Supporting the Social and Human Services Programs Rate Review and Rate Setting Act of 2022
Thursday, April 28, was an important day at the Rhode Island State House. Direct care professionals from across the state came together to have their voices heard by their legislators about the current crisis in health and human services. One of those voices was that of Seven Hills Director of Compliance and Quality Assurance, Christine D'Anjou. Christine testified on behalf of her daughter, family, and Seven Hills to plead support for two bills – Senate Bill No. 2200, An Act Relating to Human Services – Medical and Clinical Programs Rate Review and Rate Setting Process Act of 2022; and on Senate Bill No. 2031, An Act Regarding Social and Human Services Programs Rate Review and Rate Setting Process Act of 2022.
"Over the past couple of years, I have watched my daughter’s group home which is not operated by my employer and the programs run by my employer, fall into a critical staffing crisis. The wrath of COVID wasn’t bad enough, but then a staffing shortage was to follow leaving programs understaffed with sometimes under qualified workers. I personally know some staff who have left the agency to flip burgers in a fast food restaurant or go into retail for more money than they make providing care and services to the most vulnerable individuals. I have also witnessed staff working two to three jobs in this field to be able to maintain their own families which not only leads to major burnout, but then impacts on their health and well-being which then trickles down and impacts those who need the most support." - Christine D'Anjou
The proposed bills aim to establish consistent methods for standardized service rate development that tie to labor market and inflationary indicators. These bills impact an estimated 20,000 workers caring for children, adults, and seniors with disabilities and behavioral health needs—including our Seven Hills Rhode Island staff.
“Years of stagnation in our state’s Medicaid reimbursement rates have negatively affected hundreds of thousands of Rhode Islanders who rely on a wide range of services. A comprehensive approach is needed to address this situation, and that’s what these bills require. They will ensure that going forward, we conduct regular rate reviews to prevent us from reaching this point again. They will ensure we are investing in the care of Rhode Islanders – and, in turn, that we are investing in our health and human services economy. For our providers, the people they serve, and the future of our state, it is imperative we act now.” - Rhode Island Senator DiPalma.
Please join Seven Hills in supporting these bills and show that Rhode Island is committed to the inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their right to live full, inclusive lives.
Take Action in Support
We need everyone to contact their State Senators in support of these bills. Please reach out to your State Senator as soon as possible. You can find their contact information at State of Rhode Island General Assembly (rilegislature.gov). If you are unsure who represents you in the Rhode Island Senate, please go to Welcome to your Voter Information Center.