Policy Analysis of Massachusetts' Home and Community Based Services Waivers

Severe brain injuries have become a hidden epidemic within our society as an injury to the brain is not a curable short-term event, but the beginning of a lifelong disability. Severe brain injuries force survivors to find a new way of life through regaining skills, finding new meaning/purpose, and taking on new roles within their community and family. Life after a brain injury can be hard to manage, which is why access to adequate supports in this life transition is crucial.  A significant social problem that has become apparent for adults with brain injuries is the lack of adequate supports in transitioning individuals to less restrictive community environments. Too often, nursing homes have become the default placement for older adults and individuals with disabilities. A policy that aims to address the social problem of lack of community supports in transitioning individuals with a brain injury to less restrictive environments is the Home and Community Based Waivers (HCBS). This researcher will be conducting a policy analysis on the HCBS waivers to identify barriers connected to the waiver and provide policy change recommendations. Information will be gathered through library research and interviews with key informants.