Public Comments for 12/15/2022 Joint Committee Meeting with House Appropriations, House Finance, and Senate Finance & Appropriations
Last Name: Kennedy Locality: Virginia Beach

End the institutional bias in Attendant pay rates. I'm presenting a case for equity in Personal Care Attendants pay rates by mailing this letter. The low pay of Consumer Directed (CD) in home Personal Care Attendants has caused my husband not to return to work and is one of the factors of why I resigned from my full wage job of over 8 years. Speaking as an Employee Of Record (EOR), for equitable access to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) close the gab between minimum wage and living wage for CD in home attendants. What I've experienced/seen: 1. Myself and others can not find Medicaid Consumer (self) Directed personal care in home attendants because they are not paid anything close to a living wage. A fast food job pays more than an in home Consumer Directed (CD) attendant job. Solutions: Close the gab between minimum wage and living wage rates for Consumer (self) Directed Medicaid in home Personal Care Attendants. In Virginia the gap is $6.23. And/or remove penalties for supplementing a CD attendants pay so I the Employer of Record, can compete with fast food, etc. To earn a LPN, require nursing school students serve as a CD in home attendant for 6 months. 2. Stop the split of CD attendant hours when services are through an agency. The split in my CD attendant hours ensures an agency office administration gets paid in the instance when no attendant can be sent to my home. The split of hours was hidden from me when I repeatedly asked how Agency Directed would impact Consumer Directed. When an agency attendant does not come to work, a CD attendant can not submit those hours for payment even though they are doing the work of the agency attendant. Because of agency unprofessionalism and unethical behavior, their attendant turnover rate is extremely high. These agencies are numerous which deplete my hiring pool for a Consumer (self) Directed personal care in home attendant. Agencies have used my CD attendant hours to be paid when no attendant comes into my home. When there are one time payments (COVID19 hazard pay) agencies are in charge of getting payments ($1000) to their eligible attendants. Agency attendants may have no knowledge of and/or may not receive these payments because it is left up to the agency. Also agencies are not required to report which of their attendants receive these one time payments. Whereas CD attendants receive one time payments from time they have already summited. 3. Bring back tools to empower people on Consumer Directed such as MySupport. Give individuals an option to pay for a subscription to MySupport to fund it so it won't be left up to the insurance companies to shut down. There was a long period of time in the past when placing a newspaper ad was affordable. The newspaper ad was $40 and ran for 7 days which resulted in around 50 people calling me for the job. 4. Data Require survey and feedback opportunities be given to people who use Consumers Directed services and use the data in results/reports, etc. Inequities in attendant pay rates has impacted my quality of life and has impacted my employment goals. Equable data collection requires transparency. Inequitable attendant pay rates (currently hidden from the public) will show an institutional bias. There is an institutional bias in attendant pay rates because of America’s connection to capitalism. a. There is no equity in data collection. Data is focused on Providers and not Consumers.

End of Comments