HCBS Grant Announcement 2018
Home and Community-Based Services Regulations: Provider Funding for Compliance Activities
In January 2014, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued final regulations, or rules, for Home and Community-Based Services. (HCBS) The rules require that HCBS programs funded through Medicaid (called Medi-Cal in California) provide individuals with disabilities full access to the benefits of community living and offer services and supports in settings that are integrated in the community. This could include opportunities to seek employment in competitive and integrated settings, control personal resources, and engage in the community to the same degree as individuals who do not receive regional center services. The HCBS rules focus on the nature and quality of individuals’ experiences and not just the settings where the services are delivered.
In recognition that some service providers need to take steps towards modifying their services to come into compliance with the HCBS rules by March 2022, the 2018 Budget Act (SB 840, Chapter 29, Budget Act 2018) contains $15 million to fund necessary changes. As described below, service providers are invited to apply for funds through regional centers and all submitted concepts will be forwarded to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) as they are received. Regional centers are required to make recommendations for funding based on local priorities, although final approval will be made by DDS. Projects that require multiple years to complete, additional funding, or result in meeting some, but not all, of the HCBS rules, will be considered.
The HCBS rules represent a significant, system-wide change to the way services are delivered. Given the broad scope of the rules, providers are encouraged to submit concepts that offer a unique and innovative path to compliance. Funding may be used for more creative service delivery options, and is intended to help a program achieve compliance, opposed to expanding an existing service. There should be a clear link between what is being requested and the federal requirement currently out of compliance. Concepts should demonstrate how the requested change in service delivery will impact individuals in offering more choices or options and opportunities in the community.
Examples of previously funded concepts:
- Outreach and information regarding the HCBS rules for consumers and members of their support teams.
- Supporting consumers on a more individualized basis to promote community integration and employment.
- Prioritizing the preferences of consumers and utilizing consumer feedback in the development of the concept.
- Train-the-trainer certification in person-centered planning/thinking and training regarding the HCBS rules.
RCEB will be holding workshops on the following dates to walk through the process for applying:
- November 13th 10AM-12PM, Concord
- November 13th, 2PM-4PM, San Leandro
- November 19th 10AM-12PM, Concord
- November 19th, 2PM-4PM, San Leandro
Providers of services in settings identified in the California Statewide Transition Plan () that are not in compliance with the HCBS rules may be eligible for funding.
The funding application process includes the following:
Step 1 – By December 14, 2018, service providers need to submit the following to Fruc Menchavez, HCBS Specialist, at email@example.com:
- A completed concept form () that includes:
- A completed provider compliance evaluation of the vendored setting, service or support that identifies and describes which HCBS setting requirements are not being met;
- Vendor name, primary regional center, vendor number, service type/code, and number of consumers being served by the vendor;
- Whether the provider was a past recipient of HCBS funding;
- A brief description of the service/setting, including barriers to compliance with the HCBS rules;
- Identify which HCBS federal requirements are currently out of compliance that the concept will address;
- A narrative/description of the concept, including justification for the funding request and explanation of how compliance would be achieved through concept implementation and program design change;
- A description of how the vendor involved the individuals it provides services to in the concept development process;
- Whether the concept addresses unmet service needs or service disparities;
- An estimated budget and timeline for the project identifying all major costs;
- The full amount requested; and,
- A plan for sustainability moving forward.
Step 2 – By January 18, 2019, regional centers must submit all completed concepts and evaluations to DDS, along with funding recommendations and the basis for the recommendations. Regional centers should send DDS concepts as they are received from providers. For concept forms that are incomplete, the regional center should work with the vendor to submit all required information. Please note, for providers that operate programs with several vendor numbers, one concept form and evaluation form may be submitted, provided that the plan applies to all vendor numbers listed. DDS may request additional information from providers or regional centers, as necessary.
Step 3 – DDS will notify regional centers of the concepts selected for funding.
Step 4 – Concepts selected by DDS will require a contract agreement between the regional center and the service provider, which will include the following:
- Details regarding the project, including specifics on how the funding will be used to increase compliance with the federal requirements;
- Details regarding how consumer input will be used in the development and implementation of the project;
- A detailed budget for the project;
- For projects involving the purchase of items or services, a justification (e.g. multiple quotes) of the cost-effectiveness of the purchase;
- A project timeline identifying key milestones;
- Objective indicators (qualitative AND quantitative) to measure progress toward compliance with the federal requirements; and,
- A requirement for semi-annual reporting to the regional center on project implementation, including progress related to key milestones and progress toward compliance with the federal requirements.
DDS will hold two, one-hour webinars to review this process and answer questions. These optional webinars will be held on Thursday, November 15, 2018, from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., and Monday, November 26, 2018, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. To register, follow the instructions found at http://www.dds.ca.gov/HCBS/.
We look forward to collectively working through this process as we move towards meeting the HCBS rules.