More Funding for DSPs and Home & Community-Based Service

Individual with caregiver (DSP)

DSPs (direct support professionals) and similar direct care staff who provide services for Ohioans with developmental disabilities, may soon receive a pay raise.

The Governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, has proposed in his new budget to direct additional financial resources to Ohio's developmental disabilities system. The proposal is part of his budget package for the 2024-2025 fiscal year.

Wages and Turnover:

This is good news for the state's direct support professionals who traditionally have some of the lowest wages in the healthcare industry. The low pay that DSPs receive often causes many provider agencies to find it challenging to maintain personnel levels. Increased turnover among direct care workers is a result of inadequate pay. In 2021, the staff turnover rate in Ohio was greater than the national average, ranging between 50 and 55 percent.

The median compensation for a DSP or comparable direct care worker is low across the country. The median annual salary for home health and personal care aides was $29,430, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median yearly wage for other occupations is about half of this wage.

In addition to the low pay, DSPs and other direct care workers perform duties that can quickly exhaust staff members These experiences create high rates of staff turnover. It should be remembered that many direct care staff suffer from the demanding nature of the work, erratic hours as well as sometimes working nights and weekends.

The capacity to offer sympathetic and considerate support may decline over time. In addition to providing care, administrative and regulatory procedures can create additional stress for direct care staff and supervisors. All of these reasons are factors that contribute to the high turnover rates in this sector. A problem that COVID-19 only made worse.

Wage Increase in 2022:

In 2022, there were pay increases for individuals who provide homemaker/personal care (HPC) services in the state of Ohio. Beginning on January 1, 2022, the wage increase became official. The rates for Medicaid were increased for both Homemaker/Personal Care (HPC) and Participant-Directed Homemaker/Personal Care (PD-HPC).

However, provider agencies need to carefully study the new regulations. When billing their DODD claims after the January 1, 2022 date, Ohio providers will have to submit their claims at the new payment rate. Otherwise, these HPC providers will be paid at a lower rate if their claims are submitted at a lower amount than the new maximum.

Again, Ohio providers who submit their DODD claims for reimbursement with a lower rate (the old rate), will be paid at that lower rate. For more information about these rates, please visit the following link: 2022 billing rates.

New Financial Commitments from Ohio:

Governor DeWine's previous budget had increased funding for the state’s DD (developmental disabilities) system. However, the new budget allocates a larger amount. It proposes investing roughly $701 million to fund supports and services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The funding is planning to focus on creating better salaries for DSPs and other related direct care staff. It will also direct funds to new innovative technologies that can help Ohioans, as well as funding supportive services for children and adolescents with complex needs.

Some of the specific details from the proposed budget include:

  1. Better DSP Wages: The budget increases funding for DSP and supportive provider salaries. This is one of the most pressing issues for many Ohio provider agencies and the individuals who rely on them. The Ohio DD system struggles to pay direct support professionals a fair salary. In order to attract, keep and invest in these crucial personnel, for funding is needed. The new budget allocates an unprecedented $579 million into provider pay rates with the goal of raising direct care salaries and stabilizing the provider workforce.
  2. HBCS (Home and Community-Based Services) Wages: The wages for staff who work in residential settings will also increase in the future. The projected pay rates for these services in Ohio home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers will increase by 16.5 percent. This increase is projected to create a $16 per-hour average reimbursement rate.
  3. ICFs (Intermediate Care Facilities): The budget will continue to fund the reimbursement formula for ICFs in Ohio. In addition, there is a planned increase of 6.5 percent in the per-day cost. This will be added to an ICF's daily rate, with these rate adjustments scheduled to occur during both the 2024 and 2025 fiscal years. Also, for individuals who are dependent on ventilator care, the new budget provides a 200 percent increase to the add-on rate for Ohio ICFs.

About Rev Up Billing

Rev Up Billing is an Ohio-based company that provides EVV, billing and scheduling solutions for agencies that provide supportive services for individuals with developmental disabilities. They are an alternative EVV vendor in both the states of Ohio and California.

Rev Up Billing provides professional billing services for direct support professionals. Our eWebSchedule software solution is a package of tools specifically designed for the unique administrative needs of Ohio Waiver Provider Agencies that deliver support for individuals with developmental disabilities.

If you have additional questions about billing practices or software tools for Ohio provider agencies – contact us.

Rev Up Billing provides trusted and experienced billing services for healthcare practitioners. Like, subscribe and follow Rev Up Billing on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn & Twitter.

Updated from original article published on February 17, 2023

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