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The California Long Term Care (LTC) Council, comprised of heads of state departments within the Health and Human Services Agency, issued a draft plan on January 28, 2003 for public comment. It is located at http://www.chhs.ca.gov/olmstead.html. The Council, as required by state law, will issue a final plan in April 2003.
From August to September 2002, community forums were held throughout the state. Information from these forums has contributed to recommendations within the plan.
Legislation enacted in 2002 provides a foundation for the plan.
California AB 442 mandates that the Californian Health and Human Services Agency shall develop a comprehensive plan describing actions to improve the state's long-term care system so that residents have an array of community care options that allow them to avoid unnecessary institutionalization. The plan shall respond to the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Olmstead vs. L.C. (1999) 527 U.S. 581 and shall embody the six principles for an "Olmstead Plan" as articulated by the federal Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services. The law requires submission of the plan on or before April 1, 2003. The law specifies that a significant portion of Medicaid home and community-based waiver funds shall be used to increase the rates for community-based providers that serve individuals with developmental disabilities and for other actions related to expanding and improving services and supports.
California AB 425 calls for expansion of the Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). The Legislature's intent in expanding this program is to increase community-based services. Savings generated from this expansion shall be used to assist the state in mitigating future Medi-Cal expenditures attributable to placement in nursing homes.
California Protection and Advocacy filed the case, Capitol People First v. California Department of Developmental Services, in January 2002. The lawsuit argues that California has caused thousands of individuals to be needlessly isolated and segregated in large congregate public and private facilities and also contends that the lack of appropriate community services causes people with disabilities to be put at risk of institutionalization. For an update on lawsuits in California and other states, see Status Report: Litigation Concerning Medicaid Services for Persons with Developmental and Other Disabilities by Gary A. Smith at http://www.hsri.org/index.asp?id=news.
In May 2002, the governor announced a $10.5 million grant to increase the state's front-line health care workforce by up to 2,000 persons within the next 20 months.