Ask for and research through documents – you may find some very interesting information. I did.
I knew that the information being reported by the Department of Social and Health Services and the Division of Developmental Disabilities could not be correct. Knowing what our son’s cost of care was at home did not match up with what DDD was saying the cost of care for people with developmental disabilities in the community was. DDD had grossly misrepresented the cost of care – this is clear but what I don’t know is WHY? No one will step up to the plate and answer this.
I do know that DSHS and/or DDD publish cost of care statistics and these are used without question by most “advocates” for people with ID (Intellectual Disabilities). I realized this after asking so many people in The Arc organizations about these costs and was finally told that they do not research this information themselves but only take the information which DDD gives them. This answer solved some of my mysteries but also made me again question WHY?
These are answers that I have assumed and please, if someone knows differently, let me know.
1. Since these false statistics support the “no congregate care” agenda of the Arc, they will use these statistics to further that agenda.
Personally, I don’t care what one’s agenda is but I do care that the data is reported correctly so that people can be informed when making decision. So, if one is totally against congregate care use a more appropriate argument than the cost of care. If you do not want congregate for anyone, it is going to cost a lot more and fewer people will have services. You need to make a choice. Using fake expense data to support this issue only hurts everyone.
2. These false cost reports support the vendors who make more money off of the people in community residential settings. If you question this, take a look at the IRS 990 forms for Supported LIving, High Earner Compsensation, profits/losses forms and the compensation that some of the executive directors earn.
3. Reviewing the Certified Residential Provider Care Reports which each agency submits to DDD, their reported costs, reimbursements and resident support needs to not correlate to the data which DDD reports. Looking at these reports, one sees a very different picture and it is clear that those with higher support needs have higher costs of care. The most telling issue from these reports contradicts what DDD states. By the cost reports, the cost of care for those with higher support needs IS MORE IN COMMUNITY RESIDENTIAL than in the RHC.
The following chart looks at those individuals with a support needs index (SNI) in the range of 18-24. The SNI is a measure from 0-24 which looks at the number of hours a person needs support. This is data taken directly from the certified reports and it is clear, contrary to the words of DSHS, DDD and The Arc, the cost of care is MORE EXPENSIVE for those with higher support Care needs in the community residential setting than in the ICF/ID.
What I would really love to know is why DDD, the agency that is set up to protect our most vulnerable citizens, uses these false reports to influence legislators and policy decisions. These decisions, rather than saving money as DDD states, end up costing money (because that is when the real costs are evident) and a reduction in services. There has been a continual decline in services for people with ID while at the same time, DDD states that reducing the census in the Residential Habilitation Centers will save money and open up more services for people in the community. Where is that data which supports this?
This continued falsifying of budget data will continue to contribute to our crisis. When is this going to stop?