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American Rescue Plan Act Enhanced Funding for Home and Community-Based Services

July 13, 2021 Update: The District’s ARPA Section 9817 Initial Narrative and Spending Plan is posted below and is available review. The plan was submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for review and approval on July 12, 2021.

July 8, 2021 Update: The District’s draft ARPA Section 9817 Initial Narrative and Spending Plan is posted below and is available for review.


The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 was signed into law on March 11, 2021. Section 9817 of ARPA provides states with a temporary ten (10) percentage point increase to the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). States must use funds equivalent to the amount of federal funds attributable to the increased FMAP to implement activities that enhance, expand, or strengthen Medicaid HCBS.

HCBS is defined broadly in the statute and guidance to include traditional HCBS services (home health, 1915c waivers, 1915i services, etc.) and services provided under the rehabilitative services option (ASARS, MHRS), regardless of whether those services are delivered under managed care or approved under a Section 1115 demonstration program.  Federal guidance also makes clear that Section 9817 creates an opportunity for reinvestment of local savings to draw additional enhanced FMAP.

The District must its submit a spending plan and narrative that describe planned enhancement activities to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for review by July 12, 2021.

Additional Information is available in the attached presentation.

Guiding Principles

In its planning, the District must consider the impact on local budget of any initiatives, the long-term sustainability of initiatives funded, and equity of enhancement activities across HCBS programs. In this process DHCF, along with its District partners at the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) and the Department on Disability Services (DDS), is guided by a few core principles as it considers efforts to enhance Medicaid HCBS, including:

  • Coordinating across provider types and building out equally for any one-time infrastructure initiatives, especially in areas where HCBS providers uptake has lagged;
  • Building on existing work and efforts to be more inclusive of HCBS providers; and
  • Minimizing or eliminating existing gaps in the HCBS service delivery system.

Public Engagement

As stated during the ARPA presentation at the June 2, 2021 Medical Care Advisory Committee (MCAC), DHCF is open and committed to engaging with stakeholders on the District’s path forward. Further engagement is planned during the June 23, 2021 MCAC meeting. DHCF is considering additional engagement opportunities in response to stakeholder feedback. The goal is to give interested stakeholders an opportunity for input ahead of our planned submission CMS. At this time, the District’s plan is not final and will consider the public’s recommendations accordingly.

Stakeholders interested in submitting written comments, recommendations, or suggestions may email them to Eugene Simms, Special Assistant, Office of the Director, at [email protected]. The District will also be holding virtual meetings to facilitate stakeholder engagement.

Public Meeting(s):
Medical Care Advisory Committee Meeting
Date: June 23, 2021
Time: 5:30PM – 7:30PM
Meeting URL: https://dcnet.webex.com/dcnet/j.php?MTID=m0ea731932cccfff2ddbed307e7b3278c
Conference Number: 1-202-860-2110
Meeting Number: 172 513 8931

MCAC Long Term Services and Supports Subcommittee
Date: June 29, 2021
Time: 4:30PM – 5:30PM
Meeting URL: https://dcnet.webex.com/dcnet/j.php?MTID=m3ab61586ebaca6216bad600c0145741e
Conference Number: 1-202-860-2110
Meeting Number: 172 343 8021