Protect People with IDD Through Viable Provider Rates
Every day, children and adults with IDD rely on comprehensive provider organizations for the support necessary to live in community with family and peers, instead of more expensive institutional settings. Direct service workers are the backbone of community services.
As a cost containment measure, HHSC proposes cutting rates for critical IDD services by 21%.
If enacted, a cut of this magnitude would force provider agencies to cut wages for direct service workers, leading to increased turnover and putting a vulnerable population at risk. People with intellectual disabilities are highly vulnerable to exploitation and 4 to 10 times more likely to be abused than peers without disabilities. Quality direct service workers and continuity of care are key to providing a safe environment.
Viable rates that allow providers to attract and retain quality direct service workers are critical to successfully support people with intellectual disabilities in lower cost community services.
What do we ask of you?
We urge lawmakers to protect rates for Home and Community Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living Waiver (TxHmL) services and fund the IDD Attendant Compensation Rate Enhancement program as per the HHSC LAR released September 2016 ($8.5 million). By protecting these rates and allowing providers to pay direct service workers competitive wages you are protecting the safety and well-being of people with intellectual disabilities.
What is Intellectual Disability?
Formerly described by the outdated term “mental retardation” (now considered disrespectful), intellectual disability is a condition characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem solving) and adaptive behavior (practical and social skills).
Most often evident at birth or in the very early years of a child’s life, the condition must have occurred before age 18. Causes may include trauma (before or after birth); infections; and genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome.