Council holds forum on participant-directed care
The Providers' Council held a forum on participant-directed care on Tuesday, March 20 at Plymouth Church in Framingham, where a panel of experts discussed one of the major aspects of the March 2011 report Trends in the Human Service Landscape.
Completed by Public Consulting Group and commissioned by the Providers' Council, the report discussed several trends in human services, including the participant-directed model of care, also known as consumer-centric care or self-directed care. Public Consulting Group's Tara Himmel, at right in the above photo, discussed the the new model and its application, both in Massachusetts and across the country. There are self-directed programs in all 50 states, she said, and the 290 self-directed programs serve 810,000 individuals. Of those surveyed, 90 to 98 percent report satisfaction with the participant-directed model, she added.
Kevin Mahoney, center in the above photo, discussed his work at the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Care at Boston College and a recent study the center had done on participant-directed care. He said there were strong viewpoints on both sides of the issue, saying some felt it was the "worst thing that could happen," while others believed there "are real opportunities."
Paul Spooner, at left in the photo above, is a Providers' Council board member and executive director of MetroWest Center for Independent Living. Spooner said allowing participants to direct their own care is a major step forward.
"Disability rights fostered a model that's known as consumer-directed care. What you have is a model based on some clear and independent principals," he said. "They get to choose who comes into their house and what services they receive."
Bill Lyttle, president of The Key Program, Inc., moderated a question-and-answer session with the audience following the panel discussion.
The report will be made available online in the coming weeks. Videos from this event will be up on the Providers' Council website and YouTube channel later this week. Please visit this page later this week for details.