Defining "Community" and other HCBS Waiver Proposals: VOR Comments

VOR’s comments relate to the three substantive sections of the proposed federal rule:

(I) Target Groups;
(II) HCBS settings (defining “community”); and
(III) Person-Centered Planning.

Click here to read VOR Comments: CMS-2296-P, April 15, 2011


VOR Submits Federal Comments on Medicaid and Community

On August 17, 2009, VOR submitted its comments in response to the federal Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and  Human Services which oversees Medicaid programs. The ANPRM asked for comments relating to allowing states to combine home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers for people with different disabilties who have similar functional needs. CMS also sought input on how to define "community."

In its comment, VOR expressed significant concern that current state budget woes and administrative conveniences would prove too great of temptations to States, leading to dangerous comingling of people with incompatable disability-types, leading to tragic consequences. Many real life examples were cited to reinforce VOR's stated concerns. With regard to defining community, VOR pointed out that both facilities and smaller settings can be "integrated." Our comments reinforce the need for choice, and Olmstead's support for choice.


VOR and affiliate Friends of Wyoming Life Resource Center submit joint response to Facilities Task Force Report and Recommendations

December 16, 2014

A Task Force analyzing the role of Wyoming's state-run facilities for seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans presented its final report and recommendations to the legislature at a Tuesday meeting of the Joint Labor, Health and Social Services committee in Cheyenne.

Shawn Humberson, VOR’s Co Wyoming State Coordinator and member of the task force analyzing the role of Wyoming's state-run medical facilities, presented VOR/Friends joint statement to the legislature earlier this week, responding to the Task Force’s recommendations.

Read the VOR and Friends of Wyoming Life Resource Center Joint Response

Read Related Article


One Family's Quest for True Integration and Person-Centered Care

Nelen Norcross is a firm believer in community integration and a person-centered approach to planning care.

She has been a lifelong advocate for her son, Josh, who has profound behavioral challenges, and recently quit her job in corrections/treatment to work for the Wyoming Independent Living Center.

She knows how integration should look for her Josh, but seriously questions whether the State of Wyoming does.

Read full article


Disability Rights Ohio Does Not Speak for Everyone

Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are Entitled by Federal Law to Residential and Employment Choice

October 28, 2014

Disability Rights Ohio (DRO), a federally-funded legal aid organization, has sent a letter to Governor John Kasich and the Directors of the Departments of Developmental Disabilities, Medicaid, and Health Transformation, threatening Ohio with a lawsuit if the State does not take action to “significantly reduce” the number of persons residing in ICFs (Intermediate Care Facilities), and transition them to what DRO characterizes as “small, integrated, community-based” placements. DRO begins its letter by stating, “We write on behalf of thousands of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in private intermediate care facilities.” DRO also seeks to reduce employment choice by denying individuals the right to workshop and day settings.

DRO’s claim that they speak for the 6,800 severely developmentally disabled Ohioans who reside in Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs), and others who benefit from employment choice, is outlandish and wholly untrue. Nor does DRO speak for the tens of thousands of parents, guardians, family members, and friends who know first-hand that an ICF and employment workshops give their loved ones a safe and nurturing home and productive days that will ensure their long-term happiness, and provide for their complex medical and physical needs.

DRO’s disregard for the unique desires and needs of people with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) denies these individuals of their personhood and strips them of their constitutional rights to life, liberty (i.e. choice), and the pursuit of happiness.

Read more


VOR Members Respond to State Home and Community Based Services Transition Plans

The federal regulation defining Home and Community-Based Settings (HCBS) for the purpose of Medicaid HCBS funding requires that States align their Medicaid plans and settings (residential and employment) with the new regulation’s requirements. States must submit a “transition” plan which describes for CMS why current programs are, or will become, aligned with the new regulation. Before submitting their transition plans, the regulation requires states provide for public comment.

In two States – Kentucky and Pennsylvania – VOR members have submitted comments.

Additional VOR member comments will be posted on VOR’s website as they are received. Unless stated otherwise, member comments were developed and submitted independent of VOR.
To see when your State will be submitted its transition plan, visit
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