Transforming Lives in Communities Across Massachusetts

Adult Foster Care  is a state-funded program that transforms lives. Its services allow seniors and persons with disabilities who need assistance with personal care tasks to remain in a home and in the community with a qualified and approved caregiver. We at the Massachusetts Council for Adult Foster Care  offer professional support to the agencies across the state that provide this valuable program.

The council has supported its dedicated member agencies since the mid-1970s. This support comes in many forms - through interpreting and implementing regulations, developing best practices, establishing networking connections for like agencies or advocating for appropriate funding for caregivers. All of these efforts ultimately benefit vulnerable individuals in Massachusetts communities who need it most.

Through leadership, knowledge and advocacy, we engage with more than 80 Adult Foster Care provider agencies across the state, allowing over 12,000 participants, starting as young as age 16, to thrive in their homes and their communities through the support of their caregivers.

AFC Frequently Asked Questions 1.25.18 : HERE!

 

Mass Health Provider Bulletins:  Mass Health Innovations

 

NEW COST REPORTS from CHIA 12.1.17

Please follow the link for information and forms to fill out the CHIA Cost Reports by February 1, 2018.  Click here!
 
 
November 15, 2017

Letter Mass AFC Signed and Supported regarding Passive Enrollment Here.

Mass Health Provider Education and Communication Here.  and Mass Health MyChoices Program Here.

Board Nomination Procedures: 11.15.17

MCAFC has one opening on the Board of Directors to be filled for the balance of this year (through June 2018) due to a Board Member that has resigned.  Any Council Member, who is interested in this opening, can present themselves to the Board Directors for consideration.  All Directors must be active members of the Association, have at least one year of direct AFC program experience and be in good standing with the Association.   If interested, please send an email expressing your interest in being a Board Member to info@massafc.org by November 30, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. In the email subject line please put MCAFC Board Member.

Please note that the information listed below is required to be considered:
Nominee’s name
Nominee’s position at Massachusetts AFC Agency and length of time there
AFC Agency Name
Have you attended 6 of the 10 meetings starting October 2016?
Telephone number of Nominee
Email address of Nominee
A brief (100 words or less) summary of why you want to be a MCAFC Board Member.  Statements of more than 100 words will be abbreviated to 100 words.  

Thank you for your interest. 

 

Council of Accredidation (COA) payment scale: Here

Council of Accredidation (COA) proposed accreditation standards: Here

 
ACO/MCO Webinar: 10.18.17
 
Payment and Care Delivery Innovation - New Health Plans are Coming to MassHealth Effective March 1, 2018
 
Beginning this month, MassHealth Customer Service will be hosting webinar sessions for providers to provide an overview of MassHealth Payment and Care Delivery Innovation (PCDI). This is the first in a series of webinars related to changes coming to MassHealth. This session's objective is to provide all attendees with an understanding of MassHealth PCDI and its impact on providers and managed care members. This webinar will include an overview of the MassHealth ACO/MCO structure, timelines, information on how members will be assigned to new or existing health plans, an overview of enhancements in the Eligibility Verification System (EVS), and other resources and tools that will be available to providers and their practice staff. 
 
Webinar sessions are available for the month of October and November. Please register for one of these sessions as space is limited.
 
To enroll in a webinar session, please register at the MassHealth Learning Management System (LMS) via www.masshealthtraining.com and create your profile. Once registration is complete, please select the preferred course date and time.
 
If you have any questions, please contact the MassHealth Customer Service Center at 1-800-841-2900 or e-mail providersupport@mahealth.net.
 
 
 
Board Nomination Procedures: 10.18.17

MCAFC has one opening on the Board of Directors to be filled for the balance of this year (through June 2018) due to a Board Member that has resigned.  Any Council Member, who is interested in this opening, can present themselves to the Board Directors for consideration.  All Directors must be active members of the Association, have at least one year of direct AFC program experience and be in good standing with the Association.   If interested, please send an email expressing your interest in being a Board Member to info@massafc.org by November 1, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. In the email subject line please put MCAFC Board Member.

Please note that the information listed below is required to be considered:
Nominee’s name
Nominee’s position at Massachusetts AFC Agency and length of time there
AFC Agency Name
Have you attended 6 of the 10 meetings starting October 2016?
Telephone number of Nominee
Email address of Nominee
A brief (100 words or less) summary of why you want to be a MCAFC Board Member.  Statements of more than 100 words will be abbreviated to 100 words.  

Thank you for your interest.  

 

October 13, 2017

Mass Health has provided guidance around any evacuee's from the different hurricanes that have impacted the U.S. and its Territories over the past few months. Please see the communications from Mass Health for further guidance in assisting evacuee's and families impacted by the hurricanes.

https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2017/10/13/AFC-12.pdf

https://www.mass.gov/…/for-hurricane-evacuees-applying-for-…

 

August 14, 2017: 

MCAFC would appreciate your feedback by August 16th in order to understand the impact of recent MassHealth changes and to inform future advocacy efforts. Please answer the questions that you can by that date even if you cannot answer all the questions. The information you provide will be aggregated with information provided by all respondents; the information you provide will not be shared at the individual agency level.

Please use the link HERE to complete the Survey Monkey!

 

 

Shared Living/ AFC Conference AFC Award Nominations

We have a wonderful opportunity to give an award to an outstanding caregiver and member at the Shared Living/ AFC Conference this year! We have been working hard with the conference planning committee to plan many wonderful break-out sessions and Awards! So if you have someone in mind, please this nomination form to nominate an Outstanding Caregiver and Member by August 15th to Bonnie Griffith in order for the MCAFC Board to choose the Award Recipient!

 

NOMINATION FORM

 

 

 

June 27, 2017

Mass Health has provided a portal to have Mass Health Providers enroll as a MassHealth LTSS provider. The portal will allow agencies to manage your profile and sign-up for training events. Also, your agency will need to login to submit an enrollment application, manage your profile, complete revalidation, and access other secured content.

Please follow this link to register on the portal: https://www.masshealthltss.com/s/?language=en_US

 

June 5, 2017

The AFC reassessment and validation provider bulletin has been posted:

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/masshealth/bull-2017/afc-11.pdf

 

May 18, 2017

MCAFC Membership Call to Action

Prevent AFC Rate Cuts - Support Amendment # 335

As you know, the Massachusetts Council for Adult Foster Care (“MCAFC”) is committed to advocating on behalf of the Adult Foster Care program, its providers and the Members and families served by it.  With the recent rate cuts implemented by MassHealth on May 5, 2017, there is much work to be done to ensure that the AFC program is stable and that the rate cuts are not continued into fiscal year 2018.  As you may know, the MCAFC worked with the House, and in particular, Representative Denise Garlick to include language to reverse the AFC rate cuts in the House fiscal year 2018 budget.  We must now work with the Senate to secure the same language in the Senate fiscal year 2018 budget.

To that end, we have worked with Senator Jennifer Flanagan to file Senate Budget Amendment #335.  We need your help to build support throughout the Senate for the amendment.  More specifically, we need you to call your Senator and ask them to cosponsor and support Amendment # 335, which will be debated next week. 

 

PLEASE TAKE ACTION AS FOLLOWS:

***Please note, Senator letters are on the left hand side of the main page, under LEGISLATIVE CAMPAIGNS.***

 

ACTION #1. Find out who your State Senator is if you do not already know.  Go to: www.wheredoivotema.com and enter your home address.  Click on your State Senator’s name and you will be redirected to the legislature’s website with your Senator’s State House office phone number. 

 

ACTION #2.  Make your call between Friday, May 19 and Tuesday, May 23 (budget debates start on Tuesday, so please make your call before then if possible).  Take the name of the person you spoke with and be polite.  Feel free to make the script your own, but be sure to ask your Senator to cosponsor and support Senate Budget Amendment #335.

 

Sample Dialogue when calling your Senator’s Office:

“Hello, my name is: __________ ; I live in your district and am calling in strong support of Amendment #335, which will level fund rates and maintain stability for the Adult Foster Care Program. This amendment will help more than 12,000 elders and people with disabilities continue to live in AFC caregiver homes with the assurance and ongoing support of AFC providers.”

 “As you may know, MassHealth recently implemented substantial rate cuts to the AFC program, cutting rates to levels lower than rates in effect more than 10 years ago.”

“If these cuts are continued into fiscal year 2018, it will force many AFC providers to eliminate nursing and care manager positions, thereby increasing case volumes and decreasing available support for families.”

“Budget Amendment #335 will provide relief by holding the AFC rates steady through fiscal year 2018; this will give MassHealth time to realize other savings tied to new AFC program regulations without hurting the program through direct rate cuts.”

“Will you ask the Senator if he/she will cosponsor and support of Amendment #335?”

“Again, my name is:___________________________ and I can be reached at___________  (provide telephone #) if you or the Senator have any questions. Thank you for your time and for supporting AFC.”

 

ACTION #3. You can follow your call up with an email directly to the Senator to reiterate your points and “ask” (you can also cc the staff-person you spoke with). Let the MCAFC know the results of your call / email. 

 

Thank you and now is the time for our Senators to hear our voices!!!!

 

May 1, 2017:  Mass Health Regulation Changes

MassHealth will be conducting 4 comprehensive training sessions across the Commonwealth on the regulations being promulgated 5/5/17.  The content of each training will be the same; therefore plan to attend only 1 training session. Capacity is limited to 100 attendees per session; we ask that you send 2-3 staff per agency.  For those unable to attend, the session content will be made available electronically in the coming weeks.  Please utilize the link below to register.

Registration URL: https://www.masshealthltss.com/s/training  *please note: CAPS matter, if the link is changed with a capitalization, it will not work

 

Please contact Mass Health with any questions you may have.

Sherri Hannigan

Community Programs Manager

MassHealth, OLTSS Fee-For-Service Programs

One Ashburton Place 5th Floor Boston, MA 02108

617-222-7477

 

April 25, 2017: Special Announcements

New Regulations have been posted, sooner than anticipated, and we have training dates from Mass Health. Please note, Regulations will be effective on May 5, 2017.

Regulations: http://www.mass.gov/…/regs-provider/regs-adultfostercare.pdf

Transmittal Letter:
http://www.mass.gov/…/massheal…/transletters-2017/afc-16.pdf

We continue to work with Mass Health and they have provided the following dates for training's around the state. We will have more information to register for the training's to accommodate the times, dates, and space concerns for each training location. Please be advised that agencies are encouraged to send their Program Directors, Supervisors, Train the Trainers etc., but not an agencies entire staff.

Tuesday, May 9, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Western Massachusetts Elder Care

Wednesday, May 10, 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. at Tempus Unlimited (formally Cerebral Palsy of Massachusetts)

Thursday, May 11, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Tri-Valley Elder Services

Friday, May 12- TBD, but most likely Boston

Once we have information about the registration process we will share as soon as we can. If your agency is not able to make one of the training, Mass Health will be reaching out to theses specific agencies to train and a webinar will be available.

Stayed tuned, we will be posting more in days to come for all members to take action!

 

EOHHS has published the Final Adaptation of new rates on April 21, 2017:

 

Update on House Budget Efforts to Prevent AFC Rate Cuts: April 10, 2017            

We are happy to report great news to you today – the House Ways and Means Committee released its fiscal year 2018 budget recommendations this afternoon and included the protective language the Mass. Council on Adult Foster Care (“MCAFC”) has advocated for.  If included in the final House-Senate budget, this language will prevent AFC rate cuts in fiscal year 2018.  As you know, holding the AFC rates steady is intended to allow time for the AFC program regulations to be implemented without the added strain that would result if AFC providers across the Commonwealth are also required to absorb substantial rate cuts, at the same time.

The success of securing protective language in the House budget is in no small part due to your tireless efforts – calling and writing your legislators, appearing at the MCAFC’s first annual AFC Awareness Day, appearing for the MassHealth hearing in Worcester, and working with your colleagues to evaluate the overall impact of these proposed changes to your organizations, caregivers and members served by the AFC program. 

Your Representatives have heard your message that AFC is a critical MassHealth service that helps families, elders and individuals with disabilities across the Commonwealth.  The MCAFC would like to acknowledge one of our legislative champions, Representative Denise Garlick, Chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, for her leadership and ongoing support for the Adult Foster Care Program.  As well, the MCAFC thanks Representative Danielle Gregoire, Chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs, as well, for her strong support for the AFC program.  If you have the opportunity, please thank your Representative for supporting AFC in the House budget. 

While we must take a moment to celebrate this accomplishment, there remains much more to be done to ensure that the AFC rates are held steady in FY18.  The MCAFC, through its lobbyists, will continue to monitor the House budget amendment debates and will be sure to act if/when necessary to preserve the protective AFC language.  In addition, we must continue to work together and in partnership with our fellow organizations – Mass Homecare, ADDP, The Providers Council and The Arc – to educate the Senate as to the importance of Adult Foster Care in their budget.  As you know, it is critical to secure the protective language in both the House and Senate budgets in order to avoid the cuts in fiscal year 2018.  The MCAFC will continue to alert you when action and outreach to your legislators is needed.  In the meantime, thank you again for being a part of this important effort.

Linda Andrade, President

 

Regulation and Rate Hearings: March 17, 2017

Good Evening, Everyone, We are looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow, March 17, 2017! The hearings are as follows:
Location: UMass Medical School Lazare Research Building LRB Function Space, Blais Pavillion 55 Lake Ave. North, S3-104 Worcester, MA Directions are here: http://www.umassmed.edu/about/directions/campusmap/
 
Please view the officially submitted testimony and redline items of the Mass AFC Council, HERE.

 

Third Party Administrator Announced:

Boston, MA – February 28, 2017 – MassHealth signed a three year contract with Optum Government Solutions, Inc. to support its management and oversight of fee-for-service Long Term Services and Support (LTSS) programs provided by more than 2,100 health care entities at an annual of cost of $3.5 billion. The LTSS Program provides crucial care to 300,000 of MassHealth’s most vulnerable members, including those with disabilities, allo...wing them to maintain their independence in the community.

Optum, a leading technology-enabled health services company, will serve as the LTSS program’s Third Party Administrator (TPA) and will provide MassHealth with clinical, administrative, operations and systems support to:
• Strengthen program integrity;
• Conduct analyses on utilization and quality patterns;
• Perform prior authorization and utilization management as directed by MassHealth;
• Credential, enroll and train providers;
• Process and adjudication claims and provide electronic visit verification.

The contract, which begins April 15th, is provider-focused only and will be seamless to MassHealth members who use LTSS services. Optum, with a flagship Boston-based office at 1325 Boylston Street, employs over 1,200 Massachusetts residents. Under this contract, Optum will employ approximately 90 full time employees.
___________________________________________________
As found on the Mass Health Innovations Webpage:

http://www.mass.gov/…/third-party-administrator-for-ltss.ht…

As found on the EOHHS Webpage:

http://www.mass.gov/…/management-of-long-term-services-and-…

 

Proposed Rate Changes, 2/24/17: The three documents under 101 CMR 351.00 (formerly 114.3 CMR 51.00)​

 

PROPOSED MASS HEALTH AFC REGULATIONS 2/24/17:

Mass Health has posted the Newly Proposed AFC Regulations on 2/24/2017.  Please fee free to review the regulations and be advised that the Public Hearing for the Proposed Regulations is March 17, 2017 at 10 a.m. in Worcester, MA.  The AFC Council Board will be meeting, along with our sister organizations, to prepare a response(s) for the hearing.  Please view the Proposed Regulations HERE.

Please see the Proposed Rate Changes Here.

 

CALL TO ACTION!!!!

Chose 1 of the following ways to register by March 1st:

Internet ................. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KVPGGJW

Email ..................... wendydagle@mcsnet.org

Telephone ............. Lynn Manning, 978-332-9161

 

In the news:

The Mass AFC Council and our sister agencies have been working hard with each other, our lobbyist Lynch Associates, and the Legislature to preserve the 9c Cuts and to add a supplemental budget that would greatly affect the AFC Program.  Please take a look at the recent article published in the Somerville Times here!

Recently, The Somverville-Cambridge Elder Services Agency spoke to their Wicked Local Newspaper about the 9c Cuts and how these cuts with threaten Caregiver and their families.  Take a look HERE!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: 12/20/2016

As you know, on December 6, 2016 Governor Charlie Baker announced unilateral 9C cuts to bridge Massachusetts’ budget deficit for fiscal year 2017.  Of the $98 million in cuts, $5.6 million aim to directly reduce funding for the Adult Foster Care Program.  These cuts translate to an unprecedented 10% rate cut, which MassHealth proposes to implement by reducing (a) the number of  nursing and care manager home visits and (b) staffing ratios required of provider agencies.  Mass Health will be publishing a Provider Bulletin around January 1st of 2017, which will outline the changes to the funding and program structure in more detail.  Unless the Legislature restores this funding through a supplemental budget, MassHealth plans to implement the cuts effective March 1, 2017.

The proposed funding cuts have created widespread concern for the future stability of these crucial services, which benefit families across the Commonwealth.   The Massachusetts Council for Adult Foster Care has partnered with other provider organizations, including the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP), The Providers Council, Mass Home Care, and The Arc of Massachusetts, to advocate for restoration of the $5.6 million.  Since the cuts were announced, the Mass. Council for Adult Foster Care has worked with this coalition of organizations to develop two joint letters: one to MassHealth and the Administration and one to the Legislature.  Both letters address the fact that these funding cuts will have a large-scale impact on the stability of the AFC Program. Please follow the links below to review the letters sent last week.

1. Letter to the Legislature: Click Here

2. Letter to Mass Health: Click Here

 

The Mass. Council for Adult Foster Care will continue to work alongside partner organizations to have further discussions with MassHealth, the Administration and the Legislature about the need to restore the $5.6 million for the Adult Foster Care program.

We remain committed to leadership, knowledge, and advocacy as we work through the different implications that the 9C cuts can have on the Adult Foster Care Program.  The Council will continue to strive for program integrity, which it views as paramount to the success of this program and wellbeing of the members served. 

In the meantime, please continue to check back at www.massafc.org for updates and calls to action – Your legislators will need to hear from you, your colleagues and families served as we work to restore funding in a supplemental budget.  Guidance as to how you can act is forthcoming.  Thank you for your  continued engagement and support of the Adult Foster Care program in Massachusetts.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

The Massachusetts Adult Foster Care Council

Cordially invites you to attend our Annual Meeting

June 15, 2016 at 10:00 am

Framingham Lodge of Elks

450 Union Avenue, Framingham

Guest Speakers— Jack Agati,

(Jack is a presenter and trainer in the area of human relations and management)

Lunch at 12:00

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Annual Election of Board of Directors:

Each nominee will present their statement.

Each membership agency will cast 1 vote for Director.

Directors will vote in Officers:  President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary/Clerk

 

Please RSVP and pay to the www.massafc.org/ website by June 10, 2016.  Please see Upcoming Events.

Paid Council membership includes two free admissions to this event and up to 1 guest at $20 ea.

Please indicate ALL the attendees who are coming in the comments section.  Only 3 attendees will be allowed due to space limitations.

 

MASS RESPITE COALITION:

Links to provide Caregivers access to provide feedback to the Mass Respite Coalition:

http://www.massrespitecoalition.org/2016/04/quick-respite-survey-for-caregivers/

 

A Planned Summit through the Mass Respite Coalition:

http://www.massrespitecoalition.org/2016/04/state-respite-summit-2016/

 

Update:  Regular Meeting April 20, 2016 Important Links-

Look up NPI (National Provider Identifier) Numbers:  https://npiregistry.cms.hhs.gov/

EOHHS Work Place Safety Traininghttp://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/commissions-and-initiatives/hsw-safety-regs/

ACO's (Accountable Care Organizations) / Mass Health Restructuring: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/commissions-and-initiatives/healthcare-reform/masshealth-innovations/masshealth-restructuring-updates.html

House of Representatives FY 17 Budget and Amendments https://malegislature.gov/Budget/FY2017/House