The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has extended the deadline until Nov. 18 for those who would like to provide feedback its proposed national quality and outcomes measures for the Medicaid-funded home- and community-based services provided for older adults and others. Comments originally were due Oct. 19.

In September, the government agency released a 40-page request for information, since updated, 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 the agency.

“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,” CMS said.

Comments 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.).