CMS is requesting public input on policy options it can consider to accelerate the provision of home and community-based services (HCBS) to Medicaid beneficiaries. Note that while supporting increased availability of quality HCBS services has been a priority for the Obama Administration, it is unclear what priority future HHS and CMS leadership in the Trump Administration will place on such efforts.
In its request for information, CMS is focusing in particular on issues affecting beneficiary choice and control, program integrity, ratesetting, quality infrastructure, and the homecare workforce. CMS includes a series of questions in the following general topic areas to inform future policies:
- What are the additional reforms that CMS can take to accelerate the progress of access to HCBS and achieve an appropriate balance of HCBS and institutional services in the Medicaid long-term services and supports system to meet the needs and preferences of beneficiaries?
- What actions can CMS take, independently or in partnership with states and stakeholders, to ensure quality of HCBS including beneficiary health and safety?
- What program integrity safeguards should states have in place to ensure beneficiary safety and reduce fraud, waste and abuse in HCBS?
- What specific steps could CMS take to strengthen the HCBS home care workforce, including establishing requirements, standards or procedures to ensure rates paid to home care providers are sufficient to attract enough providers to meet service needs of beneficiaries and that wages supported by those rates are sufficient to attract enough qualified home care workers?
CMS is accepting comments through January 9, 2017.