Community-based providers of services to Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities are struggling to stay solvent due to the impacts of coronavirus pandemic.
Beginning in March, the Kansas IDD service provider network enacted sweeping measures to keep the persons they serve safe and healthy. A significant number of persons with IDD have co-occurring physical health conditions that make them more susceptible to serious complications from COVID-19. The actions taken by IDD service providers across the state undoubtedly preserved the health and welfare of thousands of these vulnerable Kansans.
However, since March, IDD service providers have suffered serious financial impacts and time is running out to save this network that thousands of Kansans with IDD depend on.
A recent survey of Kansas IDD service providers found that:
- 45% of IDD service providers either didn’t have, or were unsure if they would have, adequate operational reserves for the next three months.
- IDD service providers had to close a number of program settings due to fears of COVID-19 spread. 74% of providers had to close day service program settings resulting in millions of lost service revenue to these organizations.
- 67% of IDD service providers struggled with unanticipated costs of personal protective equipment, food, technology and supplies for cleaning and sanitizing due to COVID-19.
- IDD service providers have experienced an average of more than $100,000 in overtime costs since responding to COVID-19.
To date, no federal or state relief has been provided to IDD service providers to help offset the impacts they’ve experienced due to COVID-19.
IDD service providers fear funding cuts due to projected revenue shortfalls in the fiscal year that begins next month. A shortfall of more than $600 million has been projected for the State of Kansas in fiscal year 2021. Governor Kelly has signaled in public statements that she will look to budget cuts to address that shortfall. Disability advocates such as InterHab will fight hard to keep any cuts from impacting services to Kansans with IDD.
Matt Fletcher, Executive Director of InterHab, stated that, “Kansas IDD service provider organizations in every community of this state are now locked in a day-to-day fight to keep thousands of our most vulnerable Kansans safe and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, they’re also fighting to keep their doors open and their staff employed due to the devastating financial impacts of COVID-19. Many of these organizations will not survive funding cuts. The State must act to help end this crisis in care.”