Change is hard – BUT, it presents an opportunity. The new regulations around the home and community-based settings rule will force states, through their providers and programs, to change settings and services that they have determined are not compliant with the rule. The challenge however, is not only in changing how and where services are delivered. A more significant challenge is how we change people’s minds. The rule includes a new standard for transparency and communication with stakeholders, families and beneficiaries, and into that space has flooded a great deal of information that is confusing and fear-inspiring for caregivers and the people they support. For some people, stability in daily life was hard to establish, and the last thing they want is for the ‘system’ to take that away.
States have up to five years, or March 2019, to do this work. No state can change things overnight. No one will lose services on March 17, 2015, like many providers have scared families into believing. But some services will have to get better – or end – in the next five years. What do we mean by “get better” ?