In recent conversations with press and legislators, we’ve discovered that some public officials are telling legislators and press alike that there is a discrepancy between our figures and what they think the figures are.
Because of that, an amendment for $5.6 million for day/employment services did not pass in debate.
I was disappointed, but I was more disappointed in public officials who minimize the crisis. The situation is severe.
In this GBH News piece, you’ll hear about two such stories. But before you do, let’s follow the arithmetic.
- MassHealth day numbers are worse than Department of Developmental Services (DDS) day return numbers – but they should be, since more people served by MassHealth need 1:1 staffing to return.
- Public officials claim that they are at Pre-COVID utilization – but we never get what that means in terms of persons served. And so far, not one provider I have talked to, has told me he or she is back at that level with his/her participants. They may be serving a few new people, but the billing of their contracts this year remains lower than the capacity to reach full utilization.
- Even if DDS is right – that DDS day programs are at pre-COVID utilization – that means DDS is behind three (3) YEARS.
- Yes – three years of graduating classes of individuals applying for day services, and hundreds in each class need day or employment services – over 1,400 graduates this coming year, and 1,300 average each of the past 3 years.
Multiply Donny and Bobby in GBH’s story by those numbers.
The cost of waiting is much more expensive than what would have been spent with aggressive outreach over the past 24 months!