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Webinar Replay: Reflecting on HCBS Policies and Practices in Response to COVID-19

This webinar was held on April 17, 2020.

Medicaid-covered home and community-based services (HCBS) are critical to the health and well-being of millions of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and/or behavioral health conditions.

In response to COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided state Medicaid programs with increased flexibility to modify HCBS programs to continue to provide timely high-quality care. State Medicaid programs have secured approval for new initiatives through a combination of Section 1135 Waivers, 1115 Emergency Amendments, Emergency State Plan Amendments, and Appendix K amendments to HCBS 1915(c) waivers.

During this webinar, our HMA experts outlined what these changes mean for states, providers, and individuals who rely on HCBS. Speakers provided an overview of key flexibilities, offered examples of promising practices, and shared insights about the present and the future of HCBS as reshaped by COVID-19.

Learning Objectives 

  • Learn how state Medicaid programs have used CMS-approved waivers and amendments to temporarily modify HCBS policies and practices to protect people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Understand how new HCBS flexibilities impact HCBS providers on-the-ground.
  • Understand what these changes mean for individuals who receive services and supports.
  • Learn more about how the pandemic may be changing the future of HCBS.

HMA Speakers

Sarah Barth, JD, Principal, New York, NY
Ellen Breslin, MPP, Principal, Boston, MA
Sharon Lewis, Principal, Portland, OR
Susan Tucker, CPA, Tallahassee, FL