January 30, 2015
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HCBS Conference Opens Call for Sessions
The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) has announced the Call for Sessions for the 2015 National Home and Community Based Services Conference (HCBS), August 31-September 3, 2015, in Washington, DC. The conference offers a unique blend of policy, program and practice issues for professionals interested in home and community based services for individuals of all abilities and in all settings.Proposals are currently being accepted for one hour workshops.

The HCBS Conference is quickly becoming the "go-to" conference for learning in the expanding field of home and community based services. Don't miss the opportunity to be a part of this important conference.

Presenting provides an unparalleled opportunity to share new ideas or highlight noteworthy projects, research, and practices with your peers and other professionals.

The Call for Sessions for the 2015 HCBS Conference will be open until March 20th.

Click here to learn more and submit your session. 
Webinar: Commit to Inclusion
People with disabilities show high levels of poor health outcomes, likely because of lack of inclusion in health promotion programs. On Wednesday, February 4, 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST, this National I&R Support Center webinar will cover the newly introduced Guidelines to Disability Inclusion in Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Programs and Policies and the Commit to Inclusion campaign that promotes the Guidelines. The Guidelines were created with an expert panel using criteria to qualify each guideline. They are intended for any organization that provides physical activity nutrition, or obesity programs or policies. Presenters are Lewis Kraus, Deputy Director, Center on Disability at the Public Health Institute, and Amy Rauworth, Director of Policy and Public affairs at Lakeshore Foundation and Associate Director of the NCBDDD-CDC funded National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability.
No pre-registration is required to participate in the webinar. On a computer, use any browser with Flash. Nothing to download. On a phone or tablet, launch the join.me app and enter meeting code: nasuadwebinar

Click here to join the webinar. To join the audio conference:
Dial: 888-346-3659
Access Code: 33688#
To join the I&R Center's distribution list, click here.
*The NASUAD office will be updating our server from Friday, February 6 at 5 p.m. ET until Monday, February 9. NASUAD staff will not have access to phones or email during that time.
From the Administration
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
2015 Updates to Federal Poverty Guidelines and to Dual Eligible Standards 
On January 29th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an informational bulletin addressing the 2015 updates to the federal poverty guidelines. The updates apply to eligibility criterion for programs including Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The 2015 poverty guidelines take into account recent price increases and are adjusted to standardize differences in household sizes. Separate poverty guideline figures are developed for Alaska and Hawaii. For a family or household of 4 persons living in one of the 48 contiguous states or the District of Columbia, the poverty guideline for 2015 is $24,250.

The 2015 Dual Eligible Standards, for individuals enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare, have also been updated based on the percentage of Federal Poverty Level.

Click here to view the bulletin on federal poverty level standards.
Click here for 2015 Dual Eligible Standards.
CMS Releases Bulletin Outlining Flexibilities to Better Serve Medicare-Eligible Medicaid Enrollees
On January 23, CMS released an informational bulletin highlighting existing enrollment and retention flexibilities that can: 1) assist states in meeting their obligations to screen Medicaid enrollees for Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) and other categories of Medicaid when enrollees become Medicare-eligible; and 2) improve the stability and continuity of MSP coverage.

Medicaid enrollees who become eligible for Medicare are often also eligible for continued coverage under different categories of Medicaid, including MSPs. The bulletin outlines available flexibilities, such as aligning income and asset rules under Section 1902(r)(2) of the Social Security Act, to help states simplify administrative processes for screening new Medicare beneficiaries for MSP eligibility. Additionally, the bulletin includes tools for streamlining the MSP redetermination process to minimize administrative burdens and avoid coverage lapses.

Click here to access the bulletin.
Opportunity for Feedback on Draft Summary of Benefits and Coverage 
Under the Affordable Care Act, all health plans and issuers are required to provide consumers with a standardized, brief summary of what a health insurance policy or employer plan covers, known as a Summary of Benefits and Coverage. This information allows consumers to make direct comparisons when shopping for health insurance coverage and to have a clear summary of what their insurance covers.

The Draft Summary of Benefits and Coverage was recently published in the Federal Register. CMS welcomes feedback on what information should be displayed about health insurance policies and employer plans and in what form such information should be presented. If finalized, the new requirements would be implemented for plan years on or after September 1, 2015. Comments are due by March 2, 2015.

Click here to view the proposed rules and guidance on how to submit your comments.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Financial Well-Being of Older Americans Report
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently released the results of a study concerning the financial well-being of older Americans. The report notes differences in how older and younger consumers rank themes associated with financial well-being, such as having a financial plan, home ownership, and ability to afford healthcare. Working-age Americans and older Americans identified similar sets of events that enable or hinder financial well-being, though each population group expressed greater awareness of issues within their life stage. Working-age individuals focused on possible job loss and paying for their children's education, while older American responses centered on retirement financials, the financial challenge of health crises, and end-of-life expenses.

Click here to access the report.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Emergency Planning Training 
The Office of Disability Integration and Coordination at FEMA will host an Emergency Management Institute (EMI) training course, Integrating Access and Functional Needs into Emergency Planning, on February 2-3 in Washington, DC. The course is designed to provide state, local, and territorial emergency planners the necessary information to utilize disability and access and functional needs-inclusive practices.  Course objectives include the following: (1) define access and functional needs and disabilities; (2) define key terms related to inclusive planning; (3) identify resources to assist in planning with adults and children with access and functional needs; (4) identify the essentiality of inclusive practices; and (5) learn how to incorporate access and functional needs in all phases of emergency management. Contact La'Tisha Dennis, latisha.dennis@fema.dhs.gov, with any questions or inquiries.

 Click here for the full announcement.
Health and Human Services
Timeline Set for Shifting Medicare Reimbursements to Quality-Based System 
On Monday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced measurable goals and a timeline to move the Medicare program toward paying providers based on the quality rather than the quantity of care they give patients. HHS aims to have 30 percent of Medicare payments tied to quality or value through alternative payment models by the end of 2016, and up to 50 percent by the end of 2018. Additionally, HHS has set a goal to have 85 percent of all Medicare fee-for-service payments tied to quality or value by 2016, and 90 percent by 2018. To help move the goals beyond the Medicare porogram, Secretary Burwell also announced the creation of a Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network. The Network will bring together private payers, employers, providers, consumers, states, and other partners to encourage alternative payment models.

Click here to read the complete news release.
Click here to view the Perspectives piece by Secretary Burwell published this week by The New England Journal of Medicine.
Grant Opportunity: Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program
The Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce is accepting applications for the Fiscal Year 2015 Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP). The funding opportunity aims to establish and operate geriatric education centers that will implement the GWEP project to develop a health care workforce that maximizes patient and family engagement and improves health outcomes for older adults by integrating geriatrics with primary care. Special emphasis will be on providing the primary care workforce with the knowledge and skills to care for older adults and on collaborating with community partners to address gaps in health care for older adults through individual, system, community, and population level changes.

The application deadline is Thursday, March 5, 2015.
Click here for the full announcement.
Social Security Administration
Expanding Field Office Hours Nationwide 
Social Security Administration field offices around the country will stay open an extra hour four days a week beginning March 16, 2015. Field offices will be open to the public for an hour longer on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. In recent years, Social Security reduced public office hours due to congressional budget cuts, growing backlogs and staffing losses. This new expansion of hours is a result of Congress' approval of the fiscal year 2015 budget.

 Click here for the full announcement.
From Congress
Senate HELP Committee Clears OAA Reauthorization 
On Wednesday, January 28, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee held an executive session which included discussion and action on the Older Americans Act reauthorization. By voice vote, the committee approved the legislation (S.192), which will now move to the full Senate for consideration. If the Senate passes the bill, it will then go to the House for consideration. NASUAD is encouraged by the HELP committee action, and urges the full Senate to pass the OAA reauthorization.

Click here for more information on OAA Reauthorization.
From the States 
Indiana to Expand Medicaid 
On Tuesday, January 27, Indiana received federal approval to expand health coverage to about 350,000 uninsured Hoosiers through a state-run program. Indiana is the 28th state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Governor Pence's Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) 2.0 is an alternative approach to traditional Medicare expansion in that it creates two levels of coverage and requires enrollees, depending on their level of income, to make co-pays or pay monthly fees into a health savings accounts. Unique to the Indiana plan, enrollees who fail to pay their premiums will be locked out of coverage for six months. Indiana will pay for its share of the expansion beginning in 2017 with hospital fees and a cigarette tax. Enrollment for HIP 2.0 is scheduled to start February 1.

Click here to read the full article.
From Other Organizations
AARP Public Policy Institute
New Livable Communities Website
Livable Communities policies address issues such as housing, transportation, and energy; all of which are policies that facilitate aging in place. Through a new website, www.aarp.org/livablepolicy, PPI experts and advisors share their research, analysis, and expertise on livable communities issues. The site will also be the home of AARP's new scoring tool, the "Livability Index: Great Neighborhoods for All Ages," when it's published later this spring.

Click here to check out the new website.
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.

The Arc
Center for Future Planning Encourages Adults with I/DD and Families to Plan Ahead
There are 600,000-700,000 families in the United States in which an adult with an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) is living with aging family members and there is no plan for the individual's future. The Arc has created the Center for Future Planning to support and encourage adults with I/DD and their families to plan for the future.

The Center's website, futureplanning.thearc.org,
provides reliable information and practical assistance to families and individuals with I/DD on areas such as person-centered planning, decision-making, housing options, financial planning, employment and daily activities, and making social connections. In addition, the website provides information to family members, friends, and professionals that support individuals with I/DD. The website also features stories of people and families who have created future plans or who are in the planning process. These stories illustrate the challenges in planning such as starting the conversation with a caregiver who isn't ready to plan and identifying daily living support. The stories highlight that although planning can be difficult, it's possible and necessary.

The Center also offers webinars to chapters of The Arc and other professionals who support people with I/DD to help them learn how to assist families in the future planning process.

 Click here to learn more about the Center for Future Planning.
Center for American Progress
New Report Highlights Disability, Poverty, and Potential Policy
A new brief from the Center for American Progress describes disability as both a cause and consequence of poverty. The report, "A Fair Shot for Workers with Disabilities," presents data highlighting the relationship between poverty and disability as well employment and disability. The report then provides a number of policy prescriptions to better support workers with disabilities in achieving economic security. The policy recommendations include raising the minimum wage, instituting a disabled worker tax credit, and ensuring adequate affordable housing and accessible transportation.

 Click here to access the complete report.
Mathematica Policy Research 
Forum & Webinar: Early Findings from the Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND)
The Social Security Administration's Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) is testing an innovation that allows Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries to earn more while keeping part of their disability benefits. The earnings rules being tested replaced the "benefit cliff"-the complete loss of benefits when earnings exceed a maximum amount for a sufficient period-with a "benefit ramp" that reduces benefits by $1 for every $2 of earnings over the limit. Beneficiary enrollment in BOND began in 2011, and the demonstration will continue into 2017. A team from Abt and Mathematica is conducting the evaluation.

The Center for Studying Disability Policy (CSDP) will host an in-person forum and online webcast highlighting the early findings on Thursday, February 26, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET at Mathematica's Washington, DC, office or by webinar. Lunch will be provided.
The speakers will provide background on the demonstration; describe its structure and summarize the plan for the evaluation; present findings from the first two years' process and impact analyses; and discuss potential policy and research implications of the midstream results.

 Click here for details and to register.
National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care 
Webinar: Strategizing and Crafting an Effective Advocacy Message
Consumer Voice will be hosting a four-part webinar series on advocacy skills. The first webinar of the series is scheduled for Thursday, February 12, 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ET and will cover how to develop a strategy around an issue and choose key points tailored to an audience to create an effective advocacy message. The subsequent three webinars of the series will take place in April, June, and August.

Click here for details and to register.
National Council on Aging 
RFP: Senior SNAP Enrollment Initiative
NCOA has released a Request for Proposals for its initiative to help seniors enroll in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Through its Senior SNAP Enrollment Initiative, NCOA will award $1,150,000 to community-based organizations and agencies to assist low-income older adults in applying for and enrolling in SNAP and other benefits.

NCOA seeks proposals for two categories of grants: A) Underserved Senior SNAP Access Grant ($25,000) and B) SNAP Enrollment Center Grant ($50,000). An online application for proposal submission will be made available on February 2. Letters of Intent to Apply are due February 13, and applications are due March 6. NCOA will host an optional webinar on February 5 on the RFP process. 

Click here for additional details on the grants.
Click here to access the RFP.
LGBT Aging Photo Contest
NCOA's National Institute of Senior Centers and SAGE's National Resource Center on LGBT Aging are looking for photos that exemplify what it is to be an aging lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender person. Photos will be judged on how well they capture the beauty, fun, and diversity of LGBT aging. The grand prize winner will receive a $200 Amazon gift card and have his/her photo published online along with a featured story. Submissions are due by March 13.

Click here to view the contest guidelines and details.

National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative 
New "Disability Etiquette" Fact Sheet
The NDNRC has released a new fact sheet in its series of topical fact sheets and population-specific fact sheets designed to provide navigators and other enrollment specialists with information they need to help these specific populations within the disability community. The latest release, "Disability Etiquette - Tips for Interacting with People with Disabilities," provides guidance to navigators communicating to consumers with disabilities.
Click here to view a complete list of published and soon-to-be released fact sheets.
National Senior Citizens Law Center
Webinar: Involuntary Transfer and Discharge from Nursing Homes: Prevention, Advocacy, and Appeals
Continuing with the National Elder Rights Training Project Webinar Series, the National Consumer Law Center will host Involuntary Transfer and Discharge from Nursing Homes: Prevention, Advocacy, and Appeals on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. This webinar will discuss strategies and best practices for preventing and advocating for residents facing involuntary discharge from a nursing home. The agenda includes a review of best practices for supporting residents and families, identifying legal support, and appealing discharge notices.

Click here to view details on the webinar.
Oral Health America
Webinar: Building Partnerships to Promote Oral Health for Older Adults
On Tuesday, February 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET, Oral Health America (OHA) is hosting an informative webinar on its state partnership opportunities with the older adult program, the Wisdom Tooth Project®. Through the partnership, aging organizations and oral health coalitions can help improve access to resources for older adults. The goal of the webinar is to expand the network of state oral health coalitions and aging organizations working in collaboration.
Participants will learn more about OHA and how to get involved with the Wisdom Tooth Project. Also, Matthew Bond, Manager of Grants and Programs of the DentaQuest Foundation, will present on Oral Health 2020.

Click here to view details on the webinar.
2015 Aging in America Conference

Aging in America, the annual conference of the American Society on Aging, will take place in Chicago March 23-27 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), membership organization of the agencies in state government that manage programs for older people and adults with physical disabilities, seeks a public policy intern. The paid position is for 10-15 hours per week.

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

Candidacy for a Master's Degree in Public Policy, Public Administration or Public Health is required. Hours are flexible to accommodate classes.

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


Click here to view the full job description.

Communications Associate with Gerontological Society of America

The Gerontological Society of America is seeking a communications associate to lead an aggressive program of both online and offline communications, including both strategy and tactics to increase the engagement of individuals in an online community. The Change AGEnts Initiative is an interprofessional effort to leverage the John A. Hartford Foundation's powerful network, help its scholars and grantees learn from and support one another, and work directly on changes in practice and service delivery that improve the health of older Americans. The Communications Associate will be responsible for overseeing the coordination of communications across all facets of the Initiative including an online platform, website, list serv, press releases, newsletters, and blogs, as well as preparing regular reports regarding these activities.  


Click here to view the full job posting.

HHS Supervisory Public Health Analyst Openings in Seattle, Chicago

The Health Resources and Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services has posted three supervisory public health analyst positions in the Office of Regional Operations (ORO). ORO partners with States, Tribes, communities, safety net providers, and other regional stakeholders to increase access to health care, eliminate health disparities and improve public health.


ORO is seeking a Regional Administrator in the Seattle office, as well as Deputy Regional Administrators in both the Seattle and Chicago offices. To qualify for the positions, applicants must have public health program-related experience that demonstrates the following five competencies: 1. Knowledge of organizational, operational, and programmatic concepts and practices applied by public, private, or nonprofit organizations engaged in public health or other health-related activities; 2. Knowledge of the methods, processes, and techniques used to develop and deliver public health or health-related programs; 3. Knowledge of a specialized public health program; 4. Knowledge of, and skill in, the application of administrative or analytical methods and techniques necessary for working within a public health or related organization and carrying out specific program functions; 5. Skill in oral and written communications, gathering and conveying information, and preparing reports, correspondence, and other written materials.


Click here to access the job listings. The announcements will close on February 6

Summer Internship Program at AAPD

The AAPD Summer Internship Program provides the opportunity to gain hands-on professional experience to help advance your career goals. AAPD places students and recent graduates with all types of disabilities in paid 10-week summer internships in Congressional offices, federal agencies, nonprofit and for-profit organizations. At the beginning of the summer, interns participate in a 1-week orientation session to learn about AAPD as well as the disability rights movement, meet the other interns, and participate in a variety of engaging workshops and events. Interns will receive a stipend, mentor matching, and additional resources during the summer. Candidates interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and veterans with disabilities are highly encouraged to apply.


Any college student (degree and non-degree seeking), graduate student, law student, recent graduate (within one year) and veteran who self-identifies as an individual with any type of disability is invited to apply. Applicants will not be required to disclose a specific disability; however, the application for this program will signify that the applicant considers him/herself a person with a disability.  


Internship program details are available here. Applications should be emailed to internship@aapd.com. Applications are due by Friday, February 6 at 5:00 p.m. ET

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