A landmark bill was signed into law which will allow many more low-income seniors and disabled adults to be able to receive the state-funded home care services they need in their own homes or in the community rather than in nursing homes.
Entitled “An Act Regarding Choice of Long Term Care Setting,” the bill requires that low-income elders and disabled (specifically those covered by Medicaid or Mass Health) a) receive pre-admission counseling prior to long- term care placement about home care/community care options that are less restrictive such as home care, adult foster care, or day care.
Should these persons choose home care or community care options over nursing home placement, the funding that would have gone to reimburse the nursing home for the individual’s care can now instead be used to pay for home care/community care services.
In other words, the “dollars follow the person” as his/her setting of care changes. Pre-admission counseling about such options will also be provided to non-Medicaid/Mass Health covered elders/disabled persons, but on a voluntary basis.
New state legislation also creates a work force registry to match consumers with caregivers, retains the right of persons with disabilities to have control (hiring/firing) over their personal attendants, creates a council to recruit and train caregivers, provides a network of backup/substitute caregivers, and allows attendants to join unions. This is key legislation as the turnover rates for caregivers is between 40 and 60 percent annually.
source: The Sharon Advocate