Just out – June 25 “Supported Employment Action Team: Speak Up to Get the Job You Want” training for advocates, families and community organizations.  Here is the flier.  This training is the first of 5 trainings featuring representatives from DDD and DRS to talk about navigating the supported employment system. Register here.  

Federal Issues
The Section 14(c) National Online Dialogue
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), through its ePolicyWorks initiative, is hosting this national online dialogue(click on the link above) to gather perspectives on Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Please share your ideas, individual stories, and personal experiences illustrating the impact of Section 14(c) on the employment of people with disabilities. The goal of this online dialogue is to capture perspectives about Section 14(c) based on individual input from those “on the ground.” Information gleaned from the comments will then be summarized to provide ODEP an overview of Section 14(c) at the state and national levels.

Federal Bills to Watch
We are still waiting on the HCBS Infrastructure Bill to be released (it is expected before the end of June), sponsored by Representative Dingell from Michigan and Representative Guthrie from Kentucky.  It would serve as an updated balancing incentive program focused on grants to state with several components including to address implementation of the HCBS settings rule, transportation and DSP workforce issues.

Additionally, Representative Moulton from Massachusetts will be introducing the Capabilities Act, which would create a grant program for providers and states to increase competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities.  More to come soon!

Electronic Visit Verification Update: Requests from States for Good Faith Effort Exemptions 
Section 12006(a) of the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) mandates that states implement electronic visit verification (EVV) for all Medicaid personal care services by January 1, 2020 and for all Medicaid home health care services by January 1, 2023, or otherwise be subject to incremental federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) reductions. The Cures Act includes a provision that allows states to delay implementation of EVV for up to one year if they can demonstrate they have made a good faith effort to comply and have encountered unavoidable delays. This notice provides states with information regarding the process to request a good faith effort exemption. 

  • CMS will accept requests for good faith effort exemptions for personal care services beginning July 1, 2019. CMS strongly encourages states to submit good faith effort exemption request by November 30, 2019.
  • States are required to use the form titled “Good Faith Effort Request Form – Personal Care Services” when submitting their requests. Click here to access the form.
  • Only the State Medicaid Agency Director or his/her designee can submit this form.
  • Please send completed forms to the EVV mailbox at EVV@cms.hhs.gov with the subject line “[State Name] EVV Good Faith Effort Exemption Request.” The EVV mailbox will acknowledge receipt of the form. Only one form per state should be submitted.
  • Within 30 days of receipt of the state’s request the CMS EVV mailbox will send a letter attached in an email and signed by the Director of the Division of Long-Term Services and Supports confirming whether the state’s request has been approved. If the state’s request is not approvable, CMS will inform the state of the reason(s) the request was not approved and will offer to schedule a conference call with the state. The state will have the opportunity to revise and resubmit its request.

Please be advised that the Cures Act provision on good faith effort exemptions does not provide CMS with authority to delay the FMAP reductions for more than one year. If you have any questions please email EVV@cms.hhs.gov or contact your CMS Regional Office.

Another Medicaid Director Leaves CMS

Chris Traylor, the Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), will be departing the agency at the end of May, becoming the fourth head of Medicaid to depart the role under the Trump Administration. He had been appointed to the position in January following the resignation of then-Director Mary Mayhew. As noted by Politico Pro: “Traylor’s departure from CMS, which will take place on May 31, means at least six people have left the agency’s Medicaid office since the start of the year.” Director Traylor had met multiple times with ANCOR staff and Board members earlier this spring to hear about our priority issues, including compliance with electronic visit verification (EVV) and fire code compliance for intermediate care facilities (ICF/IIDs). ANCOR will keep members informed as the appointment process for his position unfolds and as an interim director is identified. We will continue to work on building relationships with this office given how Medicaid is the main program that funds supports for people with disabilities. (From Ancor).

Child Welfare & Adoption: House Passes CAPTA Reauthorization

On May 20, the House passed the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (H.R.2480). This bill reauthorizes the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), which provides federal funding to states to address child abuse and neglect. This bill increases investments to address child maltreatment resulting from the opioid epidemic. Learn more about the legislation here.

Health/Rights: HHS Proposes Weakening Health Care Anti-Discrimination Rule

On May 24, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an advance copy of a proposed rule to weaken its regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in health programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. The proposed rule would narrow protections for all people experiencing discrimination under the law, eliminate protections for LGBTQ people, and roll back protections for people with limited English proficiency, among other impacts. The Arc is reviewing the proposed rule and will provide further analysis.

Housing: HUD Proposes Ban on Housing Assistance for Mixed Status Families

On May 10, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a rule that would prohibit “mixed status” immigrant families from living in public housing and Section 8 units. “Mixed status” families are families in which some members are ineligible for housing assistance based on immigration status. The rule would result in family separations and could lead to evictions of thousands of people, including children, who face an increased risk of homelessness. The Arc is working with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) to submit comments on the proposed rule by the July 9 deadline. For more information, see www.keep-families-together.org.