RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


ANCOR Direct Support Professional Wage Study
August 26, 2010 

The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) released its national survey on wage and turnover issues for Medicaid-funded support services for people with disabilities. The 2009 Direct Support Professionals Wage Study looks as the disparity in wages and retention rates between privately-operated and state-operated service providers.

There were 563 total survey responses, including 486 from private-operated providers and 77 from state-operated providers. There are nine states without state-operated institutional facilities of 16 or more residents: Alaska, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia, plus the District of Columbia.

Wage disparity indicates that direct support professionals working in private community-based agencies have an average wage of $10.41 per hour compared to $15.53 per hour in state-operated facilities. The study states the average retention rate for private providers is 40 months and state operated is 73 months. The cost of turnover per direct service professional position to private providers is $4,782, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 25 percent rule of thumb and the survey’s average entry wage of $9.37 per hour.

The data for Pennsylvania indicates that the private entry wage is $8.87 with an annualized wage of $18,450. The entry wage for the state-operated programs is $18.75 with an annualized wage of $39,000.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that one million new direct support professionals will be needed by 2016. Thirty-eight percent will be for personal and home care aide positions. An increase in wages and funding is needed to help reduce the turnover rates which impact the quality of supports and services. Federal legislation, House Resolution 868, has been introduced to amend the Social Security Act to provide additional Medicaid funds to assure wage parity with stat-employed direct support workers.

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