Arkansas Department of Human Services is striving to expand home and community based services for citizens with physical and developmental disabilities and the elderly through the Community First Choice (CFC) Option. There is much discussion and debate about this subject as we move toward the next State Legislative Session that will convene in January 2015. Here is some information that will help you better understand what CFC is all about.
WHAT DOES AN “OPTION” MEAN?
To explain this, we need a very quick overview of how Medicaid works. In order to receive federal matching funds, states must abide by the federal Medicaid law. This basically defines what states: 1) must do; 2) can choose to do (referred to as an “option”); and 3) cannot do. As long as states comply with the federal law, they are free to set their own guidelines regarding eligibility and services.
However, states can request to do other than that specified in the law by applying for a waiver. There are currently nearly 300 waivers in effect across the country. Arkansas has four of them.
States that wish to provide most services to people with disabilities in the community instead of institutional settings must apply for a Section 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver. Arkansas has had an HCBS Waiver since 1989. However, this type of waiver allows states to limit eligibility and services.
WHY WOULD THE CFC OPTION BE BETTER THAN THE CURRENT HCBS WAIVER?
There are a number of reasons why the CFC option would be better for people with disabilities. The most important ones are outlined in the chart below comparing what states are allowed to do under each.
States allowed to: CFC Option Section 1915(c) Waiver
Cap services NO YES
Have Waiting Lists NO YES
Limit Services to certain parts of state NO YES or specific disabilities
Arkansas currently has a waiting list of 2,900 children and adults with developmental disabilities. These individuals will directly benefit from Arkansas initiating the Community First Choice (CFC) Option by allowing them to receive the support they have been waiting for – some over eight years.
WHAT ARE THE INCENTIVES FOR STATES TO USE THE CFC OPTION?
The federal government would provide more funding to states that use it. The CFC option provides a 6% increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for home and community based services. This means that Arkansas will receive a 76% match, or 76 cents on every Medicaid dollar utilized in CFC in Arkansas. The first two States that received CFC approval were California and Oregon. California anticipates an additional $573 million in Medicaid funds due to CFC implementation, while Oregon is projecting a $100 million increase.
States can also include community based alternatives to nursing home care in their CFC plan for senior citizens so they can continue to live in the community as long as possible. These services will also be eligible for the additional 6% federal assistance.
Please let your legislators know that taking care of the most vulnerable Arkansans is important to you, and you support the Community First Choice (CFC) Option as a way to do so.
excerpts from thearc.org
LITTLE ROCK, AR - It may look like play, but little Taylor is in the middle of a physical therapy session.
"Helping them move in their environment."
Will Smith is a therapist for United Cerebral Palsy.
"And that's the best part."
Which operates the Butterfly Learning Center in Little Rock
"We're United Cerebral Palsy but we treat kids with developmental delays, autism, cerebral palsy a variety of different diagnosis," says Smith.
"I'm going to go in the circus and juggle like the elephants!"
Inside the preschool, children prepare to move on to kindergarten.
"That's what our focus is to get them ready to be a typical kid when they go to school," says Smith.
Depending on their disability, children can get therapy in many different areas.
"We do a wide variety of things."
Smith focuses on large motor skills. From walking and jumping, to climbing stairs and catching.
Once the child masters the main action, Smith also breaks down the movement into smaller parts like balance and control.
"They're ready and they know they can do it."
Making a difference one step, jump or bounce at a time.
Want to wear Green for St. Patrick's Day? Why not wear Green for another reason! March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and Watts Knots will be selling Cerebral Palsy Awareness Bracelets. All proceeds will go to United Cerebral Palsy. Cost is $5 plus shipping. You can place your order through the Watts Knots Facebook page (www.facebook.com/wattsknots) or contact Kristin Stuart at
Tayler was born at 26 weeks with a grade four brain bleed. The doctors told her parents that she would probably never walk or talk due to her prematurity. Tayler started at UCP’s Butterfly Learning Center (BLC) when she was five months old. Today Tayler is four years old and knows her colors, numbers, and shapes. Despite having some developmental issues, she acts like many other four year olds and lights up a room with her energetic personality. Lynette Simpson, Tayler’s mom credits her daughter’s success to the Butterfly Learning Center. She said, “BLC has taught Tayler how to talk, walk, eat, play, run, and jump and I am very grateful that she has learned so much. BLC has truly changed our lives and gave us hope for Tayler!”
About Giving Tuesday:
Giving Tuesday is a call to action to help promote a national day of giving in the midst of the annual shopping and spending season. Join other donors and make a gift to United Cerebral Palsy of Arkansas. Giving Tuesday brings together donors large and small, first-time and long-time, large corporations and individual people. Consider donating to UCP of Arkansas where our goal is life without limits for people with disabilities!
United Cerebral Palsy of Arkansas is working every day to advance the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injury and other special needs. Tayler is just one example of the significant life change happening in the more than 600 children and adults we serve each year.
· $3 a week would buy an adaptive swing for disabled children at Butterfly Learning Center
· $5 a week would provide a child (birth - 3 years old) with 1 month of Early Intervention services (including therapy)
· $10 a week would provide 2 therapeutic picnic tables for an Adult Center
You can donate online through our PayPal account. Any amount will help UCP fund the programs that serve over 600 people throughout the state of Arkansas.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - United Cerebral Palsy of Arkansas (UCP) is proud to announce that Team Kelsie has raised over $2,000 for UCP of Arkansas through running various 5K’s around the country. Kelsie Butler’s mother Leasea began running 5K’s while pushing Kelsie to raise awareness and funds for cerebral palsy and UCP of Arkansas. They started in January with a run with friends to kick off the program and have run at least one 5K a month. Friends and family have joined Chris and Leasea Butler to advocate for cerebral palsy and Kelsie. With their help, Team Kelsie has been represented in eight states.
She was born seven weeks premature and initially had a good start. She stayed in the NICU for three weeks before coming home. Her second night at home she had a grade 4 IVH (stroke) they believe to be due to an immature blood vessel or a AVM which has left her with cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, epilepsy, and developmental delays. Her parents were told she would not make it those first few days back in the hospital and now she is five! She also has a hemangioma that she has to have surgeries on frequently, a VP shunt that fails from time to time and vision issues that may require surgery. With all of this she has more courage and tenacity than most adults.
About UCP of Arkansas:
UCP of Arkansas is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote life without limits for those with disabilities. UCP was incorporated in 1957 by parents of children with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities who could not find assistance. United Cerebral Palsy is one the largest and comprehensive non-profit agencies in the state of Arkansas. The current array of services has grown in scope from day care and parent relief for five children to a comprehensive network of habilitation/rehabilitation serving over 650 disabled individuals a year. UCP aspires to increase the level of independence for all of their clients so that they may be productive members of society.
For more information about Team Kelsie, go to www.runK5.ucpnow.com or join their Facebook group “5k for K5”. To learn more about United Cerebral Palsy of Arkansas, go to www.ucpark.org or www.facebook.com/UCPofAR.
Community Development Director Kristin Stuart talks to Fox 16's Deedra Wilson about United Cerebral Palsy of Arkansas and the Color in Motion 5K. The Color in Motion 5K will be on Saturday, September 28th at 9 am at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds in Little Rock. It's not too late to sign up - use the promo code UCPofAR25 to get 25% off registration!
UCP's Kristin Stuart talks to Greg Dee about the Color in Motion 5K benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of Arkansas. Click the link below to watch the clip.
My name is Elisha Stone. I am the special education teacher at Margaret Daniel Primary School (K-1st) in Ashdown, Arkansas. I would like to share our World CP Day story with you. I was asked by the parent of my student (age 6) with Cerebral Palsy (CP) if we could do something for the first World CP Day. Our principal and I thought it would be a unique opportunity to educate the students about cerebral palsy to promote better understanding of their classmate.
I put together a short PowerPoint presentation which was shown in our entire General Education classroom on World CP Day. The students were also given the opportunity to color a green ribbon to show support for their classmate. The response was incredible! Our entire school, staff included, participated! By lunch time there were a lot of green ribbons lining our hallway, which was great but not nearly as great as all the students saying "Hi" to my student with CP in the lunchroom. I could overhear some of the students talking about him and how "cool" and "smart" he is. As I walked him to his wheelchair from his lunch table I heard one student tell another "Look, he really can walk! His teacher just has to help him a little." It made me happy to see the other students take an interest and try to understand him. He was so excited by all the high fives and hellos he was receiving from his classmates! It truly was his day! Thank you for letting me share our story!
Margaret Daniel Primary
1323 Foster Ashdown, AR 71822
UCP of Arkansas is honored that Elisha Stone, Connor Wilson, and his family shared their story with us. The participation from the school was amazing, and we stand in awe at their show of support in such a wonderful campaign. Elisha, Connor, and his family are an inspiration to us all and we hope that this story will rally other schools and students around the state of Arkansas to participate in their very own celebration of World CP Day to foster understanding and awareness for individuals with disabilities.
A special thank you to Elisha, Connor, his family, and the students and staff at Margaret Daniel Primary!
If you would like more information on starting a World CP Day Campaign in your school or if you have a World CP Day story you would like to tell, please contact Tiffany McFadden-Kidd at email@example.com or 501-228-3838, or Wendy Stark at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-228-3825.
The next World CP Day is September 3, 2013.
It was a great second year for United Cerebral Palsy’s “Race for Independence”. There were over 250 participants at the Pinnacle Hills Promenade on Saturday, March 17th for the 5K, chip timed race and the ½ K walk and roll for people of all abilities. The race raised more than $17,000 for United Cerebral Palsy of Arkansas’ Northwest Region. UCP’s mission is to help individuals with disabilities and their families experience a “Life Without Limits” as they try to maximize independence for all they serve.
Jack Ford, Chair of the race and father of a child with Cerebral Palsy, stated, “The kids who are at the race today put so much effort into doing the simple things we take for granted like walking.” Many kids with Cerebral Palsy participated in the ½ K walk and roll. They rode adaptive bikes, many were in wheelchairs or strollers and several crossed the finish line walking.
The 2012 UCP Golf Challenge was held on Friday, May 18th at Paradise Valley Golf & Athletic Club in Fayetteville. Thanks to all of our sponsors, participants, and volunteers for their support and generosity in helping us to raise more than $10,000 for UCP of Northwest Arkansas!
Snell Prosthetics & Orthotics
Arvest Asset Management
First Bank Ford Family—Team Audrey
Pipelife Jet Stream, Inc.
Bishop Family in Honor of Deward Bishop
Civitan of Siloam Springs in Honor of Deward Bishop
John & Mary Ford in Honor of Audrey Ford
Jeb & Missy Joyce
Jeff Ward Pediatric Dentistry
Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry
Coors of Western Arkansas