The State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis 2022

The longstanding direct support workforce crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to closures of critically needed services and a denial of access to community-based supports.
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Capitol Correspondence - 08.17.21

Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Early Findings from a 50-State Survey

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The Kaiser Family Foundation released early findings from their 50-State Survey reviewing the response of State Medicaid home and community-based services programs to COVID-19.

Key Findings Include:

  • Important data gaps remain, with just under half of responding states tracking COVID-19 vaccination rates among Medicaid HCBS enrollees.
  • The Medicaid HCBS provider infrastructure declined during the pandemic, with two-thirds of responding states reporting a permanent closure of at least one provider.
  • Over half of responding states reported early plans for the new ARPA temporary enhanced federal funds for Medicaid HCBS.

Additionally, the survey indicated that many states are not specifically tracking COVID-19 vaccinations in their Medicaid HCBS populations. The report identified the lack of Medicaid HCBS providers as a barrier to this type of vaccination tracking. According to the survey, eighteen (18) states planned to use the federal match for HCBS in the American Rescue Plan Act to increase payment rates with thirteen (13) states expanding workforce recruitment efforts.