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DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES PAYMENT REFORM SPARKS QUESTIONS

The Developmental Disabilities Services Division (DDSD) hosted a public meeting on July 16 to discuss the recommendations made in a recent study of the rates paid to designated and specialized service agencies.

Establishing the cost basis for rates in one piece of a complex overhaul of financial arrangements and reporting requirements in the developmental disabilities system, explained Department Director Clare McFaddan.

McFadden and consultant Stephen Pawlowski of Burns and Associates, Inc. which built the recommended rates, described the study to a packed room of concerned self-advocates, family members, and allies. Key points in the presentation included:

  • Provider agencies can expect wages to be uniform statewide. The State’s payment for and the agency’s delivery of services will also be the same throughout the State.

  •  Person-centered planning and the expectation that service plans will be tailored to the individual receiving support will not change. 

  • Potential benefits of using the new rate structure include the ability to explain clearly to legislators how funds appropriated for developmental services are used and to justify adjusting this appropriation based on changing costs.

  • The rates build in funding for necessary activities like training and supervision, which cannot be directly billed to Medicaid.

Through-out the presentation people voiced concerns about the cost of change and its impact on services, employee turnover, gaps in service due to workforce shortages, and variation in services across Vermont’s 14 counties. McFadden assured attendees that as changes are proposed by the Department the goal will continue to be increased accountability and the fair use of resource across the system.

Public input about the proposed rates is being accepted until August 16, 2019. Comments should be sent to DSPaymentReform@burnshealthpolicy.com

VTDDC staff are happy to assist.

Would you like to know about more opportunities to listen and give feedback on payment reform? Email Lisa Parro (lisa.parro@vermont.gov) and ask her to add your name to the list for future presentations. You can also listen to a webinar by DAIL Senior auditor Jennifer Perkins that reviews the June 16 material. 

For more information about the meeting, materials, and presentations, visit the Agency of Human Services' Developmental Disabilities Services Division's website.


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