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CMS Publishes Final Rule on HCBS Waivers

January 23, 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a final rule on January 10 that will strengthen the ability of elders and people with disabilities to receive care in their homes and communities.

“The rule supports enhanced quality in HCBS programs, [and] adds protections for individuals receiving services,” a CMS press release said.

“In addition, this rule reflects CMS’ intent to ensure that individuals receiving services and supports through Medicaid’s HCBS programs have full access to the benefits of community living and are able to receive services in the most integrated setting,” the press release continued.

Among other features, the final rule defines person-centered planning requirements across the section 1915(c) and 1915(i) HCBS waivers and defines requirements of home- and community-based settings for these waivers, and for the Community First Choice program (1915(k)).

The full rule was published in the January 16 Federal Register (pdf).

“People with disabilities and older adults have a right to live, work, and participate in the greater community,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

HHS “has been expanding and improving the community services necessary to make this a reality,” she continued. “Today’s announcement will help ensure that all people participating in Medicaid home and community-based services programs have full access to the benefits of community living.”

Public webinars on the final rule will be held on January 23 and 30, and will begin at 1 pm.

— by Matthew Ozga

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