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Community Providers React To Budget

By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — The Connecticut Community Providers Association yesterday gave a thumps up to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget that favors maintaining most community-based human services, which are safety net for thousands of residents.

Malloy’s proposed budget maintains level funding for most community provider accounts, but  it does make other cuts in the safety net for people with disabilities.

“Governor Malloy has had to make very difficult decisions in this budget,” said Terry Edelstein, President of CCPA in a statement.  “We are very pleased that this budget avoided major across the board cuts.”

CCPA officials said they are also pleased to see a commitment to meeting growing demands for services, maximizing Federal revenue through expanded Home and Community-Based Waivers and shifting more services into the community through Money Follows the Person, they said.

For the most part, community provider services are level funded. However, there are no increases tied to inflation, even for residential programs with mandated rate inflators.

There are “cost savings” that will likely be passed on to providers reducing their reimbursement such as the proposed co-pays in the Medicaid program, officials said. And  there are also direct reductions in the DCF budget, some tied to the “miscellaneous contract types” that had been recommended for cuts in previous budget options.

“We ask policy makers to remember that community providers are a key part of the solution to this fiscal crisis,” said Patrick Johnson, Jr. President, Oak Hill and CCPA Board Chair.  “With adequate funding we can continue to provide vital health and human services in a cost-effective and efficient way.”

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