NSCLC: California Releases Draft of HCBS Transition Plan for Public Comment

From our colleagues at NSCLC: 

New federal regulations set standards to ensure that Medicaid-funded home and community-based services (HCBS) are provided in environments that are non-institutional in nature.  It is not enough that a Medicaid HCBS consumer is not living in an institution — under the new standards, the consumer must be integrated with the broader community, and services must be provided in a way that respects a consumer’s rights to dignity, independence, and privacy.  NSCLS’s guide to these standards is available here.

Under the new regulations, each state must develop a transition plan that sets forth how the state and its Medicaid service providers will come into compliance with the new requirements.  On Friday, September 19, the California Department of Health Care Services posted its draft transition planComments from the public are due by October 19, 2014.

The draft summarizes California’s current HCBS waiver programs and explains what the state proposes to do to develop the substance of a transition plan.  The state contemplates posting a revised draft on October 27 with a corresponding 30-day comment period, with submission of a final transition plan to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by December 20, 2014.

In initially addressing the process of developing a transition plan, rather than the state’s ultimate HCBS policy, California’s transition plan bears many similarities to the transition plans being advanced by other states.  In most cases, plans at this point describe the process that the state will follow first to assess the state’s HCBS system and then to develop standards and enforcement mechanisms.  Advocates and other stakeholders would be well-advised in their comments to address process and also to raise substantive issues of interest.

For further information, contact NSCLC attorneys Eric Carlson (ecarlson@nsclc.org) or Fay Gordon (fgordon@nsclc.org).

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