Beginning in July, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will proactively work with all Healthy Connections Medicaid-enrolled providers who are categorized as high-risk to ensure they are in compliance with federal regulations. CMS requires providers classified as “high risk” to submit fingerprint-based criminal background checks.
On April 25, Gov. McMaster signed H.3126 into law, restricting a private employer from instituting a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its employees. However, H.3126 includes an exception for employers who (1) have certain qualifying federal conflicts and (2) submit an affidavit attesting to those federal conflicts to the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW). DEW has posted more information about the process here.
Who should submit an affidavit:
You should file an affidavit with DEW if you are subject to an executive order or federal rule that requires your employees to be vaccinated. Certain providers who accept payments from CMS fall under this category.
What is an affidavit?
At this time, DEW has not provided a standard affidavit form that must be completed. DEW has advised us that it is leaving the form of the affidavit up to individual employers. The only requirement is that it be in PDF format. It appears that they are seeking a simple attestation that a federal conflict (such as your CMS related work) prohibits you from complying with H.3126. HCAOA has developed a sample affidavit for members. Click here to download.
How to submit your affidavit to DEW:
An employer should submit a PDF of their completed affidavit to VaxAffidavits@dew.sc.gov. Employers will receive a reply email confirming receipt. Affidavits are being handled by DEW’s Office of Governmental Affairs. For questions, contact E. Andrews Morgan at EAMorgan@dew.sc.gov or (839) 810-7679. Duncan Crotwell, Deputy Director of Governmental Affairs, can also be reached for questions at (803) 737-0398.
Nothing in this informational post constitutes legal advice nor should this post serve as a substitute for legal advice. If you are unsure about the consequences of H.3126 on your business, you should seek the counsel of an attorney licensed in South Carolina.
To ensure a smooth transition to the electronic visit verification (EVV) system for in-home services provided by the three waivers operated by the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN), the state DHHS is delaying the EVV launch and go live timelines, initially scheduled for April 4 and 5.
Providers will be notified, via an alert, with next steps, including access to AuthentiCare web portal login credentials and additional training opportunities, once a new launch date is identified.
Click here for more information and additional resources.
The Hospital Inpatient Modernization Act (S3792/HR7053) was introduced earlier this month to extend the CMS waiver that was initiated during the pandemic to provide acute care to patients in their homes.
SCDHHS is accepting public comments through March 28 on its 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Waiver Amendments, which establish authority for the use of enhanced funding from Section 9817 of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). These amendments will address cost limits and services to account for impacts associated with COVID-19 and will make permanent the rate increases implemented under the recently approved Appendix K.
Join the HCAOA South Carolina Chapter on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. for an update for Medicaid providers with Margaret Alewine, Program Manager, DHHS. During the webinar, Alewine will provide Medicaid updates, discuss EVV implementation, and address members' questions and concerns.
All members are invited to the HCAOA South Carolina Chapter virtual meeting on Wednesday, November 17 at 10:00 a.m. for an exclusive discussion with Kristen Juarez Kollu, Director, Division of Provider Services, Bureau of Healthcare Systems & Services, Healthcare Quality, Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
Effective February 2022, South Carolina Healthy Connections Medicaid providers rendering in-home services to Healthy Connections Medicaid members participating in the three waivers operated by the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN) will use an electronic visit verification (EVV) system to document in-home service delivery. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) has utilized an EVV since 2002 for its Community Long Term Care (CLTC) waivers. To comply with the 21st Century Cures Act, EVV usage will be extended to personal care services provided through the Community Support (CS), Head and Spinal Cord Injury (HASCI) and Intellectual Disability and Related Disabilities (ID/RD) waivers.
Calling all members in South Carolina! If you have not already done so, please take our brief, important survey. We need our members’ input! So far, our data has found that in South Carolina, 72% of the members we have surveyed provide care for Veterans and currently 9% are utilizing Medicare Advantage plans. Click here to take the Chapter survey for South Carolina.
GEORGIA: The lobbying process is beginning again very soon as the HCAOA Georgia Chapter prepares for the 2022 legislative session. We need our membership’s input on the state of the home care business in Georgia. Click here to take the Georgia Chapter survey.
SOUTH CAROLINA: The HCAOA South Carolina Chapter is surveying home care agencies to identify the major challenges they are experiencing in providing services. Click here to take the Chapter survey for South Carolina.
As part of an ongoing effort to support members, the HCAOA South Carolina Chapter is surveying home care agencies to identify the major challenges they are experiencing in providing services. The survey will provide the Chapter with important information to serve as a resource to members and advocate on their behalf.
As part of an ongoing effort to support members, the HCAOA South Carolina Chapter is surveying home care agencies to identify the major challenges they are experiencing in providing services. The survey will provide the Chapter with important information to serve as a resource to members and advocate on their behalf. The deadline to complete the survey is September 3. Click here to take the survey.
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.
HCAOA confirmed last week with the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control that licensed home care workers are included in Phase 1A of the state’s COVID vaccine plan. Hospitals treating COVID patients receive the first vaccines, and the home care and nursing homes are next.