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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 14, 2020 12:26 PM
From: Representative Thomas P. Murt
To: All House members
Subject: Implement Enhanced Rates and Retainers for Intellectual Disability and Autism Service Providers
I plan to introduce critically needed legislation to support Pennsylvania’s intellectual disability and autism programs. Intellectual Disability/Autism (ID/A) programs are running out of money. The providers do not have adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), nor do they have the staff necessary to support those most in need. This proposed legislation directs the Department of Human Services to implement enhanced rates.  The Department has already calculated and created these rates, but has not yet implemented them. Funds to implement these rates were included in the most recently passed Federal Cares Act. 

  • Within a few weeks, some providers could be completely out of money and forced to close.
  • The added costs of supports during this pandemic are not accounted for in existing rates that were already insufficient in paying employees proper wages.
  • This funding gap forces providers to take out lines of credit, or use all remaining funds, without a guarantee for reimbursement from the State. 
  • The State has received approval from CMS to implement enhanced rates. 

This legislation will:
-Fix the funding problem for staff and COVID-19 costs by implementing enhanced rates and retainers.
-Give these providers the resources to purchase PPE, to retain and hire staff for more intensive cleaning, and to pay their direct service professionals to continue their critically important work in the midst of this pandemic.  

If we do not act:
-The community system will be decimated.
-The hospital utilization rate for people with ID/A will rise.
-The cost of care to the taxpayers will rise.
-The health of people they serve will decline. 

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation. Thank you.