August 7, 2017
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


It's August already?  Wow!

We have an update for you on the Governor's proposal to change MassHealth.  

We still need people to fill out our survey on Electronic Visit Verification (EVV).  We would ask you to take then help advertise our survey.  Share it. please

Bad news, it looks like the Department of Justice is not moving forward with Rulemaking on Web accessibility.

Don't forget the Abilities Expo is coming back to Boston in September.

We also want to let you know we will not be publishing a newsletter on August 21 or 28.  So after next week's edition, we are taking a short vacation and will be back the day after Labor Day.

As always happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
DPC Update: Governor's Proposal

In the last two issues of the newsletter, we have written of the Gove rnor's proposal to bring significant changes to MassHealth.  Last week, the Governor Baker backed off his proposal, for now.  He signed a bill raising $200 million for MassHealth through changes to the formulas used to tax businesses for health care.

The DPC is now part of a group of advocates meeting with MassHealth officials about the need to reduce the growth of spending at MassHealth by $300 million dollars.  We are pleased that the Administration has opened a dialogue with health care advocates.  We will keep you posted.

John Winske
DPC News:  We Need Your Input on EVV 

MassHealth has contracted with a for-profit national corporation to manage most of the state's Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS). The corporation, Optum Government Solutions, will manage responsibilities once carried out by the state. This includes prior authorization of services including the new Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) system, which will use Global Positioning System (GPS) to track the start and end time, as well as location of services provided by PCAs for consumers. With limited exception, the state plans for all consumers and PCAs to use an electronic check in and check out device by the end of 2018.
The Disability Policy Consortium (DPC) is conducting a short survey aimed to understand consumer's awareness and opinions about the EVV system. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. This information will help guide our advocacy activities and we will report our findings to consumers. Please complete the survey once!
If you have any questions about EVV, we encourage you to call DPC and speak with Maggie Sheets or Lenny Somervell at 617-542-3822.

Net News: DOJ Places Website Rulemaking on the "Inactive List"

On July 20th, the Trump administration issued its first Unified Agenda, listing the regulations it will be working on in the coming year. Regulations concerning web accessibility have been moved to the Inactive list. It remains to be seen what this means. For a report by the law offices of Seyfarth shaw, visit:

The same week, on a separate but somewhat related note, the ACB joined several disability organizations and more than 10 million others to file a public comment in support of net neutrality.
Net News: Alone and Untrained, Mother Becomes Nurse for Her Daughter

In a startling example of institutional bias, the Boston Globe this past weekend ran an article about Noelia Ferreira, a Boston area mom who is caring for her daughter at home.  Noelia's daughter is severely disabled due to a genetic abnormality and requires constant care.  She is unable to get nursing help because currently MassHealth is only paying nurses approximately $31 per hour for home based care.

Donation Opportunity: Deaf Inc. Lime Macaroon

I hope you're enjoying the summer so far. I have some sweet news to share with you.   Finesse Pastries, the award winning gourmet French patisserie, famous for their macaroons, has selected DEAF, Inc. for their August charity!

Finesse  Pastries has designed a limited-edition DEAF, Inc, Lime Macaron.  For each Lime Macaroon  sold in August they  will donate 50 cents to Deaf, Inc.

What a great excuse to break your summer diet without guilt and enjoy summer in the city with DEAF, Inc. and Finesse Pastries' DEAF, Inc. Charity Macaron !

Finesse Pastries is located at the Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover Street, Boston, Monday-Saturday 8 AM to 8 PM, Sunday 10 AM to 8 PM.
Founded in 2012 in Manchester, NH,  it has been voted Best Desserts in NH and Best Bakery in Manchester every year since opening. They were awarded Best Bakery in NH 2016. Their coffee eclair won Editor's Choice for NH Magazine's Best of NH, and won the Union Leader's Reader's Choice Best Bakery.
Check out our Facebook page for more about the DEAF, Inc. Charity Macaron.

Sharon Applegate, Executive Director.
DEAF, Inc.
Calendar:  MassHealth & Connector Hearing

This is a reminder that the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and the Massachusetts Health Connector will hold a joint public hearings on the Request to Amend the MassHealth Section 1115 Demonstration and the Requests for Federal Flexibility to Support Commercial Market Stability & Reforms. 

When:  Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 10:00 am-12:00 pm

Where: Castle of Knights, 1599 Memorial Drive, Chicopee, MA

Conference Line: (888) 822-7517 / Participant Code: 163 4530#

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services and American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be available at both meetings. Please contact Kaela Konefal at or 617-573-1807 to request additional accommodations.

EOHHS will accept comments on the proposed Demonstration Amendment through August 21, 2017. Slides that will be presented at the meeting will be available Friday morning on MassHealth Innovations website: Here you can also find: the proposed Amendment; details on upcoming public listening sessions; information on how to submit comments; and additional relevant information.

The Commonwealth also welcomes public comment on its Flexibility Requests. Materials describing the flexibility requests are available on the Health Connector's website:
Calendar:  Abilities Expo

When:  September 8-10, 2017 , Times Friday and Saturday, 11 AM to 5 PM, Sunday, 11 AM to 4 PM

Where:  Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Hall C

We will be there and hope to see you there.  
Calendar: ASL Night at the MFA

When:   Wednesday, September 13, 4 PM - 10 PM

Coinciding with Deaf Awareness Month, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston invites the Deaf community and friends to celebrate the art and language of Deaf culture. The evening's program includes American Sign Language tours and spotlight talks, performances, art-making activities, and more.

Presented in partnership with DEAF, Inc. and Boston Children's Hospital's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program.

Free admission begins at 4 pm; all ASL Night events are free.

Made possible by the Bank of America Access Program. With additional support from the Maida S. Abrams Fund for Increasing Access and Educational Opportunities for People with Disabilities, and MFS Investment Management.
In This Issue
DPC Needs your Help!!! 
PayPal link
The DPC uses the PayPal PayFast system for your tax deductible charitable donations. You do not need to have a PayPal account to use this system because credit card payments are also accepted.

Causes Logo
The DPC also uses the Causes program for recurring donations (as well as one time donations).  This is a great way to make a smaller monthly donation.
Donate by Mail
Make check or money order payable to:

Disability Policy Consortium
11 Dartmouth Street
Suite 301
Malden, MA 02148
Join Our Mailing List

View our profile on LinkedIn

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter