A graphic that has to hands holding on to one another inside of a heart with text that says, "DSP Retention Program"

DSP Retention Program

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) is launching the County Board-funded Direct Support Professional (DSP) retention payment initiative for independent providers and DSPs of agency waiver providers.   

How the initiative works 
In July, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the initiative with an effective date of July 1. This allows for these payments to be retroactive to that date. Quarterly payments will be distributed to participating home and community-based waiver providers that opt-in. Participating agency providers must distribute the vast majority of the payment to eligible DSPs. Every quarter, participating agency providers are then required to report certain data elements and attest that the funds were used in accordance with all requirements. Independent providers are eligible for payments and will not need to opt-in or report to participate. 

This investment aims to assist Ohio’s developmental disabilities system in addressing the workforce crisis through retention incentives for DSPs. With a federal match, county boards will generate approximately $143 million annually for retention payments to the DSP workforce.   

First payment structure
Because the initiative is retroactive to July, initial payments will cover three quarters of payments. This will allow DODD to expedite payments allowing funds to get out sooner and will put the initiative on schedule with rule requirements by April. DODD will stagger the three initial payments to providers, which will assist providers in tracking how funds are passed along to DSPs. The table below shows how the first payments will be issued.  

Starting Tuesday, January 3, waiver agency providers can enroll online at https://dodd.ohio.gov/providers/RetentionPayment. Registration will remain open for initial payments until January 16. Provider agencies and independent providers will receive the first payments in mid-January. Eligible DSPs employed by agency providers will receive payment from their employers by mid-March. Agency DSPs should talk with their employer to determine when they will receive their retention payments.  

Quick reference guide for independent providers.  

Quick reference guide for agency providers. Click here for instructions on how agency providers can opt-in to participate in this program.     

Please contact retentionpay@dodd.ohio.gov with any additional questions.

A table that reflects DSP Retention payments schedule