LTSS Workforce

Supporting and building the HCBS workforce is a cornerstone of Rhode Island’s Covid-19 pandemic recovery strategy as well as a fundamental approach in the State’s LTSS rebalancing initiative. The support that direct care workers and licensed health professionals provide to Medicaid enrollees who have physical or behavioral support needs helps to promote individual wellness and self-determination, allowing enrollees the choice to remain in their homes and communities and avoid unnecessary acute care or facility-based care. The pandemic has exacerbated challenges in meeting consumer demand for HCBS services due to workforce shortages.

As a key component of its pandemic response and LTSS planning efforts, Rhode Island EOHHS will invest an estimated $30 million in recruitment and retention for LTSS providers who did not otherwise receive a direct increase in the SFY 22 budget, including home health, adult day health, and habilitation group homes. These provider agencies will receive these funds through the mechanisms of significant temporary rate increases (fee for service for home health, adult day health, and habilitation group homes) for qualifying services from November 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022 to improve HCBS workforce recruitment and retention, and will have between November 1, 2021 and March 31, 2023 to expend the funds.