Please see my public comments towards the possible new Medicaid Rule for Family as personal care aides. The suggested changes that DMAS is presenting do not enhance or partner with the current waiver guidelines but simply make it more difficult for each Parent to provide the best care for their child / children. For my particular instance, we have two boys that are disabled and my wife is the primary Personal Care Aide for both. We believe that the most competent person to care for our children is my wife, simply based on the fact that she has the most experience helping them perform their day to day functions. My boys are both non-verbal and non-mobile. I’m only noting this because the interaction and experience in recognizing our children’s needs is not a simple task. But one that is cultivated over time to learn cues, tips, and indications of need. This is one example of how a parent is the best care giver simply based on experience and time together. In putting these restrictions in place, DMAS is creating more hoops to jump through to be in a position to best care for our children.
Please allow me to address some specific changes to the FIS Waiver:
1). “The parent or spouse must show that the care he or should would be paid for is ‘above and beyond’ what a legally responsible individual normally provides.”
2). “The parent or spouse must give ‘objective written documentation’ at the time of service authorization that shows:
a. that there are no other options to the parent or spouse providing personal care, including no other service provides; and
b. that the parent or spouse’s personal care is in the best interest of the person receiving services.
New Limits to the personal care aide:
1). The parent or spouse must be employed by a personal care agency, and they must meet the same requirements as other personal care aides;
2). The parent or spouse is limited to 40 hours per week of paid care;
3). Respite is not available to the parent or spouse;
4). The parent or spouse must be employed by an agency licensed by either DMAS of DBHDS and one that will manage both services and payment