American Rescue Plan Act Home
and Community-Based Funding
UPDATE (9/1/21): Pennsylvania today submitted an update to the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) spending plan and narrative to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Once CMS grants full approval of the spending plan, additional information will be shared regarding how the HCBS spending plan will be operationalized.
The American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARP) provides a temporary 10% increase to the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for certain Medicaid expenditures for home and community-based services (HCBS). The funding must be used to enhance, expand, or strengthen HCBS beyond what is available under the Medicaid program as of April 1, 2021 and through March 31, 2022.
Throughout the pandemic, the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) continued to hear directly from stakeholders about the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on HCBS and the individuals who rely on those services. Stakeholder insight has been essential to our pandemic response and the provision of services. As a continuation of those conversations, we would like to hear from you about Pennsylvania’s plan to utilize the increased FMAP.
On Monday, June 14, DHS submitted a spending plan to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that serves as a foundation for Pennsylvania’s planning efforts by outlining our principles and overarching priorities. The plan encompasses many of the stakeholder recommendations that have been made to date. The overarching priorities include:
- Increasing access to HCBS;
- Enhancing HCBS provider payment rates and benefits;
- Protecting the health and well-being of direct care workers and direct support professionals through the provision of supplies & equipment;
- Recruitment and retention efforts to support the workforce;
- Supporting caregivers;
- Assistive technology and other supports to improve functional capabilities of persons with disabilities;
- Supporting the transition of individuals to community-based living arrangements;
- Investing in activities to address Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder treatment and recovery needs of Medicaid beneficiaries; and,
- Building HCBS capacity and rebalancing Long-term Services and Supports.
With these priorities in mind, we heard from stakeholders about Pennsylvania’s planning efforts to flesh out the details of our plan to strengthen, enhance and expand HCBS. Comments were submitted in early July.