Bookkeeping Error Costs Office of Developmental Disabilities Services Millions

Human Services Research Institute, a Tualatin-based nonprofit, has made a costly mistake on behalf of Oregon’s Office of Developmental Disabilities Services. Lilia Teninty, the director of ODDS, reported the error on Monday to the Senate Committee on Human Services, and to the House Committee on ​Human Services and Housing the day after.  

Teninty reports that faulty data from HSRI had been used to calculate raises for disability caregivers, which were approved before the mistake was discovered last December.   

“Unfortunately, we agreed to the plan, and then we found this error,” Teninty said before the Senate committee.   

HSRI had been enlisted to create a level-of-care assessment for people with disabilities, to help establish costs. However, a separate advisory group later determined that several individuals who should have been allocated the highest tier of care were instead placed in lower tiers by the assessment.  

Unfortunately, HSRI used the unrevised data in their estimates. As a result, they miscalculated the number of people in need of high level care by about 2,000.  

According to Teninty, the current budget for ODDS is thus $12.2 million short of what is needed to pay caregivers the correct amount. The error has also led the office to push back the implementation of a new wage schedule from July to next January.  

Representatives of HSRI declined to comment.  

By Brandon Urey