Summer 2016

Q and A on New Jersey's  Proposal to Require all Dual Eligibles 
to Enroll in a Medicare Managed  Care  Plan called "FIDE SNP"

Included in New Jersey's Comprehensive Medicaid Waiver is a proposal that would require all dual eligibles (persons who receive both Medicare and Medicaid) to enroll in a Medicare managed care plan. The terminology for this type of Medicare managed care plan is a "fully integrated dual eligible (FIDE) special needs plan (SNP)."  To see some questions and answers on this proposal, click here.

Comments about this proposal are invited from family members and staff, and the deadline for public comments is August 12, 2016.

Written comments may be submitted via: Email -
Fax - 609.588.7343 or regular mail - Margaret Rose, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS), PO Box 712, Trenton, NJ 08625-0712



Crisis Assessment Response and Enhanced Services (C.A.R.E.S.) 

Lucille Esralew, Ph.D., NADD-CC, CDP, 
Clinical Administrator, C.A.R.E.S.
Trinitas Regional Medical Center

As of January 1, 2016 the mental health crisis response team for adults with disabilities formerly referred to as "SCCAT" was officially renamed CARES. This name change reflects a transition for the 15-year-old team to reflect a reconfiguration of services. CARES is administered by Trinitas through a contract with the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and supported via braided funding from DMHAS and its sister Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).

CARES responds to the crisis response needs of adults 21 and older living in the community. CARES clinicians will see individuals with disabilities in their natural settings including homes, supervised apartments, day programs and work sites in order to provide assistance to the person with a disability and to his or her family and professional caregivers. Additionally, CARES clinicians provide face-to-face crisis assessments at all emergency rooms throughout the state in order to confer with screening centers regarding the level of care for individuals with disabilities who present to acute care for psychiatric and behavioral emergencies. Anyone can call the 888-383-3007 number to refer an adult with disabilities who is in need of timely assessment or clinical outreach.

Why Call 888-393-3007

Call our toll free number 24/7 when an adult with disabilities displays problem behaviors that interfere with community activities, work, or living with others and needs an evaluation to determine level of support in order to remain safely in the community. Anyone can call the CARES toll-free number to refer an adult with developmental disabilities for assessment.


The Special Needs Ambassador Program: A Vehicle for Advocacy, Education and Intervention
Patricia Miller MA
Operations Director
Saint Barnabas Medical Cancer Center
Bonnie Sacks RN, BSN, MAS
Manager, Inpatient Pediatrics and Child Life Department
Saint Barnabas Medical Center
Leslie Wright-Brown, MS, RN
Manager, Department of Nursing Education and Research
Saint Barnabas Medical Center
"As a mother of two children with autism, it is an extremely stressful situation when they need medical care.  Our boys have specific needs and I cannot begin to say how pleased we are with the SNAP program. It is an absolute Godsend.  We can finally not stress about the care our boys will receive in a medical situation" Another mother shared, "The care my son has received has been excellent. The staff has been well trained in dealing with special needs, and I am looking forward to spreading the word about this long overdue incredible program.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!"
Research, but more importantly parents of patients with special needs have highlighted the barriers encountered when accessing comprehensive medical care.  While they cannot be identified by their physical appearance, deficits in language and communication, social skills and behaviors often lead to a lack of or delays in receiving medical care.  Barnabas Health began focusing on care delivery to these special needs families through their involvement with the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games.  Through research and discussion with families, it was discovered that many families avoided or delayed accessing health care services because visits were extremely traumatic for their children.  
In order to address this disparity, in 2014 Saint Barnabas Medical Center (SBMC) in Livingston, NJ launched an innovative program called the Special Needs Ambassador Program (SNAP).  SNAP was created to raise awareness and assist individuals with special needs and their families navigate through the hospital in order to enhance the patient and caregiver experience. The program is the first of its kind to utilize hospital employees with and without a clinical background to act as "ambassadors."  Special training empowers these individuals to remove barriers to care, and to act as the liaison between the families and the clinical team.


The Arc of New Jersey's 27th Annual Conference on Medical Care for People with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities - June 3, 2016 -

On June 3, The Arc of New Jersey's Mainstreaming Medical Care Program hosted its 27th Annual Conference at the Westin Princeton Hotel. In attendance were more than 350 health care professionals; staff from agencies providing services for individuals with developmental disabilities; family members; staff from the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD); and representatives from Medicaid managed care organizations.

The day-long conference began with opening remarks from The Arc of New Jersey President, Robert Hage; Executive Director, Thomas Baffuto; Chair of the Mainstreaming Medical Care Advisory Board, Leone Murphy; and Director of the Mainstreaming Medical Care Program, Beverly Roberts.  

Beth Connolly, Acting Commissioner of NJ's Department of Human Services, started the morning Plenary Session, emphasizing the significance of The Arc of New Jersey's work, year after year, helping families and staff understand how to access health care services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Our morning keynote speaker,  Dr. Rick Rader, captivated the audience with an engaging 
and thought-provoking presentation regarding the development of developmental medicine.  
Dr. Rader emphasized the necessity of preparing physicians on how to care for and about patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Dr. Rader's keynote presentation was followed by informative updates from Meghan Davey, Director of the NJ Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, and Elizabeth Shea, Assistant Commissioner, NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities.

Our afternoon keynote speakers,  Dr. John Bonamo, Patricia Miller and Bonnie Sacks,  
discussed the innovative Special Needs Ambassador Program (SNAP) at Saint Barnabas Medical Center.  SNAP was created to help individuals with special needs and their families navigate throughout the hospital, promoting a better experience during their inpatient or outpatient treatment at Saint Barnabas Medical Center.  The presentation incorporated role-plays to demonstrate the effectiveness of SNAP in caring for a "patient" with autism.   See the separate article on this exciting new program in this newsletter.

Workshops were held throughout the day focusing on a variety of highly-informative medical, dental, behavioral, and health policy issues that are important to the developmental disability community.

Speakers at the Morning Plenary Session
Left to Right:   Leone Murphy,   APN, Chair, Mainstreaming Medical Care Advisory Board;
Thomas Baffuto , Executive Director, The Arc of New Jersey;  Beverly Roberts , Director, The Arc of New Jersey's Mainstreaming Medical Care Program;  Elizabeth Connolly , Acting Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Human Services;  Robert Hage,  President, The Arc of New Jersey.
 Speakers at the Morning Plenary Session

Left to Right: Beverly Roberts , Director, The Arc of New Jersey's Mainstreaming Medical Care Program; Dr. Rick Rader , Director, Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center at the Orange Grove Center in Chattanooga; Elizabeth M. Shea , Assistant Commissioner, NJ Department of Human Services, DDD; Leone Murphy , APN, Chair, Mainstreaming Medical Care Advisory Board; Meghan M. Davey, Director, NJ Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services; Thomas Baffuto, Executive Director, The Arc of New Jersey.

Afternoon Keynote Speakers on the  Saint Barnabas  Medical Center's  Special Needs Ambassador Program (SNAP)

Left to Right:  Patrick Ahearn , Chief Operating Officer, Saint Barnabas Medical Center;  
Melissa Santiago , Music Therapist/Child Life Specialist, Saint Barnabas Medical 
Center;   Danielle Martello , Certified Child Life Specialist, Saint Barnabas Medical 
Center, B everly Roberts , Director, The Arc of New Jersey's Mainstreaming Medical 
Care Program;  Dipanki Parekh , Human Resource Information System Manager, Saint 
Barnabas Medical Center;  Patricia Miller , Operations Director at the Cancer Center, 
Saint Barnabas Medical Center;  Bonnie Sacks , Pediatric Nurse Manager/Child Life 
Manager, Saint Barnabas Medical Center;   John F. Bonamo, M.D., FACOG , Chief 
Medical Officer, RWJBarnabas Health; Thomas Baffuto, Executive Director, The Arc of New Jersey.

The Arc of New Jersey Family Institute

The Arc of New Jersey Family Institute provides a wide array of helpful services for families of individuals of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including webinars, workshops, trainings, podcasts, and fact sheets.  Click here for further information.

Each month more than 225 families and professionals contact The Arc of N ew Jersey Family Institute lo oking for information and assistance. Our  dedicated staff make sure that they understand the system and get the help t hey  need.

If Social Security Denies an Application for SSI, 
there is an Online Appeals Process

The Arc of Ne w Jersey and the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) encourage the parents of all ado lescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) -- if they hope to
have DDD services when they are 21-years-old -- to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 
when their chi ld is 18.  

Occasionally, an SSI application is denied  and  if 
that happens, parents are encouraged  to file  an appeal with the Social Security Administration (SSA).   We want families to know that the SSA has an online appeals  process, which is more  convenient than having to take time off from work to file an appeal  in-person.  Please see below for more information.   

The  online appeals application is simple, convenient, and secure, guiding you through every step of the process. From outlining your rights to an appeal, to publications on the appeals
process, a fair review of your Social Security case is right at your fingertips. The online appeals application e
ven allows you to upload supporting documentation, like treatments,
doctors, and medical reports, as well as an option to save your submissions.

Important Information for Anyone Receiving SSI and Planning a Vacation Outside of the United States

Ineligibility Due to Absence from the United States/Developing Presence

During the summer season, many families choose to visit other countries for
a fun-filled vacation or to spend time abroad. While vacation is often thought o f as a much needed break from everyday life, there are certain things you should be aware of if a family member is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and plans to leave the United States for 30 consecutive days or mo re.
An individual is not eligible for SSI benefits for any month during all of which he/she is outside the United States.

For SSI purposes, an individual who was outside the U.S. for 30 consecutive days is not considered in the U.S. until he/she is in the U.S. for 30 consecutive days upon returning.

NOTE : There are exceptions for certain blind or disabled children of military parents stationed overseas and students who are temporarily abroad for study purposes. See POMS instructions in  SI 00501.415  ff. for blind or disabled children of military parents stationed overseas and  SI 00501.411  ff. for students temporarily abroad.


New Jersey Partners in Policymaking 
Now Accepting Applications 

Deadline:  September 9, 2016

The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities was awarded funding from the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities to coordinate New Jersey Partners in Policymaking.
New Jersey Partners in Policymaking is an 8-month leadership development and advocacy education program for adults with developmental disabilities and family members. The goal of program is to prepare the next generation of disability advocates to work toward meaningful change in our state.
Participants selected for the program will learn about best practices and important areas for advocacy from nationally-known experts through a series of educational leadership development sessions held one weekend per month, beginning in November of this year and ending next June.

The Boggs Center is now accepting  applications  from people with developmental  disabilities and family members interested in participating. 

Visit the  New Jersey Partners in Policymaking  page on The Boggs Center's website to learn more about the program and how to apply.
Applications must be received by  September 9, 2016, and applicants will be notified of acceptance by  September 30.

Healthy Times 
is a publication of Mainstreaming Medical Care, a program of 
The Arc of New Jersey funded by the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities. 
To view or print copies of current and past issues, please visit us on the internet at:

Thomas Baffuto
Executive Director, The Arc of New Jersey
Robert Hage
President, The Arc of New Jersey
Beverly Roberts
Director, Mainstreaming Medical Care; Editor
Jennifer Lynch
Administrative Assistant, Mainstreaming Medical Care; Graphic Designer

Mainstreaming Medical Care Advisory Board Members:
Steven Cook; Barbara Coppens; Kristen Creed; Lucille Esralew, Ph.D.;
Theodor Feigelman, M.D.; Carly Heaton, DO; Theodore Kastner, M.D., MS; 
Seth Keller, M.D.;  Robert Like, M.D., MS; Pauline Lisciotto, RN; David Mayerhoff, M.D.; 
Leone Murphy, RN, MS, CS, Chair; John Nevins, DO;  Emily Ott, RN, BSN; Stephanie Pratico; 
Andrea Quinn, Psy.D.; Margaret Springer, RN, MSN, APN;  Deborah Spitalnik, Ph.D.; 
Evan Spivack, DDS; Kevin Walsh, Ph.D.; Kellie Woodruff; Leah Ziskin, M.D.

Healthy Times newsletter is intended for informational purposes only, and does not  provide or claim to provide advice regarding diagnosis or treatment for any individual case.