Harkin Report Discusses HCBS: Paints Nuanced Picture of Utilization, Rebalancing
On July 18, Senator Tom Harkin released a report to the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee entitled Separate and Unequal: States Fail to Fulfill the Community Living Promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act (The Report). While the Report commended the great strides of HCBS utilization across the country, it presented a nuanced picture of this implementation. The National Council on Medicaid Home Care – a NAHC affiliate - discusses the Report’s major findings and recommendations.
While the Report validates significant HCBS utilization known before, it provides a nuanced picture of this utilization that highlights opportunities for improvement. In particular, the increased rate of nursing home residents under the age of 65, the large amount of people on HCBS waitlists, and data questioning the degree of re-integration show that the victory of Olmstead is incomplete.
Home care providers should glean from the Report that there is still a large demand for HCBS. The Council encourages providers to continue to advocate in their state associations, as well as state and federal governments for greater support of HCBS. Home care providers are encouraged to keep abreast of HCBS developments in their states, and nationally, and to contact the Council with any questions or concerns.