Stop The 7% Cut To Rates for Disability Supports

Information on impending cut to rates for community-based supportive services

In late February, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) received notification from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of a problem with Minnesota’s rate setting policy for Minnesotans receiving home and community-based services (HCBS). If the problem is not fixed by the state legislature, the issue will result in a 7% cut to the reimbursement rates for services received by several thousand Minnesotans with disabilities.

ARRM Members: Click here for additional information for your organizations

Who will this impact

Ultimately, this will affect all people who access home and community-based supportive services via Minnesota's Medicaid Waiver to live independently if allowed to go through. Initially on July 1, 2018, about 27% of people using the waiver, tens of thousands of Minnesotans, would see their current assistance reduced by up to several thousand dollars per year. By the end of next year all individuals would see their rates cut. However, all recipients of services would see an immediate impact due to provider organizations adjusting to a loss of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.

Why is this happening

Minnesota uses a standard formula called the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) to set the funding rates people receive for the supportive services they access to live as independently as possible in the community. More than three years ago when the system was developed, Minnesota lawmakers added several core increases to support service enhancements and support direct care staff recruitment and retention. Due to the way policy was written and federal rules governing Medicaid, these past investments cause a conflict with future rate increases to keep the direct care workforce competitive and services providing the best support for people with disabilities. In short, due to a policy glitch, people with disabilities, and the staff and organizations providing supportive services, will see tens of millions of dollars cut unless the state legislature acts before July 1.

Download a short informational handout.

Act to stop the cut

Minnesota's State Legislature and Governor can stop these cuts from happening by passing simple legislation and returning the tens of millions of dollars in assistance to funding for supportive services, where it was before the cuts were announced. They need to hear that stopping the cut needs to be a top priority before they adjourn to start campaigning for re-election on May 21.

Do your part by taking the following steps:

  • Subscribe to get updates and alerts from the Best Life Alliance , a coalition of providers and advocates who support direct care staff and are leading the fight on this issue: Click here to subscribe
  • Email or call your legislators to deliver the below message (please consider adding a line or two about why this issue is important to you. Every contact lets them know how important this issue is to their constituents, which matters to them! Click here to look up your legislators

This past February, the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) informed the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) that CMS denied Minnesota’s legislatively approved investments in the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS), the system that determines service rates for Minnesotans with disabilities accessing community based disability services. This will result in a cut of 7% to the rates for community based disability services across the state for Minnesotans with disabilities.

A cut of 7% will prove devastating to affected individuals and that staff that serve them, and affect me personally. Please support Best Life Alliance Legislation (SF2889/HF 3191) to stop this cut to individual service rates and target these investments specifically to workforce competitiveness.

  • Volunteer to author a letter to the editor to your local paper (someone with the Best Life Alliance can contact you with guidance). Click here to volunteer

Additional Resources

ARRM will publish a weekly article on its public What's News blog with a review of the latest action and important next steps. Read the most recent update.

If you are going to visit a legislator, bring them a copy of the Best Life Alliance's advocacy flyer on the cut. Download the flyer.

Day of Action Calendar invite