In January 2014, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released final rules establishing new requirements for what can be considered “home and community-based” settings and services.  The regulations are meant to improve the quality of HCBS and provide more protections to individuals that receive services under these Medicaid authorities.  Every state submitted a plan to CMS for how the state would comply with the new rules.

Enhancing and expanding person-driven services in the Commonwealth can play a critical role in compliance with the new federal rules.  Self-directed services, by their very nature ensure that services are provided in non-disability specific settings.  The new CMS rule presents an unprecedented opportunity for Pennsylvania to revise its system of providing community-based services to people with disabilities.