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Disability Rights Wisconsin Supports Committee Hearing on Long-Term Care Issues

Disability Rights Wisconsin worked with legislators to organize a November 18 informational hearing in the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care on the development of the new Family Care/IRIS 2.0 long-term care system for older adults and people with disabilities in Wisconsin. The state budget requires that Wisconsin implement a new integrated system including acute and primary care, behavioral health supports and long-term supports (including a new self-directed model) by January 1, 2017. These changes will impact more than 60,000 Wisconsinites who currently use Family Care and IRIS supports.

At the 11-18-15 hearing national experts on long-term care from Washington, DC and Tennessee joined Wisconsin aging and disability advocates to outline questions and make recommendations as Wisconsin develops this new system.

You can watch a WisconsinEye recording of the two hour hearing here:

Below are the biographies and links to the testimony of the four invited speakers:

Ari Ne’eman (powerpoint)

Ari Ne’eman, has just completed his term as appointee to the National Council on Disability, a federal agency charged with advising Congress and the President on disability policy issues. He is a recognized national expert on Medicaid Managed Care, presenting on the topic to the Council of State Governments at their 2013 Medicaid Policy Academy.  Ne’eman chaired the National Council on Disability’s Entitlements Committee and played a major role in the development of NCD’s  national report: “Medicaid Managed Care for People with Disabilities: Policy and Implementation Considerations for State and Federal Policymakers.” The report is based on 22 principles developed by NCD to guide the design and implementation of managed care for people with disabilities. Ne’eman is also a member of the National Quality Forum’s Workgroup on Measuring Home and Community Based Services Quality. Ne’eman is the President and co-founder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, an advocacy organization run by and for Autistic adults seeking to increase the representation of Autistic people across society.

Patti Killingsworth (powerpoint)

Patti Killingsworth is an Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of TennCare, and since February 2007, the Chief of Long Term Services & Supports. She came to Tennessee in 2001 as a Special Assistant to the Deputy to the Governor for Health Policy, coordinating disability policy and issues across State agencies before accepting a position with TennCare as Director of Policy in February 2003. She was appointed Assistant Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer for the TennCare Bureau in December 2004, with responsibilities for the Division of Member Eligibility and Medical Appeals Services. Ms. Killingsworth holds a degree in Socio-Political Communications from Missouri State University. Prior to coming to Tennessee, she was a Deputy Director with the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s Division of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities where she was responsible for the design and implementation of a consumer and family directed system redesign initiative within the MRDD home and community based service delivery system. During her tenure as TennCare Chief of Long Term Services & Supports, she led the implementation of an integrated managed long-term services and supports system for seniors and adults with physical disabilities, expanding access to home and community based services and rapidly moving toward a rebalanced long term care system in Tennessee. Her commitment is to changing systems to better meet the needs of consumers and family members, promoting the development and expansion of home and community based service options, and ensuring that that the voice and perspective of consumers, family members, and other key stakeholders is brought to bear in policy and program decision-making processes.

Janet Zander (testimony and powerpoint)

Janet Zander has been serving as the Advocacy and Public Policy Coordinator for the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR) for the past two years.  In this role, she coordinates the agency’s advocacy and public policy objectives and works to maintain a culture of advocacy within the organization, the county and tribal aging units within the 70 counties (all but Dane and Milwaukee) and 11 tribes in its service area, and the state, through her involvement with the Wisconsin Aging Advocacy Network.  Prior to joining the GWAAR team, Ms. Zander was employed with the Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Portage County for 20 years, 16 of which she served as the Director.  Janet’s other past experience includes serving as the Director of Social Services for a private skilled nursing facility, managing a group home for people with serious mental illness and working for a community action agency.   Janet is a 2013 Wisconsin Women’s Policy Institute “fellow” and a current mentor with the program.  She holds a BS in Psychology and Sociology from U.W. Stevens Point and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from U.W. Oshkosh.  As a family caregiver for three different family members over the past 12 years, she has both professional and personal long-term care experience.

Beth Swedeen (testimony and powerpoint)

Beth Swedeen is Executive Director of the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, and has worked on statewide disability-related program and policy development, training, research, and evaluation, particularly in community inclusion, employment, and long-term care. She is director of the “Let’s Get to Work” youth employment grant, has contributed to more than 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, and is connected to a national network of Developmental Disability Councils that assess and advocate for high-quality supports so people with disabilities can live in, participate, and contribute to  their communities. She has 2 daughters, one of whom uses long-term supports.