Budget Update – Chapter 3

February 25, 2021

The “Conference Report” has been released – there are a few nuggets of good news, but not much in the way of long term support for services going forward.  

  • Personal Care, Respite and Companion services will receive a an increase to “preserve the safety net” and Consumer Directed Services staff will have access to some paid leave.  
  • Language about the permanent continuation of telehealth in the DD Waivers and coverage for ABA services is included.
  • Funds are included to restore funding for Medicaid Works.
  • 435 FIS slots were added to address the Priority 1 Waiting List (this is in addition to those slots already in the Budget).
  • Language is added to direct DMAS (with stakeholder input) to develop a plan to support DD Waiver providers using any additional Federal funds which may become available; there are specific priorities established.
  • $2.5M is added to support the merger of the Medicaid Managed Care Programs and other language requires that the contracts be modified to require reporting on the terminations of provider’s contracts.
  • The language is added to allow further extension of the ~100 “conditional licenses.” 
  • There is also language for DBHDS to establish a workgroup to review specific issues with DD Waiver rates and requires a plan to eliminate the waiting list; while is allows DBHDS to use existing resources to contract with a vendor to help with data analysis, it does not specifically authorize that the rates be rebased and expects a report too late to be included in the Governor’s Budget.  And,
  • Funding not expended in Round 1 of the Virginia version of support for Day Services or Residential Services has been “clawed back” for another purpose.
On the bright side, the rate increase for “psychiatric services” which covers outpatient services to 110% of the Medicare rate and the rate increases for the rest of the DD Waiver services are still slated for July 1.