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First Ever Rate Increase for Assisted Living Waiver Program

by George Kutnerian
California’s new budget will provide for an increase in funding for the Home and Community Based Services waiver programs, which includes the Assisted Living Waiver Program.

The budget will provide for an estimated $7.1 million from the State’s General Fund and an estimated $5.1 million in federal funds, reflecting increased costs in Home and Community Based Services waiver programs and long-term care facilities rate add-ons.

The specific provider rate increase for the Assisted Living Waiver Program has not yet been determined, but increased rates should take effect on January 1, 2017 and we expect the new rates to be announced sometime in the 4th quarter of this year.

The much needed and long overdue provider rate increase would be the first rate increase the Assisted Living Waiver Program has received since its inception as a pilot program in 2006 when it began serving Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Joaquin counties.

The primary goal of the Assisted Living Waiver Program is to enable low-income, Medi-Cal eligible seniors and persons with disabilities, who would otherwise require nursing facility services, to remain in or relocate to the community.  The program was approved by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare and is currently in the midst of its second five-year waiver that will run until February 28, 2019, by which time we expect that another five year waiver renewal will be approved.  The Assisted Living Waiver Program currently operates in 14 counties throughout the State.

6-bed RCFEs and ARFs play an important role in the Assisted Living Waiver Program and 6Beds will continue to keep its members and followers apprised of new information pertaining to the provider rate increase.

Best Regards,

George Kutnerian, M.S., MBA
Senior Vice President of Public Policy & Legislation

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