Monthly Archives: October 2012

Special Needs Halloween Carvinal

October 30, 2012
5:30 pmto6:30 pm
When: Tuesday, October 30th, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Where: Dixie State College
Gardner Ballroom-Gardner Student Center (map)
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Posted in Events, Region 9 | Leave a comment

Consequences of the DMEPOS Cometitive Bidding Program

This week I was able to attend a Roundtable to discuss the consequences of DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program.  What is Competitive Bidding?  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created a competitive bidding program for purchasing Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS).  The program establishes rates for certain categories of equipment.  It was intended to cut costs and reduce Medicaid fraud.  It has instead resulted in people being unable to find local providers, and has created limitation of choice, access and quality in terms of both suppliers of equipment and types of equipment that will be available.  In 2008 the program was delayed but has resumed stage one in 2011.  Congress delayed round two implementation until the summer of 2013 but  some states already have the Competitive Bidding program in place.  Individuals living in these states have been limited to choosing from only one or two vendors.  For those living in rural areas this can result in delays in deliveries that have lengthened hospital stays and driven up costs.                      

Consequences of Competitive Bidding Program:

Choice: Freedom of choice will be challenged for beneficiaries both in terms of types of suppliers and types of equipment that will be available. The CB program could eliminate up to 90 percent of DMEPOS suppliers, limiting choice of preferred providers and disrupting long-term relationships and continuity of care. Access: As the number of suppliers is reduced, beneficiaries could experience problems accessing quality equipment and services, especially over time and by geographic area.  Lower payments to suppliers may reduce beneficiary access to high quality, brand name, and customizable equipment, and other effective supplies that are familiar to the patient.  The CB program may not adequately protect against supplier unavailability and delayed response time, causing hospital discharge delays and/or more emergency department visits.  The CB program may reduce the provision of various services on which beneficiaries rely to remain independent and prevent complications, such as patient evaluation, education, and training, and equipment customization, adjustment, and timely repair and maintenance.

Quality: Suppliers may not be able to provide high quality products, and may significantly reduce the services they provide to beneficiaries.  Suppliers may not be able to afford (and are not incentivized to provide) higher quality products, which can affect beneficiary mobility, general health condition, and quality of life.  Technological innovation and development of high quality products may be stifled.

At the meeting both individuals that use DMEPOS and vendors of home care supply companies were able to testify of the negative impacts that Competitive Bidding would have economically in Utah but more importantly to the lives of patients that use Durable Medical Equipment.  These statements were heard by members of Congress and congressional staff. 

Solution: The Medicare DMEPOS Market Pricing Program Act of 2012 (HR 6490) will replace the current Competitive Bidding Program with a fair and equitable program based on sound economic principles that instils competition while maintaining beneficiary access to quality items and services.

Call your elected official in the House of Representatives and Senate and ask them to support the Medicare DMEPOS Market Pricing Program Act of 2012 (HR 6490), a bill that fixes the current flawed Competitive Bidding Program by substituting it with a market-based system so as not to interfere with patients’ access to critical home medical equipment and services.


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Posted in Region 2 | Leave a comment

Research Opportunity – Building Evacuation for Individuals with Disabilities

Dr. Keith Christensen at Utah State University (USU) is conducting a research study to find out more about the pedestrian and evacuation behaviors of individuals with mobility-related disabilities. The results will eventually be used to create buildings that better support individuals with disabilities during emergency evacuations.

If you possess a physical or sensory impairment that affects your mobility, we are requesting your help in this study.

If you agree to help, you will be invited to participate in a study held on the campus of USU lasting no more than 2 hours on either November 9th, 15th, or 17th. During this time, you will be asked to complete a short survey questionnaire and walk around a circular track containing items you would typically find in a building such as doorways, corners, and other people. You may also be asked to walk up and down a typical length of stairs, if appropriate. Your movement will be measured using a video tracking system. There will be frequent opportunities to rest while you are participating.

You will be compensated for your time with a $100 Visa gift card.

If you are interested in participating, or have any questions, please email Keith Christensen at We will contact you with additional information, determine if you are able to participate, and schedule the day and time that would be best for you.

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Posted in Region 1, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Early Voting has Started!!!!!!

Early voting started on Oct. 23 and is available untill Nov.2nd In  Carbon County you can vote at The Carbon County Courthouse on Main Street. from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (until 5:00 pm on Nov.2)

Checkout for information on what you need to bring with you, to look at a sample ballot and to fubd information about the candidates.

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Posted in Region 3 | Leave a comment

Focus Group with NAMI

Utah Family Coalition

Your Presence Is Requested

Who:               Parents and Caregivers of children/youth under 18 years of age that need and/or receive mental health services

 What:             Focus Group

When:             October 30, 2012, 6:30PM – 7:30PM

Where:           NAMI Utah

                       1600 West 2200 South

West Valley City, UT 84119

Why:               The Utah Family Coalition, the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Salt Lake County, and OptumHealth Salt Lake County want to hear and understand what your experience has been with your loved one’s mental health services during the past one year.

RSVP:            Please RSVP no later than 5:00 PM, Monday, October 29, 2012

               or 801-982-3232

Please leave name, contact information, and number attending

Come tell us your experiences so we can improve!

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Please Join the Governor at a Town Hall Meeting:

Please Join the Governor at a Town Hall Meeting:

Tuesday, 10/23, 6:30-8:00 pm – Town Hall in St. George, Don Ipson’s Garage, 2158 West 1800 North, St. George – others attending include Chris Stewart, John Swallow, John Dougall, local candidates

Wednesday, 10/24, 6:30-8:00 pm – Town Hall in Ephraim, Snow College, Founder’s Hall in the Noyes Admin Building, 150 E. College Avenue, Ephraim – others attending include Mia Love, John Swallow, John Dougall, a rep from Chris Stewart’s camp, Spencer Cox, Ralph Okerlund

Friday, 10/26, 11:00 am – Brigham City Chamber of Commerce Q&A, USU Brigham City, 265 West 1100 South, Brigham City

Friday, 10/26, 7:30-9:00 pm – Town Hall in Taylorsville, Taylorsville City Hall, 2600 West Taylorsville Blvd., Taylorsville – others attending include Mia Love, Mark Crockett, John Swallow, Craig Hall, Johnny Anderson, Jim Dunnigan

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Duchesne County Family to Family Movie Party! Hurry and reserve your tickets…

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Posted in Region 10 | Leave a comment

Special Needs Movie Night

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Region 1 GAP Weekly Update – October 18, 2012

1. Voter Registration – The date to register by mail has passed, but there is still time to register online or in person (can register until October 22nd). You can get information on how to register in person at your local county clerks office or online here. All registration requests will require a photo ID. For more information on voter registration, a voting checklist, or voting rights, see the Disability Law Centers (DLC) website or go to the State of Utah’s VOTE website

2. Voting Transportation – If you would like to vote but are unable to due to lack of transportation, Options for Independence, an independent living center with offices in Logan and Brigham City, may be able to help provide transportation to and from your polling location. If you are interested in voting transportation from Options, please contact Veronica at (435) 753-5353. If you would like more information on the services available from Options for Independence, please see their website.

3. Utah Voter Pamphlet in Alternative Format – The Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled (BARD) has made the Utah Voter Pamphlet available in both audio and Braille formats. You can find these alternative formats at this website.

4. Presidential Debates – If you’ve missed previous presidential debates – or if you are interested in more information from the candidates – the final presidential debate will be held October 22, 2012 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. You can find more information about the presidential debates at this website.

5. Presidential Disability Platforms – In addition to watching the debates, you can find more information on the disability platforms of the presidential candidates on the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) Public Policy page.

6. Local Political Events – In a presidential year, there are bound to be many, many, many opportunities to talk with local leaders, elected officials, and candidates about their ideas. Here are some local opportunities:
a. Lieutenant Governor Debate – current Lt. Governor Greg Bell and challenger Vince Rampton will debate one another on Wednesday, October 31st, from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm in the Stevenson Ballroom on the Utah State University Campus.
b. Pizza and Politics - the Utah State University College Republicans will be hosting an event TODAY (October 18th) from 4:30 – 5:30 pm on the USU Campus, in Old Main 304. The speaker will be Thomas Wright, chair of the Utah Republican Party.

7. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) – In observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), many organizations will be offering information and resources to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. If you are interested in more information about DEAM, consider looking through the EARN website.

8. Interesting Article on NDEAM – In addition to participating in events for NDEAM, it is important to understand how far employment policy and workforce participation initiatives have come for individuals with disabilities, while still remembering how much work still needs to be done. The article “Honoring the Past to Create a Better Future for Workers with Disabilities”, written by Linda Watters and published on the National Council on Disability’s website, discusses the history of employment policy in regards to individuals with disabilities and gives insights into ongoing efforts to improve employment access and participation for individuals with disabilities. The complete article can be found here.

9. All Kids Count – The Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination (CSPD) recently released several recommendations from special education policy experts regarding alternative assessments. These recommendations are intended to help members of Congress and their staff better understand the need to reauthorize Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and meet the goal of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to provide a free appropriate public education that focuses on the needs of each child with a disability. You can find the complete set of recommendations here.

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Posted in Region 1, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet the Candidates event in Ogden

Region 2 is holding its second Meet the Candidates event Thursday, October 18th, 6:00 pm at Tri-County Independent Living Center in Ogden.  Join us as we meet with many of the candidates from both major parties as well as some independent candidates.   This is a great opportunity to to learn about the candidates and ask their ideas on disability related policy before the election in November.  we have invited Utah State Representatives and Senators, US Legislators and staff, as well as candidates from Morgan, Weber, and Davis Counties.  As advocates it is important to get familiure with those that are running for office and hear their ideas on policy and funding that effect the lives of people with disabilities.  Events like this are effective in developing relationships with potential legislators.  Please join us as we get to know the candidates.

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Posted in Region 2 | Leave a comment