Homecare Agencies - The Unnecessary and Unregulated Middlemen
In 1999 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a little known, but historic ruling in Olmstead v. LC. People with disabilities now had a right to receive care and support services at home. This was a major advancement in civil rights as it meant that people with disabilities would no longer be forced into institutional care and could live full lives in their communities.
In response, the federal government created Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers. These programs allot a certain amount of money to individuals based on their needs. However, instead of administering these programs themselves, they leave individuals to find private providers themselves. This is especially problematic when it comes homecare agencies.
Regulations on these agencies focus on preventing fraud and malpractice. While these are important concerns, there are no regulations concerning failure to provide care or protecting caregivers; Leaving clients little recourse when agencies consistently fail to staff them. This often leads to whatever caregivers they do have working overtime and burning out. Agencies also pay their workers relatively low wages and offer inadequate benefits; Forcing them to work multiple jobs, contributing further to burnout, exhaustion, and endangering clients.
We will no longer tolerate this system and demand change.