Among the steps taken, the department:
-- Reduced the agency workforce by 1,000 positions since 2003, saving $70
million in salaries and benefits;
-- Adopted cost containment efforts, negotiated better contracts;
-- Minimized payments in error and maximized recoveries;
-- Achieved $140.7 million in third party liability cost recoveries in
-- Made $24.9 million in recoveries for fraudulent and erroneous payments
Richman said new calls by legislators for DPW to blindly trim $1 billion from its budget would cause irreparable damage to Pennsylvania children and families who would lose benefits and eligibility; hospitals would get stuck with providing uncompensated care; and providers would get paid lower reimbursement rates.
In addition, Richman warned that the department's options for making budget cuts are limited under state and federal law. If enacted, state funding cuts would trigger even larger reductions in federal funds. Every $1 cut in state funding for DPW will result in a loss of about $1.20 in federal funds for the largest programs, including Medical Assistance, Long Term Living, and home and community services for persons with mental retardation.
According to Richman, an across-the-board 10 percent cut in funding
could result in:
-- 197,000 people losing Medical Assistance;
-- A sharp reduction in nursing home reimbursement rates;
-- 3,200 elderly and people with disabilities losing home and community
-- 1,818 new clients not receiving mental retardation waiver services;
-- 12,500 fewer people receiving mental health services;
-- 12,400 fewer children receiving child care subsidies; and
-- Reduced SSI supplements for personal care and domiciliary care residents
(from $439 to $327 per month).
"As we enter final budget negotiatio
|SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare|
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