Capitol Correspondence - 06.01.21

HHS Acknowledges ANCOR Policy Priorities Letter

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responded to a letter ANCOR sent in March outlining recommendations for the implementation of a temporary 10 percent increase in Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) program rates, created by the American Rescue Plan Act.

The response reads:

“We are committed to working with states, beneficiaries, providers, advocates, and other stakeholders to enhance, expand, and strengthen state home and community-based service (HCBS) systems under the Medicaid program. CMS recognizes that section 9817 of the ARP provides opportunities for states to strengthen HCBS in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, to increase and improve the delivery of high-quality Medicaid HCBS, and to advance state long-term services and supports (LTSS) system reform.


On May 13, 2021 CMS released State Medicaid Director letter (SMDL) #21-003, Implementation of American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Section 9817: Additional Support for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services during the COVID-19 Emergency. This letter provides information on:

• The eligible services for which states can claim the increased federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP);

• Requirements for states to receive the increased FMAP, including reporting to demonstrate that the state is meeting the provisions described in the letter;

• The process for claiming the increased FMAP, which is based on the existing processes for states to claim for Medicaid expenditures; and

• Examples of activities that states can implement to enhance, expand, or strengthen HCBS.

We appreciate the recommendations you provided in your letter and will take them into consideration as we continue to implement section 9817 of the ARP.”