- It costs an average of $50,000 per person to access services. For the more than 4,000 people on the waitlist in Kansas, that is a total of more than $200m.
- The waitlist in Kansas is currently nine years long, due to this lack of funding and the lack of capacity within the IDD network.
there are not enough providers and staff to serve all individuals who need it.
- Workforce constriction – there is a high turnover statewide and nationwide for DSPs – almost 50%, which existed before COVID-19 but has since been exacerbated. Resolving many issues such as Medicaid expansion, affordable housing, quality public transportation and affordable childcare will help with the workforce constriction.
- A rate increase for IDD waiver services in Kansas would help address the workforce crisis by better enabling providers to hire and retain staff through higher wages, and support efforts to build capacity to serve a larger number of individuals.
- Prior to the pandemic, we were already facing a crisis in staffing for direct support professionals. Since COVID, that has been exacerbated. In addition to low wages as mentioned above, the issues impacting the workforce are manifold, including:
- Affordable and accessible child care is one of the top issues cited by staff and job candidates as a barrier to employment. Many staff cannot work second and third shifts due to difficulty finding evening and weekend care. Additionally, child care is a financial burden to many families, especially single-income homes.
- Medicaid reimbursement rates are still not adequate enough to allow many providers to pay staff a competitive wage. Medicaid expansion will support smaller agencies who cannot offer health insurance to staff.
- Affordable housing is hard to come by in Johnson County. With wages low among direct care workers, it is hard for workers to live and work within the same community.
- Quality and reliable public transportation helps the people we support have more access to jobs and community services and activities. Additionally, many staff rely on public transportation to get to work.
In your advocacy efforts with local, state and national legislators, please help us to address this employment crisis and the systemic factors impacting our workforce.
Here are the bills we are watching:
- HB 2281 - Establishes and implements 988 as the suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline in Kansas. It received a hearing in the House Committee on Health and Human Services on Feb. 15, 2022.
- HB 2219 - Enacts the Kansas targeted employment act to provide tax credits for the employment of persons with developmental disabilities. It received a hearing in the Senate Committee on Commerce on Feb. 16, 2022.
- HB 2373 - Establishes a statewide mobile crisis support program for people with IDD in Kansas, has been withdrawn from the calendar and the Committee on Appropriations and has been re-referred to Committee of the Whole.
If you're interested in giving feedback to your legislators on any of these bills, please find your legislator.
Johnson County Developmental Supports - Written Testimony
- Senate Ways and Means Human Services Subcommittee - Workforce Crisis and Waitlist
- House Social Services Budget Committee - Workforce Crisis and Waitlist
- HB 2281
- SB 316
- HB 2219
IDD discussions in legislative committee meetings:
In January 2022, four legislative committee meetings were held in Topeka to discuss the workforce and capacity crisis in the IDD network. If you're interested in viewing the testimony or learning more about what the committees were discussing, you can watch all four meeting videos on the KS Legislature YouTube:
- House Social Services Budget Committee Meeting
- House Appropriations Committee Meeting
- Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee Meeting
- Senate Ways and Means Committee Meeting
- House Social Services Budget Committee - KDADS Budget Public Testimony
- Senate Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services (Feb. 17) - KDADS Budget Hearing
- Senate Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services (Feb. 21) - KDADS Budget Public Testimony
Governor Laura Kelly signed HB 2007, the Kansas budget bill, into law on April 26, 2021 leaving all of the IDD funding intact. This includes:
- $5.5 million for an IDD provider rate increase for the rest of the fiscal year
- $31 million for a 7% IDD provider rate increase in the next fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2021
This rate increase is the largest single increase in Kansas IDD system history!
Find your legislator.
According to the 2021 Case for Inclusion Report, the Biden Administration and Congress should address the following to better support the IDD system
- Incentivize states to develop and implement a plan for addressing each component of the direct support workforce crisis.
- Require CMS to include Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) under the equal access rule.
- Target DSPs with the incentives established by the 100,000 Caregivers proposal.
- Direct HHS to fund alternative payment model pilot programs.
- Appropriate additional funding for the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund.
- Ensure community providers have sufficient access to staffing, PPE and technology.
- Compel the Bureau of Labor Statistics to establish a Standard Occupational Classification for DSPs.
- Provide funding to incentivize the development of DSP pipeline programs.
- Pass the HCBS Infrastructure Act.
To advocate for these issues, you should contact your federal legislators, which are: