At long last, HCAOA Connecticut's advocacy efforts and members' grassroots support have paid dividends in the form of Medicaid waiver rate increases issued by the Department of Social Services for HCBS. HCBS waiver providers will receive a one-time estimated 5% stabilization payment to be paid in the 3rd (current) quarter; 1.7% across-the-board rate increase, authorized under the new state budget, effective Jul. 1, 2021; and supplemental rate funding (see reinvestment plan for details).
Rate components require approval of Connecticut's ARPA reinvestment plan. Other details, such as new rates and specific service providers and programs they apply to, are expected to be included in a provider bulletin to be issued by the department shortly. HCAOA Connecticut will continue to advocate for Medicaid reimbursement to keep pace with ongoing minimum wage increases and other costs and educate lawmakers on the importance of Medicaid to home care and encourages members to do the same.
Also, Governor Lamont last week announced that in an effort to protect some of the most vulnerable residents of Connecticut from the impact of COVID-19, he has ordered that employees of all long-term care facilities in the state be vaccinated against the virus. Under the executive order, effective immediately, staff in nursing homes, residential care homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities must receive at least their first dose of the vaccine no later than Sept. 7, 2021. Failure of a long-term care facility to comply with the order will subject the facility to a $20,000 civil penalty per day.