MHCA provides input on use of federal funds for AL

On Tuesday, the Maine Health Care Association participated in a listening session with the Maine Department of Health & Human Services regarding the American Rescue Plan Act's (ARPA) temporary home- and community-based services (HCBS) federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) increase. 
ARPA included a one-year, 10% enhanced FMAP on HCBS, defined in the Act to include HCBS waiver programs, state Medicaid plan services such as home health and personal care services, and certain mental health and substance use services. The corresponding state savings must be used to enhance, expand, or strengthen HCBS and must be used by March 30, 2024. 
MHCA believes that PNMI Appendix C facilities and Adult Family Care Homes fall under the broad category of Home & Community Based Services.  At Tuesday's session, DHHS officials concurred on this, while pointing out that CMS ultimately makes those eligibility decisions.
Maine DHHS must submit its plan for using the special funding to CMS?in June. MHCA will now submit written comments on how funds can be best utilized according to these guidelines:  
  • Initiatives enhance, expand or strengthen HCBS;
  • Initiatives can be completed by 3/30/24, with shorter-term completion preferable;
  • Initiatives not completed by 3/30/24 are sustainable after the special FMAP funds end;
  • Initiatives align with the Department's HCBS reform plans; and
  • All areas that are eligible to receive the additional FMAP will benefit from the use of the funds. 
In our comments, MHCA joined other home and community based providers in citing the workforce shortage as today's most pressing issue. 

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