To Whom It May Concern:
The removal of the consumer-direct option is not a good idea. I can't speak for all households; but for mine, it provides safety, convenience, and helps with the expenses of our son's appointments, travel, medications. Our son is non-verbal autistic, ADHD, and epileptic. He also has other medical challenges such as sleep apnea, irregular heartbeat, gastro stomach issues, PICA, sensory and vitamin D deficiencies. A majority of his medical appointments such as his cardiologist, endocrinologist, and neurological doctors are in Richmond at VCU Children's pavilion. We live in Stafford. He has to see all three of the doctor's listed above every 3-months and these appointments aren't always on the same day. Any kind of sickness, whether it is seasonal allergies, COVID or a cold can trigger a seizure. He's had petit mal and grand mal seizures on numerous occasions. At one point, we were at the ER consistently for 3-months (Jan, Feb, and Mar) and each time he was either medevaced by a helicopter or transported by ambulance to VCU. I'm saying all of this because there's a cost associated with this that isn't always covered by Medicaid and insurance. Having me listed as an in-home caregiver is convenient and helps with expenses. We don't have to do any background checks; we don't have to worry about call-outs and the inability to stay overnight because that's something to consider since his seizures are unpredictable. I assist my son with his personal needs as well, such as assisting him with using the restroom, showering, and grooming.
This consumer-direct provision was put in place during a worldwide pandemic. It has been beneficial to offset the costs having me as an in-home caregiver rather than paying others that may not be able to provide the type of support needed. My family and I recommend keeping this as an option for families who find it suitable to have a parent or someone that reside in the home to be the caregiver. We're asking that you please consider this request.