CANCELLED - Public Hearing to Outsource the ABI Waiver Has Been Cancelled!

The Public Hearing for Department of Social Services proposal to outwource case management of the Acquired Brain Injury Waivers, scheduled for this Friday, January 29, 2015 has been cancelled by legislators.

I am glad it is cancelled, but I also know DSS will be right back at us with another proposal, and although I appreciate the "opportunity" to make comments in three minutes or less on what DSS proposes, the fact that they sit before legislators for hours, crafting their responses to questions in such a manner that legislators often do not get their real questions answered, is very hard to see and listen to, over and over again. I feel that our legislators are trying to get to the bottom of issues, but that it is almost impossible for them to do so!

For example:

At the last Hearing, legislators repeatedly asked what the experience requirement was going to be, for case managers, it was CLEAR they were asking about the experience of the staff who will DIRECTLY provide the service - DSS repeatedly told them that 5 years experience was required. DSS did not tell legislators that the 5 year requirement had nothing to do with the direct staff providing the case management services. They glossed over the fact that only the COMPANY was required to have case management experience (for anything, not specifically brain injury services) for 5 years.

Once it was clear what they were doing, and that it was misleading legislators we spoke with a legislator, gave her the correct information and she was then able to ask questions of DSS in a specific manner in order to clarify what DSS had said, but is that how this process is really supposed to work??

In regards to the outsourcing, Department of Social Services has been stating that they have SUPPORTING EVIDENCE as to why the outsourcing should be done and WHY it would be so successful. At my request, at last weeks Legislative Waiver Committee meeting, DSS agreed to share the data and information with us. DSS gave us access to a survey that was overwhelmingly positive of the current experiences of participants who have been receiving outsourced services.

Personally, I saw a few flaws with the survey, beginning with the fact that the company performing the survey, and the company providing services, is the SAME COMPANY. Suffice to say, when it came to "client satisfaction" of their services, they received a 100% approval rating.

I'd say that's not exactly an "arm's length transaction."

Apparently, according to legislative sources, there is also a movment in DSS to reduce the number of unionized social workers, the privatization of the ABI Waiver, as well as other services in the state is part of their effort to accomplish this.

We are still reviewing more information and details regarding the proposal DSS wants get approved, but for now, there will be no Hearing this Friday!

Best, Elaine

Elaine Burns

Mom to Brain Injury Survivor Ryan Cornell


Ct Brain Injury Support Network