August 15, 2014
In This Issue
*One Month Away! Register Now For the 30th Annual HCBS Conference
*Washington Post Publishes NASUAD's Letter to the Editor
*ACL: Minimizing Challenges and Obstacles to Coordinated Transportation Planning
*BLS: July 2014 Youth Employment Rate Numbers
*CB: Census PoP Quiz Mobile App Challenges Knowledge of State Statistics
*CMS: Hospital Inpatient Payment Regulation
*CMS: Medication Assisted Therapy for Substance Use Disorders through Medicaid
*CMS: Medicaid Drug Rebate Program Reports
*HHS: Federal Health Insurance Marketplace
*HHS: National Health Center Week
*ODEP: Online National Dialogue
*SAMHSA: Feedback on Strategic Plan
*SSA: Deadline Extended: National Disability Coalition
*Congress: August Recess
*NDI: 4th Annual My American Dream Video Contest
*NDRN: A New Resource for Aging and Disability Communities
*NSCLC: New Resource: Poverty and Opportunity Profile of Seniors
*OC: The Student's Guide to Affordable Healthcare
*RUSA: Conference Training Call with Lori Golden
*Reuters: Rural Residents with Disabilities Less Likely to Get Colon Cancer Screening
*Job Announcements
*Just For Fun
*Friday Updates Archive

Save the Date! 

30th Annual National HCBS Conference

September 15-18, 2014 

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One Month Away! Register Now For the 30th Annual HCBS Conference

Don't forget to register for  the 30th Annual National Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Conference from September 15-18, 2014 in Arlington, VA. Today is the last day to register and receive an Early Bird discount!

The conference showcases innovative national, federal, state and local delivery and policy developments vital for assuring that Americans of all ages and abilities receive the highest quality community living supports, care, and services possible. 


This year, NASUAD is celebrating 50 years of working with state aging and disability agencies which will include a gala dinner celebration at the conference (Black Tie Optional). Please note that the gala is complimentary when you register for the conference. 


Click here to register for the conference.

Washington Post Publishes NASUAD's Letter to the Editor

On August 4, 2014, the Washington Post ran a story on elder abuse entitled, Elderly woman in Va. cheated out of savings by lawyer she trusted, family alleges. In response, NASUAD submitted a letter to the Editors of the Washington Post, highlighting the prevalence of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The letter calls upon Congress to fulfill the promise of the Elder Justice Act by fully funding its programs and establishing a national system to protect those who are no longer able to protect themselves. NASUAD is pleased to inform you that the letter was published this week.


Click here to view the letter.

From the Administration
Administration for Community Living

Webinar: Minimizing Challenges and Obstacles to Coordinated Transportation Planning 

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is holding a webinar entitled, What Barrier? Minimizing Challenges and Obstacles to Coordinated Transportation Planning to Improve the Participation of People with Disabilities and Older Adults, on August 20, 2014, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ETThis webinar is part of the ACL-funded Inclusive Transportation Project webinar series that will address how to ensure the continued active engagement of people with disabilities and older adults in coordinated transportation planning. Presenters will identify potential obstacles and challenges and offer solutions for overcoming and preventing those challenges.


Click here to register for the webinar.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

July 2014 Youth Employment Rate Numbers  

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Youth Employment Rate Numbers for July 2014. The employment data for youth with and without disabilities is obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These numbers provide the most accurate data available of the national employment rate of youth.


Click here to view the July 2014 Youth Employment Statistics. 
Census Bureau

Census PoP Quiz Mobile App Challenges Knowledge of State Statistics

This week, the U.S. Census Bureau released Census PoP Quiz, a new interactive mobile application that challenges users' knowledge of demographic facts for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The new app draws from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey and aims to raise statistical literacy about the U.S. population. Census PoP Quiz is the third in a series of Census Bureau mobile appsThe mobile initiative is an example of how the Census Bureau is working to make America's statistics available on any device. This app is free and available for both iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets. 

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Hospital Inpatient Payment Regulation 

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) issued a final rule on the hospital inpatient payment regulation.

The final rule adopts improvements in the quality of care that control payment for hospital acquired conditions (HACs) and readmissions. Due to the final rule, Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient stays are updated at general acute care and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) for fiscal year (FY) 2015. The final rule also builds on the administration's efforts for better hospital patient outcomes and slowing the long-term health care cost growth.    


Click here to view the press release.

Medication Assisted Therapy for Substance Use Disorders through Medicaid

The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) has issued an Informational Bulletin to highlight the use of FDA-approved medications in combination with evidence-based behavioral therapies, commonly referred to as "Medication Assisted Treatment" (MAT). These therapies help persons with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) recover in a safe and cost-effective manner as nearly 12 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries over 18 have a SUD. Specifically, the Bulletin provides background information about MAT, examples of state-based initiatives, and useful resources to help ensure proper delivery of these services. The Informational Bulletin joins a series of other CMCS Informational Bulletins on effective practices to identify and treat mental health and substance use disorders (SUDs) covered under Medicaid.


Click here to view the Informational Bulletin.

Medicaid Drug Rebate Program Reports

The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) released an Informational Bulletin on the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program that provides guidance to states on reporting Medicaid drug rebates on the Quarterly Medicaid Statement of Expenditures for the Medical Assistance Program (the CMS-64) in the Medicaid Budget and Expenditure System (MBES). The Informational Bulletin also ensures that states are able to report drug rebates on the CMS-64 accurately and consistent with federal requirements.


Click here to view the Informational Bulletin.  

Health and Human Services

Federal Health Insurance Marketplace: Requesting Documents to Keep Marketplace Coverage

This week, the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace started sending notices to consumers with a citizenship or immigration data matching issue (also called an inconsistency) who have not responded to previous notices by mail, email, and phone. While the Federal Marketplace has received documents and cleared a large number of data inconsistencies related to citizenship or immigration status, consumers who have not yet responded must submit supporting documents by September 5, 2014 or their Marketplace coverage will end on September 30, 2014.


Click here to view the press release.

National Health Center Week 

In celebration of National Health Center Week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a blog post by Administrator Mary K. Wakefield of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) entitled, Celebrating America's Health Centers. "For more than 45 years, Americans have turned to their local Community Health Centers for vital health care services that help them lead healthy productive lives. And today, 21.7 million patients receive health care services from the nearly 1,300 health centers operating more than 9,200 primary care sites across the nation. For each of these individuals, and those who will turn to health centers for care in the future, the Affordable Care Act has helped to break down barriers so that people can get access to the right care when they need it. The health care law supports the establishment of additional health center sites to provide expanded opportunities for the newly insured to receive care. Since its enactment, more than $6.7 billion Affordable Care Act funds have been awarded to health centers to offer a broader array of primary care services, extend their hours of operations, hire  more providers, and renovate or build  new clinical space." National Health Center Week runs from August 10-16, 2014.


Click here to view the entire blog post.  

Office of Disability Employment Policy 

Online National Dialogue  

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is requesting state governments and other interested stakeholders to participate in an online dialogue from August 4-18, 2014. The online dialogue will reveal best practices that are used to improve the hiring, retention and advancement of workers with disabilities throughout the United States. This virtual event, "State Governments: What Can We Do? Join the Conversation for Change," will be facilitated through ODEP's ePolicyWorks initiative and moderated by ODEP's employer policy team. Participants can post ideas for new and innovative tactics that support the successful employment of individuals with disabilities. Participants can also submit examples of effective practices used in their states, as well as vote and comment on those posted by others participants. These contributions will help inform ODEP's technical assistance activities.


Click here to register for the online dialogue.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Feedback on Strategic Plan

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is seeking feedback on its strategic plan that outlines how it will approach its work to increase awareness and improve understanding about mental and substance use disorders. SAMHSA's work also includes promoting emotional health and wellness, preventing substance abuse and mental illness, increasing access to effective treatment and support recovery. An important component of the strategic plan is to prioritize six Strategic Initiatives and the linkages between these initiatives and SAMHSA's policy, programmatic, and financial planning. This plan mainly offers a framework for common categories of initiatives that enable cross-collaboration and organization of SAMHSA's work. The deadline for feedback is August 18, 2014.


Click here to view the strategic plan and provide feedback.

Social Security Administration

Deadline Extended: National Disability Coalition

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has established a National Disability Coalition that provides an opportunity for all interested stakeholders to share unique insights directly with policy makers and other stakeholders on topics of particular interest to Social Security.


SSA is seeking participants for an online comment forum on the Disability Decision Process. The online forum is now open for public ideas and comments via IdeaScale through August 20, 2014. This forum will assist SSA develop responsive and effective policies that will empower people with disabilities, minimize their financial hardship, and ensure proper use of Disability Trust funds.


The Disability Coalition plans to meet three times per year, beginning with the first meeting on September 24, 2014.  Prior to each meeting, SSA will host a four-week engagement using IdeaScale to promote stakeholder discussion. After the meetings, SSA will host a two-week post meeting engagement to provide a final opportunity for discussion.


Click here to learn more about the Disability Coalition. 
From Congress

August Recess

The House and Senate have adjourned for the August recess. Both chambers will reconvene on September 8, 2014.

From Other Organizations
National Disability Institute

4th Annual My American Dream Video Contest

Last week, the National Disability Institute (NDI) launched its 4th Annual My American Dream - Voices of Americans with Disabilities Video Contest. NDI is seeking individuals with disabilities across the US about their American dreams and the steps they are taking to achieve them. These dreams may involve starting a career, owning a home, going to college or starting a business. The contest prize package will help the grand prize winner take steps toward living his/her American dream. This includes:  

  • $1,000
  • A digital tablet of his/her choice
  • Sessions with a mentor to help the winner take positive steps toward achieving his/her dream 
Click here for more information.
National Disability Rights Network A New Resource for Aging and Disability Communities is a new platform to share information and resources regarding the new Home and Community Based Settings (HCBS) rule and stay informed about steps each state is taking to comply with the new rule. The website is a project of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, and the National Disability Rights Network. It includes news and documents from states, advocacy resources, comment deadlines, and links to the final rule and official guidance.


Click here to send news and resources to post to the site.
National Senior Citizens Law Center

New Resource: Poverty and Opportunity Profile of Seniors

The National Senior Citizens Law Center recently released a new resource on seniors and poverty. The resource, Seniors: Poverty and Opportunity Profile, reported that 15 percent of American seniors aged 65 and older are living in poverty, with a disproportionate number of whom are women and people of color. The resource also reported that nearly 20 percent of seniors are economically vulnerable. Based on these facts, it is critical to provide proper assistance and support to combat poverty and economic security for today and tomorrow's seniors.


Click here to view the resource. recently published a resource guide for students that explains various options for affordable healthcare including an explanation of relevant items in the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and ancillary options such as pharmacy-sponsored prescription discounts, charity care, and community clinics. The resource guide also explains Medicaid options for students with disabilities under the heading "Understanding Medicaid Option". Students with disabilities may qualify for online school coverage options, or low-cost health insurance if they are low income.


Click here to view the resource guide.

Conference Training Call with Lori Golden
RespectabilityUSA is holding a conference call training with Lori Golden on successfully hiring and utilizing the talent of people with disabilities in the workforce. Lori Golden is Ernst & Young's Abilities Strategy leader, driving efforts to build an enabling and inclusive work environment for people of all abilities. According to RespectabilityUSA, Ernst & Young is the best in the country for hiring workers who are white collar. Lori Golden will use Ernst & Young as an example for other organizations during the conference training call.

Click here to register for the conference training call and receive the PowerPoint for the call.

Rural Residents with Disabilities Less Likely to Get Colon Cancer Screening

This month, Reuters featured an article summary of a new study by the Oregon Health and Sciences Center. The study stated that people with disabilities are less likely to get screened for colon and rectal cancer if they live in rural areas. Due to reduced measures that complement these areas, rural residents with disabilities may be at higher risk of getting diagnosed with late-stage cancer than their urban counterparts. Willi Horner-Johnson, the study's lead author from Oregon Health and Science University in Portland stated that, "Access to care is a real problem. Rural areas have fewer healthcare providers, especially specialists, and people may have to travel a long way to get colorectal cancer screening." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reports that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. For people between the ages of 50 and 75, the government-backed U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for colorectal cancer although past studies have showed barriers to screening between urban and rural dwellers.


Click here to view the article summary.
Job Announcements
Assistant Secretary

The Office of Aging and Adult Services (OAAS) at the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals (DHH) is seeking an Assistant Secretary that will function as chief executive officer for OAAS. This is an Executive Position appointed by the Governor. The incumbent will oversee a budget of over $52 million and a staff of over 400. The incumbent will also be responsible for operating or managing access to over $1 billion in Medicaid long term care services. This position requires executive management skills and extensive knowledge of best practices in the delivery of long term supports and services, among other skills.

Click here
for more information.

Just For Fun
Cool Videos: Alzheimer's Disease

Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, recently started a new series called Cool Videos. Last week's feature involved the lab of Howard Weiner at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA. Set to the "Cups Song" from the movie "Pitch Perfect," the video puts a human face on Alzheimer's disease and features a few of the many researchers who are working hard to find ways of treating and preventing this devastating brain disorder.


Click here for more information.

Friday Update Archive


Did you miss a previous issue?  

Check out past Friday Updates.