NATICK – As a quadruple amputee, Susan Lane relies on her son to advice her with circadian tasks abounding booty for granted.
Her son, Timothy Jason Lane-Penza, helps his mother with showering, advancing aliment and abounding added tasks.
“Whatever you would do in your activity afore you are disabled is what a PCA (personal affliction attendant) would do,” Susan Lane said.
Lane, who became a quadruple amputee afterwards she had strep pneumonia and bacterial infections, said her son is her PCA and receives pay through the state’s MassHealth affairs for the about 72 hours a anniversary of PCA casework for which she is eligible.
But, Lane, whose ancestors owns a annual shop, worries changes to MassHealth PCA regulations will absolute her son’s adeptness to be her PCA and force her to appoint a drifter to advice affliction for her. She said she has had problems accepting able PCA advice in the past, bidding her son to footfall in.
“Now, I’m activity to be affected to accept a drifter in my abode again,” said Lane, who has accounting to accompaniment leaders cogent apropos about the changes.
The changes seek to abbreviate overtime pay by about preventing PCAs from alive for added than 40 hours per week.
There are a few exceptions to the rule, including back a MassHealth affiliate lives with his or her alone PCA and has above-mentioned allotment for 40 to 60 hours of PCA account a week. In that case, a PCA could assignment up to 60 hours per week, according to advice provided by the accompaniment Controlling Office of Health and Human Services.
“To ensure affairs sustainability, the administering is implementing an overtime administration action able Sept. 1, 2016,” a account from an bureau backer says. “OT administration does not change or abate the absolute cardinal of PCA hours a affiliate is accustomed to receive. We accept been alive with all ally to ensure a bland alteration for MassHealth members.”
The change is set to booty aftereffect July 29 but won’t be activated until Sept. 1.
The program’s costs accept developed in contempo years as a aftereffect of accretion appeal for PCAs and investments in PCAs themselves, including added pay, training and added costs, according to the agency.
The $704 actor projected budgetary 2017 PCA affairs account is up 9 percent, or $61 million, over budgetary 2016.
“MassHealth is committed to a acceptable and able-bodied PCA program,” the account said. “The PCA affairs is a ytical account for our associates with abiding or concrete disabilities to advance their association ability by accouterment abetment with activities of circadian active skills.”
Paul Spooner, controlling administrator of the MetroWest Center for Independent Living, said PCAs now charge be paid overtime for hours formed in a anniversary above 40, a change that acceptable added costs.
Spooner, who has a anatomy of able-bodied decline and uses PCA casework himself, said it can be boxy to acquisition affection PCAs back the hours are generally odd.
Spooner said he’s heard of a bearings area a PCA may accept to aces which of her ancestors associates to serve beneath the revised regulations.
“It’s bright this is activity to accept a cogent impact,” Spooner said.
Brian Benson can be accomplished at 508-626-3964 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @bbensonmwdn.
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