On Monday at the state Capitol building in Hartford, Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (Stratford) and Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (East Lyme), hosted a press conference calling for immediate action to support HCBS providers, workers and vulnerable individuals in home care settings. HCAOA Connecticut Chapter members Jonah Francis, President of Pansy Homecare Service in West Hartford (pictured), and Mario D’Aquila, Chief Operating Officer of Assisted Living Services, Inc. in Cheshire, both spoke in support of the pending Medicaid rate increase.
“Agencies must meet employee demands, which include better hours, better pay and a better work environment,” said Mr. Francis. “As agencies strive to meet these demands, all we are asking is for the state to also do its part.”
Both Mr. Francis and Mr. D’Aquila as well as other HCBS providers and the state senators urged the Department of Social Services to take immediate action to implement the rate increases.
“We understand that rate increases will eventually be applied retroactively,” said Sen. Kelly. “But the problem is care providers are struggling to stay afloat today. We are very concerned that growing financial pressures will force small providers to pull out of the state's home care program because they can no longer afford to provide care within Medicaid.”
Late last month, DSS published notice of intent to amend Home and Community-Based Medicaid Waivers for personal care assistance to provide temporary, one-time increases in provider rates as follows: 3.5% rate increase, retroactive to July 1, 2021, in existing rates approved by CMS for all provider types and services; 6% minimum wage increase, retroactive to Aug. 1, 2021; and 1% enhanced performance-based supplemental payments. In June, the legislature approved a 1.7% rate increase that has not yet been distributed.