Advocacy

waitlist

Waitlist

There needs to be increased funding.
  • 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 cases is currently nine years long, due to this lack of funding and the lack of capacity within the IDD network.
people capacity

Capacity

The lack of funding for the IDD network means
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.

legal document legislation

Kansas Legislation

The lack of funding for the IDD network means there are not enough providers and staff to serve all individuals who need it. Here are the bills we are watching:
  • HB 2373, a bill that will establish 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.

 

Budget Bill

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.

America National Advocacy

National Advocacy

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.
How to contact your national legislatures

To advocate for these issues, you should contact your federal legislators, which are:

Rep. Sharice Davids

Sen. Jerry Morgan

Sen. Roger Marshall