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As we reported on December 7, 2011, MassHealth released a draft of its proposal to the federal government to combine Medicare and Medicaid spending and service delivery for persons with disabilities aged 21 to 64 years who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid (also known as "dual eligible" project). We have posted background information and our response at this location (Medicare and Medicaid Combined).  The direct link to the response is here.

The Arc has one significant policy position that is different from other advocates, such as Independent Living Centers, NAMI-Mass and Health Care for All. We believe including long-term support services in a single blended rate to private managed care corporation(s) is, at best, risky and, at worst, could result in the reduction of those services if health care costs continue to rise. [Long-term support services (LTSS) are community-based services, such as residential, employment, and day habilitation.]

We also worry that other groups do not recognize the costs entailed in supporting individuals who have profound impairments in intellectual functioning with or without disabling conditions. PowerPoint presentations developed by MassHealth consistently feature charts reflecting the higher per capita cost of supporting persons with developmental disabilities through Medicaid. At the same time, we are trying to educate and have meet with Washington DC decision makers driving this policy change who are unaware of waiver services and the history of deinstitutionalization. A meeting coordinated by The Arc US with federal officials will take place in early February.


If you would like to read other news for this coming week- please see our Notes from The Arc here.