Today, ODP released an announcement (ODPANN 22-088) launching a 15-day comment period for additional initiatives as they implement the American Rescue Plan Act (APRA) funding in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
As a reminder, ARPA 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 Medicaid programs, including ODP’s waivers.
DHS submitted an initial ARPA HCBS spending plan to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on June 14, 2021. CMS conditionally approved this plan on December 1, 2021. You can click here to review the PA – ARPA Home and Community Based Funding Initiatives. Since the conditional approval of the plan on December 1, 2021, ODP is proposing additional initiatives to use the ARPA funding and they seeking public comment on those initiatives. All Members and Interested people are encouraged to submit written comments regarding these proposed ODP-ARPA initiatives.
Below is a summary of the proposed initiatives:
Priority: Support State HCBS Capacity Building and LTSS Rebalancing Reform
Initiative: Data Management Enhancements
Cost: Total Cost Estimate $1.2M FY22-23
ODP IT system enhancements to store Health Risk Screening data in the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) so that data elements can be leveraged in case management activities and support individual plan creation and authorization. By collecting the data in the EDW, interface activities with the new Enterprise Case Management (ECM) system will result in better planning, monitoring of health and safety risks, and streamlining for providers and HCBS participants with ID/A. The Department will submit an Implementation Advanced Planning Document seeking federal financial participation for this project.
Priority: Increased Access to HCBS
Initiative: Targeted Program Recovery and Expansion Supplemental Payments
Cost: Total Cost Estimate $40M 10/1/2023-3/31/2024
Provide targeted supplemental payments to ODP HCBS providers for successful program recovery or service expansion to pre-pandemic service levels or greater. Payments will be targeted in three service areas for the Consolidated, Community Living and Person/Family Directed Support (P/FDS) waivers and Targeted Support Management:
- Community Participation Support – payments for successful program recovery and expansion are intended to assist with costs associated with staff recruitment, retention, and infection control management projects necessary to support return of individuals to service.
- Employment services – payments for successful program recovery and expansion are intended to assist with costs associated with staff recruitment and retention to ensure availability of supported employment services for job seekers and individuals engaged in competitive integrated employment.
- Supports Coordination – payments for successful program recovery and expansion to ensure that individuals newly enrolled for ID/A services have timely access to Supports Coordination. Payments are intended to assist with costs related to staff recruitment and retention with a focus on post-secondary educational attainment (tuition forgiveness or payment) to improve quality of service provision, promote specialty positions, within supports coordination organizations and reduce turnover.
The Department will submit an amendment through Appendix K to include conditions and rates for supplemental payments for enrolled HCBS providers and allow for federal financial participation to the extent possible.
Comments can be addressed to:
- Department of Human Services, Office of Developmental Programs, Division of Provider Assistance and Rate Setting, 4th Floor, 625 Forster Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120.
- Comments may also be submitted to the Department at [email protected].
All Comments must be received by 11:59pm on August 19, 2022 and will be reviewed and considered for final implementation.