Thursday, February 5, 2015
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule effective March 17, 2014, that contains a new, outcome-oriented definition of home and community-based services (HCBS) settings. The purpose of the federal regulation, in part, is to ensure that people receive Medicaid HCBS in settings that are integrated in and support full access to the greater community. This includes opportunities to seek employment and work in competitive and integrated settings, engage in community life, control personal resources, and receive services in the community to the same degree as people who do not receive HCBS. CMS expects all states to develop an HCBS statewide transition plan that provides a comprehensive assessment of potential gaps in compliance with the new regulation, as well as strategies, timelines, and milestones for becoming compliant with the rule’s requirements. CMS further requires that states seek input from the public in the development of this transition plan.
The District maintains two HCBS waiver programs: the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities (EPD) Waiver, run by the District’s Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF), and the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) waiver, run by the District’s Department of Disability Services (DDS). The EPD waiver program is for the elderly and individuals with physical disabilities who are able to safely receive supportive services in a home and community-based setting. The IDD waiver program provides residential, day/vocational and other support services in the community for District residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Below is the District of Columbia’s Statewide Transition Plan for the HCBS waiver services. (The IDD Waiver-specific details are located in Appendix 1 and are incorporated by reference to this Statewide Transition Plan.) This plan is posted in its entirety on the Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) website at www.dhcf.dc.gov.
DHCF encourages public input and comments on the plan, and will have a thirty (30) day public comment period that closes March 13, 2015 and one public forum in which DHCF will explain the transition plan and receive oral or written comments. DHCF will review all comments, incorporate appropriate suggestions and summarize the changes made to the transition plan in response to the public comment. DHCF will also post a summary of public comments and responses on its website. The public forum is scheduled at the DC Department of Health Care Finance at 441 4th St, NW, Washington DC, 20001 on Tuesday, February 17, 2015, at 4 pm in the Main Street conference room (North Building, 10th floor). Notice of the public forum is posted on DHCF’s website and has been disseminated via email to individuals and stakeholder organizations.
Written comments on this transition plan may be submitted to Trina Dutta, Special Projects Officer, DC Department of Healthcare Finance, 441 4th St, NW, 9th Floor, Washington DC 20001, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, during the thirty (30) day public comment period closing Friday, March 13, 2015, at 5 pm EST.
You can learn about the new HCBS settings rule at www.hcbsadvocacy.org. The website includes links to the CMS rule, webinars, and guidance; information on other states’ transition plans; advocacy materials and more.