After many hours spent advocating by HCAOA Connecticut Chapter members for higher, more equitable Medicaid reimbursement rates, the Department of Social Services has at long last updated the rates for several service providers, including Connecticut Home Care and Personal Care Assistant. Last week, the Department said it is continuing to work through the approval process for provider rate increases with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and its approval is anticipated very soon.
“I’m pleased the Department finally saw the need to increase reimbursement rates for Medicaid providers, and I’m very grateful to lawmakers for their support,” said Marlene Chickerella, chair of the HCAOA Connecticut DSS Medicaid committee. “While not all the rates are permanent and we hope they become more sustainable in the future, they do go a long way toward helping HCAs continue to provide essential services to elderly clients and adequately pay their caregivers.” Ms. Chickerella, who is managing partner of B&M Homemaking and Companion Services, LLP in West Haven, testified personally and on behalf of the Chapter in support of rate increases before several legislative committees this year.
In the announcement, DSS indicated it has updated its system with the new rates in anticipation of approval by CMS. Effective last Thurs., March 10, in order to be paid the new higher rate, providers must bill the updated rate. The updated fee schedule was posted this week on the Connecticut Medical Assistance program homepage. Providers will begin seeing claims paid with the new rate in their March 22, 2022, Remittance Advice. A special rate mass adjustment retroactive to July 1, 2021, is currently scheduled for March 25, 2022. In addition, value-based payments for providers who qualify will be issued by March 29, 2022.
Update on Advertising Guide
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has adopted advertising guidelines, which, among other things, expressly prohibit a home care agency from advertising any type of memory, Alzheimer’s or dementia care. The document of frequently asked questions indicates that HCAs and caregivers can offer help with dressing, showering and toileting and reminders to clients to take their medication. The guide is published on the Department’s Homemaker Companions homepage.