Arkansas Waiver Association Comment on Potential Cuts to DD Services

The Arkansas Waiver Association is deeply concerned about the Governor and the Healthcare Reform Task Force’s plan to cut $232 million from Developmental Disability Services while also exempting the Human Development Centers (HDCs) from finding cost savings.

The $232 million is expected to be spread out over 5 years ($46.4 million a year). The average cost for adult institutional care is $135,000 per person per year, compared with $69,000 in the Alternative Choices Waiver program. Pediatric institutional care averages $162,809, compared to $45,937 for community-based care under a waiver program.  If the HDCs’ costs were looked at seriously by the state government as an opportunity to find savings, this would still not find a solution for the 3,000 people on the waiting list. As it stands now the cost cutting measures are expected to come from only those in the community and continue to keep those waiting on the list.

If the Governor and legislature are planning on these $232 million in savings to come from the DD providers through a reduced reimbursement rate this will only constitute a reduction of services for families in the community. The net result of this could lead to even more families institutionalizing their loved ones and adding more costs to the taxpayers.