Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Medical Assistance Services
Board of Medical Assistance Services
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3/23/23  2:05 pm
Commenter: Dee Green (Parent/Caregiver)

Don't remove the spousal and/or parent provisions for Consumer-Direct services

To who it may concern:

I don't know why it seems to be an ongoing thing for politics to disrupt processes that are going just fine. The removal of consumer direct services for in-home parents of minors and spouses is frustrating and annoying. Why not make it an option for parents and/or spouses to choose rather than taking it away. The freedom of choice still exists and needs to be available for everyone. These are our children and spouses that are being cared for at home. It goes beyond just a licensed person coming in to collect a check. We are (as parents and spouses) the on-call, 24-7 cooks, attendants, nurses, etc.

Why create chaos and burden to these agencies by saying if a spouse or parent want to be the caregiver (if this goes through) they must be an employee of an agency. Has anyone considered any of the following as a possibility if consumer-direct services is removed:

  • What if the agency doesn't hire the parent/spouse? Is my loved one suppose to just be “without” services until someone is aligned and trained to care for them when there is a parent/spouse already capable and available to do the work.
  • What if the agency doesn’t have enough staff to cover the influx of new clients/families that are now needing services? Especially if there are more than one needing services.
  • What happens when my nurse isn’t available when I need them (i.e. vacations, sickness, etc.)?
  • What if the agency doesn’t have someone trained/available that can handle our disability/needs?
  • What if the parent/spouse has another job (either in home or outside of the home) and is unable to do a 2nd documented job such as the agency?
  • What if the agency has rules that won't allow the parent/spouse to just be a caregiver/attendant to their child...which means they have to also care for other kids or adults that are agency-led?
  • If (by chance) there another pandemic or COVID regenerates, would you return to consumer-direct services? There would be no need if you just keep it in place as an option for families to choose.

This change is unnecessary and will cause more issues rather than benefits. If the process thus far isn't broken, then why try to modify it. To my knowledge, this provision was put in place during COVID. This is when my child was approved for Medicaid and we opted for consumer-direct services; primarily because we wanted to refrain from having someone come in and out of our home daily and not know what their health status was. My son requires care 24/7 and we don’t want someone constantly in and out of our home like that. Not to mention, that caregiver won’t be around for overnight hours or vacations; but as a parent, I am always available.

It has been a pleasure for us and it's definitely been convenient. All I’m saying is remove the blinders of bureaucracy and return back to common sense, normalcy and respect for community/personal options or decisions. These are our loved ones whether they are minor children or our spouses. We know them and we know what’s best for them. Please vote AGAINST the removal of consumer-direct services and allow families to continue to care for one another in their personal spaces.

CommentID: 213298