Not surprisingly, respondents' comments also speak to the underlying challenge of understanding complex public program eligibility criteria. The first comment (below) captures the frustration experienced by many consumers as they begin to navigate the complex eligibility determination process for publicly funded long term supports.
"It was difficult for me to figure out what was necessary on the forms to be filled out. A guideline to explain, for example, what disabilities qualify and an income guide to follow would be helpful. "
This comment demonstrates the value of consumer feedback in identifying areas for improvement. Consumer readable information on determination of medical and income eligibility is a clear suggestion about needed educational materials. In response to these types of concerns, tip sheets about the MaineCare eligibility process are now being distributed by the DASH.
Positive experiences with the DASH are also reflected in respondents' comments. Their comments refer to various dimensions of service quality, including confidence that DASH staff are knowledgeable and caring. For example:
"They helped me more than anyone else had in the matter I was concerned with."
"They are the most helpful and interested people I talked to!"
"Thank you for the info and the materials sent to me. Will use them as I have a 95 yr. old mother moving in with me. The person I talked with was very helpful and caring. "
"Knowledgeable, caring and very attentive. Great customer service. "
"I am so glad they are there when I need questions answered. "
Beyond these general statements of satisfaction, dimensions of ADRC impact of interest in evaluating DASH include the efficiency, responsiveness and effectiveness of the DASH project. Before exploring these dimensions and consumer perceptions, it is important to understand the profile of DASH clients. Data from the Consumer Satisfaction survey and the SAMS management data indicate the variety of client needs presented to the DASH.
14Muskie School of Public Service