Health and Human Services Lengthens Deadline for State Improvements to Some Medicaid Services

The Department of Health and Human Services through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently notified states that they have one more year to utilize funding from the American Rescue Plan to bolster both community- and home-based services for Medicaid recipients who require long-term care support and service. The policy represents the most recent action by the Biden administration to improve the field of health care as well as to help individuals receive in settings of the patient’s choice while also reducing reliance on care from institutions.

A Secretary from the Health and Human Services has commented that all individuals deserve the dignity to reside in their home and surrounding community and that the existing Administration remains focused on guarding these rights. Due to funding from the President’s American Rescue Plan, the secretary also commented that the organization is focused on expanding community- and home- based services for aging and/or disabled adults throughout the country. The secretary also noted that the Department is working with each state to make sure that the state has adequate time as well as support to improve their home care systems.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has commented that the Biden  Administration is focused on increased community- and home-based care for the elderly and disabled. Due to the additional plan, the Center has commented, additional funds will support individuals with Medicaid to live in a location that they choose. With the extension, the Center is focused on meeting state concerns, giving states the necessary resources to improve care connections in communities and homes.

The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the risks presented by institutional settings for the elderly and disabled and also emphasized the urgent need to widen access to high-quality care to improve the outcomes for individuals who require long-term care services and support. Home and Community Based services let millions of people who receive Medicaid receive services in either their own home or community instead of remote locations like institutions.

Medicaid is the main funder of home and community based services throughout the country and plays a substantial role in bolstering efforts made by states to improve services for beneficiaries. The American Rescue Plan’s Section 9817 gives states a temporary 10 percentage point increase to the federal medical assistance percentage for some Medicaid expenditures for home and care based services.

Due to the Plan’s increase regarding federal matching rates for activities, states once had a three-year window between April 2021 to March 31, 2024, to utilize the available state funds to bolster home care based services in Medicaid. The widened time window of one more year will likely help improve high-quality, cost-effective, individual-focused services for Medicaid recipients.

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