Rate Reform: Rate Model Implementation Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the Rate Model implementation process.

Q:

1. What is a Rate Model?

A:A Rate Model is a standardized rate setting methodology that will be used throughout the regional center system. Rate Models for most service codes were developed as part of the Rate Study conducted in 2019 to improve transparency into service utilization and promote a stable and high-quality supply of providers.
Q:

2. Where can I learn more about the Rate Study?

Q:

3. Where can I submit questions, comments and concerns regarding rate reform?

A:Please send your e-mail to: ratesquestions@dds.ca.gov.
Q:

4. Where can I find the Rate Model rates?

A:The Rate Models as of January 2020 are available here. DDS will update the Rate Models before the calculation for rate adjustments in April 2022.
Q:

5. How will I know the updated rate for my program?

A:DDS is working with regional centers to update current rates. Rate adjustments are expected to be available in February 2022.
Q:

6. Since the Rate Study was completed in 2019, when will the rate models be updated?

A:The costs associated with the Rate Models are estimated to be updated by mid-January of 2022.
Q:

7. Will there be a review period prior to, or after, implementation for providers to address questions/concerns?

A:Yes, there will be a review period. Details on the process will be shared when they become available.
Q:

8. Where can I learn more about the rate changes effective April 1, 2022?

Q:

9. If a provider started services for example after April 2020, will they receive a rate increase?

A:Yes. If you are providing services under an applicable service code, your rate will be adjusted. 
Q:

10. Will the rates vary across all regional centers?

A:Yes, rates will vary across regional centers because the Rate Models include differences in regional cost assumptions such as wages, travel, and others.
Q:

11. If two vendors work in the same area, will they be paid the same standard rate, or will there be differences from vendor to vendor performing the same service?

A:The Rate Models were constructed in consideration of costs providers faced in delivering a particular service consistent with the state’s requirements. This allows providers to receive the same rate for the same service in the same area consistently across the Regional Centers.
Q:

12. Are rates going to increase 25% each year until rates reach the targeted rate?

A:No. The April 1, 2022 rate adjustment will be 25% of the difference between the provider’s current rate and applicable target Rate Model.  Please refer to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 4519.10 for details on subsequent rate changes.
Q:

13. Which rate will be used to compare to the Rate Model for the changes that will occur in April 2022?

A:The rate adjustment will be calculated on the provider’s current rate which will include rate increase adjustments effective prior to March 31, 2022.
Q:

14. We received a rate increase in 2020 that was meant to sunset in December 2021. How does this factor into the Rate Model increases?

A:Please refer to the Department’s October 19, 2021 letter which states that those rate increases will remain in effect. The rate adjustment in April 1, 2022 will be based on the providers current rate and will include any increase adjustment effective prior to March 31, 2022.
Q:

15. When will service providers receive rate increases?

A:Rate Model calculations are estimated to be completed February 2022.  For those below the Rate Model, incremental rate adjustments will occur in April 2022, July 2023, and July 2025.

Rate Adjustment Example chart

Q:

16. Were rates for the Tailored Day Service included in the Rate Study?

A:No. The rate study did not establish a rate model for this service.
Q:

17. Will there be an ongoing annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) wage adjustment, or changes to the IRS mileage rates after 2025?

A:Updates to the rate models after 2025 would be subject to the state budgeting process.
Q:

18. Will the rate model implementation effect Alternative Services?

A:No. The Alterative Services monthly rates are not applicable for the April 1, 2022, rate increases.
Q:

19. Many behavior programs do not currently have Registered Behavior Therapists on staff. What will the expectation be regarding the implementation of this aspect of the rate study?

A:The first step of the rate model implementation is to only change rates effective on April 1, 2022.
Q:

20. Based on the rate study, the mileage is included in the new rate per billable hour. For providers who have billed for mileage and the base rate separately, what does this mean for the changes in April 2022?

A:Yes, they can continue to bill separately in April of 2022.
Q:

21. For service providers with rates above the Rate Model, when will rates be decreased?

A:Service providers with rates above the Rate Model be held harmless (no change to rate) until June 30, 2026, after which time the provider’s rates will be adjusted to the Rate Model.
Q:

22. What is the Quality Incentive Program?

A:In conjunction with rate reform, this will be a payment for providers meeting quality measures and/or benchmarks related to consumer outcomes, service provider performance, and the quality of services. The program is still in development and more information will be shared as it becomes available.
Q:

23. How will quality payments be determined and what will they be based on?

A:The methodology for Quality Incentive payments has not yet been determined. A Quality Incentive Program stakeholder workgroup will be putting recommendations forward. A recording of the November 9th, 2021 meeting of the workgroup is located here.
Q:

24. Will Quality Incentive payments apply to those services that were not part of the Rate Study?

A:Services included in the Quality Incentive payments have not yet been determined.
Q:

25. What is the Direct Service Professional Training and Certification program?

A:DDS is establishing a direct service professionals (DSPs) training and certification program to professionalize the workforce and enhance the services provided. The training and certification program will include higher wages for DSPs who complete the training and certification process. Any pay increases will be separate from the Rate Model rates.
Q:

26. Will the Direct Service Professional Training and Certification pay increases be included in the Rate Model?

A:No. Any pay increases for this program will be separate from the Rate Model rates.
Q:

27. How is the Direct Service Professional Training and Certification program different from the Direct Support Professional Training that DDS currently offers?

A:The Direct Service Professional Training and Certification will be a program that will include higher wages for DSPs who choose to complete the training and certification process.  The existing Direct Support Professional Training (DSPT) is a competency-based training program that is mandatory for DSPs working in licensed community care facilities vendored by regional centers.  More information about the DSPT can be found here.
Q:

28. Who will be eligible for the Direct Service Professional Training and Certification program?

A:The program is still in development and more information will be shared as it is available.
Q:

29. What is the Direct Service Professional Bilingual Differential?

A:DDS is establishing a pay differential for bilingual and multilingual direct service professionals to increase consumer access to staff who speak their preferred language.
Q:

30. Will the Bilingual Differential be included in the Rate Model?

A:No.  Any pay differentials will be separate from the Rate Model rates.
Q:

31. Who will be eligible for the Bilingual Differential?

A:The Bilingual Differential is intended for direct service professionals who communicate in a language or medium other than English, to increase consumer access to staff who speak their preferred language.  The program is still in development and more information will be shared as it is available.
Q:

32. How will Bilingual Differentials be processed?

A:The program is still in development and more information will be shared as it is available.

Share  

Last modified: December 22, 2021