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September 1, 2023

AHCCCS to Include Community Feedback In Final Proposal to Reimburse Parents as Paid Caregivers for Their Children With Disabilities

A public forum to review final federal proposal will be held on Sept. 6, 2023

PHOENIX – The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) has incorporated community feedback into its request for federal approval to extend Medicaid reimbursement to parents who provide caregiver services to their minor children with disabilities.

Based on public comments and feedback from parents, AHCCCS has added habilitation services to its 1115 Demonstration Waiver request, which it will submit to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in September. All proposal requests are subject to federal approval.

Prior to the federal submission, AHCCCS will host a public forum to inform stakeholders of the final waiver request on September 6, 2023 from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. See the forum flier and register in advance using the link on the Parents as Paid Caregivers web page.

In July and August, AHCCCS held two public forums to solicit feedback from the community on this proposal and also gathered feedback via mail, email and other public meetings. The agency gathered more than 2,100 pieces of stakeholder feedback from over 1,700 individuals. The agency used this feedback to make significant changes to Parents as Paid Caregivers amendment proposal.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, AHCCCS received temporary federal approval to allow for parents to be reimbursed for providing the “extraordinary care” required of them throughout the course of the pandemic. The agency received a six-month extension past the end of the Public Health Emergency (PHE), extending the program until November 11, 2023.

After listening to member feedback and monitoring industry trends throughout the course of the PHE, this new proposal will seek to:

Currently, there are nearly 17,000 children under age 18 living at home who receive Home and Community Based Services. Of those, 3,469 are being served by parents as the paid caregiver since the program started, and the remaining 13,411 are being served either by a community provider or other non-parent caretakers. This data pertains to the children enrolled in the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) Developmentally Disabled program. It does not include data from the ALTCS Elderly and Physically Disabled (ALTCS-EPD) program.

More information about the waiver proposal is posted on the Parents as Paid Caregivers web page.

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