An Update on the Direct Support Professional Wage Increase
Throughout 2019, you received a lot of information about the increase in Direct Support Professional (DSP) wages. We wanted to share this statement from many of our partners in the field – The Arc of Ohio, Ohio Association of County Boards, Ohio Health Care Association, Ohio Provider Resource Association, and Ohio Waiver Network. If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 419-221-1385.
RESIDENTIAL HOMEMAKER PERSONAL CARE RATE INCREASE
A Historic Investment: In 2019 the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), State Legislature, and County Boards of Developmental Disabilities made a historic investment to increase rates for “Residential” Homemaker Personal Care (HPC) services. DODD will raise Medicaid payment rates to providers for HPC on January 1, 2020 and again on January 1, 2021. The intent of these rate increases is to provide additional compensation to direct support professional staff delivering HPC services.
The Rate Applies to Residential HPC Services: The rate change only applies to those who provide residential HPC services. Advocacy efforts to ensure rate increases for other DD services are currently being organized.
Varied Implementation of the Rate Increase: Providers will have the opportunity to implement the rate changes in ways that best benefits their DSPs. The additional money may be applied to wages, bonuses, benefits and overtime.
Wage Verification: A team of stakeholders representing a variety of organizations are working together to ensure the HPC rate is handled appropriately and improves total compensation* for Direct Support Professionals. The organizations include The Arc of Ohio, Ohio Association of County Boards, Ohio Health Care Association, Ohio Provider Resource Association, Ohio Waiver Network, and Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.
A New Wage Verification Tool: A tool is being developed that will help providers identify the appropriate wage, bonus, and benefits data to meet the requirements of what needs to be submitted to DODD. The tool is in the process of being finalized and we anticipate it will be available to providers early in 2020.
Ensuring Transparency: The rate increase requires all HPC providers to submit data to DODD in an effort to show the rate was applied to benefit the DSP. The new data collection process will replace the NCI Staff Stability survey in 2020.
Statewide Average: Every HPC Provider in Ohio will be required to submit data on their wages, overtime, and employee-related expenses for DSPs. The data also will be used to calculate statewide averages. It is anticipated the statewide average will improve over time.
Stay tuned for more information on waiver transportation in February 2020 – changes are coming. Happy New Year!