FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 19, 2006
TENNCARE CONSOLIDATES HCBS PROGRAMS,
INCREASES MENU OF SERVICES TO ALL HCBS ENROLLEES
IMPROVES ADMINISTRATIVE EFFICIENCIES FOR ENROLLEES AND STATE
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — TennCare announced today plans to bring all Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) programs under one statewide organization operated by the Commission on Aging and Disability. The HCBS waiver consolidation will bring every TennCare HCBS enrollee access to newly requested home-based services once approved by the federal government.
Last month, TennCare asked the federal government to approve the largest service expansion in the HCBS program's history. The service expansion would only apply to one HCBS program that operates statewide. Two other HCBS programs, Senior Services in Shelby County with 400 HCBS participants and ADAPT (operated by Senior Services) in Hamilton, Knox and Davidson Counties with 150 HCBS participants, would not have access to the additional services without the planned consolidation announced today. TennCare cannot add services or expand HCBS program available slots without approval from the federal government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) agency.
"Our primary goal after CMS approval will be to create a seamless transition for HCBS TennCare participants by asking Senior Services HCBS providers to contract directly with the Commission on Aging and Disability," said Nancy Peace, Executive Director for the Commission on Aging and Disability. "We will also invite Senior Services to contract with our organization to continue to provide essential case management services for the consolidated HCBS program."
TennCare HCBS participants with questions about transitioning into the statewide program can call TennCare toll-free at 877-224-0219.
Part of the consolidation request to CMS will increase the statewide HCBS program slots from 2,871 to 3,700. The additional slot request will allow the 550 HCBS participants from both Senior Services programs to move into the consolidated program without reducing the number of HCBS slots available statewide. The expansion will also accomplish an HCBS slot increase that was disallowed by CMS for Senior Service's HCBS waiver programs earlier this year. "Bringing all of our HCBS programs together under one statewide organization is a positive step forward for increasing enrollment, making more HCBS slots available, bringing an enhanced menu of services to all TennCare HCBS participants and providing increased efficiencies for the state without duplicating efforts," said Steve Hopper, chief of long term care operations for the TennCare Bureau.
The service expansion request sent to CMS May 31, 2006 doubles the number of HCBS program services offered to TennCare enrollees and includes:
- In-home respite care
- Personal care assistant
- Adult day-care
- Assisted Living
- Pest control
- Assistive technologies (grabber to reach objects on the floor, turning lights/tv on and off without leaving the bed, hearing impaired equipment i.e. a light flash for a door bell)
- Authority for a telephone-based "check-in/check-out" system for HCBS service providers to improve accountability and billing accuracy
The statewide HCBS program currently offers:
- Home delivery of meals
- Home-maker services
- Minor home modifications
- In-patient respite care
- Personal emergency response system
- Case management services
TennCare is Tennessee's expanded Medicaid program, providing health insurance coverage to 1.2 million Tennesseans including 640,000 children.
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