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Advocacy Groups Ask CMS to Clarify HCBS Proposal

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Advocacy Groups Ask CMS to Clarify HCBS Proposal

July 19, 2012

In comments submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), various advocacy groups requested that the agency provide more specific definitions of populations groups and services that can be covered under a recently proposed rule.

The rule aims to revise Medicaid regulations under Section 1915(i) to allow states to design and tailor home and community-based services to better meet the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities who are enrolled in Medicaid. Section 1915(i) allows states to offer HCBS without first obtaining a waiver from CMS.

Among other concerns, the Child Welfare League of America asked for language that would specifically include children with physical and sensory disabilities in addition to those with cognitive and behavioral disorders. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society asked for clarification that people with disabilities living in disability-specific housing would quality for HCBS.

Additionally, the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare urged CMS to include language referencing the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Olmstead court decision in order to more accurately reflect “the importance of making individualized determinations based on the strengths and needs of the individual … and ensuring the availability of a range of options to meet these needs.”