SPECIAL BULLETIN COVID-19 #233: Direct Care Worker One-Time Bonus Payments Bonus amount, timeline and continuing reviews
March 29, 2022. This bulletin has been updated by SPECIAL BULLETIN COVID-19 #241.
NC Medicaid appreciates the engagement of all the providers who submitted information to participate in the Direct Care Worker One-Time Bonus initiative. NC Medicaid has completed initial review of the one-time bonus submissions received by the published January 31 and Feb. 11, 2022, 5 p.m. EST deadlines, and has determined the uniform bonus amount that will be distributed to providers for payment to the eligible direct care workers. NC Medicaid has also identified several eligible submissions requiring further review; these submissions will be considered for the second round of payments, to be made by March 31.
One-Time Bonus Uniform Amount
NC Medicaid established a goal of providing a uniform bonus amount as close as possible to the legislative goal of $2,000 for each eligible direct care worker (DCW) and support staff employee. Based on the amount of funding allocated by the NC Operations Appropriations Act of 2021, and NC Medicaid’s review of eligible submissions, NC Medicaid has determined that the funding will only support bonuses for non-licensed DCWs and support staff. Each eligible provider that completed the attestation will receive a total amount of $2,095.24 for each eligible non-licensed DCW and support staff employee, and may utilize only 7.65%, or $148.90, per employee to account for payroll costs. Providers must use the remaining funds to pay each eligible non-licensed DCW and support staff employee a gross bonus amount of $1,946.34.
A breakdown of the uniform bonus amount is below:
- Total amount providers receive per DCW and support staff: $2,095.24
- Amount allotted for provider share of FICA: $148.90
- Gross bonus amount each DCW and support staff employee will receive: $1,946.34
- Note: Gross bonus payment is also subject to state and federal payroll taxes for the employee.
Eligible Submissions and Bonus Payments (March 1, 2022)
Eligible providers can expect to receive the bonus payment in the March 1, 2022, checkwrite. Bonus payments will be combined with regular claims payments in a single EFT transaction. Providers can identify the total amount of bonus funds, and the number of eligible DCWs through a remittance message on the FINANCIAL TRANSACTION page of the Remittance Statement. An example of this message is shown below:
Providers are responsible for identifying the non-licensed DCWs they reported as eligible and paying them the one-time bonus. The DCW One-Time Bonus Eligibility Portal remains open for providers to review submission history, which includes the number of DCWs and support staff that were submitted and their positional descriptions. Providers are required to distribute the one-time bonus within 45 days of funds receipt.
- Note: NC Medicaid reviewed the total number of DCWs indicated on the bonus attestation and submission form to determine the number of eligible DCWs. Differences in the number of workers attested for and the number of workers deemed eligible by NC Medicaid are a result of Licensed Professional being determined ineligible due to the limited funding availability. Any number of workers submitted under the “Licensed Professionals” positional description have been deducted from the total number of DCWs funded.
Continued Eligibility Reviews and Post-March 1, 2022, Bonus Payments
NC Medicaid’s initial review of provider submissions identified some that require further review for eligibility. NC Medicaid has excluded these submissions from the payment distribution scheduled for March 1 in order to determine the number of these that are eligible DCWs and support staff employees. Providers who received confirmation of one-time bonus submissions, but who do not receive payment on March 1, have one of the submission types below that were removed from March 1 payment:
- Submissions that include DCWs reported under the “Other” positional description
- Submissions where an NPI could not be identified
- Submissions that were deemed erroneous and/or duplicative
NC Medicaid anticipates completing the additional reviews in coming weeks with the goal of distributing the remaining bonus payments during the March 25, 2022, checkwrite. Workers determined eligible in the further reviews will receive a bonus payment based on the same specifications outlined above.
- Note: NC Medicaid identified and removed duplicate submissions from one-time bonus payments. The latest submission of confirmed duplicate submissions will only be considered for payment if deemed eligible. Bonus submissions that occurred after the Feb. 11, 2022, 5 p.m. EST deadline are not considered eligible, and were not accepted.
NC Medicaid requests that providers remain patient while we complete the outstanding reviews. Providers may review a list of NPIs with submissions under review under Resource Documents on NC Medicaid’s Direct Care Worker Initiative webpage. NC Medicaid will reach out to providers who have submitted attestations that require additional information to determine payment eligibility as needed. At the end of the review process, NC Medicaid will publish a special bulletin if there is additional information to provide relevant to the second round of payments.
NC Medicaid anticipates that all provider inquiries that were submitted to Medicaid by Feb. 11, 2022 at 5 p.m. EST related to the DCW One-Time Bonus Eligibility Portal will be addressed by March 11, 2022. Providers with questions regarding the eligibility portal may contact Medicaid.DCW.Bonus.Help.Center@dhhs.nc.gov.
NC Medicaid will be updating this bulletin with a link to frequently asked questions related to the DCW One-Time Bonus. Additional information regarding all DCW initiatives can be found on NC Medicaid’s Direct Care Worker Initiative webpage.