Community Living Options for Older Americans and People With Disabilities Strengthened by CMS Ruling

Last week, on January 10, 2014, as part of the Affordable Care Act, CMS issued a final rule that will help to ensure that older Americans and people living with disabilities have full access programs in the most integrated settings within the community. Under this rule, States can use federal Medicaid funds to support home and community-based programs that serve as an alternative to institutional care for these populations, and that take into account the quality of individuals’ experiences. A few key provisions of this final CMS rule include:

1.     The final rule implements the section 1915(i) Home and Community Based Setting (HCBS) State Plan option, including new flexibilities enacted under the Affordable Care Act that offer states the option to provide expanded home and community-based services and to target services to specific populations;

2.     The rule creates new requirements for home and community based settings, including a more outcome-oriented definition of “Home and Community Based Settings,” rather than a definition based solely on a setting’s location, geography, or physical characteristics; and

3.     CMS specifies in the rul that service planning for participants in Medicaid home and community based programs must be developed through a person-centered planning process that addresses health and long-term services and support needs in a manner that reflects individual preferences and goals.

To see CMS’ final rule regarding Home and Community Based Setting Requirements, click the following link: http://ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2014-00487_PI.pdf