Advocacy, All Posts, RCFE

Governor’s Budget Proposes Adding 2,000 Slots to the Assisted Living Waiver Program – 6Beds Advocacy Efforts Paying Off

by George Kutnerian
As many of you may be aware, the Assisted Living Waiver (ALW) program reached its capacity of 3,700 slots in March of 2017 and has since been operating with a waitlist that is now fast approaching 3,000 individuals.

Governor’s Budget Proposes Adding 2,000 Slots to Assisted Living Waiver Program -- 6Beds Advocacy Efforts Paying Off

6Beds has been advocating for an expansion to the ALW program since last year’s Advocacy Day in spring of 2017.

Since then, in its efforts to expand and improve the ALW, 6Beds has joined a broad coalition that includes LeadingAge CA, California Assisted Living Association, Alzheimer’s Association, The SCAN Foundation, California Hospital Association, the California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Association, and Justice in Aging.

This broad coalition had been advocating to the Department of Health Care Services and the Department of Finance for an expansion of the ALW.  The Governor’s proposal to add 2,000 slots to the ALW is a significant first step towards expanding the ALW.  We will keep you posted on how the proposal to add 2,000 slots to the ALW progresses through the budget process.  Even if approved, the addition of the 2,000 slots would not be operational until at least this summer as the Department of Health Care Services will be required to apply for a waiver amendment with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Stay tuned for updates.

Advocating for expanding and improving the ALW is a part of 6Beds’ 2018 Advocacy Day agenda.

Please join us for Advocacy Day in Sacramento on April 11, 2018 at the California Chamber of Commerce, beginning at 8AM.

Click here to learn more.

Best,

George K. Kutnerian
Senior Vice President
Public Policy & Legislation

Advocacy, All Posts, ARF, Issues, RCFE

Assisted Living Waiver Program – DHCS Announces Increased Provider Rates Effective 2017

by George Kutnerian
In a previous post, we let our readers know that California’s new budget would provide for an increase in funding for the Home and Community Based Services waiver programs, which includes the Assisted Living Waiver Program. At that time, the specific rates to take effect on January 1, 2017 had not yet been announced.

DHCS recently announced the specific provider rates that are to take effect on January 1, 2017.  The new provider rates are as follows:

 

Effective 2017                      Current

Tier 1         $55/day              $52/day

Tier 2         $66/day              $62/day

Tier 3         $75/day              $71/day

Tier 4         $87/day              $82/day

 

This marks 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 into 2019.  The Assisted Living Waiver Program currently operates in 14 counties throughout the State.

6-bed RCFEs play an important role in the Assisted Living Waiver Program.  The Assisted Living Waiver Program provider rate increase is yet another signal of the effectiveness of 6Beds’ advocacy in Sacramento, where 6Beds has persistently been advocating for provider rate increases for programs that impact 6-bed facilities as well as new funding sources for 6-bed facilities to cope with the rising costs of doing business in California.

Best Regards,

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

Advocacy, All Posts, ARF, Issues, RCFE

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