For the first time since 2005 there has been an increase in the reimbursement rate for agencies providing services for people with developmental disabilities, including Choices In Community Living and Resident Home Association. The rate increase has been earmarked for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who provide direct care support.
Also included in the budget is an authorization to establish a ‘health home” system that may provide coordinated care for people with chronic conditions and developmental disabilities.
The Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA) played a pivotal advocacy role in lobbying for these and other provisions in the budget that will now have direct impact on the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities while benefitting our dedicated and professional direct care staff.
According to OPRA, the work is not yet finished! There was disappointment that the General Assembly has not yet acted on the extension of Medicaid to low wage workers, leaving employers to face daunting, even disastrous, increases in health care costs and further stranding 275,000 Ohioans without health care insurance. Many of these Ohioans are our own direct care employees. OPRA remains a leader in the state in working to get this done. The situation remains ‘a work in progress.’
Both Choices In Community Living and Resident Home Association are long-time OPRA members. Choices’ Executive Director Tom Weaver serves on the OPRA board. OPRA is the statewide lobbying organization for providers of residential services.