UMMS Affiliation

Commonwealth Medicine; Center for Health Law and Economics; Center for Health Policy and Research

Publication Date


Document Type

White Paper


Health Law and Policy | Health Policy | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research


Direct care workforce shortages, increasing health care costs, and limited access to services force many families to make life-changing decisions to care for family members with long term disabilities or who are chronically ill at home. For this project, the authors conducted an environmental scan of current policies and programs for state and federally funded respite services across Massachusetts’ state agencies.

The results of this project demonstrate the variability in Massachusetts’ state policies and program practices in four primary areas:

  • The types of respite services offered by state agencies

  • The agencies definition of respite services

  • Variability in the ability of families to access services

  • The methods employed to track the delivery and outcomes of services

This study concludes with recommendations to enhance the delivery of respite as an integral part of long-term services and supports in Massachusetts.


long term disabilities, long term care, home care, family caregivers, direct care, respite services, Massachusetts

DOI of Published Version


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Commonwealth Medicine Publications


This research project was funded by the University of Massachusetts Medical School Commonwealth Medicine FY 2016 Internal Grant Program: Stimulating innovation and dissemination in the CWM program delivery system.