NSCLC: Correction: CMS to Require that Stakeholders Have Meaningful Opportunity to Comment on HCBS Transition Plans

From our colleagues at NSCLC: 

As reported earlier this month in an NSCLC alert (6/4/14), some states seem to be out of compliance with the public comment provisions of the new Medicaid HCBS regulations. States are required to develop transition plans that explain how the state will bring its HCBS programs into compliance with the new regulations. What some states have put forward as “transition plans,” however, have been little more than internal work plans, with no detail about how the states’ HCBS programs will be operated. States have put these work plans out for 30-day public comment periods, seemingly with the expectation that no other public comment period would be required.
In fact, CMS will require that states comply with public comment requirements for substantive transition plans.  In a recent national webinar, Ralph Lollar, Director of CMS’s Division of Long Term Services and Supports, recognized that states currently are submitting “outline plans” because of the time pressure imposed by the HCBS regulations, but emphasized that submission of these outline plans cannot substitute for a substantive transition plan:
“When the state submits a more robust plan, that plan will be required to be submitted for public comment again … There is no intent to accept a draft plan … and then allow the full plan to come in without public comment.”
CMS likely will put this position in writing in the future and presumably is orally informing state officials of CMS’s expectations.  Stakeholders of course should be insistent as well that the state follow public comment procedures for substantive transition plans, even if a state previously has sought public comment on a work plan/outline plan.
The webinar was presented by the Friday Morning Collaborative.  The webinar material, including a recording of the webinar, is available here. Mr. Lollar’s discussion of the transition plan requirements begins at approximately 1:09:15.

Visit NSCLC here: www.nsclc.org

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