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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 7, 2020 12:22 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller and Rep. Brandon J. Markosek
To: All House members
Subject: ID/A Market Index for DSP Services
Over 55,000 Pennsylvanians with intellectual disabilities and autism need some assistance during the day to reach their highest level of independence and opportunity. These people and their families rely upon our committed Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) to support some of the most personal tasks and make sure they live safely while engaging in the community. Often, our DSPs become like family to their clients.
Sadly, if you looked at the pay DSPs receive in Pennsylvania you would not know how critical they are to those who need their services. Despite the best efforts of many, some great staff leave the profession due to necessity in order to support themselves and their families. This often leads to a very high staff turnover rate even amongst our best providers, which often has a negative effect on their clients.
Current law requires a three year refresh of market-based data in order to adopt a fee schedule, but there is no requirement for Pennsylvania to change rates at all - no matter what happens to inflation. For many providers, even a small inflationary increase often has troubling ramifications.
To help stabilize this workforce and provide better care for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism, we will soon introduce legislation to amend the Human Services Code requiring that rates annually be set based on a national market consumer index. The adoption of a nationally recognized market index will help provide stability to this system, and also support the hard-working DSPs that are essential to the delivery of services for Pennsylvanians with intellectual disabilities and autism.
During the COVID-19 emergency these workers have gone above and beyond to make sure their clients are taken care of and not isolated, even at some risk to themselves. Let's show our appreciation by indexing these rates to inflation in order to provide greater pay and predictability for these deserving workers in this field.

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Introduced as HB92