09/21/16   Developmentally Disabled Care Less Expensive In Home Setting


John Stephen, a consultant for the Stephen Group told a legislative panel on Monday providing services to the developmentally disabled is less expensive in a home or community setting than in the state's five human developmental centers.

Stephen also told the Human Development Centers Subcommittee of the Health Reform Legislative Task Force, turnover of employees is a problem at the centers.

Stephen, who was hired by the legislature to consult on health-care reforms, told the panel the cost to provide care to the last 100 people who transitioned from a center to a home or community based setting is an average of $274.00 per day, compared to costs at the centers that range from $320.00 a day at Jonesboro to $374.00 a day at Conway.

He said the comparison was not precise. He said a major factor in the difference is the cost to maintain the buildings at the centers. He said there's definitely a need for a long term plan. More than 3-thousand developmentally disabled Arkansans are on a waiting list for home and community based services, some since 2007.

The Governor last week said he'll ask the legislature next year to use 8.5-million-dollars from the states 1999 tobacco company settlement to reduce the waiting list by between five hundred and one thousand people.

Records show the rate of turnover at the Warren human development center is 45.7 percent. State Senator Jason Rapert of Conway told reporters after the meeting that moving every developmentally disabled person to home or community based care would not be practical.