Listening to Our One Care Members

April 2, 2014 § 1 Comment

By John Ruiz, Consumer Liaison for One Care

The One Care program addresses what people with disabilities have been fighting for decades and provides a solution that will truly transform the way healthcare and social services are delivered to those who need it most. The program’s goal to integrate medical care, behavioral health, and long-term services and supports will assure that people with disabilities are receiving all of the services they need to optimize their health, quality of life, and independence. It represents the highest level of integrated, coordinated care ever provided to this population on a large scale, and Massachusetts is the only state implementing the program for individuals under the age of 65.

To ensure that our One Care program is accurately addressing the needs of our members, we are currently in the process of creating five consumer advisory committees composed of One Care members across Massachusetts. The committee meetings will provide a mechanism for One Care members, their families, and caregivers to participate in the ongoing development of the program. The objective of each regional committee is for members to provide advice to Commonwealth Care Alliance on programming, processes, and quality initiatives in the context of each committee’s geographic area. We are recruiting a diverse group of people from different backgrounds—disability types, ages, genders, races, and ethnicities—who can bring equally diverse opinions to the conversation.

Commonwealth Care Alliance has always worked closely with members, their families, and caregivers to address the physical, emotional, and cultural needs of the people we serve. We do this because we believe at our core that they are experts on their own lives who bring something unique to the table: their personal experience, the kind that can only be developed from living with disability. Our expertise is simply not complete without the expertise of our members.

The long-held vision of the kind of care that gives people with disabilities control over their own lives, the dignity to make their own choices, and the freedom to live independently in the community is embodied in the One Care program. It will truly transform the way healthcare and support services are delivered to those who need it most and to an extent many of them have never experienced.

In a sense, we are making history, and we are inviting our members to join us in this wonderful endeavor.

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