Ohio provider agencies work to deliver supportive services to people with developmental disabilities. Yet, funding to support these services is sometimes scarce. However, there have been some recent funding increases for DSPs, ICFs and agencies the deliver HPC services.
Many provider agencies find the lower salaries for their direct support professionals (DSPs) makes it difficult to maintain staffing levels. The low pay creates a higher amount of direct care worker turnover. In Ohio, the staff turnover rate varies from 50 to 55 percent, which is higher than the national average.
Beyond the low wages, the type of work that DSPs and other similar direct care staff perform can quickly burn employees out. The challenging nature of the job, irregular hours as well as working nights and weekends; takes a toll on direct care staff. This is another reason that this industry has such high turnover rates.
Not surprisingly, other related healthcare professionals are experiencing similar issues with burnout and high staff turnover rates.
What is the Median Pay for DSPs?
Across the United States, the average salary for a DSP or similar direct care worker is fairly low. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for home health and personal care aides was $29,430. This wage is roughly half of the median annual wage of other occupations. The graph below displays these salary differences in stark detail.
The previous salary data is the median for the entire nation. According to sources sponsored by the U.S. Department of labor, the median salary for Ohio home health and personal care aides was $23,740. Incidentally, the same some source list the annual median wage for home health and personal care aides at $27,080. It is unclear as to why there is a statistical difference in the reported salaries.
The state of Ohio has increased the hourly pay of DSPs from $11.12 to $13.23. This pay increase went into effect on January 1, 2021. Better pay for DSPs is needed, but this is a step in the right direction.
Rate Increase for Homemaker/Personal Care Services:
Ohio initiated a rate increase for providers who deliver Homemaker/Personal Care (HPC) services. The pay increase went into effect starting on January 1, 2022. Overall, the maximum payment rates for Medicaid were increased for both Homemaker/Personal Care (HPC) and Participant-Directed Homemaker/Personal Care (PD-HPC).
Ohio providers will have to submit the new payment rates when billing their DODD claims. It is important to note that HPC providers who submit claims at a lower rate than the new maximum, will receive the lower reimbursement rate.
The increased funding for HPC providers is welcomed. Recent federal and state mandates are requiring agencies that deliver HPC services to include an EVV system in their billing process. These funds can be used to offset this new cost, even though a good EVV and billing service can save money in the long run by helping an agency operate more efficiently.
If an Ohio provider agency is not using an EVV solution, they should closely monitor their submitted claims. The state has mentioned that agencies delivering HPC services should be using an approved EVV system.
Additional Funding for Ohio ICFs:
In March 2022, the state of Ohio allocated additional financial resources to intermediate care facilities (ICFs). The relief payments were initiated through an executive order by Governor Mike DeWine.
The emergency funding authorized 60 million in relief payments to Ohio ICFs. The funding was coordinated by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) as well as the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM). The supplemental funds were distributed to ICFs who were considered in good standing with the state.
Like many other healthcare providers, ICFs were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They are a crucial option in the delivery of supportive services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Due to this fact, ICFs continued to provide essential services even through the worst of the pandemic. Funding guidelines stipulate that all ICF’s must use their relief payments to compensate their direct care staff.
About ABCS RCM:
Advanced Billing & Consulting Services is an Ohio-based company located near Columbus in Worthington, OH. They provide EVV and scheduling solutions as well as billing services for agencies that provide supports for individuals with developmental disabilities.
To learn more, email or call them at 614-890-9822.
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