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Adult Day Services, Adult Day Care, Adult Day Health, Medical Adult Day Care, Social Adult Day Care, Day Activity and Health Services?

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The Adult Day Health Care Association of Texas (ADCAT) is working to brand adult day services differently in Texas. Providers feel the term “adult day care” is archaic. Therefore, adult day service providers, managed care companies and ADCAT are on a mission to change the term “adult day care” in state statute.

Introduced on April 1, 2015, Senate Bill 1999 will change the name of licensing statute from “ADULT DAY CARE” to “Day Activity and Health Services.” ADCAT President Stephanie Hoffman said, “We firmly believe the current term does not honor the dignity and autonomy of the elderly and disabled adults and veterans that are served by our program. ‘Day care’ is a term used for children, not adults, and the term ‘Day Activity and Health Services (DAHS)’ gives dignity to the 20,000 Texans that receive health, social, and related support services in a protective setting each month.”

The change is only the name of the service sector, not any requirements or licensing standards, and conforms to industry practice and their focus on culture change and person-centered care.

Pennsylvania faced similar challenges several years ago. The ADS licensing statute establishes Older Adult Daily Living Centers (OADLC) and neither the statute nor regulations provide for the services required to meet Medicaid standards for waiver clients. The statute had not been updated for at least 20 years. Hence, a name that many people associate with social day care, if they understand it at all, continues to hold back advancement of adult day services.

Therefore in 2010, in order to move beyond the social model to a medical health model, the Departments of Aging and (then) Public Welfare created an Enhanced Waiver OADLC program as a means to overlay the statute and avoid having to obtain legislative action. Standards were set within the program to appeal to CMS, and reimbursement rates were set outside of the usual rate-setting procedure. Retired Senator Roy Afflerbach stated, “The Enhanced program continues to operate but has only been adopted by about 25% of Pennsylvania’s centers because of low numbers of client referrals, costs of meeting the enhanced requirements, and stagnant reimbursement rates that have not been increased since originally set in 2010.”

Naming a business is complicated. Naming a service sector seems to be even more complicated since there are 50 different ways of doing business as a result of 50 sets of state regulations. Should we focus on descriptive names that tell something about the business, such as who is served? Or should we focus on more abstract subjective names that tell what the business is about? Regardless of the name in your state, your voice is needed to help us brand the service sector to policy makers.

Join NADSA for 2015 Capitol Hill Day in Washington, DC, on May 4-5, 2015.

—Teresa D. Johnson, Managing Director with Senator Roy Afflerbach, Retired, The Afflerbach Group, Red Lion, PA

Posted in Advocacy
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