Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Medical Assistance Services
Board of Medical Assistance Services
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3/20/23  12:48 pm
Commenter: George N Rathbone

Loss of self-directed options for parents in the Waiver

As a behavioral professional working in the developmental disabilities field in Virginia for many years, this seems like a most tragic turnback in community services, not only from an ethical and human point of view, but from the taxpayer's as well. Taxpayer dollars that were going to support Virginia families and individuals will now first be filtered through the administrative layers of multiple state and provider agencies. Not much will be left for those who actually need the support, and fewer will be served. The impact of those dollars being diverted will literally destroy some of the families and individuals this funding is intended to support. The proposed change is entirely government-centric rather than person-centered, and as such it violates DBHDS' and Human Rights mandates. Government institutions will once again fully control the lives and decisions of Virginia's disabled community, and they have no business doing so. It constitutes a reversal of the one area of the system (Self-Directed Services) that allows for community support without the stigmatizing taint of governmental micromanagement.

In addition, the taxpayers would be paying huge sums of money on legal fees to defend this policy change, as they watch the state repeatedly lose in court, because many families and individuals will be tangibly and significantly harmed by the change in more ways than one. Please believe me, I've been in court many times.  The proposed change would be a very bad policy, and it would be impossible to defend it in court. Self-Direction is the only path towards true community services, institutionally micromanaged Waiver providers cannot fill this gap.

Virginia needs to be supporting and empowering families in our disabled community, not undermining their ability to care for their dependents. Please, for the sake of all, do not move in this institutional direction with ID/DD services, it will do serious harm and no good at all is likely to come of it. 

CommentID: 212625