Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) is an initiative that determines individualized payment rates for certain Brain Injury (BI), Community Alternative Care (CAC), Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) and Developmental Disabilities (DD) waiver services. DWRS divides disability waiver services into three categories:
DWRS cost reporting is a requirement for providers to report the actual costs of providing services by the established cost centers (e.g., wages, program administration or facilities).
DHS will use the data gathered from DWRS cost reporting to make evidence-based recommendations to the Legislature about the payment rates for disability waiver services. We will collect this data on an ongoing basis to inform policy makers of the cost drivers and allow DWRS to set rates that:
For more information, see the DWRS cost reporting webpage.
The Minnesota Legislature directed DHS to develop and implement a provider cost review for agencies that provide at least one service covered by DWRS (Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 256B.4914, subdivision 10a). The purpose is to use the data gathered from the DWRS cost reporting to make evidence-based recommendations to the Legislature about the payment rates for disability waiver services. Collection of this data will be done on an ongoing basis, which will inform policy makers of the cost drivers and will allow DWRS to set rates that appropriately fund services, encourage provider viability and help ensure service access for people who receive services under the HCBS waivers.
Your organization’s final cost report must be submitted via the online DWRS Cost Reporting platform. This reporting platform is intended to be easier and more user friendly than spreadsheet submissions, while also streamlining the ability to use your information quickly to report to decision makers.
The cost data you submit will be used to help DHS understand the cost of providing DWRS services. Through analysis and evaluation of the submitted data, DHS can identify the real costs of providing services for all providers. We can also track the costs year over year to see how they may change, and submit changes to the Legislature accordingly. Every four years, beginning in 2022, DHS will submit a report on collected data to the Legislature.
Your organization’s data is considered to be non-public according to Minnesota Statutes 13.02 and will only be used by DHS for its cost reporting project and aggregated and anonymized reporting.
Thank you for preparing ahead of time for your reporting year. We suggest you review the introductory cost reporting materials on the resources tab of the Cost reporting website. If you would like to track additional cost information, there are tools that may help you in the resources tab, such as the Disability Services cost reporting time-study worksheet DHS-7190A-ENG.
For family residential providers, the license holder is also considered an employee of the organization since they are providing the direct care to the person. Even if it is only you doing the work, you would still need to report your working hours and income on this form.
For more information about reporting as a family provider, please see the Disability Waiver Rates System Cost Reporting Family Providers presentation (PDF).
Due to regular updates, and to ensure you receive the most current information, the manual is currently only offered as an online resource. Each page can be printed, but we recommend using the online version to ensure the most up-to-date information.
All communication about cost reporting will be sent to the email address provided for your company’s authorized agent under 245D licensure. No communication will be sent through the MN-ITS mailbox.
The authorized agent will receive multiple emails about reporting. Check your junk/spam email folder to ensure you did not miss these notifications. If you did not receive an email and you do not know if it is your year to report, email the cost reporting team.
If you are unsure if it is your year to report or don’t have your sign-in information, email DHS to ask what you need. In your request, please include your organization’s:
If you are not your organization’s authorized agent, please check with them before emailing.
You will not have to log in if it is not your year to report. The system is set up so that only the providers that are required to report may log in. When it is your reporting year, you will be given access.
There are two types of sign-ins for this system, authorized agents and provider users. If you are signed in and cannot enter any information, you are most likely signed in as an authorized agent, which is the administrative sign-in. To fill out the cost report, you will have to create a provider user account.
Authorized agent is the first to sign into the online system and creates a password and “new contacts.” They cannot fill out the cost report, and need to create a provider user even if they are an organization of one. The provider user completes the report, and the authorized agent submits the report when it is finished. Please see the Authorized agents and provider users section of the manual.
You may access, enter and edit information into your cost report until the cost report is submitted by the authorized agent. Once the report is submitted by the authorized agent, the content is locked and assumed to be the official submission of the organization. Please make sure you have reviewed all information before submitting your cost report.
Once the cost report is submitted by the authorized agent, the entire report is locked to all users. It can still be viewed in the system, but not edited. Contact DHS if the report has been submitted in error.
Unfortunately there is no easy way to copy and paste your own worksheet into our cost reporting tool. Because of the complex nature of the data, the system cannot adequately upload data into the system.
The reporting year must include 12 full months of business costs. The last day of the 12-month period cannot be more than 18 months from the submission day. For most organizations, this period would be their most recently completed fiscal year, whether that be from January through December of the previous calendar year or another definition of a fiscal year.
For organizations reporting in 2021, most will report on calendar year 2020.
For many providers, calendar year 2020 was far from a typical year. Please report the costs and revenues that you did have during the year, even if they are very different from the typical business costs you have.
Data from 2020 will be usable as not only a comparison to other years, but to help create an understanding of how things changed during the COVID pandemic and how businesses were affected on a broad scale.
This is for DWRS waiver services only. That includes some of the services on the four disability waivers, but not all. This does not apply to any other programs, including EW.
UMPIs and NPIs are not selected for reporting, only tax IDs (FEINs). You should report for all UMPIs/NPIs under the FEIN for your organization.
If you do not have an FEIN and have more than one NPI, please email the cost reporting team for further direction.
Always report all the costs associated with the organization’s FEIN, despite the email from DHS listing only one organization site. Due to the process of identifying providers, there are some instances where only one site is listed as the business name.
The name can be updated by the authorized agent to match your organization’s formal name.
You are not required to report the PPP income, or other pandemic relief, on the cost report, as it was not DWRS revenues. If you would like to include the funds, however, you may include them as an "other program revenues" line in the revenues page.
When completing the cost report, the preparer should include the revenues and costs associated with providing DWRS framework services. Do not report income received for non-service revenues, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Housing Support (formerly GRH), non-DWRS waiver services income or costs not allowed under Medical Assistance.
Revenues should be reported as totals for the year per service, not as daily rates or individual rates for people served. Please see the Revenues section of the manual for more information.
Do not report any room and board costs on the cost report, including costs for residential services facilities or homes. This includes, but is not limited to:
Home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers cannot pay for room and board, so DWRS payments do not cover these costs. Other programs (e.g., Housing Support) cover these costs, so provider organizations should not count them as DWRS costs.
The only acceptable facility costs that may be reported here are non-residential facilities such as administrative office, day programs or other types of offices.
For tax purposes, an employer should always be tracking what they are paying an individual. This includes any tax withholding or benefits costs provided. If you do not have records of payments, we suggest using a resource such as bank or credit card records.
For providers without employees or a sole proprietorship, we suggest completing the rest of the cost report and reporting the remaining amount of revenues as your own income, with the number of hours included to understand how much income was made.
Whether you provided benefits does not dictate if a person is considered an employee or contractor.
How you report an employee should be determined by how you employ them and report their income to the government. An employee would have a W-2, while a contractor is more likely to have a 1099 or other type of tax documentation.
For someone who may work both as a direct care worker and as an administrative worker, please consider which work they do most of the time or what their role is in the workplace.
The cost report does allow a person’s time to be allocated to administrative and direct care categories in both reporting sections, so the cost report preparer will have the ability to allocate their time to the tasks they perform.
At no time should one worker's duties be split between two reporting sections. Whole positions should be reported only once in one section.
Example: Gabi is the clinical director of Organization Z, and she is a registered nurse (RN). Gabi spends 20% of her time providing RN services directly to people who receive DWRS day services, and she spends 80% of her time overseeing the organization’s administration of its clinical practice. The organization allocates 80% of Gabi’s salaries, wages, benefits and payroll tax costs to the DWRS service administration and 20% percent of the cost to the DWRS day services direct care.
An employee is considered full time if they work 40 hours or more a week on average during the reporting period. See the direct care worker’s questionnaire section of the manual.
In-program or in-service means that what is being provided is part of the service being paid for. For example if a direct care worker is taking public transportation with the person being served on their way to community activities as part of their service, that would be considered in-program or in-service. These costs are what would be considered direct care costs for this reporting and would be reported on the Client and programming supports section.
Example: Cody, a direct care worker, is taking public transportation with a person receiving services on their way to community activities as part of their service. In this situation, the cost of public transportation is considered in-program or in-service.
Out-of-program or out-of-service are those activities that may be related to the provision of services but aren’t part of the service. For example, the pre-planning of activities or tasks that will be worked on during a service is generally not considered a billable service, because the person served isn’t present, but it is still a task that needs to be completed to deliver the service. Generally, this cost report would assume these are part of the administrative or program support costs, instead of direct care costs, and would be reported on the Transportation section.
Example: Johan, a direct care worker, plans for activities and tasks he will work on with the person during a service. This pre-planning is generally not considered a billable service because the person receiving services is not present. However, Johan still must complete this task to deliver the service.
We suggest tracking the miles driven in a week by each owned/leased vehicle this year, and then again in a month. Use the information gathered to estimate the total miles driven by each vehicle per year. To estimate, you can use the following method:
Only use this method if you have not had dramatic changes in the miles or routes driven of the vehicles you are estimating.
Beginning in 2020 all provider organizations are expected to start cataloguing the annual miles driven by each of their vehicles each year in preparation for future reporting.
The cost reporting program only includes day facility costs. This section should only be used for facilities that are for the delivery of day services, such as DT&H or adult day. Any other service does not have a built-in component for a facility and therefore should not be included.
Due to federal waiver regulations, we strongly suggest only reporting day facility and administrative facility costs, as waivers only cover the costs of services delivered through residential settings, and do not pay for room and board. For more information on what costs should or should not be included, see the Day progrram facility costs section of the manual.
All sections that require allocating wages of direct care staff include additional, more specific cost categories that break down DWRS costs further. These categories are based on the different wage assumptions in the DWRS rate frameworks.
Example: The DWRS residential services category includes options for awake direct care worker, asleep direct care worker, supervisor, nursing, etc., because these are all different direct care roles within the framework. This allocation allows the provider to connect reported costs to the appropriate framework assumption and allows DHS to understand the costs to provide DWRS services.
Because of the specific nature of these categories, the cost report preparer might need to take additional considerations to allocate wage and benefit costs. DHS suggests basing the allocation of direct care wages and benefits by the portion of the work performed in the different roles, as defined in the direct care worker cost categories. Please see the Cost categories and Allocation methodologies sections of the manual for more information.
Program plan support can be thought about as non-direct time for direct care staff. The cost report includes an additional cost category for program support in each of the direct care cost categories. This accounts for direct care staff time that might not be spent working directly with people but is still related to providing services. This could include:
The provider may also report the travel time between people receiving services as program support when it is considered outside of the service. While this category likely will not be a large portion of most staff members’ time, it is important to understand how much time staff members spend outside of providing direct care.