CMS Approves ARPA Relief for Ohio

The Ohio Department of Medicaid can now distribute Federal relief for Home and Community-Based Service providers, including DME suppliers.

The Ohio Department of Medicaid has reported that CMS has approved its plan to distribute Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) relief fund for Home and Community-Based Service (HCBS) providers, which includes DME suppliers in the Buckeye state.

Providers will receive lump-sum payments for fee-for-service (FFS) claims during the claim period from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021. The payments will be equal to approximately 10 percent of paid claims

The Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services (OAMES) began work to gain DMEPOS relief in June last year with support from the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) and The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART). Efforts included persistent work to educate Ohio regulators and legislators about the valuable role HME providers played during the public health emergency. Notably, Ohio and Massachusetts are the only two states to grant ARPA HCBS relief to HME providers so far.

A statement from OAMES called securing the funding “a huge win for Ohio’s HME providers serving Medicaid patients.”

“Achieving this relief was not a given as ODM has had an inconsistent history of recognizing HME providers as HCBS providers in the past when implementing rate increases or reductions,” the statement read. “OAMES would like to recognize the Board of Directors for their leadership on this issue and specifically thank OAMES president Andy Willhelm, past president Nick Kalogeras, RPh., Laura Williard with the American Association for Homecare, and OAMES executive director Kam Yuricich for their relentless efforts over the past 10 months to help secure this funding for Ohio’s HME providers.”

“OAMES executive director Kam Yuricich and her team deserve a great deal of credit for their work with Ohio Medicaid officials and state legislators to ensure that DME was included in this relief package,” said Laura Williard, vice president of payer relations for AAHomecare, which played a supporting role in the effort. “Thanks to this persistent engagement with policymakers, Ohio suppliers will receive a significant measure of relief that recognizes their exceptional contributions supporting patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and will allow them to further strengthen their ability to provide high-quality, home-based care to their communities.”

The association also thanked its members; Ohio Department of Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran; Chief Policy Officer Patrick Beatty; Non-Institutional Policy Section Chief Rafiat Eshett; and Policy Administrators Ryan Spindler, Mark Rogers and Dennis Frazier for their time and engagement on this issue. It also thanked members of the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee for their attention in supporting DMEPOS providers.

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