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American Rescue Plan Act and Community Behavioral Health: Where Ohio is Now

The passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) brought with it an opportunity for investment in home and community-based services. (HCBS) The federal legislation included a temporary 10% federal match increase to state Medicaid-funded HCBS, for which the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) required states to submit detailed spending plans.

Ohio engaged in a process to solicit feedback from the community for Ohio's funding plan. In August, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) posted an RFI in August 2021 to solicit feedback from all stakeholders that was completed by the end of the month. Then, in October 2021, ODM submitted its plan. You can find it here.

In total, the state proposed utilizing $529 million dollars for one-time direct payments to HCBS providers in recognition of the essential work performed and for relief from the negative economic impacts experienced during the ongoing COVID–19 public health emergency (PHE).

Recently, ODM, along with several partner agencies provided a progress report on its spending recommendations and what legislative and regulatory hurdles remain before funds are released. They reported at this meeting that Ohio has received partial approval, but that the partial approval extends specifically to the provider relief component of Ohio’s ARPA plan.

They also provided a provider relief track grid with detailed information as to the provider types receiving funding. The provider groups identified for this support are all direct providers of HCBS services and include Community Behavioral Health Services Provider types 84 & 95.

The state has proposed that these be approximately a 10% lump sum retroactive payment for paid claims for the time period of 07/01/2020-06/30/2021. The state has further indicated that these payments to providers will be completed before March 2022.

You can find all of the most up-to-date information regarding ARPA funds for HCBS in Ohio here.

We also want to highlight an additional announcement Governor DeWine recently made regarding the use of ARPA funds to strengthen behavioral healthcare services, which you can read here.


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