November 21, 2014
In This Issue
* NASUAD Presents the Katie Beckett Award to Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter
* NASUAD Awards Senator Bernie Sanders with the Arthur S. Flemming Award
* NASUAD Survey Results: Waiver Services for Individuals with Physical Disabilities
*I&R Center: Presentation and Audio Available from I&R Center's Webinar on HCBS Regulation
*ACL:Open Enrollment for Health Coverage
*CMS: New and Improved Medicaid Website
*CMS: Webinar: Understanding Medicare
*CMS Releases PASRR Report
*CMS Releases Medicaid Adult Quality Report
*CMS Releases September Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment Report
*HHS OIG Releases FY2015 Audit Plan
*House Passes TBI Reauthorization Act
*New Jersey Caregiver Law
*AIRS Releases 2015 Conference Call for Proposals
*ASA:Webinar: Solving Communication Issues within Families
*ASA: Joint Certificate Program Offered by ASA and USC
*Mathematica: Analyzing the Changing Expenditures of the Transition from Institutional Care to HCBS
*Mathematica: Forum and Webinar: Disability and Well-Being: Barriers to Improving Quality of Life for People with Disabilities
*NCOA: Healthy LGBT Aging Photo Contest
*NCOA Grants for New Benefits Enrollment Centers
*NDNRC: Webinar: Understanding the Health Coverage Needs of People with Disabilities
*NSCLC: Webinar: Dual Eligible Demonstrations
*Events
*NASI Annual Conference: Medicare and Medicaid: The Next 50 Years
*NIH: Alzheimer's Disease Research Summit 2015
*ASA: 2015 Aging in America Conference
*Job Postings
*Friday Updates Archive
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From NASUAD  

NASUAD Presents the Katie Beckett Award to Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter

On November 19, 2014, NASUAD presented the 3rd Katie Beckett Award to Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter for her work in support of human rights and caregiving. The award honors Katie Beckett, a national hero who championed the rights of individuals to live in whatever place they call home. 

 

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has worked for more than three decades to improve the quality of life for people around the world. Today, she is an advocate for mental health, caregiving, early childhood immunization, human rights, and conflict resolution through her work at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She created and chairs The Carter Center's Mental Health Task Force, an advisory body of experts, consumers, and advocates promoting positive change in the mental health field.

NASUAD Board President James Bulot presenting the Katie Beckett Award to Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

NASUAD Awards Senator Bernie Sanders with the Arthur S. Flemming Award 

NASUAD honored Senator Bernie Sanders with the 2014 Arthur S. Flemming Award on November 19. The core of what is now commonly called the national Aging Network, consisting of state agencies on aging, sub-state area agencies on aging and thousands of service providers grew out of the leadership of Dr. Flemming.

 

Senator Bernie Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 after serving 16 years in the House of Representatives. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. 

Senator Sanders receiving the Arthur S. Flemming Award from NASUAD Executive Director Martha Roherty and Senior Director Damon Terzaghi.

 

Sanders has focused on the shrinking middle class and widening income gap in America that is greater than at any time since the Great Depression. His other priorities include  global warming, health care, fair trade policies, supporting veterans and preserving family farms. Sanders serves on five Senate committees: Budget; Veterans; Energy; Environment; and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. 

Survey Results:  Waiver Services for Individuals with Physical Disabilities

NASUAD recently surveyed its members to learn which states offer waiver services for individuals with physical disabilities under age 65; and what percentage of qualifying individuals utilize these waiver services in each state.

For the states that completed the survey and provided service utilization rates: 

  1. An average of about 55 percent of qualifying individuals with physical disabilities under age 65 utilize home-delivered meal services;
  2. An average of about 52 percent of qualifying individuals with physical disabilities under age 65 utilize personal emergency response systems (PERS) services;
  3. An average of about 33 percent of qualifying individuals with physical disabilities under age 65 utilize Adult Day Health services; and
  4.  An average of about 9 percent of qualifying individuals with physical disabilities under age 65 utilize Adult Day Social services. 

Click here to read the results of the survey. 

National I&R Support Center

Presentation and Audio Available from I&R Center's Webinar on HCBS Regulation  

Materials, including the slide presentation and audio recording, are now available from the Information & Referral Support Center's November 12th webinar on the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services regulation. 

 

In January 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released regulations that will lead to significant changes in Medicaid-funded home and community-based services (HCBS). These regulations reflect changing expectations regarding person-centered planning, conflicts of interest, and community integration. This webinar featured NASUAD's Senior Director Damon Terzaghi, who discussed the major provisions of the rule; current status of state activities to become compliant; and potential implications to individuals' services.

To access the materials, visit the NASUAD I&R Center

here.  

From the Administration
Administration for Community Living 

Open Enrollment Period and New PSA on the Affordable Care Act  

On November 15, open enrollment for purchasing 2015 health coverage began through healthcare.gov. Open enrollment runs until February 15th. This time period is an opportunity for individuals already enrolled in healthcare to re-enroll and for individuals not yet enrolled to sign up to begin receiving healthcare. Additionally, the White House just announced the release of a new Public Service Announcement discussing people with disabilities and the Affordable Care Act.  

 

Click here to view the new PSA video.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Medicaid Launches New Website

To accompany the recent launch of the 2015 Marketplace open enrollment period, the Medicaid.gov home page has a new look and streamlined features. To facilitate consumers interested in learning how to apply for Medicaid coverage, a new Consumer Action page has been created. 

 

State Medicaid and CHIP profiles have been expanded to provide a more complete picture of the many policy and programmatic features, including Medicaid and CHIP eligibility levels; monthly Medicaid and CHIP enrollment data; a state-specific list of approved state plan amendments and waivers; links to detailed Medicaid managed care profiles and children's participation rates in Medicaid and CHIP.  

Webinar: Understanding Medicare

The CMS National Training Program is hosting an Understanding Medicare webinar on Wednesday,
December 3, 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET. This webinar is designed for new partners who counsel people with Medicare, and for partners requiring a refresher. Participants will receive a high-level overview of Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance), Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage), and Medicare Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage).


The audio portion of the webinar will be delivered through the  computer. Please check computer settings in advance to ensure that speaker volume is adjusted appropriately. 

 

Click here to register.

CMS Releases PASRR Report

On Friday, November 14, CMS released a report on the Medicaid Preadmission Screening and Resident Review program. Under Federal law, individuals with an intellectual disability, a mental illness, or a related condition are entitled to special protections in nursing home settings. The PASRR program includes mandatory screening protocols to identify individuals with a qualifying condition in a nursing home, in order to provide them with person-centered supports that enable an individual to live in the most integrated setting appropriate to the individual's needs and preferences. 

 

However, the report raises concerns regarding the initial screening processes used by many states to identify individuals who may qualify for these protections. In PASRR, a "Level I" screening is used to identify individuals who may have a qualifying condition. These individuals are then referred to a more comprehensive "Level II" screen. The report notes that, in many states, the Level I screening process does not contain all of the elements necessary to identify individuals who should receive a Level II screen. Therefore, the report concludes, many states are under-identifying individuals with intellectual disabilities or mental illnesses in their nursing homes. CMS indicates that they will be reaching out to states in order to improve the Level I screening process. 

 

Click here to view the full report.

CMS Releases Medicaid Adult Quality Report

CMS released the first-ever report of adult quality measures in Medicaid on November 19. The report, mandated by the ACA, provides information on the Medicaid Adult Core Set of quality measures as well as summaries of Medicaid External Quality Review reports for managed care entities. According to the summary, 30 states reported Adult Core measures in 2013; however, CMS did not release findings from the measures since it was the first year of reporting. Instead, CMS intends to use the 2013 data as a baseline for improving collection and knowledge, and to release state-specific information in next year's report. Although CMS did not provide information on the Adult Core measures, they did include managed care performance metrics in the report. CMS notes that health plan performance was highest on diabetes care and medication management measures; while it was lowest on access to and utilization of behavioral health services.

 

The full report is available here

CMS Releases September Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment Report

On November 19, CMS released the most recent version of the Medicaid eligibility and enrollment report. According to the report, Medicaid enrollment grew by approximately 340,000 people between August and September nationwide. Overall, an additional 9.1 million people are enrolled in Medicaid than were in the program before ACA open enrollment began in October 2013. 

 

The report is available here.

Health and Human Services

HHS Office of Inspector General Releases FY2015 Audit Plan

Among the many audits and studies that the Office of Inspector General (OIG) will undertake in this fiscal year, a handful are of particular interest to agencies serving the elderly and those with disabilities, including these related to Medicaid funding:

  • Adult day health care services: OIG will review Medicaid payments by States for adult day care services to determine whether providers complied with Federal and State requirements.
  • Room and board costs associated with HCBS waiver program payments: OIG will determine whether selected States claimed Federal reimbursement for unallowable room and board costs associated with services provided under the terms and conditions of HCBS waiver programs. They will also determine whether HCBS payments included the costs of room and board and identify the methods the States used to determine the amounts paid.
  • Community First Choice State plan option under the Affordable Care Act: OIG will review Community First Choice (CFC) payments to determine whether the payments are proper and allowable. 
  • Payments to States under the Balancing Incentive Program: OIG will review expenditures the States claimed under the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) to ensure that they were for eligible Medicaid long-term services and support (LTSS) and determine whether the States used the additional enhanced Federal match in accordance with 10202 of the ACA. 
  • Medicaid managed care reimbursement: OIG will review States' managed care plan reimbursements to determine whether MCOs are appropriately and correctly reimbursed for services provided. OIG will ensure that the data used to set rates are reliable and include only costs for services covered under the State plan as required by or costs of services authorized by CMS (42 CFR 438.6(e).). Also, OIG will verify that payments made under a risk-sharing mechanism and incentive payments made to MCOs are within the limits set forth in Federal regulations.

OIG is also reviewing Senior Medicare Patrol projects' performance data. The full OIG workplan can be found here. 

From Congress
House of Representatives
House Passes TBI Reauthorization Act

On November 13, the House of Representatives passed the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act of 2014. The legislation previously passed the Senate and has been presented to the President for his signature. The bill reauthorizes several key components of the TBI act through 2019, including grants to states for TBI services as well as TBI prevention and surveillance registry programs. The bill also directs HHS to develop a plan for coordination of Federal TBI activities. 

 

Click here to read the full story.
 

From the States
New Jersey
New Jersey Caregiver Law

On November 13, New Jersey passed a caregiver law that requires hospitals to give instructions and training to caregivers when their loved ones are discharged to home. The legislation allows hospital patients to identify a caregiver who will provide assistance when the patient is discharged. Upon identifying the caregiver, the hospital must include the contact information of the caregiver in the patient's medical file. Within 24 hours of the decision to discharge the patient, the hospital must contact the caregiver to share a recovery plan and provide a live training or recorded demonstration of the tasks involved in the recovery plan. Oklahoma is the only other state with a caregiver law, though the legislation is now a nationwide priority of the AARP.

 

Click here to read the full story.
 

From Other Organizations
Alliance of Information and Referral Systems
AIRS Releases 2015 Conference Call for Proposals

The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) has released the call for proposals for the 2015 Annual Information and Referral (I&R) Training and Education Conference. Next year's conference is being held in Dallas, Texas with pre-conference intensives on May 27 and the regular conference May 28-30


 

AIRS is seeking workshops addressing the breadth of I&R service delivery. The Aging and Disability track provides a valuable opportunity to share developments and effective practices in serving older adults and persons with disabilities with I&R colleagues across the country. This track is coordinated by NASUAD's I&R Support Center, which strongly encourages aging and disability I&R agencies to review the call for proposals and consider a submission. Past topics are listed on the AIRS site here, and the current call for proposals is available here. For ideas on workshop topics, please see these suggestions from conference attendees. Additionally, topics such as elder justice, mental health, aging with a disability, developments in home and community-based services, cross-sector partnerships and collaboration, no wrong door system building, ADRC funding and sustainability, business acumen, and data collection and quality assurance are topics of interest in aging and disability I&R. 
 

The deadline for proposal submissions is February 10, 2015. Send submissions for the Aging and Disability track to Nanette Relave at nrelave@nasuad.org.

American Society on Aging

Webinar: Solving Communication Issues within Families

On Wednesday, 
December 3, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET, the American Society on Aging will host a webinar focusing on family caregiver communication. Sibling relationships and the quality of an older adult's care can be at risk due to unresolved family conflicts, but with the approaches outlined in this webinar, caregiving can make families stronger. The webinar will teach practical tips to open discussions between adult siblings to help them improve communication skills, develop teamwork, make decisions together and divide the workload involved in caring for aging parents. 

This webinar is part of the Family Caregiver Support series. It free and open to ASA members and includes complimentary CEUs.  

 

Click here to register.

Joint Certificate Program Offered by ASA and the USC Davis School of Gerontology

The American Society on Aging (ASA) and University of Southern California (USC) have joined forces to offer an opportunity--exclusively available to ASA members--to earn a certificate from USC in a convenient and flexible online format. Over the course of five weeks, USC faculty will teach the fundamental concepts of gerontology and provide practical and theoretical perspectives to help students gain a broader understanding of the field.

 

The first session starts January 26, 2015. Register here

Mathematica Policy Reseach
Analyzing the Changing Expenditures of the Transition from Institutional Care to HCBS 

Mathematica Policy Research recently published an analysis of expenditures of people who transition from institutional care to community-based long-term services and supports. The project analyzed the role of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration grant program, which helps long-term residents of institutions move back to the community. By comparing MFP participants to similar Medicaid beneficiaries who experienced the same transition without participating in MFP, the study found that MFP participants experience higher HCBS expenditures but lower post-transition Medicaid and Medicare medical care expenditures. The higher HCBS expenditures are therefore partially offset by the higher medical expenditures other people who transistion experience.


 

Click here to access the full report.

Forum and Webinar: Disability and Well-Being: Barriers to Improving Quality of Life for People with Disabilities 

The Center for Studying Disability Policy (CSDP) will be hosting a forum webinar on the barriers to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. The event will be held on Thursday, December 4, from 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ETat Mathematica's Washington, DC, office or via webinar. Lunch will be provided.

 

The event will discuss:

  •  The extent to which adults with disabilities spend more time in health-related activities and less time in other activities compared with adults without disabilities
  • Reasons why some recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance live in poverty despite their receipt of benefits
  • Factors associated with the ability of workers with disabilities to obtain adequate and timely health care

Register for the forum and webinar here.

National Council on Aging
Healthy LGBT Aging Photo Contest
The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging and the National Institute of Senior Centers are seeking photos highlighting the beauty of LGBT aging. Submissions should be fun, diverse, and positive photos that exemplify what it is to be an aging lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender person. Winners will receive an Amazon gift card and have their story featured online.

Find contest details here.
NCOA Grants for New Benefits Enrollment Centers
NCOA's Center for Benefits Access is seeking nonprofit or public agencies to be part of our next cohort of Benefits Enrollment Centers (BEC). BECs use person-centered strategies in a coordinated, community-wide approach to find and enroll Medicare beneficiaries-both seniors aged 65+ years and adults living with disabilities, aged 21-64, who have limited income and resources-into available benefits. The primary focus is on Medicare Part D Extra Help (or Low-Income Subsidy, LIS), Medicare Savings Programs (MSP), Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
  
Organizations eligible to apply for BEC grants include state or community-based nonprofit organizations, government agencies, faith-based organizations, and coalitions addressing the needs of older adults and younger adults with disabilities. Organizations that have been funded in the past as BECs are not eligible for this award. Successful applicants will receive up to $100,000 over 15 months to enroll Medicare beneficiaries in core benefits. The deadline for full proposals is December 12th, 5:00 p.m. ET.
 
Click here to access the RFP.
National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative

Webinar: Understanding the Health Coverage Needs of People with Disabilities

The NDNRC, along with the Administration for Community Living, will present on the weekly CMS Assisters webinar this Friday, November 21, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. The presentation will help attendees develop an understanding about what questions a person with a disability needs to think about when they are considering their health care options in the ACA Marketplace.

 

To register for the webinar click here

National Senior Citizens Law Center

Webinar: Dual Eligible Demonstrations - An Update for Advocates

On Wednesday, December 3, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET, the National Senior Citizens Law Center will present a free webinar on the dual eligible demonstrations. Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of dual eligible beneficiaries in several states received enrollment notices as part of the Financial Alignment Initiative. On January 1, 2015, another large wave of enrollment will begin. The webinar will provide an update for advocates navigating the existing enrollment process, as well as prepare advocates of states expected to begin enrollment in 2015.

 

More specifically, the webinar will: provide a status update on enrollment numbers and timelines; explore common enrollment and care delivery themes in live demonstration states; offer tips for advocates managing early demonstration challenges; and share policy questions for states with later implementation dates.


Click here to register for the webinar.

Events
NASI Annual Conference: Medicare and Medicaid: The Next 50 Years
The National Academy of Social Insurance's 27th annual conference, Medicare and Medicaid: The Next 50 Years,
January 28-29, 2015, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, will feature five pre-conference roundtable sessions. Each roundtable session has been developed by Academy members to focus discussion on key issues in the social insurance policy arena.

 

Roundtable topics include:

  • The Link Between Retirement Security and Long-Term Care
  • Integrated Care: Breaking Down the Workers' Compensation and General Health Care Silos
  • Health Insurance Exchanges - What Have We Learned?
  • Supporting Work: Strategies to Boost Employment for People with Disabilities
  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits, Financing, and Reemployment Services after the Great Recession

Uwe Reinhardt, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University, will give keynote speech to followed by a full day of discussion on the  innovations affecting the healthcare landscape and redefining the policy and operating environment for Medicare and Medicaid.

 

Early bird rates expire on November 30th (Save $175!)

Click here to register.

Alzheimer's Disease Research Summit 2015

The Alzheimer's Disease Research Summit 2015: Path to Treatment and Prevention will be held February 9-10, 2015 at the National Institutes of Health. The central goal of the Summit is to continue the development of an integrated multidisciplinary research agenda necessary to address critical knowledge gaps and accelerate the discovery and delivery of effective treatments for Alzheimer's patients at all stages of disease. Key to achieving this goal is the identification of resources/infrastructure and multi-stakeholder partnerships necessary to successfully implement this research agenda and strategies to empower patients and engage citizens.

  

Click here to register.

2015 Aging in America Conference

The American Society on Aging is hosting its 2015 Aging in America Conference from March 23-27 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. The five-day conference includes workshops on senior poverty, the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, and the National Forum on Social and Health Disparities in Aging. The full conference schedule is available here.

 

Register here by December 5 to save $100. 
Job Postings
Public Policy Intern at NASUAD

The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD), the membership organization of the agencies in state government that manage programs for older people and adults with physical disabilities, seeks a public policy intern.

 

Responsibilities include analyzing aging and disability data, developing and/or maintaining databases, assisting with project management, and conducting legislative and policy research. 

 

Applicants must have strong data analytic, data management, research and written communication skills. Candidacy for a Master's Degree in Public Policy, Public Administration or Public Health is required. Hours are flexible to accommodate classes.

 

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to: eristeen@nasuad.org. NASUAD is committed to providing equal opportunities for all applicants for employment.

Program Officer with NY Community Trust Foundation

The New York Community Trust, the community foundation for New York City, seeks a program officer for its health and people with special needs program. The officer has primary responsibility for projects and grants related to the elderly, blindness, and children and youth with disabilities.

 

Learn more about the open position here

DC Office of Aging: Program Evaluator
This position is located in the D.C. Office on Aging (DCOA), Office of the Executive Director. The D.C. Office on Aging's mission is to advocate, plan, implement, and monitor programs on health, education, employment, and social services which promote longevity, independence, dignity and choice for our senior citizens.

Click here to learn more.

Friday Update Archive

 

Did you miss a previous issue?  

Check out past Friday Updates.