Funding Supported Employment: Are There Better Ways?
by Grant Revell, Michael West, & Yulin Cheng
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This article describes different methods used by state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies to fund time limited supported employment services. Findings are reported from a survey of 385 vendored supported employment provider agencies regarding types of reimbursement method used, the influence of different types of methods on key consumer outcomes, and recommendations for improving funding systems. The findings consistently pointed to significantly more positive response of vendors to funding methods that incorporate negotiated rates at the individual provider level as compared to statewide fixed rates for all vendors. Statewide fixed hourly rates were found to discourage both conversion to community integrated employment opportunities and the reopening of supported employment cases after job loss. The same response pattern held true for respondents' perceptions of reimbursements covering the costs of services. Statewide rates for specified outcomes or for daily, weekly or monthly service units were found to cover the cost of services at levels significantly lower than the other funding methods.