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Direct Care Workforce Shortages Have Worsened in Many States During the Pandemic, Hampering Providers of Home and Community-Based Services

During the pandemic many states have experienced worsening direct care workforce shortages that have affected providers of home- and community-based long-term care services (HCBS), according to early findings of a new KFF survey of Medicaid HCBS programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Most states reported workforce…

State Medicaid Home & Community-Based Services (HCBS) Programs Respond to COVID-19: Early Findings from a 50-State Survey

This issue brief presents early findings from the most recent KFF survey of Medicaid HCBS programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It focuses on state policies adopted in response to challenges posed by the pandemic, the pandemic’s impact on Medicaid HCBS enrollees and providers, and states’ initial plans for the new American Rescue Plan Act 10 percentage point temporary increase in federal Medicaid matching funds for HCBS available from April 2021 through March 2022.

Medicaid Authorities and Options to Address Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)

Extensive research and the pandemic have elevated the importance of addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) to improve health and reduce longstanding disparities in health and health care. Social determinants of health include factors like socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment, and social support networks, as well as access to health care. This brief describes options and federal Medicaid authorities states may use to address enrollees’ social determinants of health and provides state examples, including initiatives launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus of this brief is on state-driven Medicaid efforts to address social determinants for nonelderly enrollees who do not meet functional status or health need criteria for home and community-based services (HCBS) programs.

COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Long-Term Care Facilities through June 2021

This data note examines state-level data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in long-term care facilities through June prior to the recent rise in cases and deaths nationally linked to the spread of the Delta variant. It finds long-term care deaths down 96% from their peak in December as the nation’s vaccination effort began.

State Options to Expand Medicaid HCBS: Examples & Evaluations of Section 1115 Waivers

States are currently developing plans to access an increased federal matching rate (“FMAP”) for Medicaid HCBS spending established in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. In the future, states may also be able to access increased HCBS funds proposed in the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan and the Better Care Better Jobs Act recently introduced in Congress. This brief highlights examples of Medicaid HCBS policy changes authorized through Section 1115 demonstration waivers in seven states (Arizona, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington). Where available, we discuss waiver evaluation findings and reports that assess the impact of these policy changes.

Medicaid Emergency Authority Tracker: Approved State Actions to Address COVID-19

States used a number of Medicaid emergency authorities to address the COVID-19 public health emergency. Between March 2020 and July 2021 we tracked details on Medicaid Disaster Relief State Plan Amendments (SPAs), other Medicaid and CHIP SPAs, and other state-reported administrative actions; Section 1115 Waivers; Section 1135 Waivers; and 1915 (c) Waiver Appendix K strategies. This resource was last updated July 1, 2021 and is no longer being updated.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.