Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan

Providers of home- and community-based services and nursing home care to Medicaid beneficiaries in Maryland will receive a 3% rate increase for fiscal year 2019, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday.

The state’s budget for the fiscal year, which begins July 1, includes a total of $20.2 million to fund the long-term services and supports — $5.1 million for the home- and community-based provider rate, $3 million for the specialized foster care and group home service provider rate and $12.1 million for the nursing home rate.

“This rate increase ensures continued access to care and services for many of our most vulnerable Marylanders who need specific care,” Hogan, a Republican, said in a statement. “Our administration greatly values the hard work these care providers do each and every day, and we are fully committed to supporting them as comprehensively as possible.”

More than 42,000 individuals receive LTSS via Maryland Medicaid, increasingly through home and community-based services rather than institutional-based care, according to the governor’s office. The state was one of the first to implement the Community First Choice program, an option established under the Affordable Care Act intended to make it easier for Medicaid participants who require institutional-levels of care to receive services in home- and community-based settings.

“This rate increase will allow providers to meet the needs of this specific population in the setting that best fits the individual’s needs, whether that be at an institution or in their own home,” Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert Neall said.

The Columbia, MD-based LifeSpan Network, which represents more than 330 senior services organizations in Maryland and the District of Columbia, applauded the bump.

“This rate increase demonstrates the level of commitment that both the governor and the legislature have for the more than 42,000 individuals receiving LTSS,” LifeSpan President and CEO Kevin Heffner said.

LifeSpan Network members include not-for-profit and for-profit independent living and assisted living communities, continuing care retirement communities, subsidized senior housing, skilled nursing facilities and community-based and hospital-based programs.