As this issue of Notes arrives, you will learn of more changes in Day Habilitation (Day Hab) services. One change for which we contacted MassHealth immediately is the definition of developmental disability. The new language would narrow access and replicates the language at the Department of Developmental Services. This was a surprise to us.
After conversations with MassHealth, we feel they understand that this program has been open to persons with developmental disabilities and eligibility should NOT be narrowed. They may be willing to change the regulation to add the federal definition of developmental disabilities – which would be a positive outcome.
The Arc still plans to submit comments regarding this proposal as should anyone concerned about disabilities and availability of supports. The Arc will get some of its feedback to MassHealth over zoom tomorrow through Senior Director Maura Sullivan. But we’ll provide our full comments in writing by August 25.
We encourage our constituents to check out the hearing site – you can do so here. scroll down until you see the Day Hab regulations.
Earlier this year, rate increases in Day Hab addressed the low funding relative to other day supports such as community-based day services (CBDS). This increase should improve quality and staffing in these programs. We still have a ways to go regarding the workforce. Last fall, The Arc revised a bill for our field regarding workforce and rates, based on ADDP input. We hope to have that additional policy tool as we work together to advance supports and services.
The Arc’s team has to be ready to respond effectively and work with partners. We have to always be vigilant and have the capacity to respond whether it’s law, budget, regulations or policies. Please be there with us and help us be ready.