Regulations regarding waiver services and supports in every state are in flux. In January 2014, the Center for Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new federal regulations intended to increase the quality of life for the elderly and those with disabilities who receive public funding through Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers. Prior to these changes, HCBS requirements were based on location, geography, or physical characteristics. The new HCBS regulations are outcome-oriented and life supports are to be guided by an individual’s person-centered service plan (PCP). This is a huge step forward as these new federal regulations are intended to ensure more individualized supports based on the needs, choices, and experiences of individuals with disabilities.
Each state is now charged with revising and assessing its state policy and HCBS settings to make sure it complies with these new federal CMS regulations. This process will be documented in a Statewide Transition Plan (STP) that is to be influenced by your input.
The Coalition for Community Choice (CCC) is an alliance of over 85 organizations and businesses across the country that strive to meet the housing and employment demand for an array of life options for those with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). Many members of the CCC have developed innovative housing opportunities and social enterprises in their local communities to meet the desperate demand for meaningful work and access to more life experiences. Collegiate transitional programs, working ranches and agricultural communities, sensory-friendly and assistive technology equipped 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, neurodiverse live-work-play communities, and other types of intentional communities are emerging across the country!
As CCC member organizations advocated during public comment periods, many realized that state leaders were swaying from the intent of the CMS federal regulations and reverting back to regulation criteria that are not outcome-oriented or based on individual experiences. In response to these concerns regarding housing choices for thousands of individuals with disabilities, Coalition for Community Choice members came together and signed the following letter to CMS:
It is imperative that you also become an advocate and ensure your state does not create a more restrictive policy than the federal CMS regulations that may limit housing and employment options. To learn more about how you can influence your Statewide Transition Plan (STP) visit the Act Now page of the Coalition for Community Choice website.
Working together, we can create a better future!
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