Topeka, KS– Governor Laura Kelly today announced $51 million would be distributed to Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) providers beginning in June of this year. The bonuses will benefit approximately 24,000 direct support workers in the state. Each care worker could receive up to a $2,000 bonus.   

“Our direct care workers have worked tirelessly to provide exceptional care to vulnerable Kansans during the pandemic and beyond,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “We recognize the hard work direct care workers do, and we’ll build on this opportunity as an incentive to recruit and retain qualified staff.” 

Provider agencies will receive a payment amount based on their number of current direct care workers and immediate supervisors. All funds go directly to direct service workers and their immediate supervisors. Additionally, as an incentive to bring more direct support workers to the field, agencies will receive $1,500 dollars per new staff for a recruitment bonus. 

The bonus payments are available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) signed into law in March 2021 to provide enhanced federal funding for Medicaid HCBS through a one-year 10 percent increase to the state’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAPs). FMAPs are the percentage rates used to determine the amount of matching federal funds allocated annually for sate expenditures to social services and state and medical insurance programs. 

The distribution of that funding will be administered by KDADS and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). The distribution plan has received federal approval and its goal is to improve access to quality services and increase capacity for Kansans, including those with disabilities and behavioral health challenges, to receive care in their homes and communities and to serve as a catalyst to enhance provider staffing to optimal levels and retain direct supports workers. 

KDHE is the single state Medicaid (KanCare) agency. KDADS administers the state’s 1915(c) HCBS waivers and oversees the state’s PACE programs; the majority of ARPA spending will occur within KDADS-sponsored projects.