Welfare Watch - July 08, 2009 - Kenny A Rate Setting Task Force

In October 2005, Georgia entered into an agreement that came to be called the Kenny A Consent Agreement with the plaintiffs represented by Children's Rights, Inc for changes in Georgia's child welfare system.  This consent decree applied only to the counties of Fulton and DeKalb.  Much of these changes brought by this decree, both in practice and policy, has been applied to all of Georgia.  Commissioner B.J. Walker is quoted as saying, "I do not want to run two Georgia's."  One of the mandates of the consent decree is to establish a Reimbursement Rate Task Force (RRTF) that would set reasonable rates (excluding base, non-therapeutic foster care rates) to cover provider costs of achieving measurable outcomes for children in all of foster care.  They will examine the existing Room, Board, and Watchful oversight rates, either revising or replacing those rates. They shall also consider the results of any pilot programs being carried out across the state. 

The RRTF had a false start in 2005.  The "unbundling" of Medicaid reimbursable services in Georgia brought confusion to the process in determining what was allowed under Medicaid reimbursable services.  Finally, when the Task Force was able to begin again on the work of determining policy around rate setting, the original members of the Task Force were no longer available to do the work because of other commitments.

The Consent decree had to be modified later to restructure the work of the RRTF.  They were required to determine new members and confirm the mandates of the court for the Task Force.  The RRTF has been created.  The new members are Abel Ortiz, Karl Valentine and Jennifer Miller.

Faculty and staff from the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government will serve as staff to the Task Force and assist with convening the meetings, gathering research, and writing and distributing the final report.

The agreement calls for the Task Force to complete their work by December 31, 2009.  Full implementation is to be done by July 1, 2010.  Implementation can take place as soon as 90 days after the Task Force issues it's final report.

The Task Force meetings, unless otherwise posted, will take place in the DHR Boardroom at 2 Peachtree.  The following dates at the following times are scheduled:

September 18, 2009: 10 am - 3pm
October 16, 2009: 10 am - 3 pm
November 20, 2009: 10 am - 3 pm

Welfare Watch, an email newsletter of the
Georgia Association of Homes
and Services for Children
as a public service.
Normer Adams, Editor

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