Follow-up on Hazard Pay Announcement

October 20, 2020

There is little detail, other than what we said in a recent post:  


“We do know that Friday’s announcement from the Governor’s office authorizing “hazard pay for home health workers” is both problematic to implement and is being widely misinterpreted.  It will include staff who provide personal care/personal assistance, respite and companion services both consumer-directed and agency-directed and no other services.”


about the distribution of the “hazard” pay for “home-health care” workers which was announced by the Governor last week and included in the budget approved by the General Assembly:


 


Item 479.10 #2c Language Only



  1. The appropriation in this item includes $72,000,000 the first year from Coronavirus Relief Funds cited in paragraph B.2. above for the Department of Medical Assistance Services for hazard pay for consumer directed and agency directed personal care attendants who provide Medicaid personal care, respite or companion care services in the amount of $1,500 per personal care attendant. The Department shall have the authority to implement such payments prior to the completion of any regulatory process to effect such changes.


 


We do know three things –



  • it is restricted to the services listed above; there is no flexibility to broaden the eligibility,

  • the procedures to identify the individual eligible recipients is complex and has not yet been finalized, and

  • while the funds must be distributed by the end of the year, it is not likely to be much before that!