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CMS Final Rule

On January 16, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published a Final Rule which addresses several sections of the Social Security Act and makes changes to the 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver program. The Final Rule was designed to improve available HCBS programs by ensuring the quality of HCBS, providing protections to participants, enabling participants to have the same opportunity to receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate and have full access to community living opportunities.

In December 2014, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued guidance to states with Section 1115 demonstrations that include HCBS as part of the program design. The notice clarified that states currently operating HCBS programs, regardless of the federal authority under which the programs operate, must submit a Statewide Transition Plan (STP) for approval. The STP must include the state’s assessment of its regulations, standards, licensing requirements and provider requirements against the requirements in the HCBS Final Rule. The STP is also to describe the State’s ongoing strategies to accomplish compliance with all federal requirements, including timeframes and deliverables.

The New Mexico Human Services Department’s (HSD) amended STP in accordance with requirements set forth in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services HCBS Settings rule released on January 16, 2014 (See CFR 441.301 (c).

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