Friday, October 9, 2015

Home Care Rule to go into effect

New wage protections for home care workers will go into effect soon and will have an impact on consumer-directed programs. In Michigan, this is known as Self-Determination, an option that must be made available to recipients of Medicaid-funded services through the Community Mental Health system. (Other more traditional service options must also be available.) Self-determination allows consumers flexibility in hiring their own direct care workers. Similar programs are offered in other states.

National disability rights organizations have put together a fact sheet describing the rule and exemptions from it. It will most likely affect consumer-directed programs, which allow the person receiving services to hire his/her own worker (oftentimes family members or close friends) and direct the care the worker provides, and shared living programs where the consumer and provider live together.

Action Steps recommended to prevent cuts in services:

    •    Make sure your state is aware of and preparing now for the new home care rule to take effect.
    •    Push your state to analyze which programs the rule affects and what the budget impact will be for these programs.
    •    Advocate for additional funding in impacted programs.
    •    Make sure your state does not comply with the rule in ways that cause harm to consumers and workers.
    •    Ensure that your state uses Medicaid to help with additional costs but without impacting individuals access to services.
    •    Do not allow your state to abandon consumer-directed programs.
    •    Make sure your state educates individual consumers about the rule even if the state is not a “joint employer” in the program.

For more information, see the Fact Sheet and Action Steps.There are a wide array of consumer-directed programs. These documents provide details on which are affected by the new rule and which are not. See also The DD News Blog.

No comments: