AHCCCS announces a change in the planned start date of its federally-approved Housing and Health Opportunities (H2O) waiver demonstration project in order to complete operational and system integration planning. The new implementation date is October 1, 2024.
The Housing and Health Opportunities waiver demonstration project is an innovative approach to address health-related social needs for AHCCCS members with a Serious Mental Illness who are leaving a correctional setting or have additional chronic health conditions. Prior to implementation, AHCCCS must receive approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on two deliverables that will describe the operational details of the program. AHCCCS submitted the H2O Protocol, the first of these two deliverables in April. Subsequently, CMS and AHCCCS agreed that additional time will be needed to complete the implementation planning.
AHCCCS has prioritized housing as health care and has been able to use State General Fund dollars to support rental subsidies for nearly 3,000 individuals experiencing homelessness each year. AHCCCS and its contracted health plans have successfully leveraged this experience to expand housing opportunities, improve member health outcomes, and reduce overall health care costs.
Once implemented, AHCCCS will be able to reimburse providers for up to six months of medically necessary transitional housing and services that support a member’s success in housing, like tenant rights education, eviction prevention, and medically necessary home modifications.
More information about H2O is posted on the AHCCCS Housing and Health Opportunities Waiver Demonstration web page.