1) Reducing day habilitation services by 5 hours per week, per recipient
2)Rolling back day habilitation rates to pre-February 2008 rates
3)Reducing Adult Dental Care, eliminating restorative care; allowing only emergency, preventative and x-rays
This cut is ridiculous. If people can't get dentures paid for Mass Health, how will they eat solid foods? Elders and persons with severe disabilities are in danger of starving to death. Why should they have to resort to having their foods pureed if they can't afford dentures to eat solid foods? Not a sound healthcare policy by the Governor. There will be an increase in emergency room visits due to people getting infections in their teeth for poor dental care. A big cost to taxpayers.
4)Eliminating podiatry for all but diabetics
As mentioned above, not a sound healthcare policy. There will be an increase in ER visits due to Mass Health not paying for preventive foot care.
5)Eliminating PCA supports for severely disabled people needing less than 14 hours of service per week
Unfortunately, individuals who had less than 14 hours a month for PCA care are in danger of going to a nursing home due to cuts in homecare. Families will now have to do more to help their loved ones stay out of nursing homes and/or going to the ER for lack of personal care. More stress on the family and caregivers will result in potential neglect and physical abuse on these clients.
6)Reducing Adult Foster Care rates
I have mixed feelings due to one for profit entity making a 20% profit after operational costs are covered. Why can't these entities be non-profit and put the profit back into needed services for those clients to remain living at home?
7)In addition, there will be co-pays for some office visits and on presecription medications.
Hooray! Finally, these residents will have to pay something for their services. I am aware that some of them will not pay due to poor money management strategies. These individuals needs better skills in money management to pay for their co-pays for services. I have no sympathy for some individuals who blow their money on lottery tickets and on other foolish ways on the public dole.In summary,these changes will be implemented over the course of the five months through April 2010. Some will require regulatory changes that include public hearing. Others may require legislative changes but let's be real - the legislature is not about to dirty it's hands in any way other than passing quickly on whatever the Governor proposes
Final Comment:I am aware that Mass Health will reduce their rates to providers who have to ask for co-pays from their clients. Potential layoffs can occur if providers are not able to provide the bare bone services they are currently providing for this population
What do you think?
Robbin Miller, LMHC