HCAF Stands in Support for Enhanced Access to Medicaid HCBS
Monday, June 17, 2019
Posted by: Kyle Simon
HCAF recently joined a coalition of organizations in support of enhanced access to Medicaid home- and community-based services by signing a support statement to be sent to members of Congress. The full statement is below.
Stay tuned for more updates and advocacy opportunities around this issue.
Community Statement on Enhanced Access to Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services
The undersigned organizations are proud to join in support of enhanced access to Medicaid home and community-based services.
For the past 40 years, Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) under Medicaid and Medicaid waiver programs has delivered clinically effective, patient-centered, and fiscally efficient care to millions of Americans. As a result, many more elderly Americans and individuals with disabilities now live safely and independently at home and in their communities. Surveys consistently document the home is where elderly and individuals with disabilities most want to be for improved health status, mental wellbeing, and safety from infection, falls, poor hygiene, and inadequate diet.
In addition, the HCBS programs have saved billions of dollars for federal and state taxpayers. By enabling needed services to be delivered in the home, the HCBS have made it possible for elderly Americans and individuals with disabilities to receive the care they need without having to be placed in high-cost institutional facilities.
However, much more needs to be done. Medicaid home and community-based care does not currently reach enough of the many institutionalized Americans who would benefit from it. As a result, Congress and the Administration should take action to make high-quality, patient-centric, cost-effective home care available to all those who need it.
Specifically, we urge policymakers to explore options for enhancing access to Medicaid home and community-based services, such as:
- Enable Medicaid-eligible individuals to be proactively screened prior to any acute discharge to assess their suitability for home and community-based care, rather than institutionalization.
- Protect the spouses of home care recipients with the same spousal impoverishment protections that are now universally available to spouses of institutionalized patients.
- Permanently extend the successful Money Follows the Person (MFP) program to enable individuals to return from institutions to their homes and communities.
- Strengthen Medicaid program integrity with standardized rules, new safeguards, prepayment controls, data transparency, and improved documentation processes.
- Enable states to allow savings achieved by managed care organizations to be invested in advanced technologies that can improve outcomes and efficiency.
We believe common-sense reforms like these would greatly benefit elderly Americans and individuals with disabilities, while reducing costs for federal and state taxpayers and enabling the Medicaid program to be more effective and sustainable for years to come.