Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a set of new resources focused on training and supporting the direct support workforce.
In Emerging Strategies for States, CMS summarizes its findings from a series of events it hosted to identify challenges, approaches, and promising practices regarding the direct support workforce. The series focused on the topics of trainings, data collection, diversity and inclusion, payment models, recruitment, and retention.
The report, Strengthening the Direct Service Workforce in Rural Areas, focuses on the challenges of maintaining an adequate direct support workforce in rural areas. The report notes that rural areas pose unique challenges due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in demand given the higher population of older adults living in rural areas. Strategies to improve retention of workers in rural areas include investing in transportation and technology and paying family caregivers.