In recent weeks, several HCAOA State Chapters’ advocacy efforts have paid off with policy wins and rate increases for home-based care.
Here’s a quick round-up…
In Florida, several members were concerned about the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) requirement that all home care agencies providing Medicaid PDN services would have to be Medicare-certified. HCAOA State Lobbyist Jen Ungru and several members joined together to alert AHCA about this inappropriate requirement for agencies that do not bill Medicare but are currently caring for children with complex medical needs.
This state requirement was prompted by the lifting of the Medicare-certified home health agency moratorium as a way AHCA could control and ensure quality home care. HCAOA immediately sent a letter to AHCA Secretary Simone Marstiller indicating our concern and urging her to consider accreditation as a better way to ensure quality. Following an in-person meeting with officials earlier this month, AHCA released a rule, which permits accreditation as an alternative to Medicare-certification.
Florida members had more good news with the announcement of a Medicaid rate increase for both Medicaid HCBS and PDN.
In Georgia, state chapter members have been advocating for a Medicaid rate increase for HCBS providers. Finally, after months of outreach, the Medicaid rate increase has been approved as part of the state’s Appendix K update. This 10% rate increase is effective for billing on and after December 10 and is retroactive to July 1, 2021. The new rates have already been posted in the MMIS systems.
The approval process by CMS has been slow, and as part of the approval process there will be a full rate study that will help establish fair reimbursement rates in the future for the CCSP, SOURCE, and ICWP Medicaid waiver programs.
The Georgia Chapter recognizes many individuals and groups who worked for this rate increase including the governor and General Assembly, Georgia Lobbyist Rusty Paul for opening doors for HCAOA members to get the message to legislators, especially Representative Jesse Petrea, an HCAOA Board member, and Chairman of the House Human Relations & Aging Committee, and the Georgia Association of Community Care Providers (GACCP) as our entire industry worked together to convey the message of all home and community-based providers about the critical need of this rate increase.
Another HCAOA State Chapter success story is in Illinois where chapter leaders led the way to broaden the current regulations for home services. After several months of meetings with the Illinois Department of Public Health, last week the revised regulations to enhance the services provided by home services agencies were approved by the Board of Health and now go to the Joint Committee and Administrative Rules (JCAR), which is one of the final steps for approval.