Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century
805 Brook St., Bldg 4
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
I read your op-ed in the Hartford Courant on Sunday that summarized your report on rebalancing the State’s budget. I then went to your website to review the report completed by Blum Shapiro. One of the points you make is true; a substantial number of jobs will be created. However, the State needs to go even further and take a serious look at addressing the recruitment and retention of direct care workers available to help those who remain or move back into the community. I am a member of a group started by Senior Resources, the Eastern CT Agency on Aging, that wrote a white paper on this very subject. I encouage you to review it and also look at the work being done by the Money Follows the Person workforce team. The PCA (personal care assistant program) also merits your review as a significant piece to this rebalancing effort. Yes, jobs will be created. But they are jobs that are nearly impossible to fill for a variety of reasons. I have provided you with the link to the white paper that was developed below. Your work is to be commended but before we can move or leave our most vunerable population in the community, we need to ensure they will be adequately cared for.
Regards, Lisa Ryan,CCM, Geriatric Care Manager, LNHA
Dear Institute Folks,
It is my understanding that you may be emabarking on further studies specifically related to alternatives to incarceration and possible outsourcing of public health & human services. CT Association of Nonprofits is the largest provider association of organizations contracting for community alternatives to the court and prison system – those which contract with the Departments of Correction and Children & Family and the Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division. We are also the largest provider organization for those contracting with the Deparments of Children & Families (100 organizations), Mental Health & Addiction Services (100 organizations) and Developmental Services (70 organizations).
A long-time friend of mine, a builder of modular homes who also happens to be a disabled veteran (Henry Racki, CEO, The Rockfall Company, LLC) has developed a modular home modification called “Practical Assisted Living Structures” (PALS™, patent pending) that promises to give a great number of elderly and handicapped the ability to live at home rather than in an institution. Having read the summary findings of your report entitled Assessment of Connecticut’s Long-Term Care System, I am convinced that the goals of Henry’s efforts are squarely in keeping with the concepts discussed in that report. while I myself am not a builder, I have long been involved in the healthcare industry (specifically with third-party healthcare payment systems) for over 30 years. While the home modifications that Rockfall has developed will not be remedies in all situations, they certainly bring to the table a new and significant positive factor in reducing the burdens on families with aged and/or disabled members as well as on federal and state programs that support long-term healthcare delivery.
Your office may wish to visit the company’s website (www.palsbuilt.com) to get a more complete description of these “PALS” modules. The units are modular home additions designed to quickly and inexpensively modify virtually any home to provide the homeowner with a specially-adapted bathroom, bedroom and living space (including a kitchenette in some models) for use by an elderly or handicapped family member in need of such accommodations. Custom modifications specific to the needs of the particular situation including sensors, grab bars, lifts, caregiver accommodations, etc. are practically endless. Rockfall recently installed the first of these units, free of charge, in the home of a disabled veteran in West Haven, CT and a second in the home of another disabled vet in Bristol, CT. Both installations are highlighted on the website, and more are in the works, including one being considered by a family living with MS and another with an elderly (94-year old) mother.
Pre-manufactured PALS modules, when coupled with the home-delivered skilled and custodial services provided by homecare agencies and medical equipment suppliers, offer very low-cost alternatives to nursing homes and other institutional providers. Essentially, they can:
1. Save states millions in payments to institutional healthcare providers for Title XIX and other programs (e.g., In Connecticut alone, annual payments to institutions for long-term care exceed $1.5 Billion. Moving only 10% to a PALS unit could save the state in excess of $100 Million!);
2. Bring thousands of people home to the safety and care of their loved ones and families;
3. Be funded, in whole or in part, through various public programs currently in existence (such as the federal “Money Follows the Person” rebalancing effort)or through state and federal programs yet to be developed;
4. Create new jobs resulting from an expanded demand for homecare services as well as for services involving building, transporting, installing and maintaining the modules; and
5. Reduce the demand for 24-hour institutional care replacing it with less-expensive intermittent home-delivered healthcare related services.
I am certainly convinced that the cost of these units (amounting to a fraction of the cost of institutional care, even when you include home-delivered caregiver and equipment costs) will make PALS modules a very attractive option for many thousands of users, to scores of third-party healthcare payers, to various state and federal programs, and to organizations supporting people with disabilities.
I would very much like to arrange for a meeting at your office to discuss what we may be able to do to benefit the efforts of the State of Connecticut in reducing the burden of long-term care support currently being borne by Title XIX and other programs and are looking forward to your response. Any comments or suggestions that you or your staff may have would certainly be appreciated.
John P. Ruocco
3rd-Party Healthcare Reimbursement and Appeals
56 Belridge Rd.
Cheshire, CT 06410
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