The American Rescue Plan Was Signed this Afternoon!

March 11, 2021

There are many very good things in this bill that will make a real difference in the lives of not only the individuals we support, but also for many of the staff who provide those supports day after day!  There will be plenty published in the next several weeks to explain all of the features, the one that is most immediate and critical to many of you is the 10% increase in the FMAP targeted specifically for HCBS.

The are few guardrails around the funding in the bill itself, but CMS will publish guidance for the States to direct the use – likely in these areas:

  • Increase rates so that DSP wages may be increased
  • Paid leave for DSPs
  • Hazard pay, overtime, and shift differential
  • Reduce waiting lists
  • Recruit new DSPs
  • Support family caregivers
  • COVID specific staff training
  • Prepare accessible public materials
  • Retainer payments
  • Compliance with the HCBS settings rule
  • Support transitions to the community, and/or
  • Mental health or rehabilitation services needed due to COVID
We are already talking with DMAS and will continue discussions as we have more direction from CMS.