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New CMS Rule On Home and Community-Based Services Gives States Greater Flexibility to Serve the Disability Community

January 17, 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released recently new regulations on state Medicaid home and community-based service (HCBS) programs. The new rule requires states seeking federal HCBS funding to provide services for seniors and people with disabilities customized to each recipient’s needs,  and in settings promoting inclusion and employment in the community. 

The new rule further clarifies that recipients of HCBS-funded services must have the ability to choose where they live, and that such environments provide service recipients the opportunity to work in more integrated and competitive settings, manage their personal finances and property, and continue to receive community-based services. These standards also apply to HCBS services offered outside of the home, including day programs, job training and supported employment. Going forward, however, CMS plans to issue additional guidance on qualifying home and community-based services offered outside of an individual’s residence. 

For more information on the rule, read the CMS press release, which contains links to additional resources.  CMS will also offer public webinars on the new rule, on Jan. 23 and Jan. 30. Registration information will be posted soon.