Congress Introduces Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Relief Act Bill

Congress Introduces Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Relief Act Bill

During the COVID-19 pandemic, states received extra funding for home and community-based services. This helped providers retain workers and allowed states to provide HCBS to more people. But with the additional funding ending, many people will lose access to HCBS and their independence.

What is HCBS?

According to CMS, “Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) are types of person-centered care delivered in the home and community. A variety of health and human services can be provided. HCBS programs address the needs of people with functional limitations who need assistance with everyday activities, like getting dressed or bathing. HCBS are often designed to enable people to stay in their homes, rather than moving to a facility for care.”

HCBS with Technology Supports

At GrandCare, we know the value of enabling people with disabilities to live independently. The GrandCare platform uses 17” touchscreens placed throughout the home. Residents rely on these touchscreens for medication reminders, to-do checklists, instructionals and one touch video calls with family and remote caregivers. GrandCare also uses activity monitoring sensors to alert the remote team if something needs attention. Wireless telehealth devices track vitals and can send notifications if they are outside designated thresholds. At GrandCare, we have personally witnessed how our technologies create better outcomes and happier residents, with far less strain on caregiving staff.

Who pays?

Fortunately, Congress has introduced a new bill, The Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Relief Act. The bill introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, would increase much-needed funding for people with disabilities. If passed, it would provide dedicated Medicaid funds to states for two years to stabilize their HCBS service delivery networks, recruit and retain HCBS direct care workers, and meet the long-term service and support needs of people eligible for Medicaid home and community-based services.

Improve access to HCBS by increasing direct care worker pay and benefits
Decrease the number of people on waiting lists for HCBS
Pay for assistive technologies, staffing, and other costs that facilitate community integration

You can help!

The Arc of the United States, a non-profit that promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is asking for people to send a message to Congress and ask them to pass the HCBS Relief Act.

Read more about the HCBS Relief Act of 2023 released by Senator Casey.