Clarification from Claudia Johnson on 5.31.17: Ok-I found out where this came from and…
Who our members are: Providers of intensive and critical services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Their services include helping individuals with eating, bathing, taking crucial medications, finding or going to work, and generally being active participants in our society. Providers rely almost entirely (80 percent or more) on Medicaid funding, which is set at fixed, non-negotiable rates by states and the federal government.
Why providers need help: On May 23, 2016 the Department of Labor (DOL) released the overtime exemption rule, which raised the salary threshold at which someone can be exempted from overtime pay from $23,600 per year to $47,500 per year. The work providers’ staff do is emotionally rewarding but difficult, so our members fully agree with paying staff more and have repeatedly stated they support the rule, but they need help. They do not have any way to pass on the cost due to their fixed funding, and their services are already over-strained – they cannot meet demand and have waiting lists for services as it. Since 60 percent to 80 percent of providers’ budgets already go to labor costs, in order to comply with the overtime exemption rule they will have to make difficult decisions that could affect the quality of services. While we are grateful that the DOL issued enforcement-related accommodations specifically for providers and acknowledged their unique circumstances, these do not solve our immediate funding challenges. They are a first step to a long-term problem. Congress can keep these services stable for individuals with intellectual disabilities by increasing Medicaid funding and supporting our proposed Disability Community Act of 2016 (soon to be introduced).
How you can help: Join our Thunderclap campaign to ask Congress for more funding for IDD services – and share this with your network far and wide! It will just take a few seconds of your time… Together, we can Save Our Services (SOS)!