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(a)(1) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, and to the extent funds are appropriated in the annual Budget Act for this purpose, the department shall provide a rate increase for the purpose of enhancing wages and benefits for staff who spend a minimum of 75 percent of their time providing direct services to consumers. The department shall not allocate more than one hundred sixty-nine million five hundred thousand dollars ($169,500,000) of the amount appropriated in the act that added this section for this purpose, plus any associated matching funds. The rate increase shall only apply to services for which rates are set by the department or through negotiations between the regional centers and service providers, and to the rates paid for supported employment services, as specified in subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 4860, and vouchered community-based services, as specified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (c) of Section 4688.21. This section shall not apply to those services for which rates are determined by other entities, including, but not limited to, the State Department of Health Care Services or the State Department of Social Services, or are usual and customary.
(2) For the purposes of this subdivision, “direct services” are services, supports, care, supervision, or assistance provided by staff directly to a consumer to address the consumer's needs, as identified in the individual program plan, and include staff's participation in training and other activities directly related to providing services to consumers, as well as program preparation functions as defined in Section 54302 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations. State employees participating in the Community State Staff Program are ineligible for the wage increase described in this section.
(b) The rate increase specified in subdivision (a) shall be implemented in the following manner:
(1) With regional center participation, the department shall conduct a survey of a random sample of service providers in each service category eligible for the rate increase. The survey shall request information regarding all of the following and shall be returned to the regional center and department by April 15, 2016:
(A) Number of employees who spend a minimum of 75 percent of their time providing direct services to consumers and their total salary, wage, and benefit costs.
(B) Administrative costs as specified in subdivision (b) of Section 4629.7, including the number of employees and total salary, wage, and benefit costs associated with those administrative costs.
(C) Any other staff and their total salary, wage, and benefit costs that are not included in either subparagraph (A) or (B).
(D) Any other costs to the provider, other than the costs described in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive.
(E) Any additional information, as requested by the department, to assist in the determination of rate increases.
(2) The vendoring regional center shall certify that, to the best of its knowledge, the survey results accurately reflect the services provided by each surveyed service provider. The results from the survey shall be used by the department to determine the rate increase to be applied, by service category. The rate increase shall be the same for all eligible providers in each service category and is intended to provide comparable increases across service categories for staff providing direct services as described in subdivision (a).
(3) By July 1, 2016, utilizing the data derived from paragraph (1), the department shall do both of the following:
(A) For those service providers whose rates are set by the department, notify those providers and the associated regional centers of the amount by which the rates are to be increased.
(B) For those service providers whose rates are set by negotiation with the regional center, notify the regional center of the amount by which the rates are to be increased.
(4) With regional center participation, the department shall conduct a survey, in a format determined by the department, of all providers who received the rate increase described in subdivision (a). Providers shall submit the completed survey to the department by October 1, 2017. The survey shall request information on how the rate increase was used by providers and shall include, but is not limited to, the following:
(A) Number of employees and their salary, wage, and benefit costs, and increases provided as a result of this subdivision.
(B) Percentage of time each employee spends providing direct services.
(C) Administrative expenses, consistent with subdivision (b) of Section 4629.7.
(D) Any additional information as determined by the department.
(c) Providers granted a rate increase pursuant to this section shall maintain documentation, subject to audit by the department or regional center, that the rate increase was used solely to increase wages, salaries, and benefits of eligible staff members spending a minimum of 75 percent of their time providing direct services to consumers.
(d) The rate increases calculated by the department pursuant to this section shall be effective July 1, 2016, and implemented as described in subdivision (b).
(e) Any provider that fails to report the information required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) to the department by October 1, 2017, shall forfeit the increases described in subdivision (a).
(f) In its 2017-18 May Revision fiscal estimate, the department shall describe the implementation of the increases provided pursuant to this section.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - California Code, Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC § 4691.10 - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/welfare-and-institutions-code/wic-sect-4691-10/
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