Kansas direct care workers, supervisors to receive $51 million bonus pay

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TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly announced Wednesday an infusion of $51 million for approximately 24,000 Medicaid home and community-based service workers across the state.

Provider agencies will receive a payment based on the number of direct care workers and immediate supervisors employed. All funds would go directly to the workers and supervisors, up to $2,000 per person.

Kelly tacked on an additional $1,500 bonus per staff member recruited to incentivize and bring more direct support workers to the field.

“Our direct care workers have worked tirelessly to provide exceptional care to vulnerable Kansans during the pandemic and beyond,” she said. “We recognize the hard work direct care workers do, and we’ll build on this opportunity as an incentive to recruit and retain qualified staff.”

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disabilities and the Department of Health and Environment will administer the distribution of funding with the intent of improving access to services and increasing capacity for Kansans. There will be a focus on those with disabilities and behavioral health challenges and ensuring they retain access to direct support workers and optimal levels of staffing.

The payments will be funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, signed in March 2021 to provide increased funding for Medicaid services through a one-year 10% increase in the state’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentages. These percentages are used to determine the federally matched funds allocated to the state annually for expenditures on social services.

Kansas Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kansas Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sherman Smith for questions: info@kansasreflector.com. Follow Kansas Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.

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