HCAOA State Chapters Taking Action, Offering Suggestions to State Medicaid Directors on FMAP for HCBS
Several of HCAOA’s State Chapters took action this week, sending letters to their State Medicaid Directors to offer suggestions about how to use the available 10% FMAP increase for Medicaid home and community-based services. CMS recently provided guidance to states about how they can use the federal funds to supplement, not supplant, existing state funds for Medicaid effective April 1, 2021. In the letter, HCAOA Chapters state the industry’s biggest concern and primary suggestion is use the funds to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for personal care services and private duty nursing so agencies can adequately recruit and retain essential workers to provide critical care at home to patients and clients
The letter offers several other suggestions to enhance, expand, or strengthen Medicaid HCBS, including hazard pay, overtime pay, and shift differential pay for home care workers, new or additional Medicaid HCBS services especially during the pandemic, and support for family caregivers. To date, the Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, Arizona, South Carolina and Connecticut Chapters have sent letters, with others to follow.
You can read one of the full letters here.
Connecticut: Chapter Continues Advocacy for Medicaid Rate Increase
The HCAOA Connecticut State Chapter continues to advocate for an increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates for home care providers. In a major disappointment, the Department of Social Services recently posted on its website a modest increase in reimbursement and then withdrew it, purportedly to await the results of its provider rate cost survey and study. Joe Markley of Companions & Homemakers has led the advocacy efforts of the Chapter’s DSS Medicaid committee, forming a coalition of organizations supporting an increase, drafting a letter to the Governor in support and lobbying state officials.
Last week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a liability shield law, which protects health care providers from lawsuits related to “injury, death, or loss to property or person caused by exposure to, the transmission of, or contraction of COVID-19 or any mutation thereof,” except in the case of reckless, intentional or willful transmission. This laws to claims arising between March 9, 2020, and September 30, 2021.