Last week, CMS launched a new website outlining every state’s plan for how they’ll use new Medicaid funding made available by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) to enhance, expand, and strengthen home and community-based services.
The ARP provided states with a temporary 10 percentage point increase in federal Medicaid funding for HCBS from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022, if they meet certain requirements. As COVID-19 pandemic continues, the additional federal funding made available under the ARP allows those enrolled in Medicaid who need long-term services and supports to receive assistance required to reside in the setting of their choice. For older people and people with disabilities, this can be the difference between being able to live at home or being forced to move to an institution.
As the site outlines, some states are using the additional funds to increase HCBS to help people with Medicaid coverage receive care outside a skilled nursing facility after a hospitalization. Others are using them to deliver vaccines to people with disabilities and older adults through mobile COVID-19 vaccination programs. Other activities include expanding and implementing new, community-based behavioral health crisis response services, ensuring that a qualified provider with training quickly and properly responds to mental health and substance use-related crisis situations. Many states are also providing recruitment and retention bonuses and increasing pay for direct support professionals, as well as implementing new training programs and other strategies to strengthen the direct support workforce.
Click here to view the site.