GAO Evaluates Federal HCBS Programs

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on May 20, 2015 entitled, “Federal Strategy Needed to Help Ensure Efficient and Effective Delivery of Home and Community-Based Services and Supports.”  The report evaluates a wide range of programs within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Administration on Aging (AOA), Administration for Community Living (ACL), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as programs within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Transportation (DOT), and Agriculture (USDA).   These federal agencies offer assistance through state agencies, local governments, and community-based organizations helping aged and disabled persons to continue to live independently with necessary information and referral services, in-home personal care and homemaker services, home delivered and congregate meals, supportive housing, and specialized transportation services.   Although these services and supports can be integrated effectively at the state and local level through organizations such as Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs), GAO indicates that the federal agencies administer many of the programs in silos, with insufficient collaboration across federal departments.  GAO suggests that the federal agencies adopt a collaborative model including greater cross-departmental development of shared objectives, joint strategies, compatible policies, performance management systems, and reporting on results.