Minnesota Organization for Habilitation & Rehabilitation (MOHR) 2018-19 Government Affairs Committee Workplan
MOHR believes that individuals with disabilities should have access to effective and high-quality employment and day services of their choice. Accordingly, MOHR supports and will actively work for the following initiatives:
Address the Disability Services Workforce Shortage. Direct Support Professionals are the most critical element of providing quality and effective services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They are vital to achieving the shared goal of supporting Minnesotans with disabilities to live their best lives, as well as to meeting the specific objectives of Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan and the Federal Government’s Home and Community Based Services Settings Rule. Currently, the critical shortage of Direct Support Professionals in disability services across the state has created an unsustainable situation of significant staff vacancies and high staff turnover which directly impacts the health, safety and quality of life of individuals with disabilities. MOHR will work to advance targeted funding and policy reforms aimed at increasing the availability of high quality direct care workers for community based disability services.
Support Employment Services Provided through Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development. Minnesota’s DEED provides critical employment support services for Minnesotans with disabilities, including Extended Employment programs as part of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. MOHR will work to support and expand access to these high-quality employment services and supports by addressing current and long-term funding sustainability issues for these services as well as policy changes that strengthen access to these services.
Advance Continued Needed Reforms to the Disability Waiver Rate System. As Minnesota continues to move forward with implementation of the Disability Waiver Rate System (the new statewide rate setting system for waiver services), we must do so in a way that further strengthens the Disability Waiver Rate System such that this payment system better supports the employment and life enrichment goals of Minnesotans with disabilities. We must also ensure that we continue to preserve the quality and integrity of the existing infrastructure of employment and day supports for Minnesotans with disabilities throughout the state. MOHR will continue to promote changes in line with this outcome.
Monitor the Implementation of the New Community Employment Support Options. With the recent establishment of three new Community Employment Support service options, Minnesota has an opportunity to continue to broaden and strengthen our system of disability employment support services. However to reach their full potential, these new services will need ongoing sustainable rates reflecting true cost, as well as clear definitions and processes for the services themselves and necessary related systematic changes that do not destabilize other services. MOHR will continue to work to monitor and support the implementation and ongoing availability of the new services.
Shape Development of New Rate Setting System for Transportation Services. In 2019 DHS will propose a new rate setting formula for most Waiver Transportation services (with the exception of DTH full day/daily where transportation rates are built into the overall rate). Having a rate setting tool that produces ongoing sustainable rates reflecting the true costs of providing the transportation associated with the employment and day services an individual chooses is critical to the success of all our employment and day services. MOHR will continue to work closely with DHS in an effort to ensure the new rates for transportation are sustainable and reflect true costs.
Ensure the Day Services Redesign Leads to Continued Choice for Persons Served. In 2019, DHS will propose changes to the requirements for DT&H, Prevocational, Structured and Adult Day Services. As the state moves forward with these changes, safeguards should be in place to successfully support individuals in reaching their own employment and life enrichment goals during the transition phase and under the re-designed system, and the stability of the current service system should be protected while implementing these changes. MOHR will continue to proactively work with DHS to shape long term reform of DT&H, Prevocational, Structured and Adult Day Services by advocating for policies that reflect genuine informed choice, payment rates that are sustainable and reflect the true costs of the new services, and by calling for effective communication to persons served and families related to the proposed changes.
Monitor Other Issues Impacting Individuals with Disabilities. From time-to-time legislative issues arise that impact individuals with disabilities in Minnesota. MOHR will actively monitor and work on these issues to promote employment and day services and access to these services for all Minnesotans with disabilities.