Children’s Advisory Network Challenges Unfair Denials

Rebecca Dalpe, Esq.
H.A.L.O. CAN – our Children’s Advisory Network – is marking its fifth year this summer as a legal champion for children with severe neurological impairment.

“When a regulatory body denies benefits children are legally entitled to, we help families challenge these decisions,” says Rebecca L. Dalpe, a partner at Foster & Eldridge, LLP in Cambridge MA, and H.A.L.O.’s most active volunteer lawyer.

Becky has focused on filing appeals when the state’s Department of Public Health (DPH) has denied short term respite stays at nursing homes. CAN services are currently available only in Massachusetts, where the DPH’s Medical Review Team (MRT) typically makes decisions based on medical records or past conversations.

“Our job is to highlight the pertinent medical records and to obtain supporting letters from medical providers to clarify misunderstandings that may have led to denial of services,” she explained.

Many families are overwhelmed by their child’s disabilities or they find these quasi-legal issues too complex to deal with on their own.  Sometimes language or cultural mores interfere with understanding, or families fear that an appeal will cause termination of other services, Becky said.

“It is important to get out the word that H.A.L.O. CAN is here to help navigate the system. In addition to helping families appeal decisions regarding expensive medications and medical devices, we can assist with guardianship and other complicated paperwork.”

Becky’s law practice includes medical malpractice defense, health care law, and representation of medical professionals before regulatory boards, agencies and committees.  “My pro bono work for CAN on behalf of families is incredibly gratifying.”

Becky has earned the AV Preeminent Rating, the highest rating for Ethical Standards and Professional Excellence from Martindale-Hubbell, the international rating directory, and has been repeatedly named a Massachusetts “Rising Star” and “Super Lawyer” and one of the top 50 women lawyers in both Massachusetts and New England. She is a member of the H.A.L.O. Board of Directors, President of the Cambridge-Arlington-Belmont Bar Association and a member of the Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Women’s bar associations.

To learn more about H.A.L.O. CAN, visit www.halo.org or email Becky at rdalpe@fosteld.com