2014 CMS Regulations, Religion and Spirituality: A preview of our Panel Presentation at the Louisville Conference

by Deborah Fisher, Psy.D., Strategic Initiatives Consultant to the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) released new regulations governing Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers in 2014. These represent an important shift in the services delivery model. Focused now on Person-Directed Outcomes, these regulations reflect the collective legislative and judicial wisdom of the ADA and Olmstead decision.


by Deborah Fisher, Psy.D., Strategic Initiatives Consultant to the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) released new regulations governing Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers in 2014. These represent an important shift in the services delivery model. Focused now on Person-Directed Outcomes, these regulations reflect the collective legislative and judicial wisdom of the ADA and Olmstead decision.

To that end, CMS has established standards which identify the individual with the disability as the one who determines where to live and with whom, under conditions which are fully integrated within the community and engaged in personally directed meaningful activities based on their preferences, interests, needs and goals. The essence of these new standards requires providers to ascertain the strengths, needs and preferences of the individuals whom they support so they can ensure that they access friends, family, employment, and social and recreational activities of their choosing. Inherent in this focus on choice and preference is the interest and participation in faith- and spiritual-based practice.

The focus of our panel discussion will be on introducing HCBS providers to the importance of attending to the spiritual preferences of the individuals they support, along with their religious affiliations and practices. Incumbent on all providers will be reaching out to the faith communities to assist in their inclusion of all who seek it. Also, it may create the need to help congregations and their members learn about ways to invite individuals with disabilities into their midst and ensure opportunities for meaningful participation.

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