CMS has announced the first-ever home and community-based services (HCBS) quality measure set. This voluntary measure set is intended to promote consistent quality metrics within and across state Medicaid HCBS programs.
The first official version of the HCBS Measure Set was distributed last week to State Medicaid Directors. In its memo, CMS notes that while use of this measure set is voluntary at this time, states are strongly encouraged to use the measures and plans to incorporate use of the measure set into the reporting requirements for specific authorities and programs, including the MFP program and section 1115 demonstrations that include HCBS.
The measures are built around three pillars: access, a rebalancing of HCBS spend versus institutional care spend and community integration.
A future guidance document will describe how states can use the measure set as part of their HCBS quality measurement, reporting, and improvement activities, including to meet federal requirements for their HCBS programs.
Nationally, more than 7 million people receive HCBS under Medicaid, and Medicaid-funded HCBS accounts for $125 billion annually in state and federal spending. Implementation of the HCBS quality measure set will create opportunities for CMS and states to promote more consistent use, within and across states, of nationally standardized quality measures in HCBS programs to promote health equity and reduce disparities in health outcomes among this population.