Are you receiving an HCBS waiver? Should you?

Are you taking advantage of the Home and Community-Based waiver, or HCBS, initiative? Should you? TASH, an international leader in disability advocacy and inclusive communities, is offering a webinar series to assist interested individuals in understanding the HCBS waiver program. The webinar consists of seven, one-hour webinar sessions scheduled between September 30 to November 18.

What is the HCBS waiver program?

On January 10, 2014, The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, or CMS, issued a “Final Rule Medicaid HCBS,” a publication to explain how states may use federal Medicaid funds to pay for home and community-based services. The regulation, published on January 16, 2014 in the Federal Register and authorized under section 1915( c ), of the Social Security Act, improves the quality of services HCBS program recipients receive. It purports to ensure an individual has full access to the benefits of community living and offers services in the most integrated settings.

The intent is to provide individuals with disabilities and older adults the opportunity to enjoy community integration in employment, community life and personal resources. Requirements of the program include optimizing an individual’s initiative, autonomy and independence in making life choices while facilitating individual choice of services, supports and providers.

“People with disabilities and older adults have a right to live, work, and participate in the greater community,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the program that supports the benefits of home and community-based settings that serve as an alternative to institutionalized care.

The intent of the new regulation is two-fold:

  • To ensure that individuals receiving long-term services and supports through home and community-based service (HCBS) programs under the 1915( c ), 1915(i) and 1915(k) Medicaid authorities have full access to benefits of community living and the opportunity to receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate.
  • To enhance the quality of HCBS and provide protections to participants.

The new regulation, in part, is a step closer to upholding the Olmstead Act’s promise of promoting integrated settings, which is also in keeping with the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II.

Interested? Enroll in TASH’s webinars

To help families understand how to benefit by the HCBS Waivers, TASH is offering a 7-part webinar series to begin on Tuesday, September 30, 2014. Each one-hour webinar, beginning in late September and ending in November, will focus on an important aspect of the HCBS Waiver program.

TASH has enlisted international thought-leaders and trainers to discuss topics which include:

  • The Promise and Intent of HCBS Regulations and Settings Requirements
  • Person-Centered Planning – What Does This Really Mean?
  • Authentic Person-Centered Planning – the Role of the Community
  • Supporting Genuine Choice
  • Great Stories – How “Person-Centered” Plays out in Real Life
  • Truth Telling: Bringing Consistency to the Practice of Supporting People
  • The Business Impact of Authentic Person-Centered Planning

Participants can register for the complete series, become a Premium Member of TASH and enroll, or simply register per session of interest. When the series completes, TASH plans to make the series available through their TASH Training Resource Library.

TASH is an international leader in disability advocacy since 1975. They advocate human rights for individuals with significant disabilities. They advance inclusive communities through advocacy, research, professional development, policy, and information and resources for parents, families and self-advocates. For more information on TASH, visit About TASH.

For more information:

To enroll in TASH’s HCBS webinars, visit “Values-Based Leadership in Supported Living: Stepping Up to the Promise and the Spirit of Home and Community-Based Waivers”.

For a brochure on The Final Rule, visit Final Rule Medicaid HCBS, publication from CMS.

To learn about the HCBS waiver program, visit About Home and Community Based Services.

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