The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is seeking feedback on proposed national quality and outcomes measures for the Medicaid-funded home- and community-based services provided for older adults and others. 

The government agency on Friday released a 40-page request for information about the potential benefits of and challenges that could result from a nationally available set of recommended standards that could be used on a voluntary basis by states, managed care organizations and other entities that administer or deliver HCBS. CMS also is seeking comments on the purpose and organization of the recommended measure set, the criteria used to select measures, and a preliminary draft set of quality and outcomes measures. The agency said that the information could be used for other Medicaid initiatives, too.

The proposed measures in part are meant to help make HCBS programs more cost-effective, CMS said. In fiscal year 2016, HCBS expenditures totaled $94 billion and accounted for 57% of the $167 billion spent nationally on Medicaid long-term services and supports, according to CMS.

“As the number of older adults and people with disabilities grows, Medicaid will need to play an even larger role in ensuring the availability of these services over the next several decades. Identifying the best quality measures enables CMS to use this information for other Medicaid initiatives achieving greater transparency and accountability in the Medicaid program,” the agency said.

The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living noted that the organization as well as states already have their own quality initiatives.

“Since 2012, through the AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative, we have developed challenging and measurable goals for our assisted living members, and we have supported states with their own quality initiatives as well. We look forward to providing input to CMS based on our expertise and experience,” AHCA/NCAL said in a statement to McKnight’s Senior Living.

Comments are due by Oct. 19 and can be emailed to HCBSMeasuresRFI@cms.hhs.gov with the sender’s organization name and type (such as provider, state agency, managed care organization, etc.).