Cost EffectivenessWhy This Is Important
Services for people with developmental disabilities are overwhelmingly financed using federal, state and local government funds. The level of funding, associated regulations and policies, accountability mechanisms, the types of services that may be funded, the nature of payments (individual or facility), and the control of funds (payments direct to providers or to families/consumers), all have effects on services and outcomes that impact an individual's lifestyle. Expenditure on services must be understood in the context of outcomes for service users so, wherever possible, products in this department will include information about both expenditure and outcomes. Other products will provide fundamental information by describing current service expenditures at a program, state, and national level. The cost of services is one of the factors that influences decisions about the type and scale of service provision. Systems change often has major implications for service expenditures. Those involved in systems change need to understand and plan for these implications, so some products will focus on the economics of systems change. The basis for allocating funding to individuals (funding allocation criteria) has a major impact on the services that can be purchased to support individuals and on the lifestyle that those persons enjoy. This department will include products that describe or examine funding allocation approaches in various jurisdictions.The issue of who controls service funding affects the type of services purchased and the level of expenditure on services. This department's products will also include descriptions and analyses of "individual budgets" and "consumer controlled services" where the consumer and his/her family have control over expending an individual service budget.