CSH Comments on Federal Home and Community Based Services Rule

In May, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency who administers Medicaid, released a proposed rule to states clarifying two Medicaid provisions in the Affordable Care Act. The Medicaid provisions addressed are the Home and Community Based Services State Plan Option (1915i) and the Community First Choice program (1915k), which provide states ways to target benefits to people in or at-risk of being in institutional care. CMS’s proposed rule explains which services states can reimburse providers for and still receive federal Medicaid matching funding in both programs. It also details required housing settings for eligible recipients—an important part of ensuring that Medicaid reimbursements help keep people out of institutional care.

Supportive housing can help people avoid unnecessary stays in nursing homes or state hospitals, and CSH believes this proposed rule goes a long way toward helping states provide coordinated care for residents in a range of supportive housing models that are integrated in the community. CSH provided comments. With minor changes, these programs will be excellent opportunities for states to align Medicaid benefits with the services in supportive housing so that providers can access Medicaid reimbursement. CMS is expected to issue a final rule at the end of this year.

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