March 6, 2015
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NASUAD Launches Disability Training for I&R Specialists
On March 4, the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) released a new training module on disability for Information and Referral (I&R) specialists on the NASUADiQ online learning center. This training module, "Disability for I&R Specialists," provides participants with an overview of key issues relevant to providing information and referral/assistance (I&R/A) to individuals with disabilities. The training module covers several topics including disability awareness, effective communication, services and trends in service delivery, resources, disability rights and advocacy, and empowerment. The training concludes with a self-administered quiz.

In partnership with the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) and n4a, this training module will assist Certified Information & Referral Specialist - Aging (CIRS-A) certificate holders to grandfather to the new Certified Information & Referral Specialist - Aging/Disabilities (CIRS-A/D) credential. CIRS-A holders may take the disability training at any time from now until the existing date of their AIRS Recertification. After receiving a Certificate of Completion for the training and quiz, an individual holding a CIRS-A can immediately use the designation of "CIRS-A/D." However, they will not receive a CIRS-A/D Certificate from AIRS until they have officially recertified on their existing renewal date. This training course can also account for two of the ten hours of professional training required for AIRS Recertification. Additionally, this training module may benefit any I&R specialist who would like to become more proficient at serving people with disabilities. 

Click here to access this free disability training. 
For information on AIRS Certification, click here.  
HCBS Conference Call for Sessions
The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) Call for Sessions for the 2015 National Home and Community Based Services Conference (HCBS), August 31-September 3, 2015, in Washington, DC will be open for two more weeks. 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 Friday, March 20.
Click here to learn more and submit your session.  
HCBS Clearinghouse E-Clips
This new section of  Friday Update highlights reports that have been added to the HCBS Clearinghouse within the past week. Visit or for more information.
Long-Term Work Activity & Employment Supports Among New SSI Recipients
Authored by Mathematica Policy Research senior staff and published in the Social Security Bulletin, "Long-Term Work Activity and Use of Employment Supports Among New Supplemental Security Income Recipients" provides long-term cumulative statistics on the extent to which Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who began receiving disability payments between 1996-2006 found work and used SSI work incentives. The article presents analysis on initiatives affecting SSI, including the Ticket to Work program and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

Click here to access the article.  
From the Administration
Administration for Community Living
ONC Federal Advisory Committee Seeks Applicants  
Applications are being accepted for the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology Federal Advisory Committee. The ONC is looking for experts who can represent a variety of sectors and issue areas including long-term care experts, health exchange experts, providers, researchers, and technology vendors. The application deadline is Friday, March 6.

 Click here to view application details.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
2015 Impact Assessment of Quality Measures Report

On Monday, CMS released the 2015 National Impact Assessment of Quality Measures Report (2015 Impact Report).

The 2015 Impact Report demonstrates that the nation has made progress in improving the healthcare delivery system to achieve better care, smarter spending, and healthier people. The report is a comprehensive assessment of quality measures used by CMS. It examines the effectiveness and impact of measurement. The report summarizes key findings from CMS quality measurement efforts and recommended next steps to improve on these efforts. Findings from the report include research on 25 CMS quality programs and hundreds of quality measures from 2006 to 2013 and builds on the prior 2012 Impact Assessment Report. Many of these measures are also included in incentive programs that link payment to quality performance. 


Click here to view the press release.
Proposed 2016 Payment & Policy Updates for Medicare Plans 
CMS released proposed changes for next year for the Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug Programs. The proposed policies include a proposal to continue refining the star rating system and a change in payments that will affect plans differently depending on a number of factors. The proposed Advance Notice and Draft Call Letter have been made available for comment, and comments must be submitted by March 6. The 2016 Final Rate Announcement and Call Letter will be published on Monday, April 6, 2015.

Click here to access the Advance Notice and draft Call Letter.
Department of Health & Human Services
Invite to Join the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network

In January 2015, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced an ambitious initiative to move the Medicare program, and the health care system at-large, toward paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they give patient. The Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network ("Network") is being established to provide a forum for public-private partnerships to help the U.S. health care payment system (both private and public) meet or exceed recently established Medicare goals for value-based payments and alternative payment models. The Network will serve as a forum where payers, providers, employers, purchasers, state partners, consumer groups, individual consumers, and others can discuss how to transition towards alternative payment models that emphasize value. The Network will be supported by an independent contractor that will act as a convener and facilitator.


All payers, providers, employers, purchasers, states, consumer groups, individual consumers, and others can participate in the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network. All interested individuals and organizations are invited to register online.


Click here to learn more about the Network.

Click here to register. 

Department of Housing & Urban Development

HUD Awards $150 Million to Section 811 Project Rental Assistance

On Monday, March 2, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the award of $150 million in Section 811 Project Rental Assistance (PRA) funds to 24 states and the District of Columbia. The Section 811 PRA program assists state housing agencies to expand the supply of integrated permanent supportive housing (PSH) opportunities consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court's Olmstead decision, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and best practice PSH models, while leveraging mainstream affordable housing, Medicaid, and other community-based supportive service resources for people with the most significant and long term disabilities. The new awards are expected to produce 4,584 housing units. This is over four times the number of housing units produced with FY10 and FY11 funds before Congress passed the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010 which reformed the Section 811 program.

Click here to view the HUD press release.
U.S. Access Board
Proposed Update to ICT Accessibility Requirements
The U.S. Access Board has released a proposed rule updating the accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) in the federal sector covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Public comments on the rule and a preliminary assessment of its estimated costs and benefits are due in 90 days. In addition to public hearings on the rule in San Diego (March 5) and Washington DC (March 11), the Board will also conduct a public webinar on March 31 to review the proposal.

Click here to view the press release.
Click here to access a summary of the proposed rule. 
From the White House
White House Conference on Aging
Phoenix Regional Forum Update
The 2015 White house conference on Aging (WHCoA) Phoenix Regional Forum will take place on Tuesday, March 31 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. MST at the Phoenix Convention Center. The forum aims to engage older Americans, their families, caregivers, advocates, community leaders, and experts on aging on the key issues affecting older Americans. The Phoenix Forum follows the Tampa Forum hosted last month, which was the first of the series of forums across the country. Additional regional forums are scheduled in Seattle, WA on April 2; Cleveland, OH on April 27; and Boston, MA on May 28.

Click here to access more information from the WHCoA website.
From Other Organizations
DirectCourse Tool on New CMS Requirements for HCBS
Elsevier's DirectCourse is offering a new crosswalk tool to help providers of home and community-based services (HCBS) implement competency-based training for the direct service workforce as a means to comply with new HCBS regulatory requirements from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS developed these new requirements, effective March 17, 2015, to enhance the quality of services provided to individuals receiving services in home and community-based settings and provide additional protections to Medicaid beneficiaries who receive services in their own home or community. The new CMS requirements serve to advance the quality of services to all people and raise the bar for community supports in this country. DirectCourse is a resource for states and agencies seeking to achieve this new level of quality service delivery. 

The Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC/CL) at the University of Minnesota has created the crosswalk tool to show how DirectCourse's College of Direct Support (CDS) aligns with these new HCBS requirements. The crosswalk demonstrates how CDS, which provides competency-based training for direct support professionals, maps to the new HCBS regulatory requirements and helps state agencies demonstrate compliance.

Click here to access DirectCourse.
Click here to view the full press release for the new tool.
Mathematica Policy Research 
Forum & Webinar: The SGR Fix: A Pathway to Fundamental Physician Payment Reform?
Many lawmakers seek to discard the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, which adjusts Medicare physician fees to limit spending. Their goal is fundamental reform of physician payment, shifting away from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement to other payment models that enhance the quality and efficiency of care. The 2014 "SGR fix" proposal provides a framework for how payment reform in Medicare could be used to help transform the organization and delivery of health care.

In a new publication set for release in March, Mathematica senior fellow James Reschovsky unpacks the details of the proposed SGR replacement, including the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and several other payment models encouraged in the legislation. The Center on Health Care Effectiveness (CHCE) will host an in-person forum and online webcast featuring Dr. Reschovsky and a panel of experts to discuss these value-based models. The panel will describe the opportunities and challenges involved in permanently repealing the SGR formula and moving away from traditional fee-for-service models. The forum and webinar will take place on Wednesday, March 11, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET at Mathematica's Washington, DC, office. Lunch will be provided.
Click here for details and to register.
National Alzheimer's & Dementia Resource Center 
Webinar: Outreach and Recruitment for People with Dementia and their Caregivers
This webinar sponsored by the National Alzheimer's and Dementia Resource Center will provide participants with information on outreach and recruitment with the hard to reach populations of people with dementia and their caregivers. The webinar will be held on Thursday, March 12 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET. Presenter Anne Wolf will speak about efforts in South Carolina to serve rural areas of the state by providing services for people with dementia and their caregivers, and presenter Jed Levine will speak about outreach and recruitment of people with dementia and their caregivers in the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.

Click here to view details  and register for the webinar.
National Council on Aging 
Webinar: Substance Abuse & Misuse: Impact on Older Adults
The NCOA Center for Healthy Aging will host a webinar highlighting the problem of substance abuse among older adults next Wednesday, March 11 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET. Presenters will highlight key data and trends around the issue as well as explore two interventions targeting substance abuse and misuse. 

Click here for additional details on the webinar.
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. 

Click here for contest details.
National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making 
Supported Decision-Making State Grant Program  
The National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making has announced its State Grant Program. The Program will award grants of up to $5,000 for state-based projects that: (1) identify state laws, policies, and practices that increase the use of Supported Decision-Making by older adults and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) across the life course and those that serve as barriers to doing so; and (2) collect and disseminate information to document the positive impacts of Supported Decision-Making in their state and, at least annually, issue a report documenting success stories, challenges and, any changes that have been made to increase the use of Supported Decision-Making. 

Up to six projects may be funded through this application process. Each project will participate in the National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making's community of practice and receive logistical, organizational, technical, and other necessary and appropriate support from the National Resource Center. Organizations eligible to serve as either the principal grantee or a project partner include organizations providing services and supports to older adults and people with I/DD including private and publicly-funded entities providing advocacy, education, and rights protection, and other entities whose goal is to protect and increase awareness of the rights of older adults and people with I/DD. Applications must be submitted on or before April 1, 2015.

Click here to access more information.
Just for Fun
"No Boundaries" Photo Project

Introduced four years ago,'s "No Boundaries" Photo Project series has profiled 12 individuals with disabilities, capturing the diverse skills, talents and life stories of each. Since then, their photographs have appeared in several marketing materials, including fact sheets, posters and public service announcements. This spring, will launch its third "No Boundaries" Photo Project series by profiling four individuals with disabilities who showcase employment success. Volunteers will be chosen to represent diversity in age, ethnicity and nature of disability. Their photographs and profiles will also depict different inclusive workplace settings - for example, someone with a mobility challenge who uses assistive technology on the job or a young adult beginning his or her career.


The photo shoot will occur during the week of April 13, 2015 in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. cannot provide monetary compensation or reimbursement for any travel expenses. Once participants have been selected, the team will confirm a date and time for the session.Those interested in participating can email their full name, phone number, location, and a few sentences about why they would like to participate in the "No Boundaries" Photo Project to by March 27, 2015. Please include "No Boundaries" in the subject line of your email.

Job & Internship 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 a preferred qualification. 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


Click here to view the full job description.

Chief Executive Officer for Beatrice State Developmental Center (NE)
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Beatrice State Developmental Center (BSDC) is seeking a top-level administrator to serve as the Chief Executive Officer. BSDC provides habilitative services in a home-like environment that prepares clients to live in the least restrictive community settings. BSDC includes a campus of five Intermediate Care Facilities that support 116 people with developmental disabilities, 630 staff, and a budget of $50 million located in a medium-sized community within on-hour of the State's capital city. It also includes State-operated community based services that serve people with significant behavioral challenges.

Applicants should have an advance degree in human services or administration related fields; must be familiar with Federal and State ICF/DD standards; have progressively-responsible managerial experience and experience providing services to persons with developmental disabilities; have management experience working in a facility and qualified as a Qualified Developmental Disability Professional (QDDP). Experience in an ICF/DD facility working with developmental disabilities habilitation services and programs is preferred.

Click here to view the position and application details.
NIA Butler-Williams Scholars Program Seeking Applicants
The NIA Butler-Williams Scholars Program (formerly Summer Institute on Aging Research) is accepting applications for an intensive introduction to aging research. This program for investigators that are new to aging research is focused on the breadth of research supported by the National Institute on Aging, including basic biology, neuroscience, behavioral and social research, geriatrics and clinical gerontology. As an offering through the NIA Office of Special Populations, program content will include a focus on health disparities, research methodologies, and funding opportunities. The Butler-Williams Scholars Program (B-W Scholars) is one of the premier, short-term training opportunities for new investigators. New researchers are defined as those who have recently received the M.D., Ph.D. or other doctoral level degree.

The 2015 B-W Scholars Program will be held July 27-31, 2015 in Bethesda, Maryland. As an offering through the NIA Office of Special Populations, program content will include a focus on health disparities, research methodologies, and funding opportunities. The B-W Scholars Program provides participants with unparalleled access to NIA and NIH staff in an informal setting. The B-W Scholars Program is sponsored by NIA with support from the National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence.

Support in most cases is available for travel and living expenses. Applications are due March 27, 2015.

Click here for more information on the program.
ASPE Federal Trainee Research Positions
The Office of Health Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) will be establishing Federal trainee research positions similar to Post Doc type fellowships in academia. These positions will be focused on health policy, economics, and/or other behavioral sciences and the application of these tools in federal policy making. The positions will be for a one year term appointment in the Federal government, with an option to renew. The ideal candidates include individuals who have recently completed doctoral training within the last five years and who seek to gain experience that will enable them to be successful in gaining close knowledge of Federal health policy and the policy making process. Qualified applicants will have a strong background in health policy research and experience analyzing large data sets; possess strong analytic and empirical skills; and demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication. U.S. citizenship is required.  

More detailed information on how to apply will be announced at a later date. Interested candidates should contact Angela Barbour-Rawlings at for more information about the program and application process.

Click here to view the position details.

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