Groups Sue To Halt Damaging Cuts To Disability Services Individuals and provider advocacy organizations argue state must uphold current rates

Tags

You are here

Groups Sue To Halt Damaging Cuts To Disability Services Individuals and provider advocacy organizations argue state must uphold current rates

In this section

Below is a press release published by ARRM and MOHR distributed June 12, 2018. Full release can be found here

Groups Sue To Halt Damaging Cuts To Disability Services
Individuals and provider advocacy organizations argue state must uphold current rates

Media Contact: Drew Henry, dhenry@arrm.org

SAINT PAUL, MINN. - Today, ARRM joined the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation
(MOHR) and several individuals with disabilities in filing suit in federal court against Commissioner of Human
Services Emily Johnson Piper, seeking an emergency injunction against the implementation of a 7 percent cut to
the rates for community-based supportive services. The cut is set to go into effect on July 1.

"This cut will cause irreparable harm to our members and the people with disabilities they support as we are
already in the midst of a workforce crisis due in large part to lack of wage competition," said Sue Schettle, CEO of
ARRM. "Since the complete breakdown of the legislative process failed to produce a sustainable fix to the
regulatory dispute driving DHS to enact the cut, we are forced to seek injunctive relief from federal court to
address this critical issue."

The suit claims current Minnesota statute - unchanged as a result of Governor Mark Dayton's veto of the
omnibus supplemental spending bill - obligates Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to continue to
fully fund its obligations to the service rates paid for through the state's Medicaid waivers, which allow people
with disabilities to access an array of supports to live and work in community settings. It further claims provisions
in federal law do not allow the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) to withhold its matching
Medicaid dollars should a court order compel the DHS to continue to fund services at existing rates.

Plaintiffs say an injunction is needed immediately because organizations and people with disabilities face
devastating impacts should the cut go into effect.

Mike Burke, president of MOHR, represents more than 100 Minnesota day service providers. "All we are looking
for is for some sense of long term stability," said Burke. "Stability in a system that will allow us to pay our staff
competitive wages, which ultimately helps thousands of people with disabilities across the state who rely on our
services for their quality of life."

The 7 percent cut was triggered by a CMS decision back in February to withdraw its match of a 3-year-old rate
adjustment due to an inadvertent conflict with other rate changes made in 2017. The state, in turn, negated its
portion of the rate adjustment, which plaintiffs argue it has no authority to do as state law still recognizes this
funding obligation. Advocates tried to pass their own fix to this issue during the 2018 legislative session but the
resolution was struck down as part of the Governor's veto. Should the injunction be granted, advocates will work
with legislators and the new Governor's administration to permanently address the problem in the next
legislative session.

Sam Orbovich of Fredrikson & Byron is representing the plaintiffs in their petition.

About ARRM (The Association of Residential Resources of Minnesota)
ARRM is a nonprofit association of more than 200 Minnesota providers, businesses and advocates dedicated to leading the advancement of community-based services that support people living with disabilities in their pursuit of meaningful lives. ARRM members support people with developmental, intellectual and physical disabilities including autism, brain injury and mental health needs. People served live in their own homes, adult foster care settings, and other community settings. Founded in 1970, ARRM continues to lead positive industry reforms that support Minnesotans with disabilities. To learn more, visit arrm.org.

About MOHR (The Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation)
The Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR) is comprised of more than 100 Adult Day, Day
Training & Habilitation, Extended Employment, and Supported Employment Service provider members serving in excess of 26,000 Minnesotans with disabilities. Members proudly offer a broad array of quality options to realize the work and life enrichment goals of the people who have chosen these services. MOHR has a mission to advocate and support its nonprofit members in providing meaningful services to persons with disabilities and communities served. Members are committed to respect for each individual, a person-centered approach and expanding work opportunities. More information is available at mohrmn.org.