Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Act Now: Healthcare Equity Is Long Overdue for the Autism/IDD Community! Let’s Raise The Alarm and Demand H172 Hospital Training Finally Get Passed! - The Arc of Massachusetts Skip to main content

Massachusetts is home to exceptional medical care, but it is not accessible equitably for people with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Join us in advocating to create a hospital training program that will improve autism and IDD health care equity, as it is currently at a crisis level. We have very little time to demand action from our representatives to pass House Bill 172 in the 193rd legislative session.

House Bill 172, “An Act to enhance hospital care for those with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities,” seeks to end healthcare inequalities caused by most medical providers not receiving proper education in treating and caring for patients with autism and IDD.

These patients continue to be categorized because of their disability and suffer poor healthcare encounters, including seclusion, restraint, accidents, and injury. Many of the dire medical consequences suffered by disabled patients are considered preventable with proper medical provider training.

This bill will enhance hospital care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism through training, standards of care, and certification requirements.

Here are some important statements to include in your action alert to the HW&M committee:

  • People with IDD experience poorer health outcomes, lower life expectancy, and higher mortality rates than the general population. Outcomes are worse for those with intersecting marginalized identities.
  • Premature deaths of people with IDD are primarily due to structural barriers in receiving timely diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and quality care.
  • People with autism die an average of 36 years younger than the general population, often due to unaddressed medical and mental health conditions.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 kids with autism have gone without a needed medical or mental health service.
  • Many medical providers have never received proper education in treating and caring for patients with IDD and autism.
    • In a recent study, only 40% of physicians felt confident that they could provide the same quality of care to patients with disabilities that they provide to others.
    • In another study, most healthcare providers reported having “poor or fair” knowledge and skills in providing care to adults with autism.

This bill will also establish an advisory committee tasked with developing recommendations for statewide standards regarding diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients with IDD and autism.

The primary sponsors of H172 are Representative Sean Garballey, Representative Ryan Hamilton, and Senator Jason Lewis.

Before time runs out on the 193rd legislative session, let’s demand proper hospital training becomes a reality!

Take Action Here

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