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The Office of Community Living within the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (Department) has an important announcement below.

Department of Health Care Policy & Financing Releases American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Proposed Spending Plan for Home & Community-Based Services (HCBS)

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (the Department) is excited to announce the submission of the proposed American Rescue Plan Act HCBS Enhanced Match Spending Plan to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The plan, which outlines how the state intends to enhance, expand, or strengthen Medicaid HCBS, is now publicly available on the Department’s website.

The HCBS provision in the American Rescue Plan Act, section 9817, will increase the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Medicaid HCBS spending by 10 percentage points from April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022. Over the next three years, the Department will use this additional infusion of short-term funds to increase access to HCBS for Medicaid beneficiaries – benefits which provide older adults and individuals with disabilities, including those with behavioral health needs, with critical services in their homes and communities.

In alignment with federal guidance, stakeholder feedback, and priorities articulated in the legislation from the Joint Budget Committee (JBC), the Department has crafted a plan that:

  • Supercharges existing initiatives and state priorities;
  • Supports the COVID-19 response and recovery for the providers, members, and families relying on Colorado’s HCBS system;
  • Fosters innovation & long-term transformative change; and
  • Increases quality & fiscal stewardship to improve health care equity, access, and outcomes for the people we serve.

We want to thank all of our stakeholders who partnered with us over the last several weeks providing thoughtful feedback and recommendations. The proposed plan is the culmination of innumerable hours of brainstorming, vetting, and crafting with internal staff, sister state agencies, and hundreds of individual stakeholders. Through these efforts, we have identified eight priority areas and developed a list of initiatives which will provide both immediate relief for the provider network, direct support to members and their families during the recovery phase following the pandemic, and foster longer-term innovation and transformation to create an HCBS system of the future.

The Department anticipates receiving feedback from CMS on the proposed plan by the end of July. As we wait for that feedback, the Department will continue to further develop each of the proposed initiatives. Upon receipt of CMS’ comments and guidance, we will finalize a plan for review by stakeholders, and ultimately, submission to the JBC for their approval. We anticipate further input and guidance, which will require the plan to evolve and change as necessary.

We are grateful for this incredible opportunity to transform our system and improve the lives of Coloradans who receive HCBS. We also look forward to ongoing collaboration with our stakeholders as we continue to pursue these important initiatives.