State Upping Medicaid Payouts Because Of Pandemic

LINCOLN, NE (January 12, 2022)  – Governor Pete Ricketts announced today that the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will temporarily increase provider rates for several important programs.  The increases are expected to help providers in Nebraska stabilize operations as they face workforce shortages and continuing increased costs due to COVID-19.  All planned increases, other than those for child welfare services, will need approval from the federal office of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

“Our state’s health service providers have done heroic work over the past two years to care for Nebraskans,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “As they manage the pressures of the pandemic and persistent workforce shortages, the proposed rate increases will offer much-needed assistance.  Thanks to DHHS CEO Dannette Smith and her team for taking action to support Nebraska’s providers.”

The plan includes over $61 million to increase provider rates 15% in the three Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) programs to help individuals with disabilities, a $20 daily increase for assisted living and nursing homes, and a child welfare provider rate increase to $25 per hour for travel and $55 per hour for family support.

The rate increases, if approved, will be administered to providers retroactively from January 1, 2022, through June 30, 2022.  The waivers programs and services that will be impacted by the proposed rate increase include:

  • Aged and Disabled Waiver offers services for people over the age of 65 and people of all ages who have disabilities.  The waiver helps people live safely in their own homes by funding an array of services such as assisted living, companion care, and home meal delivery.
  • Developmental Disabilities Waiver offers services for people of all ages with developmental disabilities.  This maximizes independence as participants live, work, and socialize in their communities.
  • Assisted Living and Nursing Home Per Diem offers payment for facility or residential and support services for individuals who have physical and health needs that require nursing facility level of care.
  • Child Welfare Rate Increase for Parenting Time and Family Support offers travel and visitation services for youth and families involved in the child welfare system to meet and support family relationships in accordance with the youth’s case plan.

 “Our providers are vital partners who serve on the front lines to ensure Nebraskans with distinct needs are living the good life in their community as independently as possible,” said DHHS CEO Dannette R Smith.  “This planned rate increase will ensure our partners can continue providing top-notch service.”

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