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Capitol Correspondence - 01.31.23

CMS Releases New Resources on Direct Care Workforce Focused on Self-Direction and Rural Networks

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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.

Two CMS resources focus on providing resources specifically for individuals who self-direct or who are interested in self-directed services. Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Direct Service Workers to Provide Self-Directed Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) is a free online training that provides guidance on finding, hiring, and retaining direct service workers. The Self-Direction Briefing Paper Series is a clearinghouse of resources geared toward individuals, policymakers, and other stakeholders regarding home and community-based self-direction and the direct support workforce.

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