The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) recently received spending authority for its $1.1 billion budget for home and community-based services (HCBS), allowing eligible providers to begin applying for the funding this month.
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AHCA opened applications for provider funding earlier this month, allowing a 60-day submission period before the Feb. 22, 2022 due date. Payments will come in the form of one-time stipends for HCBS providers, one-time payments to support HCBS staff recruitment and retainment efforts, and funds to purchase delayed egress systems for group homes and adult day training centers.
These payments account for the bulk of the original spending plan—over $947 million. Funds will come from enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) outlined under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The 10-point percentage increase will last for a duration of three years.
Applications for other HCBS services will become available in April 2022, according to AHCA.
The second round of funding will include $191 million to expand enrollment in the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), which currently has a waiting list of over 22,000 people. Other funds will also support the Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA)’s Home Care for the Elderly (HCE) program, which helps seniors age in place in the community with the aid of a caregiver, rather than in a long-term care facility.
In the press release announcing the applications for the first round of funding, AHCA Secretary Simone Marstiller expressed the importance of community-based care.
“The Agency is pleased to invest this enhanced funding in Florida’s home and community-based services providers to strengthen their ability to recruit and retain staff to care for the most vulnerable and enhance the ability of these Floridians to receive care in a community-based setting.”
More information on the HCBS spending plan, as well as the application materials for eligible providers can be found here: https://ahca.myflorida.com/Medicaid/Policy_and_Quality/Policy/federal_authorities/HCBSapp.shtml#rsrcs