Community Care Counts
I've heard the argument time and time again, providers only care about the money or businesses don't spend on people. I can't fault those struggling to care for their loved ones or those who believe what they are told, but I ask you to consider that we are partners with you in this struggle, not the enemy.
I've worked and run non-profit and for profit over my 30 years. All are businesses, most small businesses, that serve community persons with special needs and mental illness. We daily invest in communities and we hire your neighbors or even you. It's not easy anymore, if it ever was, but I understand it pales in comparison to the struggles of our families and individuals. I just ask you to consider.
My business spends on people, as do all providers, honestly we have to and to do a good job we often pay much more than we are given. Currently I spend Over 65% on labor expenses alone, so we hire people and unfortunately primarily due to funding, experience turnover well over 100% and lately at least double that. Our State provides us only $ 8.50/ hr to pay staff, I pay much more to compete, yet due to rates, we still often just compete with fast food and other providers, except pay due to overtime caused by high turnover. We then pay taxes, payroll, sales and then income tax at high rates since I' m a small business and more if I'm a corporation. I buy vehicles, gas to transport, pay mileage, and benefits. I lease offices and buy and lease homes. I buy business and auto insurance...and much more, too much to share here.
I invest in the community over 90% of what I receive and the rest pays interest, loans, and personal expenses. I then provide some free/ discounted services to those who don't have benefits and are " waiting" on services, now well over 200,000 statewide. I know they need some help and can't wait on the government because these are our neighbors and friends, and that is what we should try to do when we can, but thats getting harder to do by the day.
I often provide free services to those that state billing does not allow or not authorize after the service is done or later take back because someone did not dot an "i" or cross a "t" on many of thousands of logs. I continue to provide services for those who lose their Medicaid because of their paperwork, waiting to get paid typically 90 days until they are reinstated. I also fund services when it takes the state 45 or 60 days after the effective (start) date to approve a service plan, so I finally get paid. I pay up to $2000 in dental, up to $ 7500 in adaptive aids and up to $10,000 for minor home modifications a person, up front and then wait to get reimbursed where they add a " requisition fee" that doesn't cover the administrative time or the interest on a loan. Imagine having potential of 50, 100 or more of these to fund.
These are the stories HHSC won't tell legislators. It's the stories you don't hear from your provider, they know its the business of serving in Texas, but you need to know to understand, so I share.
We have been cut now for 12 years running and subjected to countless unfunded mandates. We do need help, so we can continue to serve and we can do it well, which you deserve. We partner with you in every community.
So next time you communicate with your Senator or Representative, please ask them how they voted last session or how they will vote on our rates, funding the waiting lists and tell him or her to support making private & public community providers and services whole again, so we can continue to do what we do, serve you.