DHS Announces Grant Opportunity for Assisted Living Centers Providing Home and Community Based Services: Updated Information Regarding Application Process and Grant Parameters

Recently, Department of Health Services (DHS) announced a new grant opportunity that will be open to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) providers. There will be $30 million of ARPA funding available through two to three rounds of the grant. Please click here to find detailed information about this grant opportunity. DHS also offered live informational webinars this week outlining the application process and grant parameters – you can access webinar slides at the link above as well.

Skilled nursing facilities are not eligible for this grant but other providers serving family care members are eligible to apply. The application will open August 11 and remain open until September 12. Applications are housed on a platform called GrantsConnect. Once the application opens on August 11, you will be able to create an account and complete applications for projects would like to apply for.

DHS states that grant funding will strengthen the HCBS system and support quality and innovation in the delivery of HCBS in Wisconsin. Some examples of uses for the funding are:

  • Support organizations and providers with workforce training and service delivery improvements as they recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Develop and implement specialized training for direct care workers and managers.
  • Help individuals with intellectual, developmental, and other significant disabilities find and retain work.
  • Improve person-centered planning and implementation.
  • Increase specialized care, services, and engagement for individuals with dementia, autism, children’s long-term care needs, or persons with other disabilities.
  • Expand the use of technology and telehealth by assisting HCBS providers with supplies and equipment.
  • Reduce disparities and improve access to a diverse and culturally competent pool of HCBS providers.
  • Develop other innovative ideas to improve HCBS.
  • Prepare educational materials—on public health and other topics—in accessible formats for individuals receiving HCBS.
  • Promote access to technology to facilitate human connection for individuals receiving Medicaid HCBS and their caregivers.
  • Support quality initiatives that improve services and supports and increase community engagement.
  • Fund recruitment and retention activities for direct service workers of Medicaid HCBS providers.
  • Purchase personal protective equipment and routine COVID-19 tests for direct service workers of Medicaid HCBS providers and people receiving Medicaid HCBS.

Depending on the number of initial applications, the full $30 million will be paid out over two or three rounds. Additionally, those that have projects approved for a grant will receive part of the funding immediately, and then the remaining funds after spending most of those funds and sending validating documentation to DHS. Grantees have until the end of 2024 to spend all the money they are awarded and will have to complete quarterly reports about how the funding was used.

Projects that are expected to be accepted will range from $25,000 to $2 million. The application itself will require personnel information, details about project plans, timelines, budgets, who the project will serve, among other required information.

Award notifications will be sent out via email October 28 – at that point, if your project is selected, you log back into the portal to sign an acceptance agreement and receive the first tranche of funds within a week.

DHS has created a help email specifically for this program that providers can use to inquire about eligibility or reach out about application issues should they arise.

Please contact WHCA/WiCAL Director of Reimbursement Policy Kate Dickson with any questions.