Monday, March 10, 2014

Community Choice Coalition letter to CMS on new HCBS Rule

The Community Choice Coalition (CCC) is a national coalition of organizations supporting increased housing options for people with disabilities. The CCC has written a letter to Marilynn Tavenner at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding the recent Home and Community Based Services Setting Final Rule (CMS 2249-F/2296-F) expressing its support of a broad range of housing options to solve the national housing crisis for people with disabilities. The letter is signed by JaLynn Prince, the President of the Madison House Autism Foundation in Rockville, Maryland, and 41 other organizations from around the country. Madison House Foundation is a public 501(c) (3) national organization working to eliminate barriers and increase opportunities for the rapidly growing numbers of adults with autism.

This is the body of the letter that was sent on March 4, 2014:  

Dear Administrator Tavenner:

Madison House Autism Foundation and the supporting signatories offer appreciation of the earnest effort to balance many perspectives in your consideration of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Final Rule (CMS 2249-F/2296-F).

We were pleased to see that CMS is moving toward valuing the individual’s choice and experience of home and community as described:

"In this final rule, CMS is moving away from defining home and community-based settings by ‘what they are not,’ and toward defining them by the nature and quality of individuals’ experiences. The home and community-based setting provisions in this final rule establish a more outcome-oriented definition of home and community-based settings, rather than one based solely on a setting’s location, geography, or physical characteristics." [Page 1, Summary of Key Provisions in the HCBS Setting Final Rule]

The process of public comments brought together many like-minded stakeholders who desire and support a full array of housing choices. These voices are no longer fragmented. We have united to establish the Coalition for Community Choice (CCC) and today, I am writing on our behalf. The Coalition for Community Choice believes people with disabilities should have the broadest range of affordable and accessible housing options, and we encourage the formation of public-private partnerships to create local solutions for the national housing crisis.

We look forward to ongoing opportunities to work with CMS to offer more affordable and accessible housing options that meet the needs of such diverse populations. We are happy to provide information or insight to the issues that many people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families face. To that end, CCC expressly requests the opportunity to review proposed State Guidance Letters and provide input before publication.

Thank you again for your efforts to consider so carefully all stakeholdre input, and for the robust public comment opportunities at the state and federal levels that remain part of the Final Rule. We sincerely hope that CMS will continue to welcome public input as Guidance letters are drafted.


JaLynn Prince, President and Co-Founder
Madison House Autism Foundation 

The letter is co-signed by representatives of 6 national organizations and 35 other organizations from Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina,  Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

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