In 2014, new federal rules were released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), requiring homes and programs where HCBS are delivered to meet new criteria. The Department and its partners are working to implement the requirements for home and community-based settings in accordance with this Final Rule.
Everyone who receives, or provides, HCBS services may be affected by the CMS Final Rule. Activities are happening now to help California meet these new requirements.
CMS issued guidance to states on July 14, 2020, indicating that the transition period for ensuring compliance with the HCBS Final Rule has been extended one year to March 17, 2023, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance can be found here: https://www.medicaid.gov/Federal-Policy-Guidance/Downloads/smd20003.pdf.
The purpose of the rules is to ensure that individuals receive services in settings that are integrated in and support full access to the greater community. This includes opportunities to seek employment and work in competitive and integrated settings, engage in community life, control personal resources, and receive services to the same degree as individuals who do not receive regional center services. It means that settings need to focus on the nature and quality of individuals’ experiences and not just about the buildings where the services are delivered. Individuals have an active role in the development of their plan, the planning process is person-centered, and the plan reflects the individual’s service and supports and what is important to them.