March 20, 2015
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Last Day to Submit Your Session for the HCBS Conference
NASUAD's Call for Sessions for the 2015 National Home and Community Based Services Conference (HCBS) closes today, March 20. 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 being accepted for one hour workshops. Presenters will be notified in late April.

The HCBS Conference is quickly becoming the "go-to" conference for learning in the expanding field of home and community based services. This year's Conference will be held August 31-September 3, 2015, in Washington, DC. Registration for the conference will open in April.
Click here to learn more and submit your session.
Webinar: Education & Training for Older Workers
The National I&R Support Center will host a webinar on Education and Training for Older Workers. This webinar is scheduled for Thursday, March 26 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.

Older workers were particularly hard hit by the Great Recession, and even as labor markets have improved for some Americans, many older adults continue to struggle with unemployment, underemployment, age discrimination, and skills gaps. This webinar will address issues facing older workers, explore training and education options and considerations for this population, and highlight trends and innovations that may benefit older workers and older learners. The webinar will share findings from a new report, Improving Education and Training for Older Workers, developed by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, as part of the AARP Future of Work@50+ Initiative. The webinar will be presented by Kathy Krepcio, Executive Director of the Heldrich Center.

No pre-registration is required to participate in the webinar. Information to log into the audio and webinar portions is provided below. 
To join the meeting, follow this link:

On a computer, use any browser with Flash. Nothing to download. On a phone or tablet, launch the app and enter meeting code: nasuadwebinar

To join the audio conference, dial 888-346-3659, access code 33688#.

Click here to join the I&R Center's distribution list.  
NASUAD Launches Online MIPPA Course
This week NASUAD released another new online training course at NASUAD iQ. The course, The Role of MIPPA: Helping Older Adults & Individuals with Disabilities, provides participants with information about MIPPA, the Medicare program, and the Medicare low-income subsidies. The module also provides key referral resources for additional program information and enrollment assistance.

Earlier this month, NASUAD also launched the
Disability for I&R Specialists training module on NASUAD iQ. 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. The training provides participants with an overview of key issues relevant to providing information and referral/assistance (I&R/A) to individuals with disabilities. The module covers several topics including disability awareness, effective communication, services and trends in service delivery, resources, disability rights and advocacy, and empowerment.  

Click here to access the MIPPA course
Click here to access the disability training. 
NASUAD Spring Meeting and MLTSS Symposium Registration Open
The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) will host its 2015 Spring Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 22-25. This year's meeting is divided into two parts with one fee that covers the entire event.

The NASUAD membership meeting will take place April 22  and 23. Participants will learn important updates to federal regulations and policies, discuss findings from the first year of the National Core Indicators-Aging and Disabilities consumer survey, and share experiences on how to address the challenges facing states as they deliver high-quality long-term services and supports. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet and discuss issues of concern with federal officials from ACL and CMS; members will participate in setting NASUAD's policy priorities for 2015.
NASUAD will host the Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) Symposium on April 24 and 25. Participants will engage in in-depth conversations about key issues in MLTSS and learn more about the valuable opportunities managed care provides for state system development. NASUAD welcomes our partners in the aging and disability community, health plans and their representatives to the rich discussion and learning opportunity the Symposium will provide.
Click here to register and learn more about both events. 
HCBS Clearinghouse E-Clips
This section of  Friday Update highlights reports that have been added to the HCBS Clearinghouse within the past week. Visit or for more information.
Washington State Pre-WHCOA Event Write-up

The Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging (W4A) and the Washington State Senior Citizens' Lobby hosted a pre-White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) event in October 2014. This event write-up presents the priorities and recommendations of the 125 attendees on all four WHCOA issue areas: financial security, long term services and supports, healthy aging, and elder justice.


Click here to access the full report.

From the Administration
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Web Meeting: National Medicare Education Program 
On Thursday, March 26 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET, CMS will host a web meeting on the National Medicare Education Program (NMEP). The meeting aims to engage national and local organizations in support of outreach and education around the Medicare program. CMS has expanded the focus of these meetings to reflect addition CMS programs, including the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid, and CHIP.

Click here to view additional details and register.  
Summer Intern Program to Be Announced  
The 2015 CMS Summer Intern Program will be announced during the week of April 6, 2015, via vacancy announcements posted to Vacancy announcements will only be posted for three days. 

This 12-week internship is designed for current students with an unweighted cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. The purpose of the Summer Intern Program is to enhance students' knowledge about CMS programs, mission, vision, and goals. The program seeks to familiarize participants with Federal, State, and local health care programs.

Click here for more information on the program.  
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Consumer Advisory Issued on Pension Advances  
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued a Consumer Advisory on three pension advance traps to which retirees may be susceptible. Cash advances on pensions appear to be "quick fixes" to financially-strapped retirees; however, they can quickly drain retirement income when it's time to pay back the advance plus interest and fees. The Advisory blog also offers a pdf printout to share with friends, family, and clients.

Click here to access the full blog.  
Department of Health & Human Services
Health Insurance Marketplace Special Enrollment Period 
Individuals and families who owe fees when they file their 2014 taxes will have a final opportunity to get health insurance coverage for 2015. The Special Enrollment Period opened on March 15 and will end on April 30. The fee for those who lack coverage in 2015 is $325 per person or 2% of your household income, whichever is higher.

Click here to get 2015 coverage.  
Social Security Administration
Funding Available for WIPA Grants 
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced a funding opportunity for cooperative agreements for Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects. WIPA projects are community-based organizations that provide counseling and support to disabled beneficiaries of the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. A key purpose of these projects is to disseminate accurate information to beneficiaries with disabilities, including transition-to-work aged youth, about work incentives programs and issues related to such programs, to enable them to make informed choices about working and whether or when to assign their Ticket to Work, as well as how available work incentives can facilitate their transition into the workforce. WIPA cooperative agreement awardees will provide services across the country through July 31, 2020, pending availability of funds over a five-year period of performance. The deadline for applications is March 30, 2015.

Click here to view funding details.  
From Congress
Congressional Leadership Releases FY2016 Budget Blueprints  
This week, Leadership in both the House and the Senate released their respective budget outlines for FY2016. The budget blueprint released by House Leadership on Tuesday largely mirrors proposals from the past several years and includes a number of significant changes to programs, including Medicaid and Medicare. Proposed changes include:
  • Combining CHIP and Medicaid into a single program and modifying Medicaid from an entitlement to a block grant that increases state flexibility while decreasing Federal expenditures on the program;
  • Establishing vouchers in Medicaid for private insurance;
  • Completely repealing the ACA; and
  • Reducing domestic discretionary spending (the line-item that includes Older Americans Act funding) below the levels currently authorized.

On Thursday, the House Budget Committee passed the proposal, sending it to the full chamber for review. The budget passed on a party-line vote, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting in opposition.   


The Senate proposal also projects significant savings, largely from reductions to health programs. The Senate proposal contains language to repeal the ACA as well as create a new program for certain children and adults based on the CHIP program. The proposed budget outlines the financial priorities of Congressional leadership, but actual program funding will ultimately be determined through the Appropriations process.  


Click here to view the House budget.

Click here to access the Senate proposal. 

Bipartisan Bill to Fix Physician Pay Introduced  
On March 19th, legislators introduced a bill that would eliminate Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and establish new policies regarding Medicare physician payments. The SGR policy, if not altered, would lead to significant reductions in Medicaid doctor reimbursement.  Over the past decade, Congress has passed over a dozen bills that established short-term fixes to the formula. The bill under consideration would permanently eliminate the SGR formula, and is very similar to a piece of legislation that was introduced during last session. Congress is expected to introduce additional components of the bill in the coming days, including a package of spending cuts to offset the fiscal impact of the bill, as well as a package of related health care policies. Legislators have indicated that the health package may include policies such as Medicare Savings Plan extenders, an extension of CHIP funding, and funding for community health centers.

Click here to view the initial SGR bill.
From Other Organizations
ABLE National Resource Center 
Webinar: Understanding ABLE 
The ABLE National Resource Center, in collaboration with National Disability Institute, The Arc, Autism Speaks, National Down Syndrome Society, and the College Plan Savings Network, will host "Understanding ABLE" on Thursday, March 26 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. A panel of experts will explain ABLE Act core components and its status of implementation at the federal and state level, followed by Q&A time.

Click here to register and access details on the webinar's speakers.
Webinar: Telling Your Story
Designed to empower individuals with disabilities, this interactive web event will explain how translating emotional events into words can positively impact physical and mental health, relationships, and even financial well-being. Experts from the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), WomenHeath, the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, and the United Spinal Association will discuss the significance of personal stories and the role they serve in healing, advocating, and connecting individuals with disabilities. The webinar will take place on Thursday, March 26 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET.

Click here to register.
Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging 
Accepting Applications for the Innovation in Caregiving Award
The Innovation in Caregiving award recognizes individuals who, in caring for an older adult in a residential setting, have invented a device or technique that solves a caregiving challenge or have found a new application for an existing devise or technique that supports caregiving of older adults. Individuals assisting younger individuals with disabilities may also be eligible for the award if their device or technique can be used to help care for adults aged 60 and older. Applications are due June 30, 2015. Up to three winners will receive $1,000.

Click here to access the application and view previous winners.
The Commonwealth Fund
Webinar: Health & Health Care Among Older Adults in 11 Countries
This webinar will feature key findings from The Commonwealth Fund's 2014 International Health Policy Survey. The survey compared the views and experiences of people 65 and older on issues of health and health care use, health care costs and access, care coordination, end-of-life planning, and more. The survey was conducted in 11 countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The webinar is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 1 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET.

Click here to register. 
Seeking Nominations for Aging Innovations & Achievement Awards
The call for nominations is open for n4a's Aging Innovations Awards and Aging Achievements Awards. The awards program recognizes AAAs and Title VI aging programs that exemplify innovation and sound management practices. Nominations are open until Tuesday, March 31 and must be submitted online. Award winners will be showcased at the n4a Annual Conference & Tradeshow this July.

Click here to view the 2015 Nominations Process and submit a nomination.
National Center for Cultural Competence 
Call for Applications for Leadership Academy
Applications are being accepted for the first in a series of five annual leadership academies offered by the Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence. The program is a component of the Leadership Institute for Cultural Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence, and is funded by a cooperative agreement with the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

This learning experience is designed for individuals who currently hold, or are interested in taking on, leadership roles to advance and sustain cultural and linguistic competence and cultural diversity in the network of programs that support individuals with developmental and other disabilities. The onsite learning opportunity will take place from June 22-25, 2015, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Click here for details on the Center and how to apply.
National Council on Aging 
Updated Benefits 101 Fact Sheets & Presentations 
The Center for Benefits at the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has updated its Benefits 101 fact sheets and presentations. The materials help train new benefits counselors on core programs, like Medicare, the Medicare Savings Programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The fact sheets are also available in Spanish. The Center for Benefits is currently working on updating Benefits 101 webinar recordings that accompany the materials.

Click here to access the updated fact sheets and slides.
National Resource Center for Nutrition and Aging
Webinar: An Assessment of the Capacity of Your HCBS Organization 
Part 5 of the Positioning Your Program in the Healthcare Market webinar series will discuss opportunities to contract with healthcare partners and outline ways to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your organization. This webinar will be held on Thursday, March 26 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. ETLed by Timothy McNeil, RN, MPH, the webinar will build on previous webinars that provided an overview of the current healthcare landscape, key terms, and how to assess local initiatives.

Click here to view details on the series and register for the webinar.
The Rosalynn Carter Institute 
Scholarship for "Operation Family Caregiver" Graduates 
This year's Mattie J.T. Stepanek Caregiving Scholarship will provide financial assistance to those caring for service members or veterans. To be eligible for the 2015 Stepanek Scholarship, applicants should have completed at least three-quarters of their program sessions in Operation Family Caregiver. Operation Family Caregiver is a program of the Rosalynn Carter Institute (RCI) that coaches the families of newly returning service members and veterans to manage the difficulties they face when they come home. Five $2,000 scholarships will be awarded through a competitive application process. The deadline to apply for the scholarships is August 31, 2015.

Click here to view scholarship details and the application.
State Coverage Initiatives 
Webinar: Considerations for 2016 Health Insurance Rate Development, Filing, & Review  
For the first time, many issuers will have a full year of claims experience upon which to base their ACA rates for 2016. Though some unknowns remain, the availability of 2014 claims data will change the way rates are developed and reviewed for 2016. State Coverage Initiatives, in coordination with the State Health Reform Assistance Network, is hosting a webinar to explore the considerations for 2016 premium rate development, filing, and review based on a compilation of CMS regulations and guidance as well as insights from actuaries with Wakely Consulting Group. The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 9 at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Click here to view details and register for the webinar.
Just for Fun
FUN*RUN for Disability Rights
ADAPT'S 10th Annual FUN*RUN will take place on Sunday, April 19 at Upper Senate Park in Washington, DC. The event supports disability activists in the continued fight to end institutional bias in the long term services and supports system. Senator Tom Harkin is collecting sponsors to support his participation in this year's FUN*RUN. 

Click here to learn more about the FUN*RUN.
Click here to sponsor Tom Harkin.
Job & Internship Postings
AmeriCorps VISTA Openings with NE State Unit on Aging
The Nebraska State Unit on Aging, in Lincoln, NE, is looking for four outgoing, self-motivated individuals interested in helping the minority and impoverished aging population in the State of Nebraska. Through the Nebraska Strengthening Aging Populations (NSAP) program, VISTA members will collect data, create volunteer databases/spreadsheets with aging-related data, develop training manuals and materials, create a standardized Senior Center Operational manual template, and research the policies and procedures required for Health Promotion/Disease Prevention programs to obtain evidence-based status. Interested applicants should have postsecondary educational or work experience with non-profit organizations, social work, or grant-funded projects. The program will from June 2015 to June 2016. Applications must be submitted by April 27.

Click here to view position details.
National Organization on Disability Seeks Office Assistant
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) promotes the full participation and contributions of people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Today, NOD focuses on increasing employment opportunities for working-age Americans with disabilities who are not employed. NOD seeks to hire an office assistant for the New York City office. Responsibilities include providing basic administrative support for the Managing Director, coordinating office logisitics, and arranging travel for NOD management.

Click here to view position details and how to apply. 
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.

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