From the Superintendent - Nov 19, 2012
Since September 2011, Hamilton County DD Services has been undergoing major cost-cutting measures to deal with an anticipated $15 million deficit by 2014. Every part of the agency has been impacted, as well as community partners, families and individuals.
Difficult decisions and conversations have been necessary with providers, families, those whom we serve, and staff about reorganizations and streamlining of budget, services and functions. We’ve had to rethink how we do business on every level to tighten up within available resources while continuing our focus on supporting quality services targeted to each person’s individual needs.
Cost-cutting remains a long-term, ever-present focus, although what we’ve done to date has reduced about $7 million. Uncertainties about impending reductions in state and federal funds and their impact on our budget are a daily reality.
Also, in reviewing the current local property tax levy environment, we see other agencies asking voters for less due to decreases in property values resulting in less revenue. We must position ourselves similarly for when our property tax levy, which is 71% of our total funding, is up for vote in fall 2014.
Listed below are some of the largest projected efficiencies and amounts already realized.
Changed provider contract amounts to Medicaid reimbursement rates - $3.9 million
(required providers to bill Medicaid themselves)
Suspended cost-of-living and step increases since 2009 – $2.25 million
Eliminated 14 open positions by attrition and early retirement, reorganized others – $1.5 million
Reduced number of busses at schools, changed other transportation options - $767,000
Brought quality assurance reviews in-house from ARC when it closed - $306,000
Transferred psychiatrist to Life Point Solutions, they are now billing Medicaid – $107,900
Moved Service Facilitation from regional offices into Holiday Office Park in Queensgate - $100,000
Switched to computer-based phone system - $38,000
Changed distribution of publications from hard copy printing to electronic - $36,000
With these cost-cutting measures, the demand for services does not end. We continue to average 35 new individuals a month through Intake, and have more than 2500 people on a waiting list.
-Alice Pavey, Superintendent, Hamilton County DD Services