Last week, President Biden unveiled a $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, which would drive $400 billion into home and community based services. The administration said the plan would “solidify the infrastructure for the care economy by creating jobs and raising the wages and benefits for essential home care workers.” The plan would also expand access to home and community-based services under Medicaid. HCAOA Executive Director, Vicki Hoak, was among other industry leaders in her praise for the plan. “We’re very pleased to see President Biden’s support for home-based care – especially his commitment to making certain all Americans have access to affordable care and support in their own homes.
HCAOA members are invited to a listening session on Thursday, March 25, 2021 with the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services’ Disabled & Elderly Health Programs Group to help inform our development of guidance for state Medicaid agencies concerning the American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) provision.
On April 7 from 2:00-3:00pm ET HCAOA will be hosting a members-only webinar featuring Melissa Harris, Deputy Director for the Disabled and Elderly Health Group. The webinar will include an update on Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services and the increased FMAP provided under the American Rescue Plan.
Last week, the House Medicaid budget was unveiled and included a 10% rate increase for HCBS providers. HCAOA members, Dave Lamb and Rusty Paul, worked with the Chairman and the committee budget analyst to make the case for this increase. In addition, Dave Lamb and Eddie Grogan had the Speaker of the House at their home care facility this summer and showed him the need. This is a great example of grassroots advocacy! Congratulations on this achievement.
On Friday February 19, President Biden officially announced the nomination of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to serve as the lead of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
HCAOA is a proud member of the Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care (PMHC) and recently joined the organization to send a letter to the Biden Administration to advocate for an increase in rates for Medicaid-funded home care. PMHC strongly supports policy reform that recognizes and protects this dedicated workforce. At present, however, inadequate Medicaid rates prevent these professionals from receiving compensation commensurate with the value they produce for our nation with the majority earning just above current state minimum wage levels. Click here to read the letter from PMHC to Speaker Pelosi.
Virginia’s minimum wage hike — from $7.25 an hour to $9.50 an hour — takes effect on May 1. If Medicaid rates for personal care services don’t keep pace with the higher minimum wage, it will be “financially unsustainable for home care agencies to provide services to Medicaid recipients. We are encouraging our colleagues in the General Assembly to step up and fully fund Medicaid reimbursement rates for home care workers,” Lucas and Aird said. read more
HCAOA Associate Member AlayaCare is hosting a webinar next week to highlight the value of hospital to home programs and how technology supports this model. As hospital-at-home models become more popular and more beneficial to both patients and health care organizations, those that have recognized the perks of home-based care prior to the COVID-19 crisis may have the upper hand.
CMS released a Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) COVID-19 data snapshot with data from the beginning of the COVID public health emergency through July 31, 2020. This snapshot provides a variety of information on COVID-19 related service utilization by beneficiaries.
CMS recently issued guidance to state health officials designed to drive the adoption of strategies that address the social determinants of health in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) so states can further improve beneficiary health outcomes, reduce health disparities, and lower overall costs in Medicaid and CHIP.