OHIO — Home- and community-based providers of long-term care services and supports are eligible for relief funds to help them continue to respond and adapt to COVID-19 and ensure quality care for older Ohioans.
“From the beginning, this virus took aim at older adults and severely impacted the industries charged to care for and serve them,” Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy said. “We appreciate the vision of Governor Mike DeWine and the General Assembly in passing House Bill 169, which set the stage for this relief. We also thank the Ohio Department of Medicaid for working hard to make this funding available quickly.”
After federal approval of the state’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) home- and community-based services plan, Governor DeWine issued an executive order authorizing emergency rules be filed to provide relief payments to PASSPORT and assisted living providers totaling $59 million.
PASSPORT providers will begin receiving payments as early as the week of Monday, March 7. PASSPORT is a Medicaid waiver program operated by the Ohio Department of Aging that allows people with Medicaid who would otherwise require the types of care provided in a nursing home to receive that assistance in their homes at a fraction of the cost.
Assisted living providers with beds licensed by the Ohio Department of Health, including all providers participating in the Ohio Department of Aging’s Assisted Living Waiver program, are eligible for payments of $500 per bed. These payments are being distributed through a grant application process managed by the Office of Budget and Management and supported by the Ohio Department of Aging and Ohio Department of Medicaid. On March 3, the Department of Aging and its partners hosted a webinar to give assisted living providers step-by-step instructions to apply for the payments. A recording of the webinar and additional information and resources are available on ODA’s website at www.aging.ohio.gov/arpa-funding.
“These vital providers have long experienced challenges that reached a tipping point during the pandemic,” Director McElroy added. “While we hope the funds give them much-needed immediate relief, they also are intended as a foundation upon which we will grow a revitalized and resilient aging network and long-term care system. We continue to work with our stakeholders, advocates, providers, the administration, and the legislature to support a new age for aging in Ohio.”