Arkansas announces additional pay for ‘direct care workers’

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The State of Arkansas announced they will be providing additional pay for direct care workers.

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Below is a break down provided by the government on the new system.

Who currently qualifies

“CMS’s approval of this request is welcome news for LTSS direct-care workers, who are working long hours to see that our most vulnerable Arkansans are well-cared for during this public health emergency,” Governor Hutchinson said today. “Not only will these funds help ensure continuity of care, the extra pay will alleviate some of the financial stress for the caregivers, who are selflessly serving in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in private homes at increased risk to their own health.”

The additional care continuity pay will go to eligible non-physician direct-care workers employed by or contracted with institutional setting providers, such as nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, and assisted living facilities; and agencies in non-institutional settings for people who receive care in their homes and communities. Eligible workers include those who are continuing to provide face-to-face services to this population and include:

  • Registered Nurses
  • Licensed practical nurses
  • Certified nurse aides
  • Personal care aides assisting with activities of daily living under the supervision of a nurse or therapist
  • Home health aides assisting with activities of daily living under the supervision of a nurse or therapist
  • Nursing assistive personnel
  • Direct care workers providing services under home and community-based waivers
  • Intermediate Care Facility direct care staff including those that work for a state-run Human Development Center
  • Assisted Living direct care staff members
  • Hospice service direct care workers
  • Respiratory therapists

Additional Pay Breakdown

The base supplemental payments will be paid per direct care worker, as follows:

  1. work 20-39 hours per week -- $125.00/week
  2. b) work 40+ hours per week -- $250.00/week
  3. c) work a regularly planned split shift schedule that overlaps weeks that equal or exceed 150 hours per month, not including overtime -- $250.00/week

Tiered payments based on the acuity of beneficiaries who have tested positive for

COVID-19 and are receiving treatment will be made as follows:

  1. work 1-19 hours per week -- $125.00/week
  2. work 20-39 hours per week -- $250.00/week
  3. work 40+ hours per week -- $500.00/week
  4. work a regularly planned split shift schedule that overlap weeks that equal exceed 150 hours per month, not including overtime -- $500.00/week

"The payments will be made to a facility or agency providers over a period of eight (8) weeks beginning the week of April 5, 2020 and ending May 30, 2020. The providers will pass the full net value (gross amount minus applicable taxes) of the payments to the eligible direct care workers.

The payments will be available to Medicaid-enrolled providers who employ or contract with LTSS direct care workers. This includes nursing homes, ARChoices providers, Personal Care providers, Area Agencies on Aging, Assisted Living Facilities, Hospice providers, CES waiver providers for supported living services, and agencies in non-institutional settings for people who get care in their homes and communities," the news release said.

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