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Instructions to apply temporary COVID-19 budget increase for CDCS and CSG

NOTE: DHS updated this Dec. 17, 2020, to reflect federal approval, completion of MMIS updates and a new FAQ resource for the temporary increase

The following includes detailed instructions for financial management service (FMS) providers and lead agencies (counties, tribal nations and managed care organizations) to implement a COVID-19-related increase to cover direct-support costs for people who access:

  • Consumer directed community supports (CDCS)
  • Consumer Support Grant (CSG).

Background

Recent legislation (Minnesota Session Laws, 2020, 5th Special Session, Chapter 3, Article 10, Section 4) allows for a temporary rate increase for direct support professionals to respond to COVID-19. Therefore, DHS will temporarily increase budgets for CDCS and CSG participants by 8.4 percent. This document includes instructions to distribute this increase.

There is a parallel increase for personal care assistance (PCA) services, as well.

Effective date

DHS received federal approval for this temporary budget increase. The effective dates will be Dec. 1, 2020 through Feb. 7, 2021. 

Note

For previous budget changes passed by legislation, DHS directed lead agencies to update the participant’s service agreement to authorize the additional funds. Due to the time-limited (temporary) nature of this increase, this process will be different. Instead, DHS will increase funding to CDCS/CSG participants through the claims process and will not change service agreements.

Implementation

To implement the temporary change, DHS will apply the increase through claims that an FMS provider submits on behalf of participants for services dates of Dec. 1, 2020, through Feb. 7, 2021. MMIS changes have been completed and any claims processed before the changes will be automatically reprocessed to add the temporary increase.

Fee-for-service participants

When an FMS submits a claim to DHS on behalf of a fee-for-service participant, the FMS will receive the 8.4 percent add-on for any service dates between Dec. 1, 2020, and Feb. 7, 2021. DHS will apply the add-on to all CDCS service categories.

EW participants enrolled in managed care

For EW participants who use managed care, the FMS will submit claims to the managed care organization (MCO) as usual. The MCO will pay an additional 8.4 percent to the FMS for each claim submitted with service dates of Dec. 1, 2020, through Feb. 7, 2021. This will apply to all service categories.

Requirements

When using the additional funds, the participant and FMS must:

  • Use at least 80 percent of the additional revenue to increase wages, salaries and benefits for direct support professionals and any corresponding increase in the employer's share of FICA taxes, Medicare taxes, state/federal unemployment taxes and workers' compensation premiums
  • Use any remainder of the additional revenue for activities and items necessary to support compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on sanitation and personal protective equipment.

For each participant, the FMS must document and retain records showing both:

  • The additional funds received (as a result of the add-on) for all services with a date of service between Dec. 1, 2020, and Feb. 7, 2021
  • The additional funds paid out for wages/salaries/benefits to direct support workers and/or personal protective equipment/supplies.

FMS providers should complete distribution of additional funds by April 8, 2021, and should contact DHS if they anticipate concerns with that timeline.

Distribution plans

The FMS provider will inform the participant of the amount of the additional funds available to them as a result of this increase and submitted claims (either on an ongoing basis or at the end of the temporary increase effective period).

CDCS participants

Because CDCS participants have both employer authority and budget authority, the participant will be responsible to develop a plan on how they will distribute the 8.4 percent increase. The participant must provide written communication to the FMS provider describing their distribution plan by Dec. 20, 2020. For example, the participant could direct the FMS provider to allocate 80 percent of the funds towards wages/benefits for workers and the remaining funds for personal protective equipment/supplies, or the participant’s distribution plan could allocate 100% of the additional funds towards worker wages/benefits.

FMS providers

The FMS provider will retain the participant’s distribution plan/communication in their files. The distribution plans need to be available for review by DHS upon request.

The FMS provider must post the bill language or publish the bill language on their website describing the requirements of the budget increase. This posting must include the following mailing address, email address and telephone number for DHS:

DHS contact info

Mail

Minnesota Department of Human Services
Community Supports and Continuing Care for Older Adults
PCA Temporary Rate Increase
P.O. Box 64967
St. Paul, MN 55164-0967

Email

Email questions to dhs.ccarates@state.mn.us. DHS will direct the questions to the person who can best provide an answer.

Phone

If you have questions, you can call the DSD Response Center at 651-431-4300. DHS will direct the questions to the person who can best provide an answer.

Note: The telephone number listed is a voice number. TDD users may call the Minnesota Relay at 711 or 800-627-3529. For the speech-to-speech relay, call 877-627-3848.

If a worker believes they did not receive a wage/benefit increase, the FMS provider will provide the worker with the DHS representative’s contact information.

Information for lead agencies

Important information for counties, tribal nations and MCOs:

  • CDCS and CSG claims for dates of service Dec. 1, 2020, through Feb. 7, 2021, will pay an additional 8.4 percent. This applies to all CDCS service categories.
  • Lead agencies should not adjust the person’s service plan or budget due to the temporary increase. Do not include the increase when calculating whether the person’s service plan cost is larger than the CDCS or CSG budget.
  • FMS providers will work with each person to determine how they will spend the increased funds within the parameters of the legislative requirements. The FMS will maintain documentation showing how the funds were spent.

Questions

Review the frequently asked questions about the 8.4 percent increase that DHS posted Dec. 17, 2020. If you have questions about this increase or how to implement it, contact dhs.ccarates@state.mn.us.

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