This is the time. Years of minimal rate increases have resulted in chronic vacancies in direct care positions in our disability sector. Nationally, before COVID-19, turnover rates were higher than 40%. But add the Commonwealth’s red hot real estate market to the mix, and you can imagine the crisis many families, individuals, and agencies face.
Massachusetts is facing a workforce shortage crisis for direct support workers, which has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis affects staff support for families and individuals with intellectual & developmental disabilities (I/DD) and autism in home, day, employment and residential settings.
As The Arc of Massachusetts continues our commitment to promoting and ensuring equity in healthcare, we’re thrilled to announce that Maura Sullivan, our Director of Government Affairs and Operation House Call, is participating as part of the faculty panel for the National Health Equity Summit happening this week (6/7-6/10).
Last week, the Massachusetts State Senate completed its blueprint of the budget. Funding in both the House and Senate include The Arc’s priorities. Increases in Day, Employment, and Family Support are in both branches. Other line items such as Residential and Autism Omnibus appear to have adequate funding.
We heard this morning that states could request a 30-day extension to submit plans on the use of the additional Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) monies. This afternoon, The Arc had a meeting with state leaders and a CMS representative (Federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) to further review the billions states will receive (approximately $400 million for our state).