Minority Press

Ranking Member Scott Encourages CMS to Improve HCBS

WASHINGTON – Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-S.C.) sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, calling for improving quality and combating fraud in Medicaid’s Home & Community Based Services (HCBS). HCBSs provide opportunities for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their own home and community rather than institutions or other isolated settings.

In the letter, RM Scott notes that most older Americans prefer to stay at home as they age:

“Effective solutions to improve quality of care and prevent fraud in Medicaid HCBS are imperative to ensure that older Americans can age at home. This remains a priority for the Aging Committee,” writes Scott. 

The letter is a result of a report that RM Scott released last month titled, “Expanding Opportunities for Older Americans: Self-Directed Home & Community Based Services,”which highlighted deepening concern around the administration of HCBS, and the need nationwide to better support seniors to age at home. The report exposed the lack of universally accepted quality-control benchmarks for HCBS, making it difficult for states to compare and replicate HCBS programs on their own. In addition to the lack of such measures, the report noted that U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General has identified ongoing fraud within HCBS, underlining they may not meet quality of care requirements. 

The letter asks CMS to describe its efforts to establish quality measures for Medicaid HCBS and mitigate fraud to ensure all Americans are afforded the right to age where they prefer with dignity, respect, and quality care. 

The full letter can be found here.