May 2023

ARPA Project Pulse Newsletter

Is it summer already!? It feels like our Colorado spring weather flew by and we are now officially heating up. We hope that you are looking forward to the summer months as we are very much looking forward to it here within HCPF as our project spending and implementation continue to ramp up. In this edition of the Project Pulse we are featuring the two projects in the category of Expand Emergency Preparedness. Within this category, we have two projects that are focused on building the capacity for both emergency preparedness and rapid response in the face of disasters, such as fires, floods, or a pandemic, and will ensure Coloradans living with disabilities are protected. Individuals with disabilities, who live in the community, may not have the support or resources needed to be adequately prepared for an emergency, putting them at increased risk when a crisis arises. Through training, for both providers and members and families, as well as providing critical supplies, these two projects aim to build a foundation for success in the face of an emergency.

~ The ARPA Team

Surviving in Place

A Focus on ARPA Emergency Preparedness Projects

7.01 - Emergency Response Plans

7.02 - Member Emergency Preparedness

7.01 - Emergency Response Plans

Equally as important has having the proper devices and equipment in the event of an emergency, providers and members must also have the proper training on developing a plan and executing that plan when an emergency arises.

In partnership with the University of Colorado Denver Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering, HCPF will be offering the following trainings live in-person and virtually, and also have self-paced online versions available. All will be available in English and Spanish.

Provider Training

Plan, Prepare, Respond: Readying Your Agency for Emergency Response

An interactive class for decision makers to develop and/or enhance agency emergency preparedness and response plan. 

Train-the-Trainer: Teach others how to be prepared

Class for all agency staff to increase their knowledge and understanding of the agency emergency preparedness plan and to learn their roles and responsibilities during an emergency response; and for all member-facing staff to learn how to provide emergency preparedness training to members.

Member Training

Be Your Own First Responder: Prepare Like No One is Coming

A class to provide basic information for individuals with disabilities and/or access and functional needs, their families, and their caregivers on how to prepare for and respond to disasters.

Back It Up! - Keeping your devices running during a power outage

A class to help create individualized backup power plans, including how to prioritize equipment that will require power during a power outage and how to account for special equipment considerations.

Stay tuned for dates, locations, and registration information which will be announced in future newsletters and on the ARPA website

7.02 - Member Emergency Preparedness

Battery-based, Power Backup Systems

HCPF recognizes the importance of reliable and safe power backup in the event of an emergency power outage. As a result, this project is focusing on distributing battery-based, power backup systems to eligible Coloradans.

In order to apply for this program you must:

  • be enrolled in Health First Colorado, Colorado's Medicaid program,
  • utilize life-sustaining equipment that requires electricity to operate.
  • complete an application where you will be asked about your life-sustaining device(s) that require electrical power to operate. This includes equipment prescribed by a doctor for mobility and/or home use. Devices used for therapy generally do not qualify.

Examples of life-sustaining equipment include, but are not limited to:

  • CPAP / BiPAP Machine
  • Chair Lift
  • Dialysis Machine
  • IV Infusion Pump
  • Medication Refrigeration
  • Oxygen Concentrator
  • Power Wheelchair
  • Ventilator

If a member lives in a licensed residential setting such as a group home, supported living program, or alternative care facility, they won't be eligible because these facilities are already required to have backup power supplies for residents. Each application will be reviewed by staff from the Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering and HCPF. Applications will be approved based on medical need and the availability of Backup Power Supplies.

Emergency Go Kits

Kits with essential items that can be taken in an emergency or evacuation will be distributed to 1,000 Medicaid members.

Applications for both programs will be released soon and announced in this newsletter, on the ARPA Grant Incentives, Pilots, and Community Funding Opportunities page, and in the Office of Community Living LTSS Newsletter.

Staff Spotlight

Name: Emily Reddick

Title:  Strategic Outcomes Manager

Role: Departmental oversight of all HCBS ARPA Projects

Tell us a little about yourself and your background:

Prior to joining HCPF, I worked for 10 years at the CU Anschutz Campus, as the Director of Clinical Operations and Patient Advocacy at the School of Dental Medicine. In that role I was responsible for various functions including policy development, strategic planning, project management, risk assessment, process improvement, and grant management. I taught courses related to patient communication and global health. While at CU, I also had the opportunity to work with HCPF on a grant program assisting low-income older adults with dental care costs. My direct experience with patients and providers has motivated me to seek solutions to the systemic issues faced in health care today, and I am so excited for the opportunity to support the innovative projects within HCBS ARPA!

You have a birdseye view of all of the HCBS ARPA work happening within HCPF. What would you say the common themes are across all of the projects?

First I would say I am extremely impressed with the amount of work that has been done to date –the HCBS ARPA projects are a massive undertaking and the progress is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all HCPF staff involved! One common theme across projects is that getting started took longer than most teams expected. This has been especially true for some grant programs, as it involves project ramp-up for both HCPF and the grantees. Now that most projects are well underway, managing budgets and project timelines has become a central theme and will continue to be for some time. 

What is the most challenging component of the HCBS ARPA projects? 

The abbreviated timeline is a challenge for many of the HCBS project teams. The work being done within the scope of some projects would take much longer in a traditional project time frame. Teams are working hard to ensure that the scope of work for each project is achievable and also that the work will be sustained and continued post-ARPA. 

What do you think the best way for people to get involved in the HCBS ARPA work is? 

There are many great ways to get involved with HCBS ARPA - for individuals and organizations, there are opportunities for training grants to help with workforce skills development. There are also several other upcoming grant opportunities for different organizations on our webpage. In addition, we host quarterly webinars where we give updates on our program and spending progress. We welcome members, advocates, and providers to attend and provide feedback. The next webinar is on Aug. 17, 2023, from 3 to 4:30 pm MT.  

What is your favorite summer activity? 

I absolutely love hiking in the Colorado summers! There is nothing like our beautiful blue mountain skies. Most weekends I hike in the foothills, but I also love climbing 14ers and hope to bag a few more this year!

Project Update & Announcement

1.01 - Increase Payments to Providers and Workers

As a part of project 1.01 - Increase Payments to Providers and Workers, a rate increase to accommodate a new $15 per hour base wage requirement for frontline staff providing direct hands-on care to ensure stability across the long-term services and supports continuum was implemented on Jan 1, 2022, and received long-term approval and funding from the legislature in 2022. As a result of this initial rate increase, we now see an average wage of $17.61 for all direct-care services. 

HCPF is excited to announce another increase in the base wage for direct care workers. The new base wage will be $15.75 per hour starting on July 1, 2023, up from $15 per hour. All HCBS services will also receive a rate increase to accommodate the new base wage requirements.

In addition to this increase, all HCBS providers are receiving an across-the-board increase of 3%, also effective July 1, 2023. Thank you to the Colorado general assembly who voted to support these critical services with approved increased funding!

New! Project Reports

We are excited to introduce a new section to the Project Pulse newsletter where we will share published reports and documents funded by ARPA HCBS Projects.

Project Name: 5.03 - Case Management Rates

Project Status: ✅ Completed - February 2023

Report: Case Management Recommendation Report for case management activities

Grant Incentives, Pilots, and Community Funding Opportunities

4.07 New Systems of Care Grants

Extended Application Deadline Friday, June 2, 2023

Through ARPA, Section 9817, HCPF has been authorized to distribute $15 million in a new grant opportunity to:

  • Help enhance, expand and strengthen the HCBS direct care workforce in Colorado, and
  • Support the facilitation of home sharing for older adults through the Systems of Care Grant.

Eligible organizations can apply by Friday, June 2, 2023, using the 4.07 online application. View the Request for Applications.

Funds for the New Systems of Care Grants can be used to either build or supplement existing programs in one or more of the following areas of focus:

  • Home sharing facilitation where at least one individual in the home sharing match is at least age 55 or older.
  • Provision of college credit for prior learning (CPL) and work experience for Colorado Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Direct Care Workers (DCWs).
  • Tuition reimbursement distribution for Colorado Medicaid HCBS DCWs.
  • Child care reimbursement distribution for Colorado Medicaid HCBS DCWs.

You cannot make any changes to your grant application once it is submitted. To submit any questions, email Austin Leffel. Learn more and start your application today.

1.05 Training Fund Grants Open for Individual Direct Care Workers and HCBS Providers 

HCPF is offering short-term grant funding to incentivize and expand training opportunities for the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) workforce. The grants will fund higher-level skills that will promote greater retention within the HCBS workforce. The maximum award amount per application for direct care workers is $500 and for HCBS providers is $100,000.

Eligible applicants include:

  • Individual, age 18 or older, who is currently working in a direct care role within any of Colorado’s Home & Community-Based Service (HCBS) Waivers; or
  • Individual, age 18 or older, who desires training to enter direct care within Colorado’s HCBS Waiver workforce; or
  • Also included within this workforce, are Certified Nurse Aides and Home Health Aides within Long-Term Home Health; or
  • Currently enrolled Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver providers; and
  • Training vendor/provider that develops/delivers training/specialization for the HCBS workforce. 

Interested in learning more about how this grant could support higher-level skills for the HCBS workforce?

Visit the grant program information page to get more details and apply today!

Questions? Email us at [email protected] 

Upcoming ARPA Stakeholder Engagement

To see all the meetings listed below on a calendar or to find meeting materials and recordings from previous ARPA-related Stakeholder Engagement, visit the ARPA Stakeholder Engagement webpage anytime.

Creating Equitable Access within Colorado’s Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)


Through the ARPA Initiative 3.01 - Equity Study, HCPF is working with stakeholders to identify barriers and increase equity across HCBS programs.


This has included:


  • Internal HCPF Equity Study (to be released this summer)
  • Agency/Provider and Member/Caregiver Survey reaching nearly 500 respondents across Colorado (conducted in February 2023)
  • Virtual Summit #1 on April 4 with more than 115 participants
  • In-depth learning exchanges with local grassroots, community organizations throughout the state


On June 6 from 12 to 2 p.m. MT, we will share what we have learned, and invite your further participation in a conversation about barriers and actionable solutions around awareness and enrollment of HCBS programs and services. 


The meeting will be held:

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

12 to 2 p.m. MT


Register via Zoom

- - - -

Community First Choice (CFC) Council


The CFC Council collaborates with and advises HCPF on the design and implementation of a CFC option in Colorado. The CFC Council consists primarily of individuals with disabilities, those 65 years or older, and their representatives to help ensure CFC is implemented in a way that best meets the needs of Coloradans with disabilities.


If you need assistance accessing the meeting webinar link or call-in number, contact the CFC team. For more information, see the CFC Stakeholder Opportunities webpage.


The meeting will be held:

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

10 to 11:30 a.m. MT


Join via Google Meet


Join by Phone:

1-260-230-1249, PIN: 719 313 221#

- - - -

ARPA 2.02 Statewide Mobile Crisis Response Bi-Weekly Technical Assistance

This is an opportunity for Administrative Service Organizations (ASO) / Regional Accountable Entities (RAE), community and members, providers, and any interested stakeholder to ask questions and receive technical assistance related to implementing the Mobile Crisis Medicaid Benefit. These meetings will occur bi-weekly starting March 16, 2023, through at least July 2023. Email Emily Holcomb for more information.

The meetings will be held:

Wednesday, June 7, 2023


Thursday, June 22, 2023

11 a.m. - 12 p.m. MT

Register via Zoom

- - - -

ARPA 4.03 Child and Youth Step-down Options Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) Track Request for Application (RFA) Question & Answer Meeting

HCPF will work with several providers to develop a viable step-down treatment program, to create models of care that are financially viable and person-centered, with a focus on those children and youth who are currently being sent out of state for services. This project will also look at the creation or expansion of a step-down service between hospitals and a short-term residential placement. Please join us for a program overview and a question-and-answer session.

The meeting will be held:

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. MT


Join via Zoom


Join by Phone:

(Toll-free) 1-877-853-5257

Meeting ID: 969 4053 6000, Passcode: 115140

- - - -

ARPA 4.03 Child and Youth Step-down Options Children’s Habilitation Residential Program (CHRP) Track Request for Applications (RFA) Question-and-Answer Session

HCPF will focus on those areas in which there are currently gaps in services and treatment programs for children and youth. These include members with Autism Spectrum Disorder, intellectual and developmental disabilities, severe emotional disturbance, as well as those with dual behavioral health and physical or developmental diagnoses. Please join us for a program overview and question and answer session. All interested stakeholders are welcome.

The meeting will be held:

Thursday, June 8, 2023

9:30 to 10:30 a.m. MT


Join via Zoom


Join by Phone:

(Toll-free) 1-877-853-5257

Meeting ID: 969 4053 6000, Passcode: 115140

- - - -

Direct Care Workforce Collaborative - Main Meeting

Through the Direct Care Workforce Collaborative meeting, the Department works collaboratively with stakeholders to identify and move forward strategies to support the recruitment and retention of Colorado's direct care workforce. All interested stakeholders are welcome.

Further information is on the Direct Care Workforce Collaborative webpage.

The next meeting will be held:

Wednesday, May 14, 2023

10-11:30 a.m. MT


Join Via Zoom

Join by Phone:

(Toll-free) 877-853-5257

Meeting ID: 993 1700 7314, Passcode: 396389

- - - -

Older Adults Stakeholder Meeting

The purpose of the Older Adult Stakeholder meeting is to inform older adult stakeholders about HCPF's work, to gather feedback, and to identify opportunities for collaboration. All interested stakeholders are welcome.

The Older Adults Stakeholder will be focusing its meetings on receiving input from older adult stakeholders on the following American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)initiatives. If you have interest in any of these initiatives, please join us.

  • ARPA Initiative 4.01: Residential Innovation - (Includes Innovative Models of Care Grant) HCPF is contracting with a vendor to conduct a models of care analysis, including stakeholder engagement, to develop recommendations about innovative services that could be considered to enhance community residential services for adults as they age.

  • ARPA Initiative 4.07: New Systems of Care Grant Program -HCPF is contracting with a vendor to develop a one-time grant program for community partners to apply for to implement innovative practices to better support adults in the communities they want to live in as they age.

  • ARPA Initiative 4.02: Promote Single Occupancy - HCPF is developing a one-time grant program to incentivize residential providers to promote individualized rooms in residential environments where people do not have to share bedrooms. HCPF is also contracting with a vendor to conduct an analysis of new and emerging best practices in promoting single occupancy rooms.

The meeting will be held:

Thursday, May 15, 2023

10 to 11 a.m. MT

Join via Google Meet

Join by Phone

1-443-606-2203, PIN: ‪505 443 051#

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ARPA 1.05 Provider Grant Informational Webinar


This informational webinar is intended for HCBS providers. Through the ARPA 1.05 grant, HCBS providers can apply for funding to support specialization and advanced training opportunities for their HCBS workforce. Visit the ARPA 1.05 Grant portion of the ARPA webpage or see the Request for Applications for more information on the grant program. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the HCPF website. Additional webinars will be scheduled for future grant cycles. All interested stakeholders are welcome.


The meeting will be held:

Thursday, June 29, 2023

1-2 p.m. MT


Join via Zoom 

Join by Phone:

(Toll-free) 877-853-5257

Meeting ID: 993 1700 7314, Passcode: 396389

- - - -

Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request for persons with disabilities. Auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities and language services for individuals whose first language is not English may be provided upon request. Please notify John Barry at 303-866-3173 or [email protected] or the 504/ADA Coordinator at [email protected] at least one week prior to the meeting to make arrangements.

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