December 12, 2014
In This Issue
*FCC Seeks Nominations for New Diversity Advisory Committee
*GAO Report Released on CMS Durable Medical Equipment Bidding Program
*HHS: 2015 Healthy Aging Summit Call for Abstracts
*OIG Assesses Provider Availability in MCO Networks
*OPM Report on Employment of Individuals with Disabilities
*House Passes FY2015 Appropriations
*AARP: Modern Family Caregiving Blog
*AIRS Releases 2015 Conference Call for Proposals
*Easter Seals Project ACTION: Webinar: Section 5310 Funds to Enhance Service
*FCA: A Sibling's Guide to Caring for Aging Parents
*NAHSP: New Learning Collaborative: Request for Applications
*NAHSP: Webinar: A Walk in Someone Else's Shoes
*NADSP: Call for Nominations for Annual Moving Mountains Awards
*NCOA Grants for New Benefits Enrollment Centers
*NDNRC: New Population-Specific Fact Sheets
*Think College: Survey on Accreditation Standards
*United Health Foundation: Publication of 25th Annual America's Health Rankings
*VCU-RRTC Brief Examines Employment Outcomes for Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries
*Job Postings
*Friday Updates Archive
Check out NASUAD iQ!

Like NASUAD on Facebook

Follow NASUAD on LinkedIn

Follow NASUAD on Twitter
Webinar: Find New Volunteers in the New Year: Ideas on How to Reach More People
Join us Thursday, January 8th, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET to learn about resources to help grow your volunteer base. The "Got an Hour?" Campaign is designed to help local agencies attract volunteers to programs that work with seniors. The webinar will review the "Got an Hour?" Campaign's downloadable materials, webinars, and a search tool (powered by to help connect prospective volunteers with opportunities and programs in their own neighborhood.

The "Got an Hour?" Campaign was developed to help local agencies throughout the country attract volunteers to programs that work with seniors.

Click here to join the visual component of the webinar.
To listen you must call 888-346-3659, Passcode: 33688
From the Administration
Federal Communications Commission

FCC Seeks Nominations for New Diversity Advisory Committee

This week the Federal Communications Commission announced the formation of a Disability Advisory Committee and seeks nominations for membership. The Committee will provide an opportunity for consumers and other stakeholders to provide feedback and recommendations to the FCC on a wide array of disability issues.


Click here for more information on the Committee and the nomination process. The deadline to nominate Committee members is January 12, 2015.

Government Accountability Office

Report Released on CMS Durable Medical Equipment Bidding Program   

The GAO has published the results from the Medicare competitive bidding program (CBP) for round 1 rebid, round 1 recompete, round 2, and national mail-order program. Under the CBP, which is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), only competitively selected contract suppliers can provide certain durable medical equipment items. The percentages of bids submitted that resulted in contracts varied by round, but the reasons for bid disqualification, including unacceptable financial documentation and failure to meet all state licensure requirements, were generally similar across rounds. GAO found that the single payer amounts for a number of selected common codes generally decreased through all CBP rounds as compared to the average Medicare 2010 fee-for-service payment for the same codes. Additionally, CMS reported total savings of more than $580 million at the end of round 1 rebid's 3-year term due to lower payments and decreased utilization.

Click here to access the complete report. 
Health and Human Services
2015 Healthy Aging Summit Call for Abstracts  

The HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion requests abstracts addressing the science of healthy aging for presentation at the 2015 Healthy Aging Summit, to be hosted July 27-28 in Washington, DC. The goals of the summit are to: 1) explore the science on healthy aging; 2) identify knowledge gaps that need to be filled; 3) promote prevention in improving quality of life in later years; and 4) mobilize action to improve the delivery of care for those aging in place or in transition between care settings. Submissions should address these goals. Presentations that focus on collaboration with diverse partners and have international applications are encouraged.  


Click here for more information on the Summit. Submission deadline is Monday, February 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET

OIG Assesses Provider Availability in MCO Networks
A companion report to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General (OIG) September 2014 report on MCO access standards was released this month addressing provider availability in Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs). OIG assessed the extent to which providers offer appointments to enrollees and the timeliness of those appointments. The OIG report was based on "cold calls" made by OIG staff to a stratified random sample of 1,800 primary care providers and specialists who are listed in MCO provider directories. In the report, OIG found that slightly more than half of providers contacted could not offer appointments, most notably because 35% of providers could not be located based on the information provided by the MCOs. OIG issued three recommendations to CMS; CMS concurred with the OIG recommendations to:

  1. Assess the number of providers offering appointments and improve the accuracy of plan information;
  2. Ensure that plans' networks are adequate and meet the needs of their Medicaid managed care enrollees; and
  3. Ensure that plans are complying with existing State standards and assess whether additional standards are needed.

Click here to view the full report.
Office of Personnel Management
Report on Employment of Individuals with Disabilities 

The OPM has released its report Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch for the 2013 fiscal year (FY). Key findings include:


  • People with disabilities were hired at a higher percentage in FY 2013 than in the past 33 years;
  • People with targeted disabilities were hired at a higher percentage than at any time in the past 18 years;
  • There were more people with disabilities in Federal service both in real terms and by percentage than at any time in the past 33 years.


Click here for the report. 

From Congress
House of Representatives
House Passes FY2015 Appropriations

Late Thursday night, the House approved a $1.1 trillion spending package by a vote of 219-to-206. The Senate passed a two-day extension of current funding to buy time to pass the bill and avoid a government shutdown. Due to the limits on discretionary spending, many of the programs that serve senior citizens received level funding or slight decreases from FY2014. Highlights include:


  • Senior Community Service Employment Program was level-funded at $434 million;
  • Aging Network Support Activities received an increase of $2.5 million-- to be used on services for aging Holocaust survivors-- for a total of nearly $10 million in funding;
  • Funding for Elder Rights Support Activities increased by $4 million-- to be used to create an Elder Justice Initiative that will provide competitive grants to states for projects testing elder abuse prevention methods-- for a total of $7.84 million;
  • Aging and Disability Resource Center funds were level-funded at $6.1 million; however, the total funding for ADRCs will decrease substantially due to the expiration of $10 million in mandatory funding provided by the Affordable Care Act.


Click here to view a chart that compares FY14 and FY15 funding levels for key programs that serve senior citizens. 

From Other Organizations
Modern Family Caregiving Blog
The AARP Public Policy Institute has released a new blog post on what's different about family caregiving today. Converging sociodemographic trends and more complex care needs are contributing to historically unprecedented challenges in family care of older people in the United States. Lynn Friss Feinberg writes that there is no going back to the "old days" of family caregiving, and new policies for a better system of community-based long-term care and family support are needed.
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
Easter Seals Project ACTION
Webinar: Section 5310 Funds to Enhance Service: Best Practices and Success Stories

Under MAP-21, there's an increased emphasis on involving people with disabilities in the transportation planning process. On Thursday, December 18 from 2:00p.m. to 3:30p.m. ET, the Easter Seals Project Action (ESPA) webinar will share promising practices and success stories about increasing mobility for people with disabilities and older adults from communities across the country. ESPA staff and guest presenters from Door County, Wisconsin and Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living in Corpus Christi, Texas, will discuss the results of a 2014 survey on involving people with disabilities in the transportation planning process and offer examples of how states and local agencies have increased levels of public participation, in particular with regards to Section 5310-funded programs.  


Click here to register.

Family Caregiver Alliance 

A Sibling's Guide to Caring for Aging Parents

"Caring for an aging parent alone is complicated. When your brothers and sisters are also involved, and when care, medical and financial decisions must be arrived at together as a team, caregiving can become even more complex." Bonnie Lawrence of Family Caregiver Alliance explores the family dynamics that can impact shared caregiving in a new article on PBS Newshour. 


Click here to read the full article.
National Academy for State Health Policy
New Learning Collaborative: Request for Applications

The NASHP has announced a new learning collaborative for states developing and implementing programs to integrate primary care, behavioral health, and social services for individuals with chronic medical conditions and comorbidities-- particularly vulnerable, low-income populations. Up to six selected states will receive 18 months of targeted technical assistance tailored to supporting the development and implementation of integration programs. Applications must be submitted by Friday, January 9 at 5:00 p.m. ET.


Click here to view the full request and application. 

Webinar: A Walk in Someone Else's Shoes: Payment Reform Perspectives from Providers and Private Payers

On Monday, December 15 from 12:30-2:00 p.m. ET, NASHP will host a webinar on multi-payer reforms and the roles of providers and insurers. As states design and implement multi-payer payment reforms, extensive collaboration with and buy-in from payers and providers is necessary. This panel-style webinar will feature a discussion with representatives from a commercial insurer, a self-insured employer, a large hospital system, and a primary care practice. Panelists will discuss their interaction with state delivery and payment transformation as well as their goals and motivations for participating in such efforts. The webinar audience will learn about the unique challenges that each of these stakeholders face in implementing state health system reforms and the ways in which states can better collaborate with payers, purchasers, and providers.


Register for the webinar here.

National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals
Call for Nominations for Annual Moving Mountains Awards
NADSP and the Research and Training Center at the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration are seeking nominations for the 2015 Moving Mountains Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize organizations using leading practices in direct support staff workforce development that result in improved outcomes for the people being supported. Organizations applying are required to illustrate how their direct support workforce practices and philosophy align with the principles of the NADSP. Applications from statewide/regional initiatives, local organizations, and individuals are welcome.

Email questions regarding the application to Lindsey Zemanek by Monday, December 15.
National Council on Aging
NCOA Grants for New Benefits Enrollment Centers
NCOA's Center for Benefits Access is seeking nonprofit or public agencies to be part of the 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 
New Population-Specific Fact Sheets
The NDNRC has published the first in a series of new population-specific fact sheets. "What to Know When Assisting a Consumer with an Autism Spectrum Disorder" is the first of six new fact sheets set to release in the next year. NDNRC has included its fact sheet on veterans' healthcare in the updated listing. Along with the population-specific fact sheets, the NDNRC will add four new topical fact sheets focused on: renewals and redeterminations; moving from coverage-to-care for people with disabilities; meeting the communication needs of specific disability populations; and disability etiquette.
Click here to view a complete list of published and soon-to-be released fact sheets.
Think College 

Survey on Accreditation Standards for Students with Intellectual Disabilities 

The Think College National Coordinating Center's Accreditation Workgroup has developed draft accreditation standards for higher education programs for students with intellectual disabilities. Comments on its Draft Model Accreditation Standards for Programs that Serve Students with Intellectual Disabilities are being collected now via an online survey. The Workgroup is seeking input from educators, parents, and other interested parties.

The deadline to complete the survey is Saturday, December 20. To view the survey, click here.
United Health Foundation 
Publication of 25th Annual America's Health Rankings
On December 10, the United Health Foundation and its partners, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention, released their 25th annual America's Health Rankings Report. The report uses measures of behavior, community and environment, policy, clinical care, and health outcomes to describe the health and wellness of each state compared to all other states. The 2014 report finds increased obesity and physical inactivity after the short-lived improvements in 2013. Some rankings highlights include:
  • Hawaii remains healthiest state in 2014; Mississippi least healthy
  • Nationwide reduction in smoking and improvements in adolescent immunization and infant mortality offset by rising rates of obesity and physical inactivity
  • Long-term analysis finds Americans have made considerable progress in avoiding premature and cardiovascular deaths in the past 25 years; life expectancy at its highest yet
  • New America's Health Rankings online tools to inspire health advocacy include a "Change My Rank" feature
Click here to view the rankings in full.
Virginia Commonwealth University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center
VCU Brief Examines Employment Outcomes for Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries
A research brief from the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment of People with Physical Disabilities profiles participation, services received, and outcomes achieved by individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) who were participants in state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) programs. The brief uses data reported from the RSA 911 Closure Reports for federal fiscal years 2011, 2012, and 2013 for individuals whose primary disability is spinal cord injury. The research found that for all three years, approximately 3 out of 10 individuals with a primary disability of SCI exited the VR system with an employment outcome consistent with their individual plan for employment (IPE). Conversely, approximately 7 out of 10 individuals with SCI exited the VR system without an employment outcome. Assessment, VR counseling and guidance, and rehabilitation technology (includes rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology devices and services) were the three most frequent services received by individuals whose cases were closed successfully. Assessment, VR counseling and guidance, and diagnosis and treatment were the three most frequent services received by individuals whose cases were closed unsuccessfully during the same time period. Approximately 50 percent of the successful closures received rehabilitation technology services as compared to less than 25 percent of those who were unsuccessful.

For the full data findings, see the brief here

2015 National Health Policy Conference

The NHPC brings together experts in health policy who will provide analysis and feedback on the health policy environment and will discuss how changes in government will impact ACA implementation. With input from leading health policy experts, the conference aims enhance your understanding of the current and future health policy landscape. Designed as an in-depth, two day interactive conference, the NHPC will take place February 9-10, 2015 at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel. Sessions will address innovations in care delivery and financing, updates on state experiences with Medicaid and the exchanges, and opportunities and challenges for the evolving health care workforce.


Click here to view the full conference agenda and register.

Early registration by December 19 receives a discounted rate.

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

Next March 23-27, Aging in America, the annual conference of the American Society on Aging, will take place in Chicago and will offer five days of intensive learning, networking, and community-building. Aging in America is the nation's largest multidisciplinary conference for professionals who work with older adults, including aging service providers, policymakers, social workers, senior center professionals, healthcare providers, caregivers, and anyone with a passion for improving the lives of older adults.  

Conference attendees, exhibitors, and presenters will:

  • Learn about new and innovative ideas that will help you in your work with older adults;
  • Discover practical solutions to the challenges you face on a day-to-day basis;
  • Connect with peers and leaders who will transform the way you think about aging;
  • Reach a community of professionals who collectively influence the lives of hundreds of thousands of older people through their everyday work.


NASUAD members can save 10% on registration fees by using the discount code NASUAD10. Register by January 31, and save an additional $50. Click here to register. 
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: NASUAD is committed to providing equal opportunities for all applicants for employment.

CMS Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program Hiring Opportunities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking highly qualified candidates to stand up and staff the new Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP). The IAP is a new technical assistance program launched by Center for Medicaid & Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Services (CMCS) within CMS. The goal of IAP is to improve health and health care for Medicaid recipients by providing direct technical support to states in their efforts to accelerate new payment and service delivery reforms. The IAP will be a vehicle to work closely with states as well as with health plans, providers and beneficiaries on these critical issues.  


To support this important new initiative, CMCS has openings at a variety of levels (GS 12-14). CMCS is seeking health care professionals to work primarily in suburban Baltimore, MD; however, some positions may be filled in one or more of the following CMS locations: Washington, DC, Boston, MA, New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Atlanta, GA, Kansas City, MO, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, or San Francisco, CA. We are seeking candidates with some or all of the following skill sets to drive service delivery and payment innovation in the Medicaid program:  

  • Developing Health Services Delivery and Payment Models

  • Data Analytics

  • Quality Metrics

  • Risk Adjustment

  • Financial Modeling

Knowledge of Medicare and/or Medicaid law, regulations, and policies or other national health care systems is preferred. Also required are excellent skills in communication, teamwork, and policy analysis.  


The application window has been extended, and positions now close on Friday, December 19, 2014. Click here for additional details and links to positions. 

Friday Update Archive


Did you miss a previous issue?  

Check out past Friday Updates.