Collaborative effort helped to produce the right decision for seniors nationwide, says Parkinson
Washington, D.C. - The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) today applauded the final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) dealing with home and community-based services (HCBS). As originally drafted, the rule potentially threatened the current housing situation of seniors and individuals with disabilities living in assisted living and residential care centers across the country.
“The original draft proposed rule by CMS was a real threat of possible dislocation to the seniors and individuals with disabilities our members serve every day,” said David Kyllo, Executive Director of NCAL.
“This is a major relief for thousands of seniors and individuals with disabilities residing in member centers across the country,” stated Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “We saw the critical nature of this rule and worked with our members and other stakeholders to educate CMS about this potential crisis. Our goal was to ensure residents would be able to remain in place at the assisted living and residential care communities they and their families had initially chosen.”
According to a CMS fact sheet, the final rule addresses several sections of Medicaid law under which states may use federal Medicaid funds to pay for HCBS services. Further, the rule ensures that individuals receiving services such as housing under HCBS programs have full access to the benefits of community living and are able to receive services in the most integrated setting.
AHCA/NCAL spearheaded the collaborative effort of aging organizations to impress upon CMS the negative impact the original draft rule could have on seniors and individuals with disabilities. That early draft had the potential to displace the majority of the 139,000 individuals who rely on Medicaid and are currently residing in assisted living and residential care communities.
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 12,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahca.org or www.ncal.org.