Calls Needed to Congress !!

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Advocacy Alert: PCA's Are Not Criminals On Probation

Call Senator Warren, Senator Markey and Your Congressional Representatives!

Tell them to oppose Section 12006 of the
Tsunami Warning, Education and Research Act of 2015

On Friday, November 25 some members of Congress snuck an amendment into the Tsunami Warning, Education and Research Act of 2015. The amendment requires all states to monitor PCAs using Electronic Visit Verification (EVV): PCAs would need to call in to Fiscal Intermediaries to verify their presence with a consumer, and consumer would lose control over their timesheets. The vote will be taken early this week.

EVV will treat PCAs like people convicted of a crime who are on probation. Opponents of "big government" want to track the comings and goings of your PCAs using electronic tracking devices. For specifics about the legislation look at Section 12006, starting on p. 650 in this pdf

EVV is being messaged as a way to "improve the quality of services," when it is actually being put in place to achieve savings, based on the assumption of wide scale abuse of the PCA program. EVV seeks to achieve savings by squeezing the lowest income wage earners and vulnerable members of society without any consideration of how EVV undermines consumer control, sets up a potential "homebound" model of care (think about it as a virtual nursing home) and creates another reason for people not to become PCAs. The list could go on.

The National Council on Independent Living, National Disability Leadership Alliance and the National Council for Mental Health Recovery among others are working to oppose EVV. You can read the statement by NCIL opposing EVV

Closer to home, MassHealth has been gearing up to use EVV since last spring. It has gone so far as to include EVV in its new overtime regulations. While the new PCA overtime structure is to be applauded, Disability Advocates Advancing our Healthcare Rights (DAAHR) and other advocates are voicing our concern about EVV in Massachusetts and look to work with MassHealth to resolve the issue.

Fraud hurts everyone as does poor quality care. Implementing large-scale EVV to resolve fraud, is like using a sledgehammer to perform a surgery when a scalpel is required.

The first step in our advocacy is to oppose any laws at the national level that will require states to use EVV. If you have any questions, contact DPC, your local Independent Living Center or your Aging Senior Access Points (ASAP). Make sure you call today:
Sen. Warren 202-224-4543 or 617-565-3170
Sen. Markey 202-224-2742 or 617-565-8519

Call Your Congressional Representative -Don't know your Congress Person find out here

Advocacy Alert:   Tell Congress to Stop Medicare Cuts to Complex Rehab Technology Accessories

Complex Rehab Technology includes medically necessary and individually configured manual and power wheelchairs, seating and positioning systems, and other adaptive equipment such as standing devices and gait trainers. Thinkgs that are needed by many people with disabilities to remain independent.

Unless Congress takes action BEFORE YEAR-END, Medicare will make major payment cuts on January 1 to critical components/accessories used with Complex Rehab wheelchair systems. These accessories are needed by people with significant disabilities such as ALS, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury.

For more information and a quick link to email your Congress click here



Thanks to all that made calls, visited their legislators and rally at the State House. Thanks to your efforts the Disability Community has won a huge victory in the struggle to get a PCA overtime policy that supports consumers instead of hurting them. MassHealth has announced new overtime regulations that, among other things, establish a 50-hour cap for overtime (instead of 40) and allows up to 66 hours of overtime for continuity of care – people who have to be able to pay PCAs overtime in order to ensure that their needs are met.

But, don't take our word for it, read all about it here