A Few Additional Thoughts on the Budget Committee Reports!

February 20, 2022

In the House Appropriations Committee Report:

  • Funds are added for the rebase of rates for DD Waiver services in addition to those in the Governor’s budget – Group Homes (5 to 12 beds), Group Day and Group Supported Employment.
  • The slots (1,200) in the Governor’s budget remain, but there was clear frustration over the excessive delay in rolling out the FY 22 slots and language includes specific directions (likely not feasible) for the distribution and assignment for the new slots.
  • Funds (ARPA) are included to continue the 12.5% temporary rate increase for CMHRS providers.
  • There is language in the “caboose” budget for a review of the recent rate study; we do not have enough to determine exactly what would be expected as the language speaks to both an examination of the utilizations data for the period 4/1/21 to 3/31/22 (suggests an examination of the fiscal impact) and noting that DMAS will make rate model changes as appropriate to be effective July 1, 2022.  Review of the funding amendment to HB 30 suggests that the included “review” is to clean up the language which was in the Governor’s budget and didn’t accurately reflect the rate rebase.
  • There is a mandate for DMAS to take the needed steps to promulgate regulations to allow the continuation of parents/spouses as personnel care providers when circumstances prevent those services being provided by others and to allow continuation of many of the telehealth/virtual options which have been available during the pandemic.
  • Action has been deferred on the funding requested for new licensing positions  pending a review of the Office of Licensing.
  • There are a variety of items related to crisis services to mitigate hospital admissions, permanent supportive housing, funding for increases for hospital direct care staff (reduced from the Governor’s request) and funding for CSB direct care staff.

In the Senate Finance & Appropriations Committee Report a listing of amendment titles without further detail shows:
  •  Continue 12.5% rate increase for certain HCBS services (in both years of the biennium)
  • Increase dental rates by 30%
  • DD Waiver Rate increases (including those in the Governor’s Budget)
  • Peer Support rate increase
  • Provide $5M in FY23 for increase cost of combining EM, AT and Home-based annual limits
  • Removes funding for slots delayed in FY22
  • Language for several new initiatives in DD Waivers
  • Fund recruitment/retention bonuses for CSB direct care staff
  • Language to transfer DD Waiver Rate setting responsibility to DMAS, ?? Related to the DOJ Agreement Reporting and Accountability, and Slot release requirements (frustration equal to that of the House!)

The “half-sheets” will be available early in the week and we will have a great deal more information to share and will then be able to plan our advocacy efforts!