Home and Community Based Services - New Rules

Effective March 17, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a new set of regulations regarding Medicaid Home and Community Based Services and Settings. The intent of the rule is to ensure that individuals receiving long-term services and supports have full access to the benefits of community living and the opportunity to receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate.

CMS said that they "believe the implementation of the new rules will contribute significantly to the quality and experience of participants in Medicaid HCBS programs and will further expand their opportunities for meaningful community integration in support of the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead v. L.C." (source: CMCS Informational Bulletin January 10, 2014)

The regulations establish standards that apply to all HCBS settings. To see the full set of rules, click on the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services web site.

In all HCBS settings, the state must ensure participants are afforded:

  • Integration in the greater community;
  • Choice among settings, and regarding services and supports and who provides them;
  • Freedom to furnish or decorate their sleeping or living unit, control their schedule, have access to food at any time, and have visitors of their choice at any time;
  • Rights to privacy, dignity, respect, and freedom from coercion and restraint;
  • Protections from eviction and an appeals process comparable to those provided under landlord tenant law;
  • Independence in making life choices regarding daily activities, physical environment, and with whom to interact; and
  • Privacy in their sleeping or living unit, including the ability to lock their door and choose their roommate.