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Default National Organizations Release Toolkit to Advocate for Strong Implementation of HCBS

National Organizations Release Toolkit
to Advocate for Strong Implementation of HCBS Settings Rule
From: The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
January 25, 2016 - The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, together with
other disability and aging advocacy groups, today issued a toolkit to help
advocates push for strong implementation of the new Home and Community
Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rules in their states. The new HCBS
Settings Rules require all settings funded by Medicaid HCBS programs to,
among other things, provide opportunities for participants to be
integrated in and engage in community life, have access to the community,
control their personal resources, and seek employment and work in
competitive settings. States have until March 2019 to transition their
HCBS programs into full compliance with the new settings requirements.

"For these new rules to have a real impact and move states towards more
integrated and individualized services, advocates must get engaged now and
push for a strong transition plan," said Alison Barkoff, Bazelon's
Director of Advocacy. All states have already submitted to CMS their
initial transition plans, and CMS has provided feedback to states about
needed improvements and next steps for amending and implementing their
plans. "The next several months are a critical time for advocacy because
that is when states will be making important decisions about their
transition plans," she said.

This new toolkit provides advocates with detailed information about the
HCBS Settings Rule and provides action steps for advocates to impact
implementation of the new rules in their states. The toolkit contains
three documents: (1) The Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services
Settings Rules: What You Should Know; (2) Home and Community-Based
Services Regulations Q&A: Settings Presumed to be Institutional & the
Heightened Scrutiny Process, and (3) The Home and Community-Based Settings
Rules: How to Advocate for Truly Integrated Community Settings
(unabridged and abridged).

The Bazelon Center developed this toolkit together with a coalition of
other disability and aging advocates working together for strong
implementation of the HCBS Settings Rule - the American Network of
Community Options and Resources, Association of People Supporting
Employment First, Association of University Centers on Disabilities,
Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Coalition to Promote Self-Determination,
Justice in Aging (formerly National Senior Citizens Law Center), Human
Services Research Institute, National Association of Councils on
Developmental Disabilities, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term
Care, National Council on Independent Living, National Disability Rights
Network, National Down Syndrome Congress, National Health Law Program,
TASH, and The Arc of the United States. The Bazelon Center's advocacy
around the HCBS Settings Rule is funded in part by the generosity of the
Ruderman Family Foundation (

To learn more about the HCBS rules, see and, a website with up-to-date information about the
rules and states' implementation maintained by several member
organizations in the coalition.
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