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Why have the Boards of ADDP, the Providers’ Council, and MHSACM each voted to assess

every provider member of the trades a special assessment beyond our regular dues?

The Boards of the three groups voted for the special assessment to finance the work of The
Collaborative and The Campaign to Strengthen Human Services to ensure there is an effective
rate setting system to guarantee human service providers fair and adequate rates for providing
contracted services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This has been and continues to
be the number one public policy goal for each of the three trades.

What are The Collaborative and The Campaign to Strengthen Human Services?

The Collaborative is the name of the project jointly undertaken by ADDP, the Providers’ Council,
and MHSACM almost ten years ago to achieve the goal of fair and adequate rates. The
Collaborative is governed by a Steering Committee which includes the CEOs of ADDP, the
Providers’ Council, and MHSACM. Additionally, two members each from the Boards of ADDP,
The Providers’ Council and MHSACM serve on The Collaborative Steering Committee.

The Campaign to Strengthen Human Services is the campaign initiated by The Collaborative in
2007 to ensure passage of S. 65 which was an important step towards the goal of fair and
adequate rates. Governor Patrick signed that bill into law on August 2008 and it is now known
as Chapter 257 of the Acts of 2008.

If S. 65 is now law, what’s left to do? Doesn’t Chapter 257 guarantee us fair and adequate
rates?

Chapter 257 alone does not guarantee that human service providers will receive fair and
adequate rates for the services they provide on behalf of the Commonwealth. Implementation
of a transparent rate setting process is very complex, requiring a tremendous amount of work
on behalf of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and the state’s
Operational Services Division (OSD).

The Collaborative is closely monitoring the steps taken by EOHHS to implement Chapter 257.
Working on your behalf, we need to ensure that the law is implemented and administered in
accordance with the original intent of S. 65.

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Why does The Collaborative need more money to fund The Campaign to Strengthen Human
Services? Why can’t the three trades fund this work through the regular dues we pay?

We are concerned that existing state budget pressures combined with competing policy
priorities will result in Chapter 257 being implemented in a way that affirms (or even lowers)
existing inadequate rates. Our goal is to have the implementation of Chapter 257 match the
spirit of the law.

We must be prepared, if necessary, to bring legal action against the Commonwealth if the law is
not properly implemented. Money raised through the special assessment will allow us to retain
legal counsel with whom to consult on issues around implementation and possible legal
remedies if Chapter 257 is not fully implemented.

Additionally, The Campaign to Strengthen Human Services may need to engage consultants to
undertake grass-roots advocacy with both the Patrick Administration and Legislature as well as
to implement a public strategy to support our efforts at having Chapter 257 effectively
implemented on a timely basis.

ADDP, the Providers’ Council, and MHSACM do not have money available in their annual
operating budgets to purchase such services which is why the Boards voted for the special
assessment.

How were funds generated from the previous special assessment spent?

Those funds were well spent – they funded the long and ultimately successful campaign to
make Chapter 257 law.

A portion of the money was used initially to fund legal research to determine if human service
providers had a right to sue the state to ensure payment of fair and adequate rates. Once it
was determined that no such right existed, a portion of the money was used to engage legal
counsel to draft legislation and regulations necessary to establish a transparent rate setting
process which would hopefully lead to fair and adequate rates. That legislation was S. 65 which
had been filed for a number of years before finally being passed and signed into law as Chapter
257 last year.

Proceeds from the original special assessment were also used to fund the Campaign to get S. 65
passed. Money was used to engage a Campaign Coordinator and Media Consultant as well as
to retain legal counsel to guide us during our negotiations with the Legislature and Patrick
Administration.

The Campaign actually ran out of money in 2008 and approximately ten provider organizations
voluntarily contributed between $2500 and $5000 each to help sustain the Campaign at that
point.

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We’ve already spent a lot of money over the past ten years on this effort without achieving
our goal of fair and adequate rates. Why are we putting more money into this now?

Chapter 257 was a critical victory for human service providers in Massachusetts. For the first
time in twenty years there now exists a law that says that the state must set and review human
service rates on a bi-annual basis. It has been a long process to get to this point but we now
have what we haven’t had for many years: The right to fair and adequate rates set through a
transparent rate setting process. In addition, it gives providers the right to appeal rates, up to
and including Superior Court action, believed to be unfair and/or inadequate.

We’ve made too much progress to abandon this effort now, especially because Chapter 257
gives us more leverage to be reimbursed fairly and adequately than we’ve had in twenty years.

So are we going to use Chapter 257 as grounds to sue the state?

Certainly we will if it is determined necessary to protect the rights of provider organizations.


Chapter 257 does allow us the option of pursuing litigation against the Commonwealth if they
do not establish fair and adequate rates for human service contracts. We hope, however, to
avoid formal legal action by working as closely as possible with EOHHS to implement Chapter
257 in a manner that is satisfactory for providers as well as the state.

Who is the lawyer advising The Collaborative?

The Collaborative is working with Robert Griffin from the firm of Krokides and Bluestein on
implementation of Chapter 257. Bob and his colleagues advised The Collaborative during the
campaign to get Chapter 257 passed into law. His legal advice and guidance was crucial to us
successfully resolving our negotiations with both the Legislature and EOHHS prior to the
passage of S. 65.

We initially chose Bob to work with us because he is universally recognized in the legal
community as the premier expert in procurements and rate setting for the state’s Purchase of
Service (POS) system.

All of this may make sense, but the fact remains that this is a horrible time to impose a
special assessment on providers. We are all suffering from the effects of state budget cuts
and the bad economy. Why did you have to create the special assessment now?

We recognize the timing for this special assessment is not ideal. That is why we have tried to
provide as much flexibility as possible to providers in paying the special assessment. A number
of providers wanted the option of paying the assessment out of their FY09 budget which is why
invoices were issued late in June.
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We have also given providers up until June 30, 2010 to pay their assessment in full. We hope
that by giving each provider organization over twelve months to pay their full assessment, this
will allow each provider to plan accordingly. For planning purposes, however, it would be
helpful for each provider organization to let us know by September 30 your preferred payment
arrangement.

Ultimately, however, we need funding to continue our Campaign for fair and adequate rates.
We’ve made great progress but we are not done yet.

Now more than ever – with the difficult financial circumstances facing providers – it is crucial
that we band together to ensure fair and adequate rates. That is why this initiative is the
number one priority for ADDP, the Providers’ Council, and MHSACM.

Why are ADDP and MHSACM members being asked to send their special assessment to the
Providers’ Council?

The Steering Committee of The Collaborative agreed that the Providers’ Council would be
responsible for collecting and disbursing funds for The Campaign to Strengthen Human Services
in a special account dedicated for this purpose. All disbursements, however, must be approved
unanimously by the CEOs of ADDP, the Providers’ Council and MHSACM. Money for The
Collaborative was previously administered in the same fashion by MHSACM.

The Collaborative will prepare and submit quarterly reports to the Boards of ADDP, the
Providers’ Council, and MHSACM detailing revenue collections and expenditures in an effort to
be as transparent as possible as we move forward.

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