On Wednesday January 23, 2019, Governor Noem in a joint session gave her budget address. Her address specifically discussed targeting funds to Medicaid providers, which affects all Community Support Providers. Based on that information, it appears CSPs are slated for a 2.5% inflationary increase and targeted increases to move Medicaid providers that are the most heavily reliant on Medicaid to 100% of costs. CSPs are heavily reliant on medicaid (77.59%) and this is good news for our services. The funding would also be implemented in April of 2019, which will provide more immediate relief. However, there is still some confusion as to how this will play out in terms of increases. Here is the link to the full address https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oD0F9YNAYA . More news to come.
The SD legislative session is upon us and will kick off on January 8 with the State of the State address by newly elected Governor Kristi Noem. It is expected that additional information will be delivered regarding the state’s budget and other priorities as well. Now is a great time to contact your local legislators and encourage them to support funding increases for wages and operations for Community Support Providers. The process is easy and contact information can be found on the Legislative Research Council website https://sdlegislature.gov/ . Bill are already being filed and are listed on the LRC website.
On November 15, 2018, CSP of SD celebrated the best of the best Direct Support Professionals (DSP) in South Dakota. The event drew in approximately 70 DSPs across the state and was sponsored by the Association Resource Team (ART Group). The ART Group is a sub-committee of Community Support Providers of South Dakota and composed of human resource managers, staff development managers, and program managers from CSPs across the state. The group coordinates this event annually and this was the 32nd year of Simply the Best. Congratulations to all Excellence in Service winners and nominees! Click here to view the full program.
South Dakota DSPs!
Celebrate our DSPs!
September 9-15, 2018 is the National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week across the United States. This workforce is critical to the people receiving services at Community Support Providers across the state. Their job descriptions are vast and essentially consist of supporting a person's entire life. They support people with medications and other medical/health needs, activities of daily living, finding and maintaining employment, accessing community resources, supporting relationships with family and friends, specialized behavioral support, cooking, cleaning, and virtually every aspect of a person's life.
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has made an official proclamation for this important week. CSP of SD members across the state will be celebrating their Direct Support Professional workforce with various activities and celebrations daily. Find out more here https://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=23730
On August 29, 2018, CSP of SD association members met with Sioux Falls area legislators to discuss the upcoming fiscal year budget, services provided by members, and the challenges our members are experiencing with the workforce crisis. Lawmakers participating included Representatives: David Anderson, Doug Barthel, Isaac Latterell, Sue Lucas-Peterson, Kent Peterson, Tom Pischke, and Mark Willadsen and Senators: Deb Peters, Reynold Nesiba, and Jack Kolbeck. Predicting the revenue for the upcoming fiscal year is always a challenge and requires a lengthy process within the SD Legislature. Despite this, the meeting was productive and association members provided education on our services, history, and budgetary needs for the upcoming fiscal year that will help quell the Direct Support Professional workforce crisis. CSP of SD's next summer/fall legislative event will be held in October in Rapid City, SD.
It was announced June 5, 2018 that Black Hills Works in Rapid City, SD was awarded the prestigious "Moving Mountains Award" by the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) and the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota (ICI). The award is a partnership between these two organizations and the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP). The award is based on organizations taking a leading role in workforce development that improves the lives of people they support. Developmental disability providers across the nation are experiencing drastic workforce challenges and one of our own is leading the way in addressing our most important resource - the Direct Support Professional. Congratulations Black Hills Works! more information about the award can be found on the following link. https://www.magnetmail.net/actions/email_web_version.cfm?ep=M6Kkyo5TNAm-FKAp4aob9AvE-z5u6ybnEMacEPtCrcGvzY7nzQUr9qAS4Ha7H-Fiz-sFlI4FwdhZ_gZV4tYX6L8k6dMb8KR476w_5H6L07SKD0yFLShOrgriYTYbn7g3
Anne Rieck-McFarland will be inducted into the SD Hall of Fame for 2018. Anne has been a committed supporter, advocate, and leader in the developmental disability field for decades. Earlier this year she announced her retirement at Lifescape in Sioux Falls and with this latest news, she will add one more accomplishment to her outstanding career. on behalf of all our association members, we wish her the best! Click on the link to learn more. https://www.lifescapesd.org/stories/mcfarland-named-to-sd-hall-of-fame
This has been long awaited news regarding Electronic Visit Verification (EVV). EVV is a regulatory requirement under section 12006(a) of the 21st Century Cures Act that's designed to reduce fraud. Certainly, Community Support Providers of South Dakota applauds efforts to reduce and eliminate fraud in Medicaid systems. However, this requirement is being broadly interpreted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and would be overly burdensome for South Dakota providers, especially people receiving services in 24/7 group home settings. We are happy to announce that it appears that CMS will be addressing this concern, but the regulation will still require a watchful eye in the future. CMS has released two documents pertaining to guidance on EVV and more information from ANCOR can be found on this link http://www.ancor.org/newsroom/news/ancor-applauds-cms%E2%80%99-guidance-evv-calls-delay-implementation
The 2018 legislative session wrapped up at the end of March. The biggest news for this legislative session was the state's budget (HB 1320). Initially, Community Support Providers were slated for a 0% increase in funding in Governor Daugaard's budget address. However, as session proceeded, legislators were able to identify 16-18 million in unappropriated funds. These remaining funds were then designated toward education, state employees, and Medicaid providers. The final appropriations bill gave Community Support Providers in South Dakota a 2% inflationary increase and 1.4 million in one-time dollars designated explicitly for direct care employees.
CSP of SD thanks all SD legislators for their hard work and support of our critical and much needed services. Often times legislators have a thankless job and we want to recognize their dedicated public service. At the same time, it's also important to note that while the appropriations received for FY 2019 help, they do not represent a long term solution to our funding needs or the workforce crisis we are experiencing.