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Senate Hearing Update - ODP Rate Cuts
October 20, 2011

The October 19 Senate Health and Welfare Committee Hearing, organized by Senator Pat Vance, included testimony by several direct service providers, county MH/ID administrators, and the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP). The link to Senator Vance’s web site, which includes copies of the testimony presented, is http://pasenategop.com/committees/health/2011/101911/agenda.htm.

PCPA is a member of the Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Coalition (IDA) which has issued a press release regarding concerns from this hearing. This was the second hearing called by Senator Vance’s committee to address funding issues related to ODP. The first hearing on September 28 generated much media attention with Department of Public Welfare testimony on waste within the system. However, state audits reviewed by Senator Vance did not appear to substantiate those claims.

The Capitolwire report on the hearing focused on such issues as how are services are supplied and how is it determined they are necessary. ODP also indicated in its testimony that with the new rates for direct service providers which become effective on November 15, their data indicates that approximately 60 percent of providers will either break even or receive up to 10 percent more in revenues.  Capitolwire has contacted PCPA for comments regarding the issues presented at the hearing and the impact of the funding changes on the provider system. Please share your comments, issues, and recommendations with Linda Drummond by October 25.

Only a few members have shared information regarding the financial and programming impact on services. In order for PCPA to advocate at the state level for correction of the six percent rate adjustment factor cut, details are needed from each agency affected. PCPA also needs to know if your agency will be one of those in the 60 percent bracket that will break even or see increased revenues. Agency names will be held confidential. Please send to Linda Drummond details on amount of funding cuts, number of clients affected per type of service, how the agency anticipates addressing these cuts, and if it plans to close any programs. If yes to program closure, please indicate which ones.

PCPA has asked for a third Senate committee hearing to allow direct service and supports coordination providers along with families and individuals served to educate legislators regarding the impact of the funding cuts on the people living in the community.

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