System For Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities, Autism Will Collapse Without Increased State Aid, Advocates Say
Health, human services organizations ask General Assembly for $430 million increase to stop further termination of programs, closure of facilities
HARRISBURG, Pa. (May 3, 2023) – Advocates for and providers of services for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism (ID/A) today urged the Pennsylvania General Assembly to increase state aid by $430 million to prevent a full collapse of the system. Prominent health and human services organizations gathered in the Capitol rotunda and said chronic underfunding and staffing shortages are forcing them to end programs and turn away individuals.
The $430 million funding request would generate a federal match that would allow providers to resume service to the 4,029 individuals who lost care in recent years. Without the 15-percent increase, providers say that 60,000 Pennsylvanians with ID/A would be at risk of losing or experiencing a reduction of essential services [read full press release].
Source: BizNewsPA, Friday, March 3, 2023
WHO’S SOUNDING ALARMS: Organizations that represent nursing homes and care providers for people with intellectual disabilities. The organizations are warning of continued labor shortages that are jeopardizing access to care. Providers have struggled to attract workers in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Nearly one-third of nursing homes in Pennsylvania have at least 21 openings for direct-care providers, according to a new report by the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, which says inadequate staffing leads nursing homes to deny entry to people seeking care.
- In the world of services for people with intellectual disabilities and autism, staff shortages and underfunding have spurred an 11% drop in the number of people being served over the last three years, according to research by the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association, Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability and The Provider Alliance.
- The groups described the care system for people with intellectual disabilities as being in a state of collapse.
The bottom line: Provider groups have been pressing for increases in state and federal aid to cope with rising costs and growing demand for services.
- Their new research comes ahead of next week’s budget address by Gov. Josh Shapiro, scheduled for March 7.
State Rep Torren Ecker (R–Adams, Cumberland) interviews Richard S Edley, PhD; President and CEO of RCPA about legislation to expand telehealth & how this affects the community of PA mental health providers. Listen to the podcast here.