families and self-advocates who attended came away with a better understanding of the following: Balancing what’s  important to  a person and their choices, while considering health and safety concerns ( important for)  to support an individual’s vision for a good life; The national and state shift from a medical model delivery system to a person-centered one; How to support self-determination, informed decision making, and dignity of risk for individuals who utilize HCBS waiver supports. A recording of this webinar is now available  by clicking here.    These are the links to helpful resources discussed: Important To/For Integrated Star Life Trajectory What Works/What Doesn’t 4 + 1 Questions If you would like additional resources, or have any questions that were not addressed in the Q&A sectio

Data-based Decision Making for Parents of Children with Autism

From the Autism Research Institute Physicians, psychologists, therapists, and researchers all keep records. Records help them to track the efficacy of treatments, see how their patients progress over time and adjust their methods and tactics accordingly. As the parent of a child with autism, you can collaborate with your care team by keeping records in tandem in order to achieve similar goals.  Keeping records can help you to:  Identify patterns  – you might notice that behavior is most likely to occur in a particular situation, or that disrupted sleep is more likely after a particular food.  Monitor consistency of support  – Remembering to take medications, do specific exercises, or engage in-home therapy practices is much easier if you record them.  Share with your care team  – Your records can be invaluable in helping your care team form a deep understanding of your child with autism by getting to know their needs, behaviors, and preferences. Memory is not as reliable as we think. E

COVID-19 Vaccine for Children

The first COVID-19 vaccines will not be available to children because they have not been tested in children until recently. As explained in a recent Associated Press article, pharmaceutical companies have begun to test vaccines in teenagers, but not in younger children, and it is not clear how long it will take to develop and verify the safety of a pediatric vaccine. See  Next up in hunt for COVID-19 vaccine: Testing shots in kids  (Associated Press, 10/21/20);  When can kids get a coronavirus vaccine? 'Maybe not in 5 years.'  ( Advisory Board ’s Daily Briefing, 10/12/20). On September 29, 2020, the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Sara “Sally” H. Goza, M.D., FAAP, sent a  letter to HHS Secretary Azar and FDA Commissioner Hahn  urging that children be included in vaccine trials. Among other things, the letter also recommends standards by which to judge the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and urges that vaccines to be used in the U.S. be tested on American

Update on In-Person Appointments at SSA Local Offices

On October 22, 2020, the   Social Security Administration (SSA) revised the information available on its COVID-19 webpage   about who is eligible for an in-person appointment while its local offices generally remain closed to the public due to the pandemic. They divide their instructions into: 1) Those who need help with their benefits; and 2) Those who need help with a Social Security number (SSN).  For those who need help with their benefits:  Generally, SSA will schedule an in-person appointment for those “in dire need situations.”  SSA defines a dire need situation as when an individual:  Is without food or shelter, including utilities, or is without medical care or coverage and needs to apply for or reinstate benefits from SSA; or  Currently receives benefits from SSA and has an urgent need for payment to meet expenses for food, shelter, or medical treatment, and the individual cannot receive a payment from SSA electronically.  The link above has more information. From Justice in

Family Telehealth Readiness Survey

Family Voices, Inc. (National) has created a survey about telehealth and family readiness. There are only seven questions and two of them are optional. They are not asking for any identifying information, other than state and zip code. We hope you'll take a moment to participate. English Version: r/FamilyReadiness   Spanish Version: r/FamilyReadiness-ES    

New Hourly Childcare Options for Military Families

The Department of Defense offers military parents a variety of child care services so each military family can find a solution that fits their needs. Military OneSource now provides MilParents another way to find alternative child care options. New, Free Access to Flexible, Online Child Care Service Through Military OneSource, military families now have free access to a national database of more than a million caregivers so they can find hourly, flexible and on-demand child care. The nationally recognized subscription service lets you: Search based on your own needs and criteria Find potential care providers Check references Review background checks You can even interview caregivers through the service. It’s easy to access and is a virtual solution allowing you to choose, hire and pay providers on your terms. Get Your Access From Exceptional Advocate News.  See original publication here

Marketplace Open Enrollment

  The 2021 Open Enrollment Period is  November 1 to December 15, 2020 , with coverage beginning on January 1, 2021. See the  2021 Open-Enrollment Fact Sheet  for more information. If someone doesn’t enroll in a plan by December 15, they can’t get 2021 coverage unless they qualify for a  Special Enrollment Period . For a refresher on coverage and benefits, see the September 10 blog post on,  Marketplace health benefits & coverage: What to know . As of October 26, consumers and those assisting them can “window shop” for 2021 healthcare plans and prices on without logging in, creating an account, or filling out the official application. has also added a new planning resource for consumers to estimate their yearly income. Starting on November 1, consumers can log in to  or , or call 1-800-318-2596 to fill out an application and enroll in a 2021 Exchange health plan. ACA Resources The Georgetown Uni

Individual and family experience survey

The Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services mission is “To connect people with disabilities and their families to resources and supports to live their best life.” One effort that is underway to improve the experience of individuals and families is the development of a new system, the BDDS Gateway. This new virtual option will provide an alternative to the current paper application process, allowing interested individuals/families to complete and submit their application for BDDS services entirely online. The BDDS Gateway is targeted to be available in the spring 2021. In an effort to assess how this system improvement will improve the experience for individuals and families, a survey has been created to ascertain your experience with submitting a BDDS application for services. The survey will establish a baseline understanding of the current individual/family experience when applying for BDDS services. If you have previously submitted an application to BDDS (regardless of whether

#ADAat30: Accessible Transportation: Get On the Road to Work

#ThanksToTheADA, people with disabilities are protected from discrimination in public transportation and other forms of travel. While there’s still a long way to go, this progress gives people with disabilities the opportunity to work, engage and contribute to their communities.   Learn more   about your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act in a recent blog from SSA's Ticket to Work.