Disability Waiver Rate System Family Foster Care Rate Methodology Study Disability Services Division
Legislative Report (Minnesota. Department of Human Services) ; DHS-3929-ENG 01-20.
Minnesota. Department of Human Services. Disability Services Division.
Legislation-Hearing State Resource
Published: January 2020
Minnesota Department of Human Services, Disability Services Division
P.O. Box 65967
St. Paul, MN 55164
In January 2014, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) implemented the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS). The DWRS transitioned the State from a variable, county-negotiated rate methodology to a standard, statewide methodology for most disability waiver services. The DWRS establishes rates through a framework of cost components. From 2014 through 2019, rates calculated by DWRS have been “banded,” or adjusted, for people with historic rates to ensure continuity of services. Family foster care services have a DWRS rate framework, but the family foster care service is unique among DWRS services. The framework includes staffing hours, which are challenging to calculate for settings where the service provider lives in the home. Payments for this service are also tax exempt for most families who are providing support for people they live with. These challenges result in DWRS rates that do not align with a person’s support needs. This study proposes a new rate methodology for family foster care that better aligns rates with people’s support needs. Key findings include: most State waiver programs use either a flat or tiered-rate structure for family foster care rather than a cost-based structure; current family foster care rates vary widely; DWRS framework rates are higher on average than banded rates, but there is considerable variability within both rate types; and banded rates show a stronger relationship with people’s support needs than framework rates. Based on these findings, DHS proposes a tiered-rate structure for family foster care that assigns a rate based on a person’s needs. This report outlines a methodology for setting rates within the tiered structure by calculating average rates within each tier. Finally, the report outlines a methodology for determining the fiscal impact of new rates by calculating the percent change for individual rates and overall spending. 6 tables. (Author abstract modified)
Minnesota; foster children; waiver; children with disabilities; proposed legislation; financial assistance; foster care maintenance; funding;