The Columbus Organization Makes Statement on Support Coordination in Florida

As one of the largest providers of support coordination services in Florida, The
Columbus Organization (“Columbus”) has been closely following the progress of
SB 82 proposed by Senator Bean. We believe this bill has served as a good first
step in initiating dialogue with the shared goal of improving the quality and
breadth of support coordination services to the Florida I/DD community.

Columbus joined the Florida support coordination community in 2018 and has
continued to expand through partnership with support coordination agencies
and owners who share our values and principals around the highest quality
support coordination services and working as an advocate for the individuals
and families, and stewards of the State. Each of these partnerships include
organizations scoring in the highest ranges for their quality reviews. Columbus
has worked tirelessly to ensure continuity, with greater than 95% of individuals
retaining their support coordinator and the relationship they developed prior to
Columbus. Columbus values our employees, providing salary, benefits and all
the tools they need to perform the service, creating a stable environment and
allowing them the peace of mind to provide the best service to our clients. We
are CARF and QIO accredited, having passed external benchmarks for our
service and quality processes.

As a larger agency, Columbus can provide a substantial support system to the
individuals to whom we provide services. Not only does one have their own
individual chosen support coordinator, the individual receives the support of
team members who are part of the overall service delivery. Individuals have
access to the support coordinator, supervisors and Columbus directors. This
family of service providers provides extended options and choice for our clients
and their families to ensure the best partnership between the individual and the
support coordinator.

Along with direct service delivery, Columbus fosters partnerships and joint
relationships with other community providers and organizations including the
school systems, provider networks and other state agencies that can offer
resources. Columbus can provide community education workshops for families
and individuals and ongoing staff trainings to improve the quality of the supports
and services.

While current Senate Bill 82 proposes some changes in limitations of services we
continue to monitor and gain feedback on how that will affect the individuals
we support and have been actively engaged to understand the perspectives of
all stakeholders.

Changes to Support Coordination are in the proposal. The role of the support
coordinator in supporting an individual is not necessarily going to change but
the structure of the service delivery system may change. While details and
processes have not yet been described or developed, Senator Bean has
indicated the intent to work on options that allow current support coordinators
to continue to work with individuals they support. In any situation, Columbus is
an advocate for the individual relationships between individuals and support
coordinators and believes in the importance of continuity without compromising
the quality or service each individual receives.

Columbus has an open door to individual support coordinators or agencies who
share our vision, commitment and passion for the Florida I/DD community. For
more information, please contact us at 1-800-229-5116, visit our website, or
reach out to one of our Florida associates, they’ll be happy to share their
Columbus experience.

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