Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Medical Assistance Services
Board of Medical Assistance Services
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3/19/23  1:14 pm
Commenter: Parent of a disabled child

Virginia Medicaid should not take away choice of care from disabled families - this is harrassment.

Caregiving benefits should STAY consumer-directed: the disabled population should continue to receive care by their loved ones without a third-party agency.  They should NOT move to an agency-directed model as this will cause several adverse ramifications for the disabled persons and their families.  This may lead to an increase in institutionalization of the disabled ones due to the incredibly stressful and inconsistent caregiving model of agencies. 

There are several reasons why Virginia Medicaid should continue to let family members / parents be the caregivers for their disabled loved ones:

  1. Improved quality of care: Family members are often the most knowledgeable and caring advocates for their disabled loved ones. Allowing family members to serve as caregivers can improve the quality of care provided, as they have a deep understanding of their loved one's needs and preferences.

  2. Cost savings: Allowing family members to serve as caregivers can be more cost-effective than hiring an outside caregiver.  This will reduce the overhead cost that the agencies bring and can help reduce the financial burden on both the state and the family.

  3. Increased independence: Many disabled individuals prefer to be cared for by their family members, as it allows them to remain in their homes and maintain their independence. Allowing family members to serve as caregivers can help support this preference.

  4. Consistency of care: Family members are often able to provide consistent care, as they are dedicated to their loved one and have a long-term commitment to their care. This can help improve health outcomes and reduce the likelihood of hospitalization or other medical issues.

  5. Respect for family values: Allowing family members to serve as caregivers recognizes the importance of family values and the role that family members play in the lives of disabled individuals. It can also help strengthen family bonds and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment for family members who are caring for their loved ones.

In addition, having to do the additional ongoing paperwork does NOT service special-needs families for a myriad of reasons:

  1. Time constraints: Families of special needs or disabled individuals often have limited time due to their caregiving responsibilities. Additional paperwork and training can be time-consuming and take away from the time that they can spend caring for their loved ones.

  2. Financial constraints: Many families of special needs or disabled individuals face financial challenges due to the high cost of medical and therapeutic services. Additional paperwork and training may require additional costs, such as transportation to training sites or fees for training materials, which can be a financial burden for these families.

  3. Communication barriers: Individuals with disabilities may have difficulty communicating their needs, and their families may face challenges in understanding and completing paperwork or participating in training sessions. This can create additional stress and anxiety for families already struggling to care for their loved ones.

  4. Lack of support: Many families of special needs or disabled individuals feel isolated and lack access to support networks. Additional paperwork and training can exacerbate this feeling of isolation and make it more difficult for them to navigate the complex healthcare system.

  5. Emotional burden: Caring for a special needs or disabled loved one can be emotionally taxing, and additional paperwork and training can add to this burden. Families may feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or stressed by the additional requirements, which can negatively impact their mental health and well-being.



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