Report 2016-108 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2016-108: Department of Developmental Services: It Cannot Verify That Vendor Rates for In-Home Respite Services Are Appropriate and That Regional Centers and Vendors Meet Applicable Requirements (Release Date: October 2016)

Recommendations to Developmental Services, Department of
Number Recommendation Status

To ensure that regional centers are aware of the benefits, including cost savings to the State that can be realized by using FMS vendors, DDS should formally communicate to regional centers regarding the model.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that in-home respite vendors are providing quality services and that vendors are adhering to state requirements, DDS should issue regulations requiring regional centers to conduct periodic and ongoing reviews of vendors' programs, employees, and consumer records.

Will Not Implement

To ensure that in-home respite vendors comply with vendor requirements on an ongoing basis, DDS should require the regional centers to develop a process to conduct biennial reviews of the vendor files the regional centers maintain and document the outcome of the review in the files. DDS should require the regional centers to take appropriate action to ensure that vendors comply, up to and including terminating the vendorization, if necessary.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that it is providing oversight in accordance with state law and federal requirements, DDS should ensure that it performs audits of each regional center every two years as required. In conducting these audits, DDS should consistently include a review of in-home respite services.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status

To ensure that DDS is paying reasonable and appropriate rates to vendors for in-home respite services, the Legislature should clarify whether the rate freeze imposed by the 1998 legislation is still in effect despite the numerous legislative rate adjustments made since then. Further, the Legislature should clarify whether the 2003 legislation that imposed a cap on vendors' hourly payment rates constitutes only a ceiling on increases of in-home respite rates and require DDS to resume collecting cost statements and adjust the rates if appropriate.

No Action Taken

To ensure that vendors' in-home respite hourly payment rates are reasonable and appropriate, particularly when compared to their administrative costs and the hourly wages they pay to respite workers, the Legislature should require DDS to conduct an in-depth review of its in-home respite rates by November 1, 2017. In conducting this review, the Legislature should require DDS to perform the following:

- Obtain and analyze all vendors' cost statements to determine their costs of providing services and whether vendors' administrative costs are reasonable.

- Obtain information from vendors on the hourly wages they pay to respite workers and analyze this information to determine whether vendors' hourly rates are reasonable.

- Using information from the cost statements, identify whether vendors' temporary rates should be converted to permanent rates.

- Submit a report to the Legislature on the results of its review, including a proposal on the extent to which legislative changes are needed to ensure that in-home hourly respite rates are appropriate.

No Action Taken

To ensure the health and safety of individuals with developmental disabilities, the Legislature should require workers who provide in-home respite services to consumers to undergo a criminal background check. For the other services that fall under the Lanterman Act, the Legislature should require DDS to conduct a review of the types of services provided directly to consumers and whether any oversight mechanisms are in place to ensure that workers providing these services do not have criminal backgrounds. The Legislature should require DDS to report the results of this review no later than December 31, 2017, and, using the results of this review, determine whether legislation requiring such workers to undergo criminal background checks is necessary to protect the health and safety of individuals with developmental disabilities.

No Action Taken

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