ACCSES, ANCOR, APSE, The Arc, Easterseals, Goodwill Industries, and United Cerebral Palsy joined in a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma, and Deputy Administrator and Director of Medicaid and CHIP Services Calder Lynch, requesting that CMS use its regulatory authority to waive the restriction on retainer payments and provide additional much-needed relief to disability service providers.
The letter expresses concerns regarding “CMS’s recent FAQ guidance updated on June 30, 2020 retroactively restricting the length of the state’s authority to issue retainer payments. Throughout this public health crisis, disability service providers have been working tirelessly to keep the people they support safe and healthy in the face of staffing shortages, program closures and quarantine mandates.”
“Although we understand that the limited term of this authority was appropriate for past crises, the ongoing nature of this pandemic restricts providers’ ability to safely resume supports and services at a time when extreme caution continues to be recommended for at-risk individuals by the Centers for Disease Control. In consideration of the ongoing crisis and as an increasing number of states are facing serious spikes in virus positivity, hospitalizations, and mortality rates, we ask that HHS employ its regulatory authority to waive the limit of three consecutive 30 day periods for retainer payments for the duration of the Public Health Emergency. As it appears that we will collectively be trying to manage through this crisis for the foreseeable future, providers of Medicaid funded disability services are in dire need of this ongoing support.”