So Many Hospitals, But Where’s the Health?

Those of us who are from Greater Cleveland know the pride with which Clevelanders talk about our local hospital system. People come from all over the world to be treated for chronic conditions at The Cleveland Clinic. MetroHealth’s Level 1 Trauma Center was Cuyahoga County’s only Level 1 Trauma Center, until this past December, when University Hospitals opened their own....

Updates on Changes to Disability Determination and Elimination of Medicaid Spend-down, now known as Disability Determination Redesign (DDR)

Earlier this year, a CCS blog post, and subsequent Common Ground, provided an overview of the State of Ohio’s plan to transition to a unified disability determination system thus ending the Medicaid spend-down program. Advocates have worked closely together, and with the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM), to learn about this change and how current spend-down enrollees will be impacted....

The Social Services Block Grant is under attack. What does this mean for Ohio?

The House Ways and Means Committee announced last week that Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) is sponsoring legislation that would end the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), a $1.7 billion dollar grant allocated to states to fund numerous critical social service programs. And on Wednesday, this bill was one of several that passed through the Committee, in an effort to create...

MBR Bill Proposes More Change for System

Services for individuals with developmental disabilities in Ohio may see more changes through the recent proposals outlined in House Bill 483, introduced last week. Sponsored by Representative Amstutz, the House Bill is a part of the mid-biennium review (MBR), a Kasich construct, which allows the administration to advance policy initiatives in off-budget years through working with members of the General...

Poverty is everywhere…even in Geauga County

According to the most recent data made available by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), Cuyahoga County is home to the greatest number of low-income residents in the state. About 18 percent of the population lives at or below the poverty threshold, about $19,000 for a family of three. In the city of Cleveland, it’s 35 percent. And...

CMS “unlikely” to Grant Ohio 10 Years to Integrate Waiver Services

According to a recent update released by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), the Department now finds it “unlikely” that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will grant Ohio ten years to transition to delivering all of their home-and-community-based waiver services (HCBS) in integrated settings. Read the full statement here. This announcement comes as a result of...

Over 30,000 Ohioans Affected by the End of Medicaid “Spend-down” Eligibility

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) is preparing to change the program’s disability determination process. Starting in July, 2016, the program will have a unified disability determination system, so that individuals who qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will automatically qualify for Medicaid. (In legal terms, this means the state is implementing section 1634 of the Social Security Act, rather...

Living on $2 A Day

About a year ago I did something that I hadn’t done before. I came back to work at an organization I had left at the end of 2007 — The Center for Community Solutions. I was fortunate enough to return as the President and Executive Director. During my previous time at CCS, I had worked on many policy/advocacy issues related...

County Executive Armond Budish Presents Proposed Two-Year Cuyahoga County Budget to County Council

On Tuesday Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish went before Cuyahoga County Council to kick off the public portion of the county budget process. Executive Budish began his presentation by saying that he was sending council a balanced budget that would ensure the “long term stability and success of our region.” He commented that the county’s debt and debt service was...

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish Poised to Introduce His First Two-Year Budget

At the end of this week, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish will be submitting his first two-year budget to Cuyahoga County Council for review. This will mark Executive Budish’s most significant opportunity to date to put his stamp on what county government does, and does not do. Many observers argue that how public policy makers propose to raise and spend...