Rate Study: Frequently Asked Questions


1. Why Is the Department Doing a Study?

A:As required by the Welfare & Institutions Code Section 4519.8 the Department of Developmental Services is required to submit a rate study addressing the sustainability, quality, and transparency of community-based services. The Provider Survey is just one aspect of the overall rate study.

2. Who Should Complete the Provider Survey?

A:All providers of services included in the rate study are encouraged to complete the survey. A list of all services included in the rate study is here.

3. What Do I Need to Complete the Provider Survey?

A:You will need Microsoft Excel (version 2010 or newer), your latest fiscal year information for administrative and program costs, staff wages and benefits and some service specific productivity information.

4. Who Is Sending out the Provider Survey so I Know It Is Not Spam or Junk Mail?

A:The initial notification and reminder emails will come from the contractor conducting the rate study, Burns & Associates. The information will be sent from the following email address: DDSProviderSurvey@burnshealthpolicy.com. If you did not receive an email with the survey and instructions they are also located on the Burns & Associates website.

5. Will the Information I Report Be Made Public?

A:No. Your information will not be made public. Only aggregated data will be part of the survey’s analysis and final report. There will be no vendor-specific information published. Data collected through this survey will be used solely for the purpose of evaluating reimbursement rates.

6. If I Cannot Complete All the Related Sections of the Provider Survey Should I Still Submit It?

A:Yes. Partially completed surveys will be accepted. Even if a submitted survey is incomplete, the information that your agency is able to provide will be considered as part of the analysis of survey results.

7. How Do I Know If I Completed the Provider Survey Correctly?

A:The survey includes a worksheet tab titled “SubmissionChecklist“. This form checks for potentially incomplete portions of the survey and common errors. You are encouraged to check this form and make revisions as appropriate for any red “X” rather than green checkmarks. There also is a worksheet tab titled “TOC” which is the Table of Contents. This is color coded by service code to match the worksheet tabs and it will direct your focus regarding the worksheets to complete for each of the service codes.

8. Is There Someone to Contact If I Need Help And/Or Technical Assistance Completing the Survey?

A:Burns & Associates has provided a dedicated email address and phone number to answer questions and provide technical support.
Email: DDSProviderSurvey@burnshealthpolicy.com
Phone: 602-241-8515

There are Provider Survey Instructions and a series of pre-recorded webinars no the Burns & Associates website to provide a detailed walk-through of the survey pages. You can also contact your local regional center. They may be able to put you in contact with other providers who are available to provide assistance. If you have general questions about the Provider Survey, you are also welcome to contact the Department.

Email: vendorsurvey@dds.ca.gov
Phone: 916-654-1954


9. What Should I Do If I Do Not Understand a Survey Question?

A:Along with the series of webinars, you can access the “Provider Survey Instructions”. Each service code of the Provider Survey has explanations within these instructions. Within the survey itself are “fly-over” messages that appear when you select a cell. These messages also provide additional instructions to help you understand what the questions are asking.

10. What If There AR Efactions I Believe Should Be Considered, but Were Not Asked in the Survey?

A:If there are factors that you believe should be considered, note those issues and any concerns, in the transmittal email when submitting the survey.

11. How Do I Return My Survey?

A:You will need to save your completed survey before submission. When saving it add your agency’s name to the beginning of the file name. For example, “ABC Agency DDS Rate Study Provider Survey.” Surveys are then emailed to Burns & Associates at: DDSProviderSurvey@burnshealthpolicy.com.

12. If I Have Multiple Vendorizations from One or More Regional Centers, Do I Complete More Than One Survey?

A:No. Service providers may report information for all vendorizations on a single survey.

13. Can I Provide Current Fiscal Data Rather Than Fiscal Year 2016-17, Since My Payroll Costs Are Higher?

A:Vendors can use any 12-month reporting period. Vendors were asked to use their most recent completed fiscal year to make it easier to complete the survey. If you have more current data, for example 12-month rolling budget data, you can use that data.

14. I Am Concerned That If I Provide My Current Fiscal Data the Increased Minimum Wage Costs Will Not Be Correctly Reflected. Will This Be Addressed?

A:Burns & Associates will factor in the state and local minimum wage changes and will make the appropriate adjustments when developing the rate models.

15. If I Have Insurance Costs Such as Cyber Insurance to Comply with Hippaa/Hitech, That Are Not Part of My Actual Fiscal Data for the Year I Am Reporting, How Can I Report This Additional Cost?

A:Additional insurance costs, such as Cyber Insurance can be report on line 12 “Insurance” of the “AdminProgOpsOther” tab.

16. If I Do Not Have 12 Months of Budget Data Should I Still Complete the Survey?

A:Yes. The ratio between your revenue and costs will be factored into the rate study.

17. Why Are There Some Services Codes on the Survey When Others Are Not?

A:Only service providers with specific service codes were asked to participate in the survey. Burns & Associates will be factoring other service codes into the rate model and will be reaching out to those service providers as needed for any additional information.


Last modified: December 30, 2021