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In Response to Home-Care Workforce Shortages, Most States Report Increasing Medicaid’s Payment Rates and Expanding Worker Opportunities

(By Alice Burns, Maiss Mohamed, and Molly O’Malley Watts for The Kaiser Family Foundation Published: Oct 24, 2023)

Long-standing workforce challenges in Medicaid home- and community-based services (HCBS) were exacerbated by the pandemic and addressing them is the top priority for most state HCBS programs. New flexibilities combined with funding provided through the American Rescue Plan Act helped states enact new policies to address those issues during the pandemic, but many of those policies are ending and federal funding will expire. This issue brief describes states’ ongoing efforts to respond to the workforce crunch and how they pay HCBS workers, which are central challenges in ensuring that HCBS services are accessible to the 4 million Medicaid enrollees who use them. The data come from the 21st KFF survey of officials administering Medicaid HCBS programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, which states completed between May and August 2023. The survey was sent to each state official responsible for overseeing the administration of HCBS benefits (including home health, personal care, and waiver services for specific populations such as people with physical disabilities). All states except Florida responded to the 2023 survey, but response rates for certain questions were lower. Key takeaways include: Continue reading here…

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