Director's Corner

Respite Care

Respite Care

Respite Care

We always receive a lot of respite requests toward the end of the year, especially in December. And, every year we remind our families to use and report their respite days accurately so that both the caregiver and the qualified alternative caregiver are paid properly.

As we all know, MassHealth is precise in its definitions and requirements for reporting. We try to make it as easy for you as possible. Over the years, the process of attaining and reporting respite care on the log have not changed.

MassHealth labels what we refer to as respite care as ‘Alternative Care Days,’ which is defined as: a short-term period during which a member receives AFC in a qualified setting from an alternative caregiver when the AFC caregiver is temporarily unavailable or unable to provide care.

Each of our clients has 14 days of paid respite per year, during which time both the primary caregiver and the alternative caregiver are paid. It is considered 14 days paid vacation for the primary caregiver.

At the start of each new year, the 14 days are available again and any unused respite days from the previous year are no longer available. Respite days may be used all at once or split into smaller time periods. During respite days, the alternative caregiver is taking care of the client and must complete the log and initial it on every day that they are providing the care. The alternative caregiver should also be doing the personal care on those days.

We request that you let us know about planned respite in advance. In urgent situations, such as an unexpected health issue, please let us know as soon as possible.

Here are some other reminders:
• Blank logs may be downloaded and printed right from our website.
• Each log must be signed by at least one team member (nurse or care manager) before it is sent in.
• Make sure that you initial the log each day, sign it monthly and include the level.
• If any respite is taken, the respite provider must sign the log too.
• Logs must be faxed, mailed or emailed (email is preferred) to

As always, we are happy to answer your questions and help smooth the path.

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