Improving the Lives of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

During Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Beacon Health Options (Beacon) wants to take time out to explore how the ideal care model can help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) live their lives to the fullest. 

What are those factors that will “move the needle” to create more meaningful care that meets individuals where they are?

  • Provide access to comprehensive and integrated services that focus on education, employment and community inclusion to support independence  
  • Address the basic social determinants of health so individuals with I/DD may pursue activities that add value to their lives
  • Provide in-home support services to help families and caregivers better meet the demands of caring for an individual with I/DD so that individual can remain in the home and community
  • Improve lives and reduce cost by promoting the shift from residential and inpatient care into the better, more responsive care of community settings

Delivering long-term value

Historically, care models have not recognized the unique needs of individuals with I/DD when applying reactive, single episode care. Beacon recognizes that individuals, caregivers and systems can achieve their long-term goals by delivering services that engage people in consistent and coordinated ways. These long-term services and supports generally focus less on managing overuse of acute and routine services and invest more in overall care delivery that’s local and community-based.  

Beacon, with expertise in managing benefits for high-needs populations, advocates for this important change. We call upon all members of the care model to continue evolving the system to promote community inclusion and personal independence and fulfillment for the more than 6.5 million individuals with I/DD in the United States and their families.