HCBS Legislative Updates

    From the desk of Katy Dodd, Principal and VP of Business Development


    At LifewiseCHM we understand the importance of keeping a pulse on HCBS focused legislation that could impact our clients and their members. With a rapidly changing policy and legislative landscape at Federal and state levels, now more than ever it is vital that keep up-to-date.

    Recently, the American Rescue Plan boosted the federal matching rate (FMAP) for Medicaid HCBS spending by 10 percentage points from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022.


    • States must use the enhanced funds to “implement, or supplement the implementation of, one or more activities to enhance, expand, or strengthen” Medicaid HCBS.
    • The enhanced funds must be used for activities “beyond what is available under the [state’s] Medicaid program as of April 1, 2021.”
    • CMS guidance provided initiatives that states might fund, including activities to meet HCBS needs created by COVID-19 and activities to build state HCBS capacity and advance LTSS rebalancing reforms.

    Read the CMS guidance released on May 13, 2021.


    Other legislative highlights

    • Chiquita Brooks-LaSure Sworn In as the New Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – The bipartisan confirmation tool place on May 27, 2021. <Learn More>
    • Texas Medicaid 1115 Waiver – The federal waiver granting Texas billions of dollars over the next decade to help cover emergency care for the uninsured was rescinded. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in a letter that it had incorrectly allowed Texas to forgo the normal comment period when applying for an extension of its 1115 waiver, which reimburses hospitals in the state for uncompensated care. Read recent updates.
    • Medicaid Emergency Authority Tracker: Approved State Actions to Address COVID-19 (Kaiser Family Foundation) – This includes 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. Read more>


    LifewiseCHM is focused to provide solutions that support your members and their path to safer and more independent living. For more information about our work and how we can support you, contact us.