In a bid to save money, Tennessee will soon stop paying for some with disabilities to receive help from two personal assistants at once. But the new rule could end up costing the state far more than it might save.
Currently, Tennessee is the only state to allow people like 20-year-old Stephanie Domm to receive care from multiple aides simultaneously. At 85-pounds, the extra assistance is a lifeline, allowing Domm to remain in her family’s home. That’s because the young adult who has cerebral palsy and intellectual disability needs two people to be safely moved in and out of her wheelchair.
But with cuts expected in July, Domm’s parents say they don’t know what they’ll do. The agency that provides the girl’s assistants says they will no longer be able to serve Domm if the state allows just one aide to work at a time due to safety concerns.
The kicker: Domm’s care currently costs $77,000 annually, but if she were to move into a state supported home — one of few options that the family is expected to have — the bill would increase to $126,000, her parents say.
And she’s likely not alone. More than two dozen people in the state rely on two personal assistants.
Officials at the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities acknowledge that the rule change might in fact increase care costs, but say they can’t make exceptions for one person over another, reports The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. To read more click here.