There have been several significant legislative actions made recently that threaten the services provided by Achieve Services, Inc. and similar programs. We have been actively reaching out to legislators and decision makers within the Minnesota Department of Human Services to ensure that our case is made.
You can help us by contacting your representatives and telling them that the participants at Achieve Services, Inc. are worthy of the best service possible and a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate for all individuals.
Disability Waiver Rate System
In 2013, the legislature passed the Disability Waiver Rate System, which restructures the how rates are set for disability services. This major shift in funding creates winners and losers with programs like Achieve Services on the losing end and at risk of losing 24-31% of our annual funding or approximately $1.1-$1.5 million.
The 7% Cut
In late February, 2018 the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) received notification from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of a problem with Minnesota’s rate setting policy for Minnesotans receiving home and community-based services (HCBS). This problem has resulted in a 7% cut to reimbursement rates for services received by several thousand Minnesotans with disabilities. As of July 1st, 2018, all individuals who are receiving services that are funded by the waiver, and whose rates were not banded sustained a 7% cut. If the legislature does not act to fix this problem in 2019, all services funded through the waiver will receive a 7% cut at the end of 2019.
How Can You Help?
2) Contact your legislator. Visit the Minnesota District Search and enter your address and zip code to find out which representatives serve your district.
3) Contact the Department of Human Services. This agency is responsible for many of the policies that affect programs for people with disabilities. You can contact them by visiting their official website or sending an e-mail to DSD.PublicComments@state.mn.us.
4) Post on social media. The more people you can get involved, the more likely we are to affect real change. Share one of our blog posts (see below) or post a message of support on our Facebook page.
What Can You Say?
- Help Address our Workforce Crisis by Adding a Competitive Workforce Factor to the DWRS rate formula!
- Without question, the quality of services provided is driven by our ability to attract and retain the very best employees. The DWRS, particularly in the wake of the 7% cut, does not allow us to pay livable wages. As a result, staff turnover rates exceed 40%! Please add a competitive workforce factor to the rate formula!
- Do not time-limit the opportunity to engage in center-based work!
- The fact is, some participants cannot, or choose not to, engage in competitive community-based employment. Historically many higher-needs participants have chosen to do center-based work in a safe, supported environment. This is their only opportunity to earn a paycheck, and gain the self-worth that goes with it. Do not take this opportunity way from those who choose center-based employment!!
- Help the hardest-hit programs transition to their lower rates!
- The DWRS rates are hitting some programs particularly hard. Achieve, for example, will lose over 20% of it’s revenue. Please support the transition grant program (SF 1221/HF 1099) and avoid the displacement of hundreds of people currently being served.
If you have a story of how Achieve Services has benefited you or someone you love, those are the best types of stories to share. Here are some other great blog posts that you can share with legislators and friends:
- “Eliminating subminimum wage waivers will harm hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities” – August 2018
- Best Life Alliance – Restore the 7% Cut (PDF) – April 2018
- MINNPOST: Hiring crisis: While economy grows, wages for social service professionals aren’t keeping up – April 2018
- MOHR Impact Newsletter – September 2016
- CEO: Changes in Funding Threaten to Impact Services to Customers – 6/28/2016
- “The Cost of Compassion” – Help Direct Support Professionals – 5/6/2016
- “What They Don’t Tell You About Working with Adults with Developmental Disabilities from The Mighty – 7/22/2015
- “Who Decides Where Autistic Adults Live?” from The Atlantic – 5/26/2015
- “The British Are Coming” Editorial from Merrick’s John Wayne Barker – 3/20/2015
- Providers of Services for People with Disabilities Respond to Olmstead Plan – 12/02/2014
- A Parent Responds to Minnesota’s Employment First Policy – 08/06/2014
- Achieve Services Response to Minnesota’s Employment First Proposal – 07/29/2014
- Achieve Parents Respond to Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan – 08/27/2013
- CEO: People with Disabilities Need More, Not Fewer, Employment Options – 08/12/2013
- Any Personability post that shares the story of an person served by Achieve.
- Advocacy – How to Tell Your Story (PDF)
- Olmstead Commissioners Contact Information (Word)
- Comments on Olmstead Plan from Tom Weaver (Word)
- Person Centered Planning (PDF)
- Disability Waivers Rate System (PDF)
- Olmstead Amicus by Ivan Levy (PDF)
- Minnesota Organization on Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR)
- Best Life Alliance (formerly 5% Campaign)
- Minnesota Families and Advocacy Council (MNFAC)
How Do You Learn More?
Contact us today to set up a tour or answer any questions that you might have.