Sonoma County Human Services Department Selected as a Home and Community-Based Alternatives Waiver Agency

Logo for Human Services Department of Sonoma CountyFollowing a competitive process during winter 2017, Sonoma County Human Services Department (HSD) has been selected to serve as a Home and Community-Based Alternatives (HCBA) Waiver agency by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).

Established in 1915 under the Social Security Act, the HCBA Waiver (formerly the Nursing Facility/Acute Hospital Waiver) is a Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) program. The HCBA Waiver enables the state to offer services not otherwise available through Medicaid (known as Medi-Cal in California) to those who would otherwise require care in a facility. The HCBA Waiver recognizes that many individuals, including those with developmental disabilities, can receive home- or community-based care to help preserve their independence and interpersonal relationships at a cost equivalent to or lower than the cost of institutional care.

The program allows eligible individuals to identify and receive home- and community-based services, allowing them to continue living in their home and community instead of being placed in an institution. A range of services are available through the Waiver, including home respite, environmental accessibility adaptation, family/caregiver training, personal emergency response system (PERS) installation and testing, private duty nursing, and more.

Administration of the HCBA Waiver is being shifted from the state level to local agencies, such as HSD, to increase the efficiency of service delivery and enhance care management services. To formalize this shift, the State of California is establishing contracts with selected waiver agencies to provide Waiver Administration and Comprehensive Care Management services. Within HSD, the Adult and Aging Division (A&A) will provide these services through an interdisciplinary team that includes a public health nurse and social workers.

As part of its Comprehensive Care Management Services, A&A will work with eligible Waiver participants to develop a person-centered plan of treatment of in-home and/or community-based services. Through the provision of Waiver Administration services, A&A will also contract with, support, monitor, and coordinate service providers to provide direct waiver services to clients.

GPG is proud to have supported HSD’s successful application to enable Medi-Cal beneficiaries with high-level care needs in Sonoma County to remain in their homes.