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Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)

What are home and community-based services?

Home and community-based services (HCBS) provide support for people with significant long-term care needs, including people living with disabilities or mental illnesses, in the comfort of their homes and communities. These services fall into two categories: health services and human services.

Examples of health services include:

Examples of human services include:

  • Legal services
  • Support for legal needs such as will preparation
  • Support for repairing and modifying clients’ homes
  • Support for personal care needs such as bathing, dressing, eating, and using the toilet
  • Adult daycares

Home and community-based services are primarily provided through Medicaid and funded through HCBS waiver funds from states.
Recipients for HCBS need to be financially and medically eligible. The requirements for eligibility may differ from state to state.

Why are home and community-based services important to healthcare?

Home and community-based services are important because they provide the kind of support that most Medicaid patients in long-term care need.

They also help to reduce the costs that insurers would incur by moving patients to long-term care facilities, and prevent the isolation that patients may otherwise feel if they were moved out of their homes or communities.