Stabilize Disability Waiver Rate System impacts

Unfunded mandates and dramatic swings in reimbursement rates are crushing organizations that have little to no ability to adjust revenue to meet increasing costs imposed by the government and economic conditions. This has created an environment of extreme business uncertainty, putting critical services in numerous communities at risk. ARRM seeks to stabilize conditions for providers by implementing previously established long-term inflation adjustments and
eliminating unfunded mandates now and in the future.

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Hold providers harmless when laws change

Over 95 percent of revenues providers receive come from Medicaid at fixed rates. When fees increase and laws change, providers have no way to increase their revenue to cover the costs. This legislation mandates when laws change that place new fees or costs on providers, the DWRS framework must change to provide adequate funding. This will allow more resources to go to wages and benefits for Direct Support Professionals.

Phase in rate reductions to guarantee consistent, quality services

Due to the new rate setting system, in 2019 some individuals may see drastic reductions to the rates the state reimburses for the services they need, potentially affecting the quality and intensity of those services. This legislation requires any drastic rate reduction to have an automatic review to ensure consistent service and extend banding for anyone seeing a steep decrease. Phasing in significant rate changes will allow providers more time to adjust and better plan for the staffing impacts and allow individuals more time to adjust to potential changes in their level of services, as well as ensure thorough review of potentially damaging rate adjustments.

Adjust rates based on the Bureau of Labor and Statistics

Current reimbursement rates in the DWRS frameworks are not adequate to support a professional wage for staff providing services to individuals with disabilities, as shown by data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). This legislation implements an already established BLS inflation adjustment, as well as ties RN and LPN wages to BLS data. This will provide stability to the system and ensure staff are paid a professional wage, helping to maintain a strong and high quality workforce.

Make sure transportation costs are covered in the framework

Even though staff travel and the transportation of individuals is a component of services and a significant expense, current DWRS frameworks do not cover it, forcing providers to divert resources that could go towards staff wages or service expansion. This legislation adjusts the framework so the rate associated with transportation costs is not a static number, but is based on a provider's license capacity.


 

Questions?
Sara Grafstrom
Director of Advocacy and Community Relations
sgrafstrom@arrm.org
651-291-1086 x. 8