CMS Gives States Three-Year Extension to Meet Medicaid Standards of Care

Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2017 9:04 PM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the federal government has decided to give states three additional years to deliver care to Medicaid enrollees in home and community settings.

The Obama administration developed the standards back in 2014, requiring states to help disabled and elderly Medicaid recipients avoid being forced into nursing homes. This was originally scheduled to be rolled out in 2019. However, the Trump administration extension moves the deadline to 2022.

The rule requires states to enable Medicaid enrollees to do the following:
• Manage their own money
• Search for employment
• Become a part of the local community
• Enjoy privacy and decent housing options in places like group homes and other residential settings

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) does not support the extension, says NAHC Vice President for Law William Dombi.

“The efforts to achieve full compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ACA) and federal Medicaid law relative to appropriate availability of home care services has been a long and sometimes difficult process,” Mr. Dombi told NAHC Report. “We are heartened to see that CMS is committed to securing home care as a right for Medicaid beneficiaries.

“We sincerely hope that the states will use the extension constructively and take steps to accelerate a rebalancing of Medicaid support in favor of home and community-based services (HCBS). While we prefer that the original deadlines remain in place, we are committed to working with CMS and state Medicaid programs to reach full compliance with the rules as soon as possible.”

States have been slow to plan for the rule, Elizabeth Priaulx, Senior Legal Specialist with the National Disability Rights Network, told Kaiser Health News, because they spent so much time fighting the Obama administration over the rule.

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