Missouri Ranks Third in Nation for Providing Care to Disabled Individuals
According to a new national report, Missouri ranks third in the country for providing care to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The report released this month was created by United Cerebral Palsy, a national non-profit organization for people with disabilities. The ranking is based on services like promoting independence, keeping families together and reaching those in need.
In 2007, Missouri came in at 41 overall in the same report, meaning the state moved up 38 places over seven years.
Valerie Huhn (Hoon) is the Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities for the Missouri Department of Mental Health. She attributes improvements to the Partnership for Hope Waiver, which was created in 2010 to get more people access to care faster.
"Our providers, our county boards, our local partners, our state staff have all been working very very hard to make sure if people have been identified for services that they're getting access to those now," Huhn said.
The partnership gets the state and the federal government to match money that counties put towards services for the disabled, so that more money overall goes towards care. It allows for a maximum of 12,000 dollars in care per individual.
In the past year, Huhn says there has also been a push to reduce the waitlist for in home care, which has gone from 725 individuals to 125 individuals since July of 2014. Additionally, over the past seven years, Missouri has closed 6 state institutions and is working on closing another this year. This means that more people are living and receiving care at home rather than an institution.
"We are serving more people in the community which means we are getting more people included into the everyday lives that everybody else gets to enjoy," Huhn said.
Currently the waivers are helping get care to over 13,000 individuals.