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HHS Extends Spending Deadline of HCBS eFMAP Funds an Additional Year

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), notified states last week that they now have an additional year – through March 31, 2025 – to use Enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (eFMAP) funding made available by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to enhance, expand, and strengthen home and community-based services (HCBS) for people with Medicaid who need long-term services and supports.

As members may recall, New York’s HCBS eFMAP spending plan was developed last summer and submitted to CMS for approval. LeadingAge NY provided comments on the draft plan and continues to advocate on the plan and its quarterly updates, which can be found here. Significant funding is planned for HCBS providers overseen by the New York State Department of Health (DOH), Office of Mental Health (OMH), Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), and Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS). DOH proposed several spending initiatives relating to home care, social and adult day, Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD)/Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and other long term care providers. The recently enacted 2022-23 State Budget will also utilize some of the HCBS eFMAP funds to pay for the health care workforce bonuses as well as the home care minimum wage increase. An additional spending year will allow the State to more carefully develop its initiatives and will provide LeadingAge NY with more time to advocate for funding for long term care providers.

The continued spending period also carries with it certain maintenance of effort requirements that allow for continued Medicaid eligibility and continued coverage for current enrollees. Therefore, certain 2020 budget provisions that limit eligibility for personal care under Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) will not be allowed to take effect until after the federal spending deadline is reached. Such new provisions will include limits on personal care to only those who need at least limited assistance with physical maneuvering with more than two activities of daily living (ADLs) and individuals diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's who require at least supervision with more than one ADL.

CMS’s press release on the extension can be viewed here, and information on New York State’s spending of the HCBS eFMAP monies can be found here.

Contact: Meg Everett, meverett@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8871