Capitol Correspondence - 11.03.20

ANCOR Joins Coalition Letter to CMS on Extending Appendix K Waivers

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As part of its coalition work with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) and the Disability and Aging Collaborative (DAC), ANCOR joined a group letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the issue of COVID-19 emergency Appendix K waivers. Specifically, in light of CMS signaling that it is considering expiration timelines for these waivers, the letter requests that CMS continue to make allowances for them instead.

As written in the letter:

“We urge you to permit states, at their discretion, to extend their Appendix Ks to remain in effect for up to twelve months after the end of the Public Health Emergency. As you know, CMS initially developed a timeline for Appendix K expiration of one year from initial start date as a recognition that, after a cataclysmic event, it may take a year to re-establish “typical” services and to shore up the infrastructure of the state’s HCBS service system. Allowing Appendix Ks to be in effect for a year is sufficient when the event triggering the need for the flexibilities afforded by an Appendix K is a time limited natural disaster. However, applying the same rationale to Appendix Ks created to deal with a months-long Public Health Emergency suggests that CMS should consider the cessation of the PHE as the beginning of the one year post-disaster period. We also note that CMS’ instructions state that a transition plan is necessary for waiver participants who might be adversely affected when the temporary changes cease and the waiver reverts back to its original form. CMS should add that, for such individuals, their person centered plan should also address how and when their services will be changed, and what alternatives may be available beyond the end of the PHE.”

ANCOR will continue to keep our members informed of developments and opportunities for action on this issue.