During the 2014 Legislative Session, the legislature tasked the Developmental Disabilities Administration with developing and implementing a new funding system for the distribution of federal and state funds to community-based service providers. The Administration was required to conduct an independent, cost-driven study, develop and implement a plan, provide for specified payments, develop a billing and payment system, establish a payment schedule, and consult with stakeholders. This was the first time the provider rate structure has been reviewed in at least two decades.
“This study was extremely beneficial, due in large part to the participation and input of stakeholders throughout the state,” Deputy Secretary Simons said. “The engagement of providers and individuals concerned with the needs of the developmentally disabled was essential to ensuring we designed a fair and equitable rate system.”
The rate study will allow the Developmental Disabilities Administration to move from a prospective to a reimbursement payment model and streamline the payment process. There are four major advantages of the system recommended by the rate study:
- Providers will receive the same payment for providing the same level of support.
- Individuals will be supported by a flexible system that allows for changes in service authorization to meet needs without requiring a change in contract or rate – allowing for portability so individuals can easily relocate without financial concerns about care.
- Increased accountability in the provider community and within the Developmental Disabilities Administration, including additional rate transparency around the authorization and payment for staffing required for individual care.
- The system will be responsive both to different levels of support needs and local economic conditions through predetermined calculations for adjustment.
Johnston, Villegas-Grubbs and Associates (JVGA) was contracted to facilitate the rate study under the oversight of the Developmental Disabilities Administration. JVGA used the “Brick™ Method” to design rates for services – a systematic approach to rate setting used by county and state governments, as well as federal programs.
JVGA formed two workgroups. The first focused on technical aspects of the study and included a cross section of community based service providers. The second focused on how the rates can affect the quality of services. Both groups contributed valuable input through face-to-face meetings and conference calls.
The quality workgroup was comprised of family members, persons who have disabilities and advocate for themselves, and Arc Maryland representatives. JVGA used this input to incorporate quality of life concerns into concrete objectives in the rate system. Most significantly, they identified the need for more training for direct support providers. As a result, a rate component was created specifically for training. These findings allow the Administration to be more responsive to the individuals being served.
A series of town hall meetings were held in each of the Developmental Disabilities Administration’s four regions for stakeholders to provide input on the results of the study. The town halls were from 7 – 9 p.m. at the following locations:
Eastern Shore Region
Monday, November 13, 2017 at the Holiday Inn Express, 8561 Ocean Gateway
Western Maryland Region
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at the Ramada Inn, 718 Underpass Way, Hagerstown, MD 21740
Central Maryland Region
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at the Central Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21045
Southern Maryland Region
Thursday, November 16, 2017 at the Southern Bowie Comfort Inn, 4500 Crain Hwy, Bowie, MD 20716
The Developmental Disabilities Administration is transforming the services and delivery processes to be person-centered and responsive to the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities in Maryland and their families.
If you have questions, please email RateStudyInfo.DDA@maryland.gov.
Questions and answers submitted to DDA relative to the rate setting study report are answered in the Responses to Rate Study Questions. If there were multiple questions of a similar nature, the questions and responses were combined.