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United Cerebral Palsy Releases Annual State Medicaid Rankings
Date:6/16/2008

WASHINGTON, June 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), one of the nation's largest health charities, reported today that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities being served by Medicaid are not getting the community-based supports they need in every State. The report, The Case for Inclusion 2008, ranks all 50 States and the District of Columbia. At the top of the list: (1) Arizona, (2) Vermont, (3) Alaska, (4) Massachusetts, and (5) California. At the bottom: (51) Mississippi, (50) Texas, (49) Illinois, (48) District of Columbia, and (47) Virginia.

"Every American wants the opportunity to live and work in their community," said Stephen Bennett, President and CEO of UCP. "The top-performing states in our rankings do a better job promoting independence and productivity in safe, quality community settings, but we still have far too many people with disabilities not getting the service and supports they desperately want and need. Although we are pleased with the positive movement in several areas, we can and should do better."

The findings indicate a positive trend toward more community inclusion with mixed results in some areas. Some of the report's key findings:

-- Positively, more people are leaving large institutions, but still 41

states have 173 large state institutions (more than 16 beds) housing

37,700 Americans; Hidden List

-- Positively, now 19 states -- up from 16 last year -- have more than 80

percent of those served living in home-like settings;

-- Positively, 15 states -- up from 10 last year -- report helping a

significant number of families remain together through robust family

support programs;

-- Positively, 39 states -- up from 33 last year -- support individuals

going to work and maintaining their Medicaid benefit through a Medicaid

Buy-In program;

-- Negatively, a smaller portion of adults participated in competitive

employment; and

-- Consistent with last year, 15 states report very large and long waiting

lists for services.

"This report provides consumers, families and advocates a tool to compare how their State is performing in relation to the rest of the country," said Tarren Bragdon, an expert in healthcare policy and author of The Case for Inclusion 2008 for UCP. "Despite much improvement over the last few decades, the report makes it clear that inclusion is not the reality for all Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Now, with this report, States can best understand and compare where they are doing well and prioritize those areas that need improvement."

Nationwide, Medicaid serves 577,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, spending $30.9 billion in fiscal year 2006 or about $53,000 per person per year. While individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities make up just over one percent of all Medicaid recipients, services to the population account for 10.2 percent of all Medicaid expenditures.

In addition, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are among Medicaid's most vulnerable beneficiaries. More than 99 unique data elements and guidance from a wide body of national disability experts were considered to create comprehensive state snapshots.

The full United Cerebral Palsy report and state-by-state data are available online at http://www.ucp.org/medicaid. This is the third year UCP has ranked states on their Medicaid-funded services to Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is one of the nation's leading organizations serving and advocating for the more than 54 million Americans with disabilities. Through its nationwide network, UCP offers services to individuals, families and communities such as job training and placement, physical therapy, individual and family support, early intervention, assistive technology, and community living. For more information, visit http://www.ucp.org or call (800) 872-5827.


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SOURCE United Cerebral Palsy
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