Home and Community-Based Health Services Get A Boost from New Legislation

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Bill will enhance Medicaid-eligible home and community-based services for older adults and people with disabilities


July 1, 2021

Media Contact
Marc Williams


DENVER - Today, Governor Polis signed SB21-286 which directs the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (the Department) to develop a plan for utilizing one-time enhanced federal funding to expand and strengthen Medicaid-eligible home and community-based services (HCBS). The legislation allows the Department to leverage an HCBS provision in the American Rescue Plan Act, section 9817, which will increase the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) the Department receives for Medicaid HCBS spending by 10% between April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022. The Department anticipates receiving approximately $500 million in increased FMAP funding over the coming year and will distribute these additional funds over the next three years.  

“We are very appreciative of this federal funding and the opportunity to work with so many passionate stakeholders to frame the spending plan, which will foster industry transformation and sustainability to the betterment of the Coloradans served through HCBS and the care providers who deliver those critical services,” said Kim Bimestefer, executive director for the Department." 

In collaboration with more than 800 stakeholders, eight priority areas have been identified for possible funding, with specific initiatives. These eight priority areas include: Strengthen the workforce and enhance rural sustainability, support post-COVID recovery and HCBS innovation, improve crisis and acute services, improve access to HCBS for underserved populations, strengthen case management redesign, expand emergency preparedness, invest in tools and technology and enhance quality outcomes.   

The Department anticipates feedback on its plan from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by late July, and will incorporate that feedback into a final plan for review by stakeholders. Ultimately, the Department will send the plan to the Joint Budget Committee for approval. 

“We are grateful for this incredible opportunity to transform our system and improve the lives of Coloradans who receive HCBS,” said Bonnie Silva, director, office of community living. “We also look forward to ongoing collaboration with our stakeholders as we continue to pursue these important initiatives.” 

About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing: The Department administers Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid program), Child Health Plan Plus, and other programs for Coloradans who qualify. For more information about the Department, please visit hcpf.colorado.gov.