Arc Mower County: Stop the 7 percent cut to rates for disability supports

Published 8:06 am Monday, May 14, 2018

In late February, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) received notification from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of a problem with Minnesota’s rate setting policy for Minnesotans receiving home and community-based services (HCBS).

If the problem is not fixed by the state legislature, the issue will result in a 7 percent cut to the reimbursement rates for services received by several thousand Minnesotans with disabilities.

Who will this impact

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Ultimately, this will affect all people who access home and community-based supportive services via Minnesota’s Medicaid Waiver to live independently if allowed to go through. Initially on July 1, 2018, about 27 percent of people using the waiver, tens of thousands of Minnesotans, would see their current assistance reduced by up to several thousand dollars per year. By the end of next year all individuals would see their rates cut.

However, all recipients of services would see an immediate impact due to provider organizations adjusting to a loss of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.

Why is this happening

Minnesota uses a standard formula called the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) to set the funding rates people receive for the supportive services they access to live as independently as possible in the community. More than three years ago when the system was developed, Minnesota lawmakers added several core increases to support service enhancements and support direct care staff recruitment and retention.

Due to the way policy was written and federal rules governing Medicaid, these past investments cause a conflict with future rate increases to keep the direct care workforce competitive and services providing the best support for people with disabilities.

In short, due to a policy glitch, people with disabilities, and the staff and organizations providing supportive services, will see tens of millions of dollars cut unless the state legislature acts before July 1.

Act to stop the cut

Minnesota’s State Legislature and Governor can stop these cuts from happening by passing simple legislation and returning the tens of millions of dollars in assistance to funding for supportive services, where it was before the cuts were announced. They need to hear that stopping the cut needs to be a top priority before they adjourn to start campaigning for re-election on May 21.

Do your part by taking the following steps:

•Subscribe to get updates and alerts from the Best Life Alliance, a coalition of providers and advocates who support direct care staff and are leading the fight on this issue.

•Email or call your legislators to deliver the below message (please consider adding a line or two about why this issue is important to you. Every contact lets them know how important this issue is to their constituents, which matters to them!

23rd annual Rose Sale update

Thank you for your support of The Arc Mower County’s 23rd annual Rose Sale. Whether you purchased roses for yourself or for a family member, friend, neighbor or colleague, please know that your support of this fundraiser is greatly appreciated.

The Arc Mower County sold 410 dozen roses in 2018. That is an increase of 30 dozen roses from 2017.  Thank you.

Upcoming Events

66th Annual Membership Celebration and Awards — Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 6:30 p.m., RSVP by Monday, May 14, 2018 by contacting The Arc Mower County at 507-433-8994 or

•Summer 2018 activity registration begins on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 9 a.m.

•4-H Youth Adventure Club will continue over the summer on June 4, 11, 18, July 23, 30 and Aug. 6.

•Special Olympics Softball begins on Thursday, June 14, 2018 and will continue until Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.  Practice is held on Thursday nights at Todd Park South Diamonds from 6-8 p.m.

•View the complete activity calendar at