Senators Portman (R-OH) and Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced the Senate companion bill of the House’s Isaiah Baker and Margie Harris-Austin Act (HR 5443), called Ensuring Access to Direct Support Professionals Act (S 3220). This would extend reimbursement of Direct Support Professional (DSP) services while a person receiving Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) is in the hospital. This addresses a longstanding challenge in the 1915(c) HCBS waiver program that prevents individuals with disabilities and seniors who go to the hospital from bringing with them the DSPs who know them best, to provide them with the support they rely on. The legislation brings 1915(c) in line with other HCBS authorities by allowing payment for DSPs to provide personal assistance and other services when the individual they support has a short-term stay in an acute care hospital.
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