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CMS issues final rule about home- and community-based programs

January 10, 2014
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Medicaid-supported home- and community-based programs serving as alternatives to institutional care are the focus of a final rule issued today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The rule is designed to ensure that beneficiaries of the programs have full access to services.

“People with disabilities and older adults have a right to live, work and participate in the greater community,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in the government announcement.

In addition to defining home and community-based settings, the final rule:

  • Implements the Section 1915(i) home- and community-based services State Plan option. This includes new flexibility, provided under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), that gives states additional options for expanding home- and community-based services and to target services to specific populations.
  • Amends the 1915(c) home- and community-based services waiver program to add new person-centered planning requirements, allowing states to combine multiple target populations in one waiver and streamlining waiver administration.

The rule, as part of the ACA, supports the Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Living Initiative. It includes a transitional period for states to ensure that their programs meet the home- and community-based services settings requirements. Technical assistance also will be available for states, according to CMS.

See also: CMS clarifies use of Medicaid funds in home, community-based settings

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