November 14, 2016
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


It was certainly a turbulent time last week.   I will share my thoughts on what a Trump Presidency will mean for our community in a future editorial.

On ballot questions, voters in 11 communities including Boston approved the Community Preservation Act to expand affordable housing.   An interesting note, as well, voters legalized  recreational marijuana for individuals at least 21 years old.

In our newsletter this week we have several job openings.  

As always, happy  reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
DPC Editorial:  What do Billions in Healthcare Dollars Coming into the State Mean for PwD?

On Friday, November 4, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Massachusetts' application to restructure the MassHealth Medicaid program. It's called the "1115 waiver". Over the next five years, the 1115 waiver will bring $1.8 billion into the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to create a more integrated healthcare delivery system for MassHealth members. This new system, "Accountable Care Organizations" (ACOs), will be responsible for providing person centered coordinated care and will integrate behavioral health services at the start, and eventually integrate Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS).

ACOs are not bad in concept, but managed care entities have narrower provider networks and without proper oversight, by advocates, could reduce control, choice and access to LTSS.

There are other issues, too many to list here, but let me toss several out as food for thought. These include:
  • the one year, lock-in of members into ACOs
  • variations in ACO models
  • member cost-sharing policies
We will share more information about the positive and negative parts of the 1115 waiver in coming months.

Is it important to support the state and its new endeavor? Yes. The influx of dollars is desperately needed and so is reform to the system as it currently exists.

For now, we must be persistent as well as vigilant. There are too many unanswered questions about how the Commonwealth will protect MassHealth members, particularly people with disabilities, from being squeezed by competing market interests of insurers, hospitals and provider groups? High among these questions is how the Baker Administration will respond to concerns and proposed solutions put forward by the disability community?

We will keep you posted in the coming months.

Dennis Heaphy
Health Care Analyst, DPC
Employment: One Care Ombudsman Two Temporary Positions Available 

The DPC has two temporary positions available.  These positions are for grant funded positions through May 31, 2017.  There is a possibility that these positions could be extended if funding is acquired.

Looking to make a difference in the lives of others? Exciting Advocacy/Health Care Opportunity! - One Care Ombudsman Office SPANISH BILINGUAL OMBUDSMAN provides mediation and negotiation Ombudsman services for Spanish speaking members of new health care initiative One Care for persons with disabilities in Massachusetts. $42,000 - $45,000 based on qualifications | Worker's Comp, Health Insurance Premium Coverage: 50% Family and 75% Individual, Sick Leave, Telecommuting, Vacation Pay, Business Travel Mileage Reimbursement | Travel required - minimal. DISABILITY POLICY CONSORTIUM: 617-542-3822.  Send cover letter and resume to

Looking to make a difference in the lives of others? Exciting Marketing and Outreach Opportunity! - One Care Ombudsman Office COMMUNICATIONS OUTREACH MANAGER coordinates program messaging and outreach to general public and members of new health care initiative One Care for persons with disabilities in Massachusetts. $42,000 - $45,000 based on qualifications | Worker's Comp, Health Insurance Premium Coverage: 50% Family and 75% Individual, Sick Leave, Telecommuting, Vacation Pay, Business Travel Mileage Reimbursement | Travel required - minimal. DISABILITY POLICY CONSORTIUM: 617-542-3822.  Send cover letter and resume to
Employment:  Looking to Work From Home?

The REquipment DME Reuse Program is looking for one or two people to work 10 hours per week performing research and data entry to assist in our marketing activities. The individual must be:
  • proficient in the use of Excel
  • detail oriented
  • able to follow directions
  • able to work independently with limited supervision
This position is ideal for a person with a disability looking to maintain their CommonHealth eligibility or to gain work experience. There are no benefits.

For more information or to apply, contact Karen Langley, Executive Director, REquipment DME Reuse Program at If you are applying, please send an email of interest and resume.
Employment:  Chapter Coordinator

The Greater Boston Chapter, National Spinal Cord Injury Association has an exciting opportunity for a person who is passionate about working with people affected by a life altering spinal cord injury.

Position Summary

The Chapter Coordinator manages the day to day operations of the Greater Boston Chapter, NSCIA. This includes the Peer Program, member communications and administrative assistance to the Executive Director. The Peer Program is central to the Chapter's mission to serve all those affected by spinal cord injury including the newly injured, family members and the overall spinal cord injury (SCI) Community.

The Chapter Coordinator is based out of the Chapter's satellite office located at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Charlestown, MA. In conjunction with the Executive Director, the Chapter Coordinator is responsible for coordinating peer visits, peer training and education, weekly staff meetings, social media, and engagement with the spinal cord injury community including healthcare professionals. In addition, the Chapter Coordinator is responsible for working with the Executive Director and Board of Directors on fundraising and other programs as identified.

This is a part time, 5 hours/day, 5 days/week position. The position does not provide healthcare benefits.
The Greater Boston Chapter, National Spinal Cord Injury Association is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization founded nearly 25 years ago to assist people affected by a spinal cord injury to rebuild their lives and live to their fullest potential. The Chapter's provides peer mentoring, role modeling, education, resources, social activity, public awareness and advocacy. 

  • Personal experience with a spinal cord injury a plus
  • Thorough knowledge about individuals affected by a spinal cord injury
  • Minimum of two years of experience working with and advocating on behalf of individuals and their families
  • Working knowledge of the phases of medical rehabilitation preferred
  • Associate's Degree required, Bachelor's Degree preferred, or equivalent work experience

The complete job description including a full list of qualifications and how to apply can be found at 

Applications are due by Friday, November 18, 2016. However, applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Interested candidates should submit a letter expressing their interest in the position, and how they believe they can make a difference to those living with a spinal cord injury. To apply, please send the letter, a current resume and three references to:
Net News: Massive Change Coming to State Health Care for the Poor 

As was noted in our above editorial, big changes are coming to the MassHealth Program here in Massachusetts.  What does it all mean?  Well, we don't know all the answers yet.  The application was well over 650 pages.  Many advocates are poring through the application and are identifying where details need to be fleshed out.  We will keep you posted in the coming months.  Here is an article published Friday, November 4th in the Boston Globe about the upcoming changes
DPC Partner News: Survey for Voters with Visual Disabilities  

Election Day 2016 marks the tenth year in which voters with disabilities have been able to cast a ballot using accessible voting terminals. How well are they working in Massachusetts? How well are they working in your polling place?

The Bay State Council of the Blind (BSCB) is conducting a brief, online survey of voters with all types of disabilities who used, or attempted to use, an accessible terminal to cast a ballot during the November elections. The goal is to hear from voters in as many polling places as possible throughout the Commonwealth. The BSCB will give the survey results to the Elections Division in order to improve the voting experience in future elections.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated! To participate,

Take the BSCB voting survey

The link will be active until November 18th, so please circulate it within your networks! Please note that the National Federation of the Blind is also conducting a voting survey. The NFB survey is a separate and important initiative with a slightly different focus. Blind voters may participate in both.
Calendar:  BCIL Annual Meeting 

When  Thursday, November 17, 2016, 6:00 P.M.

Where:  Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston

In the past year we have advocated to protect Ride services and the PCA program, for a consumer voice in health reform, and for affordable and accessible housing. We've also again provided vital services to people with disabilities across Greater Boston.

Please join us as we look back on important successes and look ahead to another year of service and advocacy for independent living.

On the meeting agenda, after a light meal, will be brief business reports, a review of the past year, and the presentation of an award to a member who has been a strong advocate on health care issues. Our keynote speaker will be Dan Tsai, Director of MassHealth, who will address MassHealth topics.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Susan Smith at BCIL for planning and food purposes: or 617-338-6665, x232. Also, please let us know by November 9 if you'll need an accommodation.

Should you wish to obtain a proxy ballot for board elections if you are unable to attend the meeting, please contact Shawn Kelley by phone at 617-338-6665, x201 or at

Your support in the past and for the coming year is much appreciated!

We hope to see you on the 17th for a fun and spirited evening.
Calendar: Mobility Matters - Understanding the Wheelchair Repair Process

When:  Monday, November 21, 2016

Registration: 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Conference: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Where:  Royal Sonesta Hotel Ballroom, 40 Edwin H Land Blvd, Cambridge, MA 02142

This conference will help you understand (and dispel the myths behind) the rules and regulations that MassHealth, Medicare and private insurers use when an individual needs a wheelchair repaired.

Presenters will include experts from MassHealth, other insurers, as well as mobility equipment providers.

Lunch will be provided
** Space is Limited **

Please RSVP by 5 pm on November 17th to Amanda Gasparonis at or 617-723-8455 x 123

Please let us know right away if you need an accommodation.  Accessible parking is available in the hotel garage and across the street at the CambridgeSide Galleria.

Sponsored by:  The Disability Law Center, Greater Boston Chapter (GBC) National Spinal Cord Injury Association
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Disability Policy Consortium
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Malden, MA 02148
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