Lawmaker pressures CMS on status of national quality measures for HCBS

The ranking member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging is turning up the heat on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, asking the agency’s chief to describe its efforts to establish quality measures for Medicaid home- and community-based services such as those provided by some assisted living operators.

In a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure last week, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) asked when CMS intends to propose rulemaking or guidance on establishing standard quality measures for the program, as described in a September 2020 request for information. Universally recognized standards would allow better oversight and help prevent fraud, he wrote.

“After decades of funding rebalancing, there are still no generally accepted quality measures for HCBS. It remains impossible to compare states’ Medicaid HCBS along quality measures in a scorecard, such as CMS compiles for other Medicaid elements,” Scott said.

The letter follows a report that the senator released last month meant to highlight what Scott said is “deepening concern” about the administration of HCBS. The report, he said, exposed the lack of universally accepted quality-control benchmarks for HCBS.


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