Blog Post Uncategorized

A Breakdown of Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Programs

Nurse2Help is now accepting the Medicaid Waiver, which offers long-term services and supports to eligible parties—often through Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) programs.

While Medicaid income and eligibility requirements vary from state to state, the entire country provides some form of in-home care for those in need of nursing and other health promotion services. In 2009, nearly 1 million people in the U.S. received services via HCBS Waiver programs.

How Do HCBS Waiver Programs Work?

Almost all states and Washington, D.C. offer HCBS Waiver programs. True to their name, Home and Community-Based Services are designed to meet the needs of those who would like to receive care in their home and community, instead of in an institution.

This is where Nurse2Help comes in—and why we are proud to accept the Medicaid Waiver. HCBS programs are in direct alignment with our pool of vetted caregivers’ values and expertise. In essence, they cover private nurses and in-home aides, as well as equipment and other services, by striving to improve the health of the community in a cost-effective manner.

Currently, there are more than 300 active HCBS Waiver programs in the United States. State programs differ based on location, but must follow these federal requirements:

  • Protect people’s health and welfare, including their dignity and privacy
  • Follow a person-centered plan of care, tailored to meet the needs of each individual
  • Prove the waiver services won’t exceed the cost of comparable institutionalized services
  • Offer reasonable, sufficient provider standards to ensure people’s needs are met

Who Funds HCBS Waiver Programs?

While HCBS isn’t officially a part of Medicaid, it is funded by Medicaid through designated waivers. What this means is that under HCBS, states can waive specific Medicaid requirements and provide care to those who would otherwise be ineligible for Medicaid. In 2014, 53% of all Medicaid spending on long-term care went to HCBS Waiver programs across the country.

As described above, waivers require a combination of medical and financial eligibility. Note, however, that states’ waiver requirements aren’t necessarily the same as their Medicaid eligibility requirements. For more information on HCBS programs in your state—including details on eligibility—consider reaching out to your local Medicaid office.

What Are the Benefits of HCBS Waiver Programs?

The benefits of HCBS are extensive. What’s more, the programs help guide our certified nursing staff and home health aides in their effort to provide the best possible care.

But let’s return to the benefits of HCBS: Home and Community-Based Services are typically less than half the cost of residential services. They are culturally-responsive, inclusive, and welcoming of family members’ input on the individual’s plan of care. Perhaps most importantly, though, HCBS Waiver programs allow the eligible party to enjoy the comfort of their home and the familiarity of the surrounding area.

Ultimately, Home and Community-Based Services encourage individuals to participate and integrate in their communities with help from qualified providers. Nurse2Help is here to help.

The Nurse2Help app lists hundreds of prescreened caregivers in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area. Please contact us for more information on the Medicaid Waiver, including HCBS programs.

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