Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks), majority chairman of the House Human Services Committee, joined the chairs of the House Aging and Older Adult Services, Senate Aging and Youth, and Senate Health and Human Services committees recently to lead a public hearing to discuss the Department of Human Services’ intent to contact with Maximus as its independent enrollment broker. The hearing focused on critical state services being provided to seniors and adults with disabilities and examined the performance of Maximus.
Under the contract, the selected candidate will also provide clinical assessments for physical eligibility, in addition to enrollment. The clinical assessment function has been successfully handled by trusted area agencies on aging for decades.
“The stories we have heard regarding Maximus’ quality of service in providing care for our older adults and adults with disabilities is extremely concerning,” Farry said. “These residents need reliable assistance they can trust, and it is clear Maximus is far from providing such services.
The committees heard from two panels of testifiers from across the state. They spoke to their expertise and experience with Maximus’ services and how they impact older adults, as well as adults with disabilities in the Commonwealth.
“Once Maximus took over, the calls just to my office about people having trouble with the system quadrupled,” said Diane Ellis-Marseglia, Bucks County Commissioner. “Our area agency on aging had 3,300 people they went out and assessed, but they also received 842 calls from people asking for help with Maximus. It’s unbelievable they should have to spend double time doing something they could’ve done on their own.”
“We have an overwhelming bipartisan effort in both chambers committed to protecting our most vulnerable and providing much-needed services that our seniors and disabled populations deserve, and raising concern over the potential changes in services,” said Farry. “The area agencies on aging have provided invaluable services to our communities and have the knowledge necessary to assist our older adults and those living with a disability. We need to ensure they remain a valid and valued part of these services.”