Plans for transformation that place greater emphasis on community employment and integration were reviewed by Bruce Abell, Executive Director at Quadco Rehabilitation Center (QRC).
Speaking at the annual board planning session on Tuesday (Mar. 22), Mr. Abell told the board members that Medicaid is directing changes to services so that their outcome leads to community inclusion, community employment and community integration for the people being served.
But, he said, the changes are also being made because that is what people want.
Referencing the story of a man who got a job in the community, he pointed out that the man had a goal in his life of getting a job at a local company, and when he did, he was very happy.
“He has a lot of opportunities for friendships, inclusion and communication with people at work, and he very much enjoys his job. That’s why we’re doing what we are doing, so that more of these things can happen,” Abell told the board members.
“It’s not an easy process,” he continued, “because our system was set up for many decades to do things in a different way. But now is the time for change and transformation, and it is important that we understand that and move forward and do that.”
Abell said he also feels it is important to realize that changes will not take place overnight. He noted that it may be easier for some people to come out of school and transition into a job. However, people who have been involved in a different system for years may not make a transition quite as quickly.
“For people who have been involved in a different routine, a different structure, and families that understand and appreciate what they’ve been doing for decades, change has to go a little slower for those folks.”
“That’s not an excuse not to do it. It’s just a realization that in order for it to be effective, it needs to go a little slower and walk people through it so the outcome becomes a good outcome and not a chaotic and confusing outcome,” he told the board members.
Abell reviewed a transformation plan for QRC developed last year that discusses the need for transformation, analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the organization and developed goals for the center.
He pointed out that the most important goal of the ones listed on the plan was that the people served by QRC be actively engaged with community based employment and activities. He said that goal and the others would be achieved through the efforts of the leadership of the organization.
There are also some model programs being developed for the state he told the board members. The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities recently awarded grants to some organizations to develop models that can be replicated by other programs across the state.
One of those programs is outside of Bucyrus that provides a program based on a plan centered on the people being served. He said it is an intensely personal program that helps people with whatever skill sets they need based on their goals and their plan and then helps them get a job.
He said this program and the others who received grants will document their efforts and the result will provide a resource that QRC can use in their programs for the future.
Shifting topics, Mr. Abell noted that now that QRC has transitioned to a private non-profit provider, the center relies on Medicaid reimbursement rates to cover the expenses of providing their services. He said there are three people who receive one-to-one services, and he expected Medicaid would approve a one-to-one rate to cover a few people.
However, that has not occurred, and he has found that the closest rate is a one-to-three rate which is too low to cover the expenses the center is incurring.
He said they will be working with the local county boards of DD to see if they will support covering the higher rate, but, if not, the center will no longer be able to be a provider of those services.
Program Manager Shannon Zellers reported that QRC is working with 30 people in their employment program who are either searching for a job or who have a job and QRC is providing support.
She also said that the Community Club recently visited Savers Thrift Store in Toledo. The people saw the types of jobs they have including how they sorted the items they were preparing for sale, how they tagged them and how they stocked their shelves.
The next board meeting will be held on April 26 in the Stryker main conference room.