Saturday, January 31, 2015

70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz, and of My Parents

January 2015 marks seventy years since the liberation of Auschwitz, the largest camp established by the Germans. A complex of camps, Auschwitz included a concentration camp, killing center, and forced-labor camps. It was located 37 miles west of Krakow (Cracow), near the prewar German-Polish border.
In mid-January 1945, as Soviet forces approached the Auschwitz camp complex, the SS began evacuating Auschwitz and its satellite camps. Nearly 60,000 prisoners were forced to march west from the Auschwitz camp system. Thousands had been killed in the camps in the days before these death marches began. Tens of thousands of prisoners, mostly Jews, were forced to march to the city of Wodzislaw in the western part of Upper Silesia. SS guards shot anyone who fell behind or could not continue. Prisoners also suffered from the cold weather, starvation, and exposure on these marches. More than 15,000 died during the death marches from Auschwitz. On January 27, 1945, the Soviet army entered Auschwitz and liberated more than 7,000 remaining prisoners, who were mostly ill and dying. It is estimated that at minimum 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945; of these, at least 1.1 million were murdered.  Source: http://www.ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-features/special-focus/liberation-of-auschwitz

No Jews Allowed - By Marc Dubin, Esq., Director of Advocacy, CILSF:
Visit:
http://www.casadeesperanza.org/pdfs/ORLCivilRightsViolationsandDiscitminationagainstDisability.pdf. (Article continued at that site)
Imagine that you sought help from the police after being beaten by your husband, only to find that you were told that you could not receive their services because you are Jewish.
Imagine that you sought the services of the domestic violence program but are told that you could not receive their services because you are Jewish.
Imagine that you sought the services of the Red Cross during a Hurricane but are told that you could not receive their services because you are Jewish.
Imagine that you are the victim of rape, and sought the services of the rape treatment service but are told that you could not receive their services because you are Jewish.
Imagine that you desperately need medical care but are told that you could not see the doctor because you are Jewish.
Imagine that you went shopping, and are unable to go into a grocery store because you are Jewish.
And imagine that you seek out the services of an attorney, and are denied services because you are Jewish.
You would be outraged, and hurt. You would find allies to join you in protest. You would seek to have anti-discrimination laws enforced. You would consider suing. You would wonder how in this day and age such discrimination could occur.
Every day, people with disabilities seek the services of law enforcement, domestic violence programs, Red Cross Shelters, rape treatment programs, health care providers, businesses, attorneys, and others, and are denied services because they have a disability. Architectural barriers that should not exist remain. Sign language interpreters are not provided. Policies that should be changed are not changed, and these policies prevent people with disabilities from using the services they need. Written materials are not offered in alternative formats. Service animals are excluded.
If you are a person with a disability, these scenarios are all too familiar. You recognize these denials for what they are - civil rights violations. These denials are as offensive, as hurtful, as harmful as signs saying No Jews Allowed.
My family understands this all too well. I am Jewish. When my parents were growing up, they were kicked out of school, for being Jewish.. Their parents were no longer allowed to work, because they were Jewish. They were beaten up by their neighbors, because they were Jewish.

 They could not shop in the neighborhood grocery stores, because they were Jewish. And, they were arrested, along with every other member of their family, because they were Jewish.
Yes, it was another time and place. It was Poland, and Hitler was coming to power. Discrimination was all around them, and grew, and grew.
I believe that I am well aware of the cost of social injustice and of the abuse of power, . My parents instilled in me an awareness of the importance of public service, the cost of prejudice and abuse of power, and of the debt I owe.
Both of my parents came to the United States in 1952, from Lodz, Poland. My parents were both survivors of Hitler's concentration camps, and were the only members of their respective families to survive.(They each had 7 brothers and sisters) Before the war, Lodz had the second largest Jewish community in Europe. As of 1939, there were 230,000 Jews in Lodz. The Germans moved them all into one area of the city, and walled it off. Eventually, an additional 25,000 people were brought in (20,000 Jews, and 5,000 Gypsies). The Germans then systematically starved and killed them.
Beginning in January of 1942, the Germans began transporting Jews from Lodz to the Chelmno death camp, at a rate of approximately 1,000 a day. Within 3 weeks, over 10,000 people had been transported. Between February and April of 1942, over 34,000 more were taken away and killed. These deportations continued month after month. In August 1944, the ghetto was closed, and all remaining residents were transported by train to Auschwitz. My parents and some members of their families were among this group.
As of 1944, of the original 250,000 Jews in Lodz, 30,000 were still alive. Shortly before the end of the war, on January 18, 1945, the Germans removed 66,000 Jews from Auschwitz, and in an effort to avoid discovery by the Soviet Army, which was advancing toward the camp, marched them in the snow for days, and shot them as they marched, trying to destroy the evidence of what they had done. My father was on this death march, but escaped by leading a group of prisoners into the forest, emerging only when the Soviet Army arrived.
By the time they were liberated from Auschwitz at the end of the war, in January 1945, only 15,000 of the original 250,000 jews in Lodz had survived. An estimated 1, 500,000 Jews were killed at Auschwitz. All of my parents' families, including their parents, their grandparents, their cousins, their uncles, their aunts, their sisters, and their brothers, were killed.
Upon their liberation from Auschwitz, my parents were sent to a Displaced Persons camp, where they were kept for seven years. My sister was born in and spent the first six years of her life in the Displaced Persons Camp. In 1952, my parents emigrated to the United States.
I tell you this because it is essential that we understand that the discrimination we address on behalf of people with disabilities is about civil rights, and about what we as a nation stand for when it comes to ensuring equal opportunity. When someone in a wheelchair is denied access to shelter, or access to government services, or access to civic life, they are experiencing discrimination. When someone who is deaf or hard of hearing is denied access to health care. 

Subscribe to our ADA Expertise Listserv and get information sent directly to your inbox. To subscribe, send an email to Marc Dubin, Esq., at mdubin@pobox.com. Include your name and contact information, and write "subscribe to ADA listserv."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Medicaid Managed Care Companies in Miami Dade and the Keys - Contacts

Health Plan Contract Managers
Plan Name
Contract Manager
Email
Phone #
AEC
JoAnne Dutcher
Amerigroup
Kathleen Wilson
Better Health, Inc.
Alison Cardenas
Children’s Medical Services Network
Savetra Robinson
Clear Health Alliance
Blanche Rodriguez
Coventry
Geraline Savoia
First Coast Advantage
Travis Garland
Freedom
Chris O'Connor
Humana
Annie Sinanan
Integral
Jennifer Sweet
Magellan
Audrey Cohen
Molina Healthcare of Florida
Alice Quiros
PHC, Inc.
Rocio Mejia
Preferred Medical Plan
JaNet Carter
Prestige
Carol Greenwood
SFCCN
Alex Fabano (interim)
Simply Healthcare Plan, Inc
Annette Cardoso
Staywell
Michelle Bimle
Sunshine Health
Kristin Snyder
United 
Lori Halpern 


Subscribe to our ADA Expertise Listserv and get information sent directly to your inbox. To subscribe, send an email to Marc Dubin, Esq., at mdubin@pobox.com. Include your name and contact information, and write "subscribe to ADA listserv."

Monday, January 26, 2015

UPDATE. Questions About Medicaid Managed Care in Florida -- Meeting Friday January 30, 10 am - 12 noon

Update January 31, 2015
The meeting at the CILSF was very well attended, and representatives from AHCA and representatives from several of the Managed Care companies participated by phone. Members of the community, including many members of the deaf community, shared their experiences of discrimination, and asked insightful questions. The list of questions set forth on the CILSF blog had been shared with AHCA and with the Managed Care companies in advance of the meeting, but we were informed that answers to the questions will not be provided for some time, perhaps longer than a month.

We are very appreciative of the willingness of AHCA and the Managed Care companies to collaborate with us and with members of the disability community and their advocates to address the problems. We are anxious to be of assistance. We note, however, that this appears to be the first meeting with the disability community since the rollout of Medicid Managed Care in Miami Dade and the Keys in July.it may be the first since the statewide rollout in January. One has to wonder - why? And how would the experience of the disability community have been different if AHCA and the Managed Care companies had worked with the disability community, and learned from the disability community?

There is an old saying in the disability community - an empowering saying - "Nothing About Us Without Us".  It is well past time for policy makers who impose programs on us to consider the wisdom of that saying.

I want to particularly thank the Miami Herald for sending a reporter and a photographer to the meeting. We look forward to sharing the upcoming news article with you.

We will be having monthly meetings about Medicaid Managed Care. Please email me if you want to get involved. You may participate in person or by conference call. Stay tuned.

Marc





The Center for Independent Living of South Florida is holding a public meeting on Friday January 30th, from 10 am - 12 noon, at the CIL offices, located at 6660 Biscayne Blvd., in Miami. Parking available in rear of building. We anticipate a good turnout, including representatives of AHCA and Managed Care companies.  Among the issues to be discussed:

1. Is AHCA continuing to send enrollment letters to Medicaid recipients?
2. If so, to whom are these letters being  sent, and at what schedule?
3. Are the enrollment letters sent to Medicaid recipients who are blind, in printed format? How does AHCA expect these recipients to read them?
4. When Medicaid recipients receive the enrollment letters from AHCA, how long do they have to choose a Plan, before AHCA makes the choice for them?
5. How long do recipients have to make a selection?
6. How long do recipients have to change their selection?
7. If a member of the deaf community has a question about the letter, how do they reach AHCA? Is sign language provided? Is there a TDD number?
8. Are printed materials from the Plans available in alternative formats?
9. How long does it take to receive the Plans in aternative formats?
10. Are enrollees in need of extra time to obtain the Plans in alternative formats provided with extra time, or is the enrollment decision made for them?
11. Do Managed Care companies identify the enrollee's disability in its files?
12. If an enrollee requests that a home visit be provided, is extra time given for the time it takes to schedule the home visit?
13. If an enrollee requests that a sign language interpreter be provided to complete the Managed Care selection, how long does it take to schedule an interpreter?
14. What accommodations are required to be provided by health care providers? Where is this information published? Is it conveyed to health care providers and enrollees?
15. Do all Managed Care companies pay for sign language interpreter services?
16.What does AHCA do to assess whether the Managed Care company provides a sign language interpreter, and complies with the ADA?
17. Do the Managed Care companies monitor whether providers comply with the ADA?
18. Does AHCA monitor whether providers and Managed Care companies comply with the ADA?
19. Do dental plans provide sign language interpreters?
20. Do pharmacists provide sign language interpreters?
21. Who is AHCA's ADA Coordinator, and how does one reach them?
22. Where is this information published?
23. What is the complaint process?
24. How does one file complaints with AHCA against hospitals?
25. How does one file complaints with AHCA against Managed Care companies?
26. How does one file complaints with AHCA against doctors?
27. How does one file complaints with AHCA against dentists?
28. How does one file complaints with AHCA against pharmacists?
29. How does one file an ADA complaint against AHCA?
30. How does one change Managed Care companies? What is the time frame? What is Good Cause?
31. What do enrollees who have no access to a computer do to enroll, ask questions, find information, and file complaints?
32. What do enrollees who have limited access to a phone do to enroll, ask questions, find information, and file complaints?
33. What does AHCA do to ensure that providers comply with the ADA?

Medicaid enrollees attending the meeting should bring their Medicaid insurance card.

Those unable to attend in person may participate by calling into the conference call line, at 1-866-730-7514  Pin: 938460#  We will try to start promptly at 10 am (EST).


Subscribe to our ADA Expertise Listserv and get information sent directly to your inbox. To subscribe, send an email to Marc Dubin, Esq., at mdubin@pobox.com. Include your name and contact information, and write "subscribe to ADA listserv."

Friday, January 23, 2015

Medicaid Managed Care Public Meeting at CILSF Friday 1-30-15


 Please Share. 


Medicaid Managed
Care Community Dialogue


Under Managed Care, Medicaid recipients have had to select from among a choice of plans.  We want to know how these plans have been working and what problems have Medicaid recipients experienced. On Friday, January 30, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon, Marc Dubin, CILSF Director of Advocacy, will moderate a discussion at the Center for Independent Living of South Florida, Inc., 6660 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33138.  Free parking located behind the building.

• Have you had difficulty getting your doctor, dentist, or pharmacist to provide you with a sign language interpreter?
• Is your doctor’s office accessible to you and are you receiving accessible transportation?
• Is the paperwork accessible to you?

For accommodation or ASL interpreter please RSVP to Mary by calling (305) 751-8025 Ext. 110 or email:  Mary@soflacil.org
PLEASE BRING YOUR INSURANCE CARD WITH YOU.



Subscribe to our ADA Expertise Listserv and get information sent directly to your inbox. To subscribe, send an email to Marc Dubin, Esq., at mdubin@pobox.com. Include your name and contact information, and write "subscribe to ADA listserv."

Friday, January 16, 2015

Report: FL Hospitals at risk of losing $1.3 billion

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article6753684.html


"Florida is at risk of losing about $1.3 billion in federal funds used to reimburse hospitals that treat large numbers of poor and uninsured patients — including Miami-Dade’s Jackson Health System — jeopardizing the medical centers’ ability to continue serving those populations, according to a report released Thursday by state healthcare officials.
The 244-page report was required by federal regulators who wanted Florida healthcare officials to explain how the state will ensure that hospitals can continue treating patients with Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor and disabled, without relying on a special pot of supplemental money known as the Low Income Pool or LIP program...."
Continued on site.




Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article6753684.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Miami Dade County Jail Closes 9th Floor Psychiatric Unit

The Miami-Dade County Jail’s notorious ninth-floor psychiatric ward — which became a national symbol for the shoddy treatment of the mentally ill behind bars — is no more.
After years of criticism and a stinging federal investigation, jailers have quietly shuttered the floor, moving hundreds of mentally ill inmates to newly refurbished and more comfortable units at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
“I’m thrilled they have finally made the change. It’s a shame so many people were hurt or died on the floor while we were waiting for the change to occur,” said Miami-Dade Judge Steve Leifman, the county’s leading advocate for improving treatment of mentally ill defendants. “But the new facility over at TGK is much better, more appropriate and more human.”
The closing of the main jail’s psychiatric ward comes nearly two years after the county, faced with scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice, agreed to a massive overhaul of the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department.



Continuedat 
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article6662382.html#storylink=cpy
Continued at http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article6662382.html

Subscribe to our ADA Expertise Listserv and get information sent directly to your inbox. To subscribe, send an email to Marc Dubin, Esq., at mdubin@pobox.com. Include your name and contact information, and write "subscribe to ADA listserv."

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