CMS Extends HCBS Settings Rule Compliance Deadline Amidst Pandemic
In response to the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis, CMS has extended the deadline for Medicaid providers to comply with the HCBS Settings Rule. States now have until March 17, 2023 to comply with the regulation's criteria.
In a July 14 letter sent to state Medicaid directors, CMS recognized the latest challenges and delays many states have encountered in establishing implementation and evaluation activities toward complying with the 2014 final rule. Measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 have also impacted the intent of the Settings Rule—limiting the ability of many older adults and people with disabilities to be active participants in their communities. Older adults and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid HCBS often have complex health needs that may further delay their return to integrated activities.
AAAs and the rest of the Aging Network play a key role in developing and providing Medicaid HCBS benefits, which are key to providing older adults and people with disabilities with a meaningful choice in how and where they receive these services. CMS is encouraging states to use this extra year to evaluate how Medicaid-funded HCBS programs contribute to the autonomy of older adults and people with disabilities, community integration and other public health priorities.
Technical assistance will remain available throughout the entire extension period to ensure the continued progress of implementation efforts. For more information about the HCBS Settings Rule compliance deadline extension, read CMS's full letter to State Medicaid Directors.