The announcement from HHS’ Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) indicated that of the $25 billion to be allocated in this tranche of aid from the Public Health & Social Services Emergency Fund, up to $15 billion will be made available to Medicaid-funded providers of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). While we don’t know the exact amount that HCBS programs will receive out of that $15 billion, HRSA’s announcement indicated that “The payment to each provider will be at least 2 percent of reported gross revenue.”
Without a doubt, this is a significant victory, and one that simply would not have been possible without you. Since the beginning of March when ANCOR began advocating at the federal level for critical resources to support providers through the pandemic:
39,710 advocates have taken action at the ANCOR Amplifier, sending 150,042 messages to every congressional office on Capitol Hill.
362,220 individuals have been exposed to our #ForgottenFaces campaign on social media, generating 1,042,493 impressions.
More than 30 news articles and more than 20 opinion pieces have been placed in major local and national news outlets, including as recently as today, when ANCOR’s fiscal impact report was cited on a front-page NPR story about the impact of COVID-19 on people with I/DD.
2,567 advocates have signed up to participate in the five national COVID-19 response briefings we’ve hosted, including dozens of Capitol Hill staffers and other key influencers.
To say we’ve been blown away by all that we’ve accomplished together would be an understatement. ANCOR has been relentless in its pursuit of emergency relief funding, but at every turn, ANCOR members have risen to the occasion, lending their voices to amplify our calls for federal support.
At the same time, we know that the funding announced today represents only a small fraction of what community-based disability services will need, and our work is far from over. Therefore, we want you to be aware of our next steps:
First and foremost, we will be seeking more information about how to ensure the emergency relief announced today makes its way into the bank accounts of our members. To that end, we will be keeping you apprised of what we’re hearing on the ground.
Although $15 billion will not be enough for HCBS programs, there still remains about $63 billion in the Emergency Fund, and we anticipate there will be further disbursements from that fund for our services. Therefore, we will continue to advocate as we have been, and we thank you in advance for continuing to lend you voice.
Especially if further Emergency Fund dollars aren’t allocated to Medicaid-dependent disability services, it will be critical that the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation includes money specifically designated for providers like you. Here again, we will be keeping our feet on the gas and look forward to engaging you in our advocacy efforts.
Congratulations for all you’ve done to help us secure this important victory. If ever there was doubt that your advocacy is making a difference, today’s milestone is proof positive that your efforts are ensuring the pandemic’s #ForgottenFaces are no longer left behind by the federal COVID-19 response.
Barbara Merrill, CEO, ANCOR
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