Help for direct support professional (DSP) staff wages, more frequent rate updates and the preservation of a rate factor that accounts for participant absences were key accomplishments at the State Capitol this session for disability service providers and the individuals (participants) they serve.
These and more were part of the 2019 Health and Human Services Omnibus Finance Bill, which was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor at the end of May.
“We didn’t get all that we had hoped for, but your advocacy made a difference,” said Julie Johnson, president of the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR).
Front and center is a welcomed addition to the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) framework to help increase staff wages. A Competitive Workforce Factor (CWF) rate increase of 4.7 percent was approved.
It translates to a service reimbursement rate increase of 4 percent, or $44 million a year in total, according to a summary report from Fredrikson & Byron. This helps to address the negative impacts of a 7 percent cut in 2018.