The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has announced a new funding initiative for those providing aid.
In a press release, The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced a funding opportunity for home and community-based service (HCBS) providers to improve and strengthen programs and services to better serve participants. Funding requests will be accepted starting July 1, 2022.
“DHS is committed to supporting home and community-based services, and this new funding opportunity will allow HCBS providers to enhance services for the people in their care,” said Acting DHS Secretary Meg Snead. “When we invest in the people and organizations that are caring for our most vulnerable citizens and we’re able to address programs and supports that improve social determinants of health, all Pennsylvanians benefit. I encourage all eligible providers to apply for this funding.”
DHS will provide up to $40,000 per approved request in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to help HCBS providers implement the following service improvement projects:
- Supplemental activities to address a participant’s social determinants of health, including:
- Activities to address affordable and accessible housing, not including rent and room and board
- Activities to improve access to competitive integrated employment for participants, including access to benefits counseling or remote technology to support employment
- Activities to improve or enhance transportation for CHC and OBRA participants
- Activities to improve food insecurities for participants
- Purchase of remote support technology by providers, including technology initiatives, that improve transparency and quality assurance for participants, such as providing direct care workers with access to tablets and software that support care-related needs.
- Payment for the development and implementation of enhanced training for direct care workers, Medical Assistance (MA) providers or both, which will enhance training on infection control practices and training for professional development.a
- Purchase and implementation of new software and technology for electronic health records, or quality or risk management functions, which will enable HCBS providers to connect with local hospitals and physicians and ensure real time communication between the HCBS provider and the participant’s medical providers.
APRA funding is limited to services providers through the Community HealthChoices (CHC) and OBRA 1915(c) waivers for activities that supplement HCBS services. This funding will come in the form of a reimbursement and funding submission will be reviewed and awarded by DHS in the order they are received until the fund has been exhausted.
The applications for funding requests will be accepted starting July 1, 2022, and the request submission period will remain open until December 31, 2022, or until funding has been exhausted. Approved providers then have until July 1, 2023, to spend this funding.
More information is available on DHS’ Long-Term Care Providers page under the heading “Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Quality Improvement Funding Opportunity.”
The funding application is available here for providers to review, complete, and submit starting July 1, 2022: