"Thanks for providing specific provider details...hate to push one so willing to provide such information...butbut wondering how do rates compare with actual cost of providing quality programs...do rates paid by RC cover all cost of providing quality support...are all IPP needs/goals covered by rates.Here are some thoughts, I invite readers to add their own:
Questions arise based on process used to determine cost of providing support for my daughter...eg/ie, agency gave RC cost to provide support...RC either approved or denied these cost...I do not recall any mention of what rate would apply...there was no discussion of an agency who could provide same support for less...did such an agency exist...how does one quantify/equate lower rate and program quality.
And among many things I have not seen is a list of state-set rates...there seems to be a disconnect between rates, cuts and cost...also
How do cuts effect Lanterman entitlements...ie/eg, Though DDS wrote that it will maintain the entitlement of the Lanterman Act, it simultaneously wrote that it would mitigate the expenses associated with the growth in population?"
1) I am absolutely certain that rates and quality are not perfectly or even well correlated. There are a lot of things that cost money to do badly and are free if you do them well. Just as a quick example, with individualized services, there is always a tension between management's idea of how those services should be provided and the end user's. There is always a fiduciary concern that the client's money be spent appropriately pitted against the client's interest in having their money spent according to their wishes in a timely fashion. An agency can spend a lot of money imposing the management's interest while many clients provide their own vision for free. This is just a theory, but I have long suspected that leaner individualized supports are probably much more person-centered supports.
To agencies like ¡Arriba!, fairly lean individualized providers, the most important benefit from better funding is staff retention. But if management is injudicious or unwise in who gets retained, as I confess to having been on a few occasions, then quality doesn't benefit. Good funding can allow management to be too comfortable trusting staff and allow people who could more productively do something else stick around longer. So better rates can improve or erode quality, depending on the willingness of managers, staff and clients to make difficult decisions before making payroll becomes a maybe thing.
A few cautions, though: A lean, quality-focused, person-centered agency most likely will see quality go up and down as rates do. I guess my answer to that part of the question is that the impact of budget cuts on accessibility is more obvious than the impact on quality. Another caution is I know even less than DDS and the regional centers what the factors of quality in a congregate support are. It may be that as services become more intentionally programmatic, standardized and institutional that funding per unit of service has a simpler and more positive correlation with quality.
2) The connection between rates and the IPP is obvious if you are talking about SLS or the total Regional Center POS budget. Otherwise, the IPP is purchased by buying units of service that may not be through the same vendor code or agency. At ¡Arriba!, for example, we can support every part of a client's IPP at our new, lower rate but the cost goes up because we have to add hours of service for each goal we work on with a client. I understand that for SLS clients and SDS clients the "rate" is a composite of costs pursuing different parts of the IPP so it would surprise me if an SLS provider could say yes in answer to your question. I can, though, provided I am given enough authorized hours to juggle it all.
Obviously, if the POS budget is capped this year (but exists) then some IPPs will have to get less ambitious. That might even be a good thing if we could trust people to prioritize wisely and thoughtfully. If anyone reads this and trust that IPPs will diminish wisely and thoughtfully, please let me know in the comments. I'd sure like to hear it.
As to your comment about the disconnect you perceive between rates, costs and cuts- I can only agree. It's madness. A herd of cows would design a more rational system. A pack of wolves would design a more honest one. A cabal of cannibals would design a more defensible one.
**Update** Through the good offices of a good friend, Stanley, here is the list of rates and rate-setting mechanisms: