NOWCAP Services would like to share some information about a concerning issue that many may not be aware of. Currently there is no occupational classification code for a direct support professional which makes it very difficult for states to set appropriate reimbursement rates for services to compensate direct support professionals or DCPs adequately as well as other concerns. The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) outlines the ramifications below for not having an established occupational classification code in place:
Negative Implications for Service Reimbursement Rates:
When states do not have a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) for classifying the roles of Direct Support Professionals, they struggle to appropriately set reimbursement rates for services which compensate Direct Support Professionals.
Lack of Data for Identifying Workforce Shortages:
Without a SOC, there is no real measure for identifying staffing needs, gaps in services, and risks for cessation of services. Data provided through a SOC will lead to better understanding workforce shortages and developing long-lasting approaches to fixing them.
Devaluation of the Workforce:
Despite the fact that a Direct Support Professional's work requires complex skills, thoughtful compassion, diverse care, and deep medical knowledge, there is a failure to identify this position on the scale it deserves. A SOC would create a concrete understanding of both the contributions and the struggles of the workforce.
If you are so inclined, the link below will take you to the website for the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals and a petition that you can sign to ask the US Office of Budget & Management to establish an occupational classification code for DSPs.