Sponsored by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities

The Unlock the Waiting Lists! Campaign advocates investing in Georgians with disabilities so they and their families can live full lives and contribute to Georgia Communities and the Georgia economy. We believe Georgia must rebalance its system of long-term services and supports, so that fewer dollars are spent on institutional care and more dollars are invested into Home and Community Based supports


November 11, 2014

Disability Day - March 5th (Details to follow)


Important Video Regarding the New Home and Community Based Services

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Get Involved: Georgia's Medicaid Home and Community Based Services
Multiple Meetings Planned for Stakeholder Input

HCBS Fact Sheet and Meeting Schedule

In March of 2014, to ensure home- and community-based services (HCBS) are integrated, the federal government approved new rules that outline which Medicaid services can be covered and in what setting they can be provided. States are required to create "transition plans" describing the changes they will make to comply with these new regulations. Four meetings have been planned in various locations throughout Georgia in order to provide opportunities for public input. As stakeholders, your attendance provides an opportunity to make a difference in the direction Georgia takes in its services.

At these meetings you will:
• Meet with Medicaid leaders to learn about important changes to Home & Community Based Services
• Participate in a focused discussion with other advocates and voice your concerns on current services
• Review the draft transition plan and provide critical feedback helping to shape the future of services in Georgia

Who should attend: Consumers and Family Members who receive any of the following services
• Independent Care Waiver Program (ICWP)
• New Options Waiver (NOW)
• Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program (COMP)
• Elderly & Disabled Waivers
• SOURCE (Services Options Using Resources in a Community Environment)
• Community Care Services Program (CCSP)
• Georgia Pediatric Program (GAAP)

Meeting Date and Times
Meeting Locations
Additional Information

November 13, 2014

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. OR
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
The Classic Center
300 North Thomas St.
Athens, GA 30601
Room: Empire Room 1
(706) 357-4444
RSVP*: athenshcbs@gmail.com

November 18, 2014

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. OR
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
The Lafayette Educational Ctr. Building D
205 Lafayette Ave.
Fayetteville GA 30214
Room: Media Center
(770) 460-3990
RSVP*: southmetrohcbs@gmail.com

Hosted by the Georgia Department of Community Health
For more detailed information on HCBS, please visit:
*Please indicate afternoon or evening session when submitting RSVP


New CMS Regulations Announced on the DCH Website

HCBS Transition Plan

Georgia begins process to address new regulations issued by CMS for Home and Community Based Services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued regulations that define the settings in which it is permissible for states to pay for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS), otherwise known as waiver services. The purpose of these new regulations is to ensure that individuals receive Medicaid HCBS in settings that are integrated and that support full access to the greater community. This includes opportunities to seek employment and work in competitive and integrated settings, engage in community life, control personal resources, and receive services in the community to the same degree as individuals who do not receive HCBS.

Please see the HCBS Settings Rule and Transition Plan Fact Sheet for more information.

For more details about the requirements of the new regulation, please see this Issue Brief on the Final Rule by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

Georgia has begun to look at how our waivers may need to be modified to comply with the new regulations. The process for how we plan to review waiver policies and service settings must be outlined in a written Transition Plan. A waiver-specific transition plan is required to be submitted to CMS with each amendment request. Georgia is planning to submit amendments for the Elderly & Disabled Waiver, New Options Waiver, Comprehensive Supports Waiver and the Independent CareWwaiver Program. Before submitting to CMS, stakeholder comment must be gathered to assure the public has had an opportunity to inform the Transition Plan.

In addition, once the first waiver amendment is submitted, Georgia has 120 days to complete a Statewide Comprehensive Transition Plan to address all waivers regardless of whether an amendment was submitted or not.

In each of the waiver amendments to be submitted by the end of August 2014, a waiver-specific transiton plan will be submitted with it outlining high level planning needed to ensure compliance with the new HCBS rules. Department staff, with operating agency stakeholder input, has developed a draft Transition Plan for each waiver population which is available for public comment before the plan is finalized for submission with each waiver amendment:

The official Public Notices supporting these activities are available for viewing, as well.

We invite the public to make comment.

There are several ways to submit comment:

  1. Comments may be submitted using the survey available at this link
  2. Public Comment may be orally provided at a public hearing at the DCH Offices, 2 Peachtree St., NW, 5th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30303. See Public Notice for details.
  3. Written Comments may be mailed per the instructions on Public Notice.
  4. Comments may be submitted to this email address: HCBSTransition@dch.ga.gov

Periodic updates will be made to this website as the Department of Community Health (DCH) and its partner agencies work to ensure compliance with the regulations for each waiver and for the required Statewide Transition Plan.  Please save this page address as your link to the most current information on this process.

Overview of Regulations HCBS -- The Basics -- Posted 08/27/14

Statewide Transition Plan

As described above, DCH has submitted four Transition Plans to CMS, required under the HCBS Rule which requires a waiver-specific transition plan to be submitted with each waiver amendment a state submits. Georgia needed to submit four waiver amendments to increase certain rates and add slots as well as make other changes per legislative appropriations and implementation of the state’s Balancing Incentive Program grant. DCH is still awaiting written approval of the Elderly and Disabled plan which was the first waiver/transition plan to be submitted to CMS.

The HCBS Rule also requires development of a Statewide Transition Plan to be submitted 120 days from the time that the first waiver transition plan was submitted. This places the due date for this plan on December 15, 2014.  DCH has transferred the waiver-specific transition plans to a statewide, cross-waivers comprehensive transition plan. The Statewide Transition Plan requires a minimum of 30 days public input.

To achieve public input, DCH will hold four face-to-face meetings. The locations are Marietta, Athens, Fayetteville and Macon. We will also hold three virtual meetings the second and third week of November here at DCH. Flyers for each set of public forums are posted to the DCH waiver page website (www.dch.georgia.gov/waivers) and have been distributed to all stakeholders. DCH is also planning to use an automated phone-calling service to conduct a conference call to review the plan with waiver recipients who are  not able to attend the face to face or virtual meetings.


The goal of the Statewide Transition Plan is to establish the steps that will be required for all waiver services and supporting infrastructures and policies to come into compliance with the HCBS Settings Rule. The Statewide Transition Plan has four major sections:

  1. Identification – describes how the state will identify all the HCBS settings, policies, standards, etc., that will need to be assessed
  2. Assessment –  describes how the assessment will be performed
  3. Remediation – if the assessment results in findings that indicate a setting, policy, standard, etc., that does not conform to the new HCBS rule, the remediation section will describe how that discrepancy will be corrected.
  4. Outreach and Engagement – describes who will be included and how they will be included in the development and implementation of the Transition Plan

Please see the draft Statewide Transition Plan for your review and feedback. 

Statewide Transition Plan - FINAL Draft-- Updated 11/04/14

GEORGIA PUBLIC NOTICE - HCBS Settings Statewide Transition Plan -- Posted 10/31/14

FACT SHEET-- HCBS Settings Rule and Transition Plan -- Posted 11/04/14

Per the CMS Rule regarding Transition Planning, the state has summarized comments received through public comment. At this link, you will find the summary and state’s response regarding impact to the Transition Plan. The same summary is applicable to the initial Transition Plans submitted with each waiver amendment. 

Posted 07/02/14 - Updated 10/24/14


Making a Difference: Telling Your Story Effectively to Legislators

Parent to Parent offers a Webinar for your interest in the archived recording of P2P Archived Webinar Making a Difference. Let your voice be heard by telling your story and giving effective testimony to your legislators or policy makers. Your story CAN make a difference! Whether you represent your child, yourself, or a group, you will learn tips from this worthwhile webinar! You will also learn ways to stay informed and engaged!

Presenters: Claire Dees, Parent to Parent of Georgia, Community Engagement Manager; Representative Pat Gardner, District 57, Atlanta; and Dawn Alford, Public Policy Specialist, Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities and self-advocate.

Running Time 45 min. 53 sec.



The Unlock Steering Committee: The Georgia Advocacy Office · The Arc of Georgia · The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities · The Statewide Independent Living Council of Georgia · People First of Georgia · The Institute on Human Development & Disability at the University of Georgia· The Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University · The Georgia Council on Aging · Parent to Parent of Georgia

Thank you from the GCDD Policy Team

Dawn Alford: Acting Public Policy Director

D'Arcy Robb: Public Policy Consultant - Employment First

Dave Zilles: Public Policy Consultant - Unlock the Waiting Lists -Parent Advocate



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