August 1, 2014
In This Issue
*NASUAD Publishes Updated State Medicaid Integration Tracker
*NASUAD Celebrates 50 Years with a Gala Celebration featuring MILLENNIUM
*24th Anniversary of the ADA
*CDC Annual Report on Improving Health of Persons with Disabilities
*CDC Annual Report on Improving Health of Persons with Disabilities
*Senate Hearing Examines Medicare Observation Status
*Congress Delays August Recess
*CDC Annual Report on Improving Health of Persons with Disabilities
*CMS: New Web Pages on Resources for Integrated Care and Quality
*FDA: Faster, Easier Cures for Hepatitis C
*ODEP: Online Dialogue on STEM Careers for People with Disabilities
*OPM: Hiring, Retaining and Including People with Disabilities Online Course
*OPM: Hiring, Retaining and Including People with Disabilities Online Course
*Illinois Submits Waiver to CMS
*AARP: Employment Indicators for Older Workers
*AFA: Call for Nominations: Dementia Care Professional of the Year
*CAG: ThrowbackSummer: Celebrate the Grandparents and Elders In Our Lives
*ESPA: Webinar: Neighborhood Wayfinding: What You Need to Know to Get Involved
*HA: Site-Neutral Payments
*NDI: First National Report on the Financial Capability of People with Disabilities
*Job Announcements
*Friday Updates Archive

Save the Date! 

30th Annual National HCBS Conference

September 15-18, 2014 

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NASUAD Publishes Updated State Medicaid Integration Tracker

The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) has published the August 2014 Edition of the State Medicaid Integration Tracker, a report which summarizes state actions in managed care for people who receive Medicaid-funded Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS), as well state initiatives relating to services for people who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. This report is updated each month. 


The State Medicaid Integration Tracker focuses primarily on state actions in managed care for people who receive Medicaid-funded LTSS and on state initiatives relating to services and costs of services for people who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.


Click here to view the entire tracker.

Click here to sign up for alerts on tracker updates. 

Patch Adams Speaking at the National HCBS Conference


This year the National HCBS Conference will include a number of exciting plenary speakers and presentations. On Wednesday, September 17th, Patch Adams will address the audience on the topic of humor and health, and bringing joy to caregiving.
Patch Adams, M.D., is a nationally known speaker on wellness, laughter, and humor as well as on health care and health care systems. He approaches the issues of personal, community, and global health with "zestful exuberance," according to Time Magazine.  Patch is both a medical doctor and a clown, but he is also a social activist who has devoted 30 years to changing America's healthcare system.
Dr. Adams believes that "the most revolutionary act one can commit in our world is to be happy."
To learn more about the agenda, click here.  

Click here to register for the conference.

From the White House

24th Anniversary of the ADA

This week marked the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, the ADA remains one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation. 


A landmark law that transformed American society for people with disabilities, it prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to be economically self-sufficient and fully participate in the mainstream of American life -- to enjoy employment opportunities, to live independently, to purchase goods and services, and to access state and local government programs and services.


On July 25, President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation commemorating the ADA's 24th anniversary.  It is available here.


The White House also released a video message from President Obama marking the ADA anniversary.  It is available here.


Preparations for the ADA's 25th anniversary are already underway.  For more information, please visit 

White House Convenes Aging Leaders to Discuss 2015 White House Conference on Aging

Earlier this week, NASAUD was one of several aging organizations invited to the White House to participate in a roundtable discussion on the 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA).   


Cecilia Munoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, hosted the event.  In a blog post later that day, Ms. Munoz described the 2015 WHCOA as "an opportunity to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade. " 


She noted that the White House intends "to use the year ahead to be as creative as possible about using new technology, agencies' regional offices, partners, and other strategies to engage directly with older Americans and stakeholders on these issues. We are looking forward not only to the Conference, but to a year of engagement and dialogue about older Americans' issues and the opportunity to celebrate all that older Americans continue to contribute to our country."


To facilitate this dialogue, the White House plans to launch as the official site for the conference this summer.


The White House blog post is available here

Nora Super Named Executive Director of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging

On Tuesday, the White House announced Nora Super as the Executive Director of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging.


With more than 20 years of experience working in Washington, DC, Ms. Super brings to her new role an impressive background in a wide range of health policy issues, including the Older Americans Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. 


Ms. Super has worked in academia, government, and in the private sector, including as AARP's Director of Federal Government Relations, Health and Long-Term Care; as Director of Public Policy and Government Relations at Kaiser Permanente; and as a Principal Research Associate with the National Health Policy Forum.  Most recently, she served as Director of Public Affairs for the HHS Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology.


A native of New Orleans, Ms. Super studied Political Science at Tulane University and received her Masters Degree in Public Administration, with a concentration on Health Policy, from George Washington University. 

From Congress

Senate Hearing Examines Medicare Observation Status

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing to examine policies around Medicare observation stays.


Titled, Admitted or Not? The Impact of Medicare Observation Status on Seniors, the hearing focused on the increasing use of hospital observation stays and the resulting implications for Medicare patients, their families, and the nation's health care system.


"Observation" is the term used to describe the outpatient status of a patient who is in a hospital bed, but who is not called an inpatient. Patients in observation status receive medical and nursing  services, tests, medications, and food, and they are often intermingled with inpatients. The care is indistinguishable from the care received by inpatients. Although Medicare observation stays are intended to last, at most, 24-48 hours, many older adults and individuals with disabilities experience much longer stays, and at greater frequency.


Since Medicare requires that patients spend at least three consecutive nights in the hospital as an admitted patient in order to qualify for Medicare-covered care in a skilled nursing facility (SNF), a major consequence for beneficiaries of not being classified as inpatients is that their subsequent stays in SNFs are not covered by Medicare. Rather, patients who have been on observation status and need follow up nursing home care must pay the entire cost themselves. 


Several witnesses and members of the Special Committee voiced their support for the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013 (S. 569).  Introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in March 2013, the bipartisan bill seeks to count any midnight a Medicare beneficiary spends in the hospital towards the three-day qualifying stay, regardless of whether that night is observation or inpatient.  Committee Chair Bill Nelson (D-Fl.) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-Maine) are among the 26 Senators who have endorsed the measure.  The companion bill in the house (HR 1179) was introduced by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) last March.  It currently has 158 cosponsors.


The archive video of the hearing, as well as witness testimony, is available for download on the Aging Committee's website, here.


NASUAD endorsed the S. 569/H.R. 1179 in March 2013, signing onto a Leadership Council on Aging Organizations letter in support of the measures.  The letter is available here. 

Congress Delays August Recess

Though Thursday, July 31 was supposed to be the final day of work for lawmakers ahead of a five-week recess, last night, the Senate announced plans to reconvene on Friday.  While the Senate will be in session today, they are expected to adjourn for the August recess this afternoon, and there will be no floor votes until they return in September. 


Also dealing with last minute business, the House will remain in Washington through Friday, and possibly the weekend.  

From the Administration
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC Annual Report on Improving Health of Persons with Disabilities

The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released their Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2013. The report, Improving the Health of People with Disabilities, focused on the work of NCBDDD in
disability and health
. In 2013, NCBDDD communicated public health opportunities to improve the health of people with disabilities, increased public health capacity in 18 states, supported evidence for the health needs and disparities of people with disabilities, and achieved the task of getting 5 of 6 HHS-recommended disability identifier questions in a major CDC survey system.


Click here to view the report. 

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
New Web Pages on Resources for Integrated Care and Quality

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed a new web page on resources for integrated care that are available for health plans and providers. CMS has been supporting efforts to build provider and health plan capacity to deliver more integrated and coordinated care to Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. This new web page highlights technical assistance and actionable tools developed to date. 

These resources are targeted to various types of organizations that serve Medicare-Medicaid enrollees, including behavioral health providers, health plans, long-term service and support providers, and others.


Click here to view the web page.


CMS ha also updated two pages focused on quality the National Quality Forum (NQF) Measure Application Partnership (MAP) Dual Eligible Beneficiaries Workgroup. CMS is committed to improving the quality of health and long-term care services for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees as well as improving the quality of performance of providers of services and suppliers under Medicare and Medicaid.


Click here to view the Quality web page.

Click here to view the NQF MAP Dual Eligible Beneficiaries Workgroup web page.


Food and Drug Administration

Faster, Easier Cures for Hepatitis C

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a new Consumer Update entitled, Faster, Easier Cures for Hepatitis C. The Consumer Update states that advances in drug treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are giving the 3.2 million Americans with chronic hepatitis C a chance at a longer, healthier life. This is important news for baby boomers - a generation that makes up three of four adults with the hepatitis C virus.


Click here to view the Consumer Update. 

Office of Disability Employment Policy

Online Dialogue on STEM Careers for People with Disabilities

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the National Council on Disability (NCD) announced the third online dialogue in their three-part series, "Encouraging People with Disabilities to Pursue Careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)." The purpose of this online dialogue is to gather insight, ideas and recommendations on how to take the necessary steps to ensure job opportunities in the STEM fields are open to everyone, including people with disabilities, and that individuals with disabilities are able to secure and succeed in those positions. Participants are encouraged to contribute their ideas on how to increase the number of people with disabilities pursuing STEM careers, as well as suggestions on how to provide better support to ensure successful employment outcomes in these growing fields. The virtual event began July 28, 2014 and will run through August 8, 2014.


Click here to register to participate in the online dialogue.

Office of Personnel Management

A Roadmap to Success: Hiring, Retaining and Including People with Disabilities Online Course

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has developed an online course entitled, "A Roadmap to Success: Hiring, Retaining and Including People with Disabilities." This course will provide federal employees with basic information and resources to successfully hire, retain, and advance employees with disabilities. This course is also available to agencies at no cost on HR University and the training should be considered required training for human resources personnel and hiring managers. A memorandum to the Chief Human Capital Officers has been issued with instructions for accessing this course.


Click here to view the "Roadmap to Success" online course. 

Social Security Administration

SSA Commissioner Confirmation Process Continues

On July 31st, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the nomination of  Carolyn Watts Colvin as Commissioner of Social Security.  Next steps in the confirmation process include consideration by the full Senate.


Colvin joined the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a clerk stenographer in 1963.  She has worked at the agency on and off ever since, holding such key positions as Deputy Commissioner for Policy and External Affairs (1994-1996), Deputy Commissioner for Programs and Policy (1996-1998), and Deputy Commissioner for Operations (1998-2001).


She also has experience in state and local government, having served as the District of Columbia's Director of Human Services (2001-2003), Director of the Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Health and Human Services (2003-2007), and Special Assistant to the Maryland Secretary of Transportation (2009-2011).


In December 2010, she returned to SSA as Deputy Commissioner, a Senate-confirmed position she held until February 2013, when she became Acting Commissioner. In June, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Colvin as Commissioner of Social Security.


If confirmed by the full Senate, she would succeed Michael J. Astrue, a President George W. Bush appointee whose term expired last year. Her six-year term would continue into the next presidential administration.


A Maryland native, Ms. Colvin received a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Morgan State University.  She has also completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at Harvard University, the Maryland Leadership Program, and the Greater Baltimore Leadership Program.


The archived hearing is available here. 

From the States

Illinois Submits Waiver to CMS

On June 4, 2014, Illinois submitted an 1115 waiver that would enact comprehensive reforms to the Medicaid program.  The waiver would impact all Medicaid eligible populations, including seniors and people with disabilities.  The waiver proposes significant changes to Medicaid LTSS, including consolidating the nine existing waivers into a single 1115, reducing waiting lists, moving individuals from sheltered workshops into integrated employment, and expanding the availability of behavioral health services.  The waiver also proposes to create a fund that would reimburse institutions that reduce capacity or that close, and also to establish an assessment on HCBS providers.  Lastly, the waiver suggests that Illinois may examine institutional eligibility criteria to ensure that policies prioritize services in other settings.


Click here to view the full waiver.

From Other Organizations

Fact Sheet: Employment Indicators for Older Workers

A July 2014 Fact Sheet from the AARP Public Policy Institute looks at the June 2014 employment situation for the workforce aged 55 and older. The unemployment rate for this workforce fell from 4.6 percent to 4.4 percent between May and June and was below what it had been a year earlier (5.5 percent). This improvement, however, was limited to older women. Older men experienced an increase in unemployment (4.6 percent to 4.9 percent). The average duration of unemployment for older jobseekers fell to 48.1 weeks (from 52.5 weeks in May) but was similar to June 2013 (48.2 percent). As of June, almost 47 percent of older jobseekers were long-term unemployed, in other words, they had been out of work and looking for a job for 27 weeks or more; this rate was 47.4 percent in June 2013.


Click here to view the fact sheet.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America 
Dementia Care Professionals of America (DCPA), a division of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA), is seeking nominations for its seventh annual "Dementia Care Professional of the Year" award. The award honors a person who has demonstrated professional excellence in care, compassionate performance that exceeds expectations, and dedication to people with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses. The competition is open to dementia care professionals of all types, including home health aides, social workers, recreational therapists, nurses and doctors. Professionals do not need to be affiliated with DCPA or AFA to be nominated. Applications are due September 1, 2014.

Click here f
or more information.
Caring Across Generations 

ThrowbackSummer: Celebrate the Grandparents and Elders In Our Lives

Caring Across Generations is holding a contest called ThrowbackYearbook to encourage people to share stories of their grandparents and elders. This is a unique opportunity to celebrate and honor these important elders, as part of a new summer-long campaign called ThrowbackSummer

Winning entries will get everything from iPad minis to the grand prize of a dream family vacation. The campaign is based off the yearbook theme and participants can nominate grandparents to win one of five categories: 

  • Life of the Party
  • Best Dressed
  • Most Talented
  • Ahead of Their Time
  • Most Inspiring  

Click here to nominate a grandparent or elder today. 

Easter Seals Project ACTION

Webinar: Neighborhood Wayfinding: What You Need to Know to Get Involved

The Easter Seals Project ACTION is holding a transportation webinar entitled, Neighborhood Wayfinding: What You Need to Know to Get Involved, on August 6, 2014, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET. The webinar will teach about wayfinding and transportation and hub services, and best practices in successful community wayfinding, provide strategies for reaching areas of your community.


Click here to register for the webinar.
Click here to learn more about the webinar, including a powerpoint.
Health Affairs

Health Policy Brief on Payment Delivery Systems

Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a Health Policy Brief that describes the different proposals designed to eliminate differences in Medicare's payment systems that depend on where care and services are delivered. The brief states that at the present time, services that can be provided in a variety of clinical settings may sometimes be paid for at dramatically different payment rates. The brief also states that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) recently proposed eliminating this differential payment for certain services. This brief explains the origin of these differential payments and the debate over approaches that have been proposed for developing so called "site neutral" payments.


Click here to view the brief.
National Disability Institute

First National Report on the Financial Capability of People with Disabilities

The National Disability Institute released a national report on the financial capability of people with disabilities. The report, "Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities - Findings from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation 2012 National Financially Capability Study," shared insights on various agencies' work to advance financial capability for youth and adults with disabilities. The report found that people with disabilities are less financially stable than people without disabilities in nearly all categories analyzed. Categories included making ends meet, planning ahead, managing financial products and financial knowledge and decision making. 

Click here to view the report.

Click here to view the press release.

Job Announcements
Deputy Assistant Secretary

The Office of Aging and Adult Services (OAAS) at the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals (DHH) is seeking a Deputy Assistant Secretary that will work closely with the Assistant Secretary and management team. The incumbent will manage and administer a range of statewide programs and services for persons with age-related and/or adult-onset disabilities. This includes but is not limited to programs and services such as home and community based waivers, adult protective services, and nursing facility admissions. The incumbent should have high level management experience and possess knowledge, skill and ability in assessment and improvement of program effectiveness in complex programs, among other duties.

Click here for more information.

Vice President, Medicare and Managed Long-Term Care Policy

The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) is seeking a Vice President, Medicare and Managed Long-Term Care Policy in Washington, DC. Among other duties, the 

incumbent will work with ACAP Board and ACAP staff to develop ACAP positions on federal policy issues related to Dual Eligibles and long-term care services and other 

health policy and vet with ACAP members; develop annual federal legislative Dual Eligibles and long-term care services
agenda; and develop and implement a work plan to address funding and sustainability issues for plans serving Dual Eligibles and long-term care services.


Click here for more information.

Friday Update Archive


Did you miss a previous issue?  

Check out past Friday Updates.