Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Programs
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
by: VNAA Policy Team

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy

On July 18, Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released a report on how states are implementing Medicaid’s Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) programs. The report, "Separate and Unequal: States Fail to Fulfill the Community Living Promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act", documents that inequities in access exist despite the cost effectiveness of HCBS over other alternatives for long-term care.

The following recommendations are detailed in the report:

  • CMS should finalize the rule clearly defining accepted settings for home and community based care;
  • States should examine new federal funding to transition more individuals into community based settings and move away from waivers which impose caps;
  • A high-level interagency taskforce should be created and tasked with delivering a consistent message on Olmstead obligations;
  • CMS should require incremental spending goals for long-term services and supports, to ensure an increase focus on HCBS spending;
  • The Department of Justice should create an Olmstead impact analysis tool for states to use as Medicaid programs change over time; and
  • The National Council on Disability (NCD) should make recommendations on messaging for state legislators and Medicaid officials to enhance understanding of options under Olmstead.
The report can be found by clicking here.
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