December 20, 2013
In This Issue
*NASUAD: Friday Update on Holiday Vacation
*I&R Support Center: AIRS Conference Scholarships
*Aging Network Volunteer Collaborative: Got an Hour? Post Your Volunteer Opportunities and Win
*ACL: Community Transportation Podcast
*ACL: Older Americans Month Theme 2014 Announced
*HHS Awards $55.5 Million to Bolster America's Health Care Workforce
*HHS Announces Next Steps to Ensure Marketplace Registration
*CMS: Important Changes to Medicare Coverage in 2014
*CMS:More than 25 million Original Medicare Beneficiaries Receive Free Preventive Services
*White House: Help Spread the Word about Health Care Coverage
*Congress: Senate Approves Two Year Budget Deal
*Congress: Appropriations Under a Tight Deadline
*AAHD Launches ACA National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative Website
*AARP: Report on Use of Medicare Observation Services
*Commonwealth Fund: Medicaid Expansion: How States Stand to Gain or Lose Federal Funds
*GIA: Issue Brief: Elder Financial Abuse
*NAEH: Homelessness: Leveraging Health Care for Supportive Housing
*NCOA: Webinar: Alleviating Elder Economic Insecurity
*Events: 2014 NCRC Annual Conference
*Events: AIRS 2014 Conference & Call for Proposals
*Jobs:AAPD Internship Program
*Jobs:NDRN Publications and Communications Specialist
*Grant: Demonstration Ombudsman Programs
*Grant: Consumer Input for Evidence-Based Healthcare
*Friday Updates Archive
Check out NASUAD iQ!


Friday Update on Holiday Vacation

NASUAD wishes a happy holiday season and healthy new year to our partners in the aging and disability network. Friday Update will return on January 3rd, 2014.

National I&R Support Center

Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) 2014 Conference Scholarships

Friends of AIRS and the AIRS Affiliates are offering six full scholarships to the 2014 AIRS National Conference, June 1- 4, at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel.

Each scholarships covers transportation, hotel and full registration. A seventh scholarship is offered by AIRS and will go to an AIRS member I&R agency that has a program directly involving or serving youth and/or works in the conference host state, Georgia. This special scholarship is named in memory of George R. McKinney, a visionary who devoted countless hours teaching and empowering others. This award covers conference registration only. 

General Eligibility Criteria: Applicants (or their agencies) must be a member in good standing of AIRS; Applicants must be a staff member or volunteer in an I&R organization; Applicants must actively provide information and referral, and/or work on an I&R database, or supervise those that do; Priority will be given to individuals attending their first AIRS Conference; Application and supporting documentation must be completed and submitted within the posted time frames.

The application deadline is Friday, January 17. Please contact Francie Kranzberg at 301/348-7313 or with questions.

Click here for the scholarship application and additional conference details.

Aging Network Volunteer Collaborative

Got an Hour? Post Your Volunteer Opportunities to Win

The Got an Hour? Give it Back Campaign connects potential volunteers with the aging network's opportunities to help seniors. Powered by, the Campaign's website, provides downloadable materials, webinars, and a search tool to help your agency connect to prospective volunteers in your neighborhood.
Post your organization's volunteer opportunities on between now and January 31, and you'll be automatically entered to win a $50 gift card. Contact Rachel Feldman at NASUAD with questions.

Click here to view contest details.
Click here for tips on how to post events.  
From the Administration
Administration for Community Living 

Community Transportation Podcast

In a recent podcast, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) Principal Deputy Sharon Lewis, discusses the Strengthening Inclusive Coordinated Transportation Partnerships to Promote Community Living project, its focus, objectives and outcomes. "Mobility is critical, we are such a transportation dependent society," says Lewis. "Inclusivity is at the heart of the ACL - full membership in society requires full participation." 

Click here to access the podcast.

Older Americans Month Theme for 2014 Announced

Each May, the nation celebrates Older Americans Month to recognize older Americans for their contributions and provide them with information to help them stay healthy and active.  This year, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) is focusing on injury prevention with the theme "Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow." 


Older adults are at a much higher risk of unintentional injury and even death than the rest of the population.  Unintentional injuries to this population result in millions of medically treated injuries and more than 30,000 deaths every year.  With a focus on safety during Older Americans Month, ACL plans to use this opportunity to raise awareness about this critical issue.  By taking control of their safety, older Americans can live longer, healthier lives.

Department of Health and Human Services

HHS Awards $55.5 Million to Bolster America's Health Care Workforce

Earlier this month, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $55.5 million in funding awarded in FY 2013 to strengthen training for health professionals and increase the size of the nation's health care workforce. 


"These grants and the many training programs they support have a real impact by helping to create innovative care delivery models and improving access to high-quality care," Secretary Sebelius said.  


Click here to read the full press release.  

HHS Announces Next Steps to Ensure Marketplace Registration for Health Coverage by January 1

Last week, HHS  Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced additional steps to help consumers who are seeking health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. These steps hope to ensure consumers find coverage that best fits their needs.


Among these steps include: 

  • Requiring insurers to accept payment through December 31 for coverage beginning January 1;
  • Strongly encouraging insurers to refill prescriptions covered under previous plans through January;
  • Encouraging insurers to treat out-of-network providers as in-network providers to ensure continuity of care for acute episodes.

Click here to read the full press release including other next steps.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Important Changes to Medicare Coverage in 2014
As of November 19, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires additional and stricter criteria for meeting the definition of "homebound" status for home health care coverage. In upholding the recent Jimmo vs. Sebelius settlement, CMS revised its policy manual to clarify that a person cannot be denied skilled care coverage solely because his condition may not improve or has "plateaued."  
Click here to review CMS's changes to the homebound criteria.
More Than 25 Million Original Medicare Beneficiaries Receive Free Preventive Services
According to new data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) more than 25.4 million people covered by Original Medicare received at least one preventive service at no cost to them during the first eleven months of 2013, because of the Affordable Care Act.
Before the Affordable Care Act, Medicare recipients had to pay part of the cost for many preventive health services. These out-of-pocket costs made it difficult for people to get the important preventive care they needed. "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of seniors have been able to receive important preventive services and screenings such as an annual wellness visit, screening mammograms and colonoscopies, and smoking cessation at no cost to them," said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.    
Click here for state-by-state information on utilization of free preventive services for people with original Medicare.
From the White House

#Get Covered: Help Spread the Word about Health Care Coverage this Holiday Season

Nearly 365,000 people across the country have picked private plans through the Marketplace, and 800,000 more are enrolled to get Medicaid through their states. These are people for whom health insurance might not have previously been an option. Individuals are encouraged to make sure their friends, neighbors, and coworkers, know about, where they can compare plans, see if they are eligible for financial assistance, and apply for health care coverage.


Click here for ideas on how to spread the message,and learn what people are saying about their Marketplace experience, and encourage others to share their stories.

From Congress

Senate Approves Two Year Budget Deal

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 64-36 to approve the bipartisan budget deal (HJ Res 59) negotiated by House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.).


The agreement, known as the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA), eliminates $63 billion in sequestration cuts over two years, with $45 billion of the increase to apply to FY14 levels and $18 billion to FY15. Just as sequestration cuts are equally divided between defense and non-defense programs, so too is the sequestration relief provided under the negotiated deal.


As a result of these new topline numbers, total discretionary spending in FY14 will be set at $1.012 trillion.  Of this amount, $520 billion will go to defense programs, while $492 billion will be available to fund non-defense programs.  By contrast, under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, PL 112-25), FY14 discretionary spending would have been capped at roughly $967 billion: $497 for defense and $469 for non-defense.


To more than offset the restored discretionary spending authority - and therefore achieve additional deficit reduction - the agreement also includes $85 billion in cuts to mandatory programs and non-tax revenue increases.  Among the major offsets is a two-year extension of the BCA's requirement that certain mandatory spending be sequestered each year, including payments to Medicare providers and the Social Services Block Grant.  Under current law, sequestration is scheduled to end in 2021; extending the cuts on the mandatory side through FY23 would achieve $28 billion in savings.   Additionally, provisions requiring new federal workers to pay more toward their retirement plans and reducing the cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for military retirees under the age of 62 would save $12.2 billion.


The measure also includes a three-month extension of the "doc fix" to prevent cuts in Medicare payments to physicians that would otherwise occur on January 1.


Nine Senate Republicans joined all 53 Democrats and two Independents to support the legislation.  The House approved the measure last week 332-94, and Senate passage clears the way for appropriators in both chambers to develop spending bills for the remainder of FY14.


For more information on sequestration, please see NASUAD's recently-released analysis, Sequestration in 2014, available here. 

Appropriations Under a Tight Deadline

The Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA, HJ Res 59) sets total discretionary spending in fiscal year (FY) 2014 at $1.012 trillion.  Of this amount, $520.5 billion will fund defense programs, while $491.8 billion will be available to fund non-defense programs.


Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and her House Counterpart, Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) have indicated they hope to join together all 12 individual appropriations bills in an omnibus spending package, which would set funding levels for the remainder of FY14.   They hope to bring such a bill to the floor before the current Continuing Resolution (CR, PL 113-46) expires on January 15.


In anticipation of this quick turnaround, Sen. Mikulski and Rep. Rogers began negotiations to allocate the BBA-set funding levels among the 12 appropriations bills shortly after the deal was first unveiled.   These individualized funding levels, known as 302(b) allocations, are the numbers that appropriations subcommittees will use to write their respective FY14 spending bills.


In allocating these dollars, Congressional appropriators will have the same discretion they always do in deciding what programs to fund and by how much.  Accordingly, until FY14 appropriations bills are written, we will not know which programs will receive a portion of the restored funding. 


Though most subcommittee chairmen have received their retooled allocations by now, these numbers are being closely held, and are expected to remain so until an omnibus reaches the floor.   With these funding levels now in hand, appropriators and their staffs can begin full-fledged negotiations around policy and spending differences that were present in the House and Senate FY14 budget resolutions and appropriations bills, all but the most contentious of which are expected to be resolved by early January.


If appropriators are unable to find consensus on one or more of the 12 spending bills before this deadline, which is likely, they will have to rely on another short-term CR to maintain program funding while they settle any outstanding issues.

From Other Organizations

American Association on Health and Disability

AAHD Launches ACA National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative Website

The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) is pleased to announce the launch of their new website for the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC). The NDNRC is an initiative aimed at providing cross-disability information and support to Navigators and other enrollment specialists, thereby ensuring people with disabilities receive accurate information when selecting and enrolling in insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces.


The recently launched website has news and resources designed to support groups who are providing enrollment assistance to consumers with disabilities as they enroll for coverage through the marketplaces. In the near future, the website will have a technical assistance guide to inform navigators and other enrollment specialists about special considerations people with disabilities face as they shop for healthcare coverage. Over the following months, the NDNRC website expects to publish 17 fact sheets with more information regarding specific disability related issues including state specific information.


For more information contact Karl Cooper, AAHD Project Associate at

AARP Public Policy Institute

Report Finds Rapid Growth in Use of Medicare Observation Services

In November 2013, the AARP Public Policy Institute released a new report examining the use of hospital observation status for Medicare patients.   Hospital emergency rooms sometimes hold patients for observation before admitting them or sending them home.  For Medicare patients, the distinction is important because it can affect out-of-pocket costs and quality of care.  The report entitled, Rapid Growth in Medicare Hospital Observation Services What's Going On?, analyzed the frequency and duration of the use of observation status for Medicare beneficiaries between 2001 and 2009.


The report explores the reasons for growth in the use of observation services as well as potential policy solutions, including counting time spent in observation toward the three-day stay requirement.  Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate (sponsored by Representatives Joe Courtney (D-Conn) and Tom Latham (R-Iowa) and Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) to count the time spent in observation toward the three-day stay requirement.  The legislation is the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013 (H.R. 1179/S 569).


Click here to view the full AARP report. 

The Commonwealth Fund

Issue Brief on Medicaid Expansion: How States Stand to Gain or Lose Federal Funds

The Commonwealth Fund released an issue brief entitled,

How States Stand to Gain or Lose Federal Funds by Opting In or Out of Medicaid Expansion.  The report examines how participation in Medicaid expansion will affect the movement of federal funds to each state. Findings of the report indicate that states choosing to participate in the expansion will experience a more positive net flow of federal funds than will states choosing not to participate. In addition to providing valuable health insurance benefits to low-income state residents, and steady sources of financing to state health care providers, the Medicaid expansion will be an important source of new federal funds for states.

Grantmakers in Aging and National Community Reinvestment Coalition

Issue Brief: Elder Financial Abuse

Greantmakers in Aging, in collaboration with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)'s, National Neighbors Silver, prepared an issue brief on elder financial abuse. The issue brief provides background information on elder financial abuse, recommends strategies for prevention, highlights innovative funding initiatives, notes trending topics in elder abuse, and identifies organizations and resources for funders that are interested in tackling this growing challenge.  


Click here to read the full report.

National Alliance to End Homelessness

Reducing Homelessness: Report on Leveraging Health Care for Permanent Supportive Housing

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers needed resources to states and communities struggling to help individuals who are homeless and strengthen housing stability. As recognized in Opening Doors, the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, delivering on the promises of the ACA calls for partnerships and collaborations at all levels and across the systems that serve people experiencing homelessness. To assist organizations working collaboratively toward reducing/ending homelessness in the U.S., the National Alliance to End Homelessness released a paper entitled, Changing the Terms: How Communities are Leveraging Health Care for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Capacity.


The report describes models that have begun to emerge since the ACA implementation, and is intended to encourage community leaders to consider opportunities and possible next steps to incorporate health care reform in plans to end chronic homelessness.

National Council on Aging

Webinar: Alleviating Elder Economic Insecurity: Resources for Communities

On January, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET, NCOA and IlluminAge are hosting a webinar about progress and lessons learned from a new holistic approach to economic security that involves a new way of thinking about service delivery at the community level.


The webinar will also cover EconomicCheckUp®, a new online consumer tool from NCOA that can empower low-income seniors to assess their financial needs and seek assistance with important services related to budgeting, money management, credit and debt, employment assistance, and access to community resources.


Click here to register.

2014 NCRC Annual Conference  

The 2014 National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) Annual conference, "A Just Economy: Ideas, Action, Impact," will take place March 12-15 in Washington, DC. This conference is one of the largest national gatherings of community non-profits, policymakers, government officials, small businesses, media, and academia - all focused on how we can work together to create a more just economic framework.


The conference will feature workshops and plenaries on access to credit and capital, housing, community organizing and advocacy, workforce and community development, fair lending and business development.


Click here for more information and to register.

AIRS 2014 Conference and Call for Proposals

The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) 2014 Conference will be held from June 1-4 in Atlanta, GA. AIRS is accepting conference proposals from now through March 1, 2014.


NASUAD is coordinating the Aging and Disability Track  again this year, and is seeking proposals on the following topics (noted by 2013 conference participants): 

Quality Assurance; ADRC/211 partnership; Mental health needs; Homelessness and aging/disability; Aging with intellectual disabilities; Affordable Care Act: How is it affecting older adults and people with disabilities?; Options Counseling; Medicaid Managed Care; Reaching hard-to-reach communities: LGBT, minority groups, immigrants, etc.; Use of technology for online events, fundraising and social media... And other ideas you may have.


Contact Sara Tribe, manager of the AIRS Conference Aging and Disability Track, with questions or to discuss proposal ideas.


Click here for more information on the conference, and to access the proposal application.

American Association of People with Disabilities Internship Program

American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)'s Summer Internship Program provides the opportunity to gain hands-on professional experience to help advance your career goals. Interns will receive a stipend, mentor matching, and additional resources during the summer. Candidates interested in the professional arena of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and veterans with disabilities are highly encouraged to apply. 


Click here for more information. 

NDRN Publications and Communications Specialist
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the voluntary national membership association of Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agencies and Client Assistance Programs (CAP) designated in every state and territory in the United States. 

The Publications and Communications Specialist is responsible for all aspects of organizational communications, including, but not limited to, publications, website, and media relations. Click here to learn more about the position and to apply.
Funding Opportunities
Demonstration Ombudsman Programs

Full Title: Support for Demonstration Ombudsman Programs Serving Beneficiaries of Financial Alignment Models for Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees

Issuing Agency: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Eligible Applicants: State governments

Funding Level: $3,000,000 to $275,000

Close Date: January 13, 2014, 3:00 p.m. ET

Funding Opportunity Number: CMS-1J1-13-001

CFDA Number: 93.634 

Description:  This Funding Opportunity will provide financial assistance over a three-year period to States to plan, develop and provide Demonstration Ombudsman Program services to individuals who participate in the Financial Alignment model. In providing an Ombudsman Program, States will ensure that individual beneficiaries have access to person-centered assistance in resolving problems related to the Demonstration. In addition, a Demonstration Ombudsman Program will inform States, Plans, CMS, and other stakeholders regarding beneficiary experience with the Plans and will recommend areas of improvement in States' Financial Alignment Initiatives. Applications must be submitted via


Click here for more information on this grant opportunity, and to access the grant announcement.  
Consumer Input for Evidence-Based Healthcare

Full Title: Deliberative Approaches: Patient and Consumer Input for Implementing Evidence-Based Health Care (R21)

Issuing Agency: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Eligible Applicants: State governments; Native American tribal governments and organizations; County governments; City or township governments

Funding Level: $200,000

Close Date: February 7, 2014, 5:00 p.m. local time

Funding Opportunity Number: RFA-HS-14-007

CFDA Number: 93.226


Description:  Deliberative methods offer means to gain insight into patient and public views that can inform and improve clinical, program, and policy decisions in health care. The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to use deliberative methods to understand and clarify important public or patient values and concerns that affect the implementation of specific interventions, programs or policies to improve health care or research. Applications must be submitted via

Click here for more information on this grant opportunity, and to apply. 

Friday Updates Archive


Did you miss a previous issue?  

Check out past Friday Updates.