Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Medical Assistance Services
Board of Medical Assistance Services
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3/28/23  9:46 pm
Commenter: Steven Shepski

Making Consumer-directed option for parents to care for their family member as a paid PCA Permanent
Our program facilitators informed us that on Nov 10, 2023 the grace period following the end of the public health emergency (PHE) and many Virginians will lose the option to have a parent act as a consumer-directed paid Personal Care Attendant (PCA). Please make parents as paid PCAs under the consumer-directed services in Virginia permanent! Putting this option in place has been a savior for our family. Over the years finding a long-term, reliable, responsible PCA through an agency and through consumer-directed has been nearly impossible. This is an undue stress that can be completely avoided. Having to find someone, deal with them not showing, arriving late, not handling our disabled child to our standards, especially when our child is unable to communicate her needs, is harmful to the already stressful circumstance of having to care for our adult child for the rest of her life. As parents, we happily do this, but ask that we be able to do it personally because hiring an outsider is not always practical.  These days and even prior to COVID, no one was and is willing to work for the going rates and we can't just hire anyone off the street to care for our daughter. When is it ever a better choice to have a stranger take care of your family member than their own family? This option is safer, healthier, and more beneficial for children and helps our family financially. Every little bit helps. To have a parent become part of an agency who will take a significant portion of the hourly rate, it just adds more red tape, stress and a waste of money that should be going to our family who works together to serve our disabled family member the best we can. Please lift this unnecessary burden and allow parents to continue to care for their children through the consumer-directed option. 
I retired from the navy after 30 years and didn’t go back into the work force, instead I stayed home. At that time it was a matter of necessity, not choice. Going out and seeking employment outside of the home would have been the best finical move I could have made, but being able to have a reliable PCA for my daughter was a greater priority.  My wife and I are so thankful that I am able to act as her PCA and as a family we would be so grateful to be able to continue. To take away this option and force families like ours to search for an outside provider, that in the past has been unreliable and are not willing to work at the going rate will be a detriment to families across Virginia that are currently using this option. Please help us provide our child with the care she deserves. Thank you for your consideration.
Best regards,
Steven Shepski
CommentID: 214623