What is Happening with the New Budget Tool

What is happening with the new budget tool?

(Read this info on the web.)

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Last month, we had a court hearing about the SIS-A (the “Supports Intensity Scale – Adult”). The SIS-A is a new assessment that Idaho Medicaid wanted to use. Idaho Medicaid wanted to replace the SIB-R and Inventory of Individual Needs with the SIS-A.

At the court hearing, Idaho Medicaid argued that adults with developmental disabilities and their families and advocates should not be allowed to see the SIS-A manual. The manual that explains how the SIS-A assessment works. We argued that adults with developmental disabilities have constitutional
rights to understand how the SIS-A works and access the SIS-A manual.

On April 27, Medicaid told the judge not to make a decision. Medicaid said that the SIS-A will not be available in Idaho. The people who sell the SIS-A also do not want adults with developmental disabilities or their families and advocates to see the manual. The SIS-A people say they will not work with Idaho if people with developmental disabilities are able to fully understand how the SIS-A works. What happens now?

Idaho Medicaid agreed to launch a new, fair budget tool by 2020. It did not meet that deadline. So the Court ordered it to launch the new tool by June 2022. It did not meet that deadline either. Idaho Medicaid has violated the K.W. v. Armstrong settlement agreement and the Court’s order. The Court
may have to decide what to do about Medicaid’s violations. We will share updates here as we learn more.

Why is the SIS-A manual so important?

The new budget tool was built around the SIS-A. For most people, your SIS-A score would set your budget. A change by just one point on the SIS-A could change your budget by thousands of dollars. The SIS-A manual is the only place you can learn all about how the SIS-A assessment works. The manual tells assessors what to do and what not to do. The manual is also the only place to find the tables for figuring out your score. And the manual has statistics about how much higher your score could be. The SIS-A people don’t want you to know that information. Idaho Medicaid asked the court to ban you from getting that information.

How did the SIS-A get picked if it had this problem?

We don’t know. Idaho Medicaid tried before to hide how the budget tool worked. It also fought in court to keep adults with developmental disabilities from seeing their SIB-R booklets. The court ruled against them both times.

After that, Medicaid asked Idaho advocates what was important in a new assessment tool. We told them that transparency—being able to understand all about how the assessment works—was so important that it ranked a “10” on a scale of 1 to 5. We told them lack of transparency was a “deal breaker.” Idaho Medicaid should have made sure that the SIS-A was transparent. We first learned in 2021 that the SIS-A people wanted to keep parts of it secret. We kept telling Idaho Medicaid how important this was, but nothing changed.

How can I learn more?

We will hold a meeting for adults with developmental disabilities and their families on May 30, 2023, at 6:30 pm MT / 5:30 pm PT. The meeting will be online, by Zoom. You can register here. And if you have questions, just contact us.

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Notice to Any and All Parents/Guardians of State Hospital West Patients

Click here to download a PDF version of this notice.

This notice is to inform you that DisAbility Rights Idaho (DRI) is planning to visit State Hospital West in July of 2023. The purpose of our visit to your facility is to conduct a monitor which includes visiting the facility, speaking with residents and staff, and observing the general atmosphere and environment of the facility to monitor for compliance regarding safety and clients’ rights.

DRI is Idaho’s Protection and Advocacy System (P&A). Each state’s P & A is part of a federally mandated system with the authority and obligation to protect and advocate for the human and legal rights of individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness and/or other disabilities. Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (PADD), 42 U.S.C. § 15001, et seq.; Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (PAIMI), 42 U.S.C. §10801; and, Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights (PAIR), 20 U.S.C. §794e. Since our establishment in 1977, we have visited facilities and service providers across the state to monitor the rights and safety of individuals with disabilities.

Under Federal law, the P&A system and all authorized agents of the P&A system must have reasonable unaccompanied access to facilities which may house or render care to individuals with disabilities, including all areas which are used by residents, accessible to residents, and to programs
and their residents at reasonable times – which, at a minimum, shall include normal working and visiting hours. 42 C.F.R. §51.42(c); 45 C.F.R. §1326.27. Such residents that the P&A is to have access to during a monitor include adults and minors who have legal guardians or conservators. 42 C.F.R. §51.42(e); 45 C.F.R. §1326.27(c)(1). DRI also has authority to educate
individuals with disabilities about their rights and available P&A services. 42 C.F.R. §51.42(c)(1); 45 C.F.R. §1326.27(c)(2)(i). Thus, as part of our monitoring, DRI intends to present on and provide materials to educate individuals regarding their rights, services available from DRI, and other
appropriate referrals.

Once we confirm the dates for our visit, we will post a notification on our website ( If you have any questions or concerns regarding DRI’s monitoring activities or would like to speak with DRI staff regarding your child’s care and treatment at this facility, please contact a member of our Youth Unit at (208) 336-5353.

Click here to download a PDF version of this notice.

Idaho Gives May 1-4, 2023

Have you dreamed of making history? Of course, we all have. And now we have a chance to be a part of your community’s day of giving – an opportunity to unite our community around causes in which we truly believe and help nonprofit organizations connect to the larger community.

We need your help! Please join our campaign and help us reach our goal of $20,000.

We need you to tell your friends and family members about the important work we do and ask them to join us in helping to make a difference.

Get ready to give! On May 1st – 4th, visit and make a donation to DisAbility Rights Idaho and/or to any of the great participating nonprofit organizations in your community. All giving will end at 11:59PM on May 4th, so make sure to get your gift in on time!

Questions? If you have any questions or would like more information, let us know. 208- 336-5353. Thank you in advance for your generosity to our organization!


National Human Trafficking Awareness Day Jan. 11th, 2023

Join the Idaho Anti-Trafficking Coalition (IATC) and other community members at the Idaho State Capitol Building, 2nd floor Rotunda, from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. We will be sharing resources and information, and a proclamation has been submitted to Governor Little’s office to confirm Idaho’s support of this national awareness day (signing time to be determined).

In the evening, the Idaho Anti-Trafficking Coalition will be hosting a Social Event starting at 6:00 pm at the Linen Building. All proceeds will directly benefit our work; 1) Education, Awareness, and Advocacy, 2) 24/7 Crisis Hotline, and 3) Direct Victim Assistance.

Tickets for the Social Event are available for $35 each. There will be food, drinks, music, raffles, and a silent auction. You can register at 


Proclamation Signing

Social Event 5x7 portrait



November 12, 12–3:00 p.m. | FREE | All Ages
Tomlinson South Meridian YMCA

Welcome to THRIVE! Please join us for a Resource Fair and a chance to explore the THRIVE Center. Staff will be on-site to tour the facility and discuss THRIVE programs/activities. Community providers will have booths providing information. This is agreat time to check out the facility for FREEto both non-members and members and learn about the many perks in the Treasure Valley. All ages and abilities are welcome! Please register each individual in attendance.

All individuals 18+ must bring a government-issued photo ID for entry.

For more information, please contact Andrea Parker at for questions.


Click here to download a PDF version of this information.

Parents Opportunity to Impact Policy


Idaho Voices for Children is conducting research into Idaho’s Behavioral Health System, and they want to hear directly from families that have experience interacting with this system. With wait times of up to one year to see a children’s behavioral health specialist, service backlogs, and provider shortages, families across the state are facing multiple barriers when trying to seek the care that their children need.


Your valuable input and experience can help us solve this challenge.


We are conducting focus group sessions with parents who’s children frequently interact with the behavioral health system to ask parents about barriers to accessing care, challenges with being connected to specialists or receiving specialized treatment, and what they think would improve the system. Your answers will provide crucial input that will help us produce policy recommendations to propose to the Idaho legislature, in hope of reducing behavioral health waitlists and increasing access to care for children. We are also offering $50 Amazon gift cards in exchange for providing us with your input and suggestions; the session will last 90 minutes and your answers will remain anonymous. 


For more information or questions about participation, contact Health Policy Research Associate Logan Dennis at

Click Here to Participate

Proposed Work Goals and Priorities for Fiscal Year 2023

DisAbility Rights Idaho Needs Your Help!

Please see the below link labeled “DRI FY2023 SGP Handout” to DisAbility Rights Idaho’s (DRI) proposed work goals and priorities for fiscal year 2023 to begin on October 1, 2022.  As these are proposed work priorities, we are looking to you for an opinion on whether we have captured the issues currently affecting Idahoans with disabilities. To provide your comment, please click the below link labeled “Survey”. The link will take you to a Google form which has 6 questions. If you would like a hard copy of this survey, please call our office at (208) 336-5353, and a survey will be mailed to you. We appreciate your time and effort to help us achieve our mission.  Thank you!

DRI FY2023 SGP Handout