HCBS Advocacy Coalition Releases Updated State Advocacy Toolkit

A coalition of national disability and aging advocacy groups, known as the HCBS Advocacy Coalition, have updated a toolkit first issued last year to inform state-level advocacy around the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule. The updated 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 documents discuss the importance and urgency of advocacy at the state level to impact implementation of the rule, and provide specific action steps for advocates, including:

     1. Start evaluating state HCBS settings as early as possible;

     2. Create a list of settings where HCBS participants receive services;

     3. Gather and analyze information about these settings;

     4. Identify institution-like settings and those that require heightened scrutiny;

     5. Share the setting specific information with the state;

     6. Analyze the state’s setting assessment results;

     7. Prepare and submit comments on the state’s revised statewide transition plan                 (STP);

     8. Encourage other advocacy groups, HCBS participants and their families, and                    individuals to engage in public input;

     9. Submit to CMS the list of settings and critique of state setting assessments.

The HCBS Advocacy Coalition includes the Bazelon Center, the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), Coalition to Promote Self-Determination (CPSD), Justice in Aging (formerly National Senior Citizens Law Center), Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care, National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), National Health Law Program (NHLP), TASH, and The Arc of the United States. 

FMI: The Toolkit is available at http://hcbsadvocacy.org/national-resources/