The Trump Administration and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are delivering on their commitment to foster innovation in Medicaid by providing states with new tools to help beneficiaries return home from institutional settings without sacrificing safety or quality of care. Today, CMS launched a new toolkit designed for state Medicaid agencies to strengthen their infrastructure and develop robust home and community-based services (HCBS) for eligible beneficiaries. This toolkit is the latest in a series of CMS efforts to promote high quality, person-centered HCBS to safely transition older adults and individuals with disabilities back to their homes and communities, and decrease reliance on nursing home care.
“The COVID-19 crisis has shone a harsh light on the human costs of a long-term care system that relies too heavily on institutional services like nursing homes. Too often, they are seen as the default option, even for those who may not require round-the-clock care,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “While nursing homes will always be an important part of a complete care continuum, many elderly individuals and their families should have access to a more robust set of home care and community-based care options. That’s exactly the opportunity President Trump is delivering with this toolkit.”
The toolkit provides states with examples of innovative state models and best practices to rebalance their long-term services and supports (LTSS) programs to expand the use of HCBS over institutional services. LTSS enables millions of Americans, including children, individuals with disabilities, and older adults, to have their care needs met in a variety of settings, which are often more cost-effective than traditional institutional settings. As the primary funder of LTSS nationally, Medicaid plays an important role in supporting state efforts to achieve a more equitable balance between the share of spending and use of services and supports delivered in individuals’ homes and communities as compared to institutional care.
States continue to be at the forefront of innovation in designing new models for the delivery and financing of LTSS. CMS supports state efforts to help older adults and people with disabilities to access care and services at home and in other community settings, so they may live their lives with as much dignity and independence as possible. CMS is committed to helping states to strengthen and enhance their LTSS systems, and ensure that Medicaid beneficiaries receive high quality, cost-effective, person-centered services in the setting of their choice.