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Stone Belt Divisions :  Milestones Clinical & Health Resources 

The Care Gap Crisis

Since 2010 Stone Belt has been operating with greatly reduced revenues for Medicaid Waiver and other services. We were able to preserve all programs to clients, though many would get fewer hours of service, but we could not preserve the salaries and benefits to our hard-working and dedicated staff.

  • Salary reductions impacted all but our entry level employees
  • Stone Belt's ability to contribute to employees' 401(k) plans was eliminated
  • Discretionary spending was largely curtailed

We have survived, and the resilience of our staff, even in the face of these challenges has been impressive. Their commitment to Stone Belt's mission is still clearly evident.

Each of the four years since then has added increased financial burdens. While our revenues have remained flat, the costs of all expenses have increased. The gap between our actual reimbursement rates and the inflationary pressures grow wider every month.

For four years, employees have had no appreciable raise, yet their personal expenses have also increased. We've recently had to shift more health benefits costs to the employees. 

All of this causes increased challenges on recruiting and retaining staff, leaving not enough staff to meet client needs. Workforce shortages have put incredible pressures on the entire organization.

Direct Support staff work long hours, their supervisors fill in for openings, leaving them less time to provide crucial supports to employees and to cope with stringent and cumbersome documentation requirements. Many dedicated staff members are exhausted because so much is asked of them.

Moreover, turnover of staff causes loss on continuity and predictability for clients receiving services. Relationships are established, individualized training is accomplished and then it starts over time and time again as people leave the job.

So we are compelled to bring this issue to the forefront. We need clients, families and staff to bring this issue to the attention of the legislators. In January 2015, the Indiana General Assembly will convene. The State Senators and Representatives will be approving a budget for the next 2 year cycle. They need to hear from many people on the importance of funding for organizations such as Stone Belt. They need to hear about the negative impact that rate cuts have had on persons served as well as the staff that support them. Write or call your representatives to tell your story and ask for the support to provide appropriate funding and reimbursements to service providers. Sample letters will give you some ideas on what you can write to educate your representative on this issue. You can also write to to the Governor.  Stone Belt CEO recently sent a Letter to the Governor that spells out the concerns and asks for his help. Write your own letter to let Governor Pence know how you stand on this issue