As we reported last week, we are concerned about the proposed MassHealth reductions in Personal Care Attendant services(PCA) and Adult family/foster care (AFC). These changes require legislative approval: increasing eligibility requirements for the PCA and AFC programs; and, cutting alternative caregiver and hospital days for the AFC program. The latter will have more of an impact upon those who are placed with non-family shared living providers who use alternative days (14 per year) to take vacations and a break from their caregiving duties. The eligibility changes heighten the bar for those with disabilities to enter either program. PCA and AFC services are significant today for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities as we advocate for self-direction and community inclusion. With the closure of facilities (for which we also advocate), these programs have become an effective part of our disability safety net.
A joint letter has been sent to Governor Baker, HHS Secretary Sudders, A & F Sect. Lepoore and legislative leadership. The Arc was an early signer to the joint letter- we include it as a pdf with this posting. We heard encouraging news from the office of Ways and Means Senate Chair Spilka today and look forward to a formal announcement. We also appreciate the transparency and approach of the Baker administration and Secretary Sudders. As we reported previously a fair number of the disability agency cuts proposed have been offset by trust funds and other one-time strategies which avoid harm to service recipients. Further unexpected federal revenue received by DDS was allowed to be used to offset service reductions.