Waiver programs help people who are elderly or have disabilities and need help to live in their home or community instead of an institution such as a nursing home or ICF-MR. Each program offers several "core" services:
- service coordination (help with managing care needs and services)
- personal support (assistance with daily living activities, i.e. bathing, dressing, meals and housekeeping)
- home health services (nursing, home health aide, and occupational, physical and speech therapy)
- emergency response systems
- respite care (caregiver relief)
Additional services are available under each program. The following is a list of waiver programs in Georgia.
- Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE)
- Independent Care Waiver Program (ICWP) - Updated 12/30/15
- Community Care Services Program (CCSP) - Updated 01/05/16
- New Options Waiver Program (NOW) and Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program (COMP) - Updated 02/06/14
- The Georgia Pediatric Program (GAPP) provides services to medically fragile children with multiple system diagnoses. Services are provided in their homes and communities and in a 'medical' daycare setting as an alternative to placing children in a nursing care facility.
Current waiver documents up for renewal or amendments
Update on COMP Waiver Renewal
A temporary extension of 90 days has been granted to Georgia for the Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program (COMP). The COMP waiver is under review by CMS as part of the every-five-year renewal process. The 90 day extension through June 28, 2016 was granted to allow CMS and the state additional time to complete the review process.
ICWP 4-1-16 Waiver Renewal - Posted 03/24/16
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 transition 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:
- Elderly & Disabled Waiver Transition Plan
- Independent Care Waiver Program
- New Options Waiver and Comprehensive Support Waiver -- Updated 12/01/14
The official Public Notices supporting these activities are available for viewing, as well.
- Elderly & Disabled Waiver Public Notice -- Updated 08/25/14
- Independent Care Waiver Program --Updated 08/25/14
- New Options Waiver -- Updated 08/25/14
- Comprehensive Support Waiver -- Updated 08/25/14
We invite the public to make comment.
There are several ways to submit comment:
- Comments may be submitted using the survey available at this link
- 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.
- Written Comments may be mailed per the instructions on Public Notice.
- 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.
This is the presentation used at the public "Focused Workgroup" 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:
- Identification – describes how the state will identify all the HCBS settings, policies, standards, etc., that will need to be assessed
- Assessment – describes how the assessment will be performed
- 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.
- 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
Presentation HCBS Settings Excluded Settings and Heightened Scrutiny -- Posted 11/ 04/15
HCBS STP Provider November 2015 Conference Presentation - Posted 11/17/15
New Statewide Transition Plan available for Public Comment through September 9, 2016.
PUBLIC NOTICE - Home and Community-Based Waiver Services Statewide Transition Plan - Posted 08/09/16
The Georgia Department of Community Health is required to give public notice related to the state’s plan to comply with new regulation governing the settings in which services to Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services waiver recipients may be provided.
The HCBS Transition Plan explains the steps the state has taken and will take to come into compliance with the Settings Rule Regulation. The Rule provides definitions and characteristics of HCBS (e.g. HCBS are community-integrated) and the state’s responsibility is to explain how it will assure and validate that HCBS waiver services are being provided in a manner that matches the definitions and characteristics.
The public may comment in writing on or before September 9, 2016 by sending postal mail to the Department of Community Health, Attn: HCBS Transition – 37th Floor, 2 Peachtree Street, NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303; or by submitting an email to HCBSTransition@dch.ga.gov; or by fax to 404-656-8366.
To read the Draft Statewide Transition Plan posted for public comment August 8, 2016, please click here.
Georgia Statewide Transition Plan Appendices Documents
- Appendix A -- GA Milestones for HCBS STP - Posted 03/27/17
- Appendix C -- DCH e-blast - Posted 08/08/16
- Appendix D -- HCBS Final Rule Regulatory Change Recommendations - Posted 08/08/16
- Appendix E -- HCBS Settings Rule Policy Review Updated - Posted 08/08/16
- Appendix G -- GHPC Provider Survey Report - Posted 08/08/16
- Appendix H -- Consumer Survey Output - Posted 08/08/16
- Appendix H1-- Provider and Member Response Match Rate - Updated 03/27/17
- Appendix I -- Member Survey Comments - Updated 03/27/17
- Appendix J -- HCBS Policy Remediation Plan Final - Posted 08/08/16
- Appendix K-- GA Remediation Strategy Flow - Posted 08/08/16
- Appendix L -- Settings that Isolate Final - Posted 08/08/16
- Appendix M -- Settings Isolation Survey Summary - Posted 03/27/17
Assessment Tools for Surveying Providers and Individuals
- Provider Cover Memo -- Posted 12/01/14
- TA Instructions Final -- Posted 12/01/14
- Provider Assessment -- Posted 12/01/14
- Individual Assessment -- Posted 12/01/14
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