The Arc Alliance agrees that The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) should identify and prosecute those Services Providers who are fraudulent in their provision and billing processes. I am curious as to the breadth of this implied fraud. Unfortunately, DPW has a track record of misleading, confusing and illogical activity that has in some cases created the very issues they are trying to resolve! Their current approach, to penalize everyone in hopes of catching a few (throwing the baby out with the bath water) is as illogical as it comes!
Will their broad and sweeping approach actually stop fraudulent providers or more than likely cause a nightmare for those they say they are protecting! DPW’s approach will and already has put upstanding and quality providers out of business. We have heard from others in our region, that they will follow suit and close their doors in the near future if DPW continues down this road! The question for DPW is who will serve those who no longer have a place to live or receive services after they are done?
Issues causing the problems
- The State budget – is facing severe cuts due to various issues including the current economic crisis
- Do more with less – Some Providers have not received an increase in fees for over eight years; therefore have no reserves to allow for the proposed cuts
- Smoke and mirrors – DPW’s decision and implementation process for cuts and adjustments to fees for services are secretive and provide no clear rationale on the rate establishment or an understanding of which providers are being impacted – Creating an environment that prohibits meaningful budgetary planning by providers
- Shell and ball game – DPW will establish fees for a future year and then levy cuts and adjustment to those fees for services in the middle and/or end of the year while services have already been provided! How is an organization expected to stay in business providing services when expenses are fixed but the fees, established by the state can be reduced or cut at any moment?
- Promises broken a failed reconciliation process – Two years ago providers experienced severe cuts in the fee structure, but were told that year-end fee reconciliation would take place while a logical and fare fee structure was established. The reconciliation process was to take place for two consecutive years providing the time needed to establish the fee structure. Not only did they push back the reconciliation six months into the next year, they stopped the failed reconciliation process after the first year!
You can make a difference by simply contacting the Governor’s Office, write your local legislators or attend a rally in Harrisburg in the near future! Link to our website for direct links to those legislators representing you community. The Arc Alliance is concerned for those individuals we serve as well as the seemingly illogical, poor management and secretive nature of The Department of Public Welfare!
Join with us and let your voices be heard!