This is an e-mail I received from Florida Association of Support Coordinators (FASC).


10% Reduction Exercise


  • Reduction of $707,377 in General Revenue from APD headquarters operations.
  • Reduction of $733,282 in General Revenue from the area offices.
  • Reduction of $182,835 from the Developmental Services Institutions.
  • Reduction of $1,556,131 in contracted services, room and board, prescriptions, etc.
  • Reduction of $1,774,056 in services to clients.  (Those not on the waiver.)
  • Reduction of $957,409 in institutional forensic staffing.
  • Reduction of $1,724,687 in institutional staffing.
  • Reduction of $1,864,185 by combining consumable and durable equipment purchasing on the waiver by regional purchasing contracts.
  • Reduction of $4,000,000 by eliminating behavior assistance service in standard and behavior focus group homes.
  • Reduction of $3,286,586 by reduction in accounts for persons in Consumer Directed Care by 10%.
  • Reduction of $9,685,154 by consolidating services…day training, supported employment, supported living, in-home supports, companion, and respite.  This would represent an 8% reduction in current expenditures.
  • Reduction of $11,198,958 by capping Tier One to $120,000 per year.
  • Reduction of $51,455,374.  This option was not recommended as it would reduce current services such as meaningful day and in-home supports and would result in institutionalization of individuals.


Budget Request


  • Request for $2,400,000 for the transition of 60 people from Gulf Coast to community.  (Continue plans to close Gulf Coast by 6/30/2010.  Average expenditure of those transferred from Gulf Coast has been running around $79,293.00 each.  The requested funds are for six months of funding.)
  • APD requested $234,925 to support expansion of CDC+.  People transferring to CDC+ must give up 8% of their funding so this request will be offset by cuts to the Waiver program.
  • There is a request of $4,500,000 for people on the waitlist.  These would be short term or one time services such as respite. 
  • There is a budget request of $30,000,000 to serve 2,200 people.  300 of those they are requesting services for are children in the DCF child welfare system that Florida law has required priority of funding for.  Remaining funds would go to fund some in crisis on the waitlist.  (734 children/people would go into Tier 4 and 1,466 others would probably go into Tiers 3, 2 and 1.)
  • A request for $6,886,500 to offset the projected deficit in the Waiver for 2009-2010.
  • A request for $31,932 for salary and benefit from to complete transfer of positions from DCF.
  • Request for transfer of five positions from the Institutions to APD Program and Compliance budget. 
  • Request for two positions that were in the Institution budget, (but located at Central Office) to the Central Office budget.
  • Request of $138.979 to continue 3 legal positions, some of which are currently associated with Gulf Coast Center.
  • Request of $728,193 in funding for legal staff.  Some of the funds are requested as a transfer from DCF, which at times have a conflict of interest due to representation of foster children.  In the past year, APD has less than 1,000 fair hearings.  It is anticipated that Agency attorneys will represent the Agency in over 5,000 hearings in the coming year.   The Agency anticipates over 5,000 fair hearings, 55 tort actions, 34 garnishments, 7 arbitrations, 14 unemployment compensation hearings, 990 forensic cases, 184 dependency cases, 9 appeals, 59 guardianships and other proceedings.
  • Request of $729,524 ($658,603 non reoccurring funds) for core technology infrastructure. 
  • Request of $270,750 from AHCA contingent upon receiving a grant from The Department of Health for maintenance of a registry for special needs.
  • Request of $78,657 for position to perform Information Security Management.
  • Request of $184,050 for three positions in the Office of Inspector General. 


Notes of Interest

The anticipated split for the Waiver program is based on 55.13% federal, 44.87 percent from General Revenue funds.


APD and DCF have had to request a budget transfer item of approximately 3 million for supported living subsidies due to the fact that the current source of the funds cannot be used for supported living subsidies.  1,700 people receive this subsidy.  If the transfer is not approved, the result will be termination of the subsidy.


$13,433,384 dollars were certified forward. 

FASC Update: Florida Budget Deficit

Hi to all SC’s and providers:    Please see the news clip below about the State revenue issues (oops not included in this blog).  It does not sound good for this year and the upcoming budget.  FASC has met with Jim DeBeaugrine, Interim Director for APD about this and other issues.  Mr. DeBeaugrine is advocating for these reductions to be taken administratively rather than any additional reductions in rates to providers or services reductions for individuals.  We are hopeful that he will be successful in this attempt.  

FASC has also been meeting with AHCA and APD staff on the billiing issues with EDS and are working on resolutions with other providers with regard to these issues.  Will send out more information as we get some confirmation on steps to be taken. 
FASC participated in a Stakeholders meeting with other groups on 08/04/08 including Family Care Council, DD Council, Advocacy Center, Florida ARF, Autism Society, and ARC/Florida.  This was a preliminary meeting to discuss the upcoming sessions and possible issues that might face the developmental disabilities community overall.  We will be working on some common goals over the next several weeks to present to Legislators.  One primary goal for all stakeholders was to have no more cuts to services.   There was also concern expressed about the wait list and ways to help address the needs of those waiting for services.

FASC will update you on the status of the rule hearing on the implementation of the tiers as soon as that information is available.  There seems be information that this is a “lawsuit agains the tiers.”  This is, in fact, a rule challenge on the implementation of the tiers.  The tiers are written into law and will be implemented.  The question remains as to how the APD will implement the tiers.

Stay tuned…Janice Philips of FASC.  

E-Mail received  from a Professional and  an Advocate

For what it’s worth, I personally CONTINUE to be concerned that FASC uses the state APD central program office as their sole source of information. APD’s interpretation may be correct regarding the–perhaps not unimportant–semantics of this being a legal challenge vs a lawsuit.
It will be very important if someone then decides to sue should the state win and the Advocacy Center lose.  As an example take the ‘sooner or later’ comment Janice makes. Is she sure? My understanding of law at that level is that just because something becomes law does not mean they are actually final.
Consider how many laws we have been taught have been found to be unconstitutional for example. My understanding of what could happen is the law would have to be changed, if successfully challenged.  I presume at the Florida Supreme Court level at least–good question for a lawyer really.
We all know that there is a tension that sometimes exists between the legislative and judiciary branches of government at any level. Just some examples that come up on a quick Google search of ‘Statutes overturned by the judiciary’ (*NO implications on me on the search results, please–they are just the first to return!):

Judicial Review

Encyclopedia Article
Find | Print | E-mail | Blog It
Article Outline



Judicial Review, the power of courts to review statutes and governmental actions to determine whether they conform to rules and principles laid down in constitutions. Judicial review is based on the idea that a constitution—which dictates the nature, functions, and limits of a government—is the supreme law. Consequently, any actions by a government that violate the principles of its constitution are invalid.
*or full read at:

Look–I get many reminders across my computer screen daily (daily) reminding me that things are not always going to stay the way they currently are. But it just seems conceptually wrong to let APD define a vision of ‘what will be.’


When HIPPA was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives and signed into law by the President, there was one aim and that was to protect the privacy of patients’ information that might be transmitted over the internet or faxed.  The law clearly states that any patient information transmitted or transferred through an electrical process (fax or internet) is protected by federal law. 

In our litigious society, all health care professionals panicked.  An extremely restrictive interpretation of the HIPPA law was taken.  As a natural consequence, the hyper-protective process was set into place regarding any health information because no one wanted to be the first person or agency or hospital to be sued.  The courts had not yet interpreted this law; and therefore the medical and health care profession wanted to be sure that they were covered.

Sometimes people ask us why The Special Gathering does advocacy.  We are a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  We do classic ministry, evangelism and discipleship.  Why do we extend ourselves in this direction?  It is because much of the lives of our members is involved with the State.   After a state or federal law is passed then it must be interpreted by the courts.  There are many unintended consequences to each law. 

Even after a law is set into motion, the state agencies must write rules which will implement this law.  Again, an array of unintended consequences.  The state and federal politicians, many of whom are lawyers, have a hard time remembering and understanding what a simple law may become.  How is it possible for a family member or a person who is developmentally delayed to understand and to remember the myriad of rules and regulation which control her lives.

This information was passed on to me through our blogsite from the APD State office.  It contains the rules that will be used by APD to help keep costs down for people who are living in their own apartments.  After almost an hour of trying to cut and paste this document onto the blogsite, I give up.  Here is the address that you can use to access it.

Whether you are a parent or professional, I believe this is an important document for you to read and keep.

We’ve all seen the ways that HIPPA has changed our lives.  What are some of the unintended consequences to actions taken in your life?  What about your members?  What actions changed your members’ lives and made them better people?