Nebraksa Gov. Pete Ricketts

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (Credit: Mike Theiler / Stringer / Getty Images)

Assisted living communities in Nebraska could see temporary funding increases to address workforce shortages and continuing pandemic-related costs if a state plan is approved by the federal government.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) announced that the state Department of Health and Human Services hopes to infuse $61 million into several programs to increase provider rates, pending approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The plan includes a $20 daily increase for assisted living, would increase provider rates 15% in three home- and community-based services programs to help individuals with disabilities, and offers a child welfare provider rate increase for travel and family support. 

More specifically, the waiver programs and services affected include:

  • An assisted living and nursing home per diem provides payment for facility or residential and support services for individuals requiring nursing facility care levels.
  • A Medicaid HCBS aged and disabled waiver funds assisted living, companion care and home meal delivery services for those 65 and older with disabilities.
  • A Medicaid HCBS developmental disabilities waiver offers services for individuals of all ages with disabilities. 

“Our state’s health service providers have done heroic work over the past two years to care for Nebraskans,” Ricketts said in a statement. “As they manage the pressures of the pandemic and persistent workforce shortages, the proposed rate increases will offer much-needed assistance.”

If approved, the rate increase will be administered retroactively from Jan. 1 and last through June 30.