August 4, 2021
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has completed a major step toward improving home and community-based services (HCBS) for Maine people living with disabilities and behavioral health issues by submitting a full plan to the federal government for approval, which is expected in the coming weeks.
In June, DHHS released our preliminary plan to invest $229 million in statewide workforce and system improvements for HCBS, aimed at improving timely access to care, service delivery, and quality and accountability. The HCBS system improvement plan was developed in consultation with stakeholders, including providers and families, and reflects the predominant view that the most immediate challenge facing Maine’s HCBS system is attracting and retaining service providers and direct-care workers to ensure access to services.
Because this plan is predominantly funded through Federal Medicaid matching funds made available to states through the American Rescue Plan, it is subject to approval from the national Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
DHHS has been working closely with CMS throughout the planning and submission processes, and based on feedback received from CMS, DHHS expects to receive notice of approval by the end of the summer, with implementation beginning in the fall of this year.