April 10, 2015
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Early Bird Registration Extended for NASUAD Spring Meeting and MLTSS Symposium
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: the NASUAD membership meeting and the Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) Symposium. Register before April 15 to receive the early bird rate.

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. Currently, registration spots are being held for state representation, however NASUAD invites our partners in the aging and disability community, health plans and their representatives to be put on a waiting list to see if space is still available.
Click here to register and learn more about both events. 
NASUAD Issue Brief Published by Grantmakers in Aging
Grantmakers in Aging (GIA) has published a NASUAD Issue Brief on Aging with Disability. The publication covers trending topics on the issue of aging with a disability and provides resources for additional information. The publication also informs grantmakers about their unique opportunity to play a key role in marshalling resources to enable this population to remain fully integrated in the community.

Click here to access the Issue Brief on the GIA website. 
HCBS Clearinghouse E-Clips
This section of  Friday Update highlights reports that have been added to the HCBS Clearinghouse within the past week. Visit www.nasuad.org/hcbs for more information.
Report on Parity in Mental Health & Substance Use Care
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has released a report and accompanying infographic describing a survey and assessment of the experiences of people living with mental illness and their families with private health insurance. The report, A Long Road Ahead: Achieving True Parity in Mental Health & Substance Use Care, includes the findings of the survey as well as an analysis of 84 health plans in the top 15 states by projected 2014 exchange enrollments.

Click here to access the report and infographic.

Trends, Outcomes, & Policy Since Olmstead
In its new report, the National Council on Disability reviews the research on outcomes for individuals with disabilities since Olmstead. Entitled Home and Community-Based Services: Creating Systems for Success at Home, at Work and in the Community, the report can help guide state policy makers, service providers, people with disabilities and their advocates to align support systems with the Olmstead decision and the requirements of the HCBS regulations.

Click here  for the report.

From the Administration
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
CMS Releases Regulation on Mental Health Parity 
On Monday, April 6, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) placed a proposed regulation implementing provisions of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 on display at the Federal Register's public inspection desk. The regulation deals with issues around how Mental Health Parity requirements apply to Medicaid Managed Care Plans; Medicaid Alternative Benefit Packages (including those provided to the ACA expansion population); and CHIP. Comments are due by June 9, 2015.

Click here to view the document.
Click here for more information on Parity and Medicaid.

CMS Finalizes 2016 Payment & Policy Updates for Medicare Plans
On Monday, CMS released final Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Prescription Drug program changes for 2016. Medicare Advantage has reached record high enrollment each year since 2010, a trend continuing in 2015 with a cumulative increase of more than 40 percent since 2010.The Rate Announcement finalizes changes in payments that will affect plans differently depending on the characteristics of those plans. On average, the expected revenue change is 1.25 percent, and accounting for the expected growth in coding acuity will likely add another 2 percent. The final revenue increase is larger than the February advance notice largely because the Medicare actuaries recently updated Medicare per capita spending estimates for 2014 and 2015. Medicare per capita spending in 2014, 2015 and 2016 is still expected to be below historical standards.

Click here to access the Announcement
Click here to view a fact sheet on the 2016 Rate Announcement and final Call Letter.
CMS Releases State Guide to Managed Care Contract Review 
On April 9th, CMS released a state guide to managed care contract review. The State Guide to CMS Criteria for Managed Care Contract Review and Approval 2015 outlines the standards that are used by CMS Regional Office staff to review and approve state contracts with managed care plans, as well as primary care case management entities. While these standards have been in use by CMS' Regional Offices since 2003, this is the first time they have been shared formally with states and health plans.

Click here to view the guide.

Sunset of Transitional Medical Assistance & the Qualifying Individuals Programs  
The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) has released an informational bulletin for state Medicaid agencies that outlines the impact of the sunset of Transitional Medical Assistance (TMA) and the Qualifying Individuals (QI) programs, effective as of April 1, 2015.

Click here to view the bulletin.

Department of Labor
Departments of Labor and Education Announce WIOA Proposed Rules
On April 2, the Departments of Labor (DOL) and Education (ED) announced that five notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) related to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), enacted on July 22, 2014, were made available for public inspection on the Federal Register website. WIOA supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and amends the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the Wagner-Peyser Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. WIOA places strong emphasis on competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities and on transition services to youth with disabilities.  

The five NPRMs include a joint ED and DOL NPRM to implement jointly-administered activities under Title I of WIOA regarding Unified and Combined State Plans, performance accountability, and the one-stop system. The joint NPRM applies to all core programs, including the State Vocational Rehabilitation program. A DOL-only NPRM would implement changes made to the adult, dislocated worker, and youth programs authorized under Title I of WIOA. Three ED-only NPRMs address the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (Title II of WIOA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Title IV of WIOA). Two of these NPRMs would implement changes made to the programs authorized under the Rehabilitation Act, as well as new provisions, including:  
  • State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services program and the State Supported Employment Services program, as well as new provisions in Section 511 (Limitations on the Use of Subminimum Wages); and
  • All other Rehabilitation Act programs administered by ED-Client Assistance, American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights, Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind programs, and the discretionary grant programs authorized under Title III of the Rehabilitation Act.

Proposed changes to the VR and Supported Employment programs would seek to maximize opportunities for employment and inclusion. For example, the proposed rules would require that supported employment be in competitive integrated employment or, if not, in an integrated setting in which the individual is working toward competitive integrated employment on a short-term basis not to exceed six months. The rules would extend the time from 18 months to 24 months for the provision of supported employment services and would emphasize the provision of supported employment services, including extended services, to youth with the most significant disabilities. The proposed rules also address WIOA Section 511 that places limitations on the payment of subminimum wages by entities holding special wage certificates under the Fair Labor Standards Act, to the extent that provision are under the purview of ED such as information and career counseling-related services that VR agencies would be required to provide.


Click here to view the NPRMs.  


April 16 is the expected publication date in the Federal Register. Once published, an official 60-day comment period will begin. 

Federal Emergency Management Agency
National Preparedness Goal Open for Comments 
Called for under Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness (PPD-8), the National Preparedness Goal sets the vision for preparedness, "a secure and resilient Nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk," and identifies the core capabilities necessary to achieve the Goal. FEMA is hosting a series of 60-minute engagement webinars to discuss the refresh effort for the Goal. The community currently has the opportunity to submit their comments and ideas for consideration. The comment period closes Thursday, April 16 at 5:00 p.m. ET. All comments should be submitted by email to PPD8-Engagement@fema.dhs.gov.

Click here to review the proposed updates to the Goal and register for the April 13 webinar.  
From Other Organizations
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas 
2014 Social Responsibility Report Released 
Blue Cross Blue Shiled Texas (BCBSTX) has released its 2014 Social Responsibility Report in an e-format available online. The report highlights many joint efforts and includes information on what BCBSTX is doing around community giving and volunteerism. Additionally, the report includes information on wellness promotion, diversity and inclusion, ethics and compliance, and environmental sustainability initiatives.

Click here to access the e-report. 
Easter Seals 
Webinar: Challenges of Rural Caregivers
Caregivers are a core part of America's health care system; 5.5 million Americans support current or former Service members with a disabling injury or illness. In rural communities, caregivers face unique challenges in caring for their Veterans, from the often complicated medical and mental conditions of their charges to receiving limited support from all corners of society. This webinar will cover the challenges rural caregivers face, offer a firsthand perspective, and review available resources, both military-related and general. The webinar will be held on Thursday, April 30 at 2:00 p.m. ET and will be led by Hilda R. Heady, MSW, ACSW, a widely-respected expert and advocate for rural health, particularly for Veterans. This webinar is the latest in the series from the Easter Seals Dixon Center's "Military Caregiver Webinar Series."

Click here to view more details and register. 
National Alzheimer's & Dementia Resource Center 
Webinar: Behavioral Symptom Management Training for Family Caregivers
This Technical Assistance (TA) webinar will provide participants with information on behavioral symptom management training for family caregivers of people with dementia and how one program was implemented into the community. Linda Teri, PhD, will speak about the importance about behavioral symptom management training and the ABC approach for addressing behavioral symptoms. Jennifer Mead, MPH, will speak about the implementation of the ABC approach into the STAR-C program in Oregon and practical considerations when implementing this type of program. The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 23 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.

Click here to view the details. 
National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care 
Webinar: Delivering Your Message in Person: Meeting with a Key Decision Maker 
As part of the Consumer Voice initiative Consumers for Quality Care, No Matter Where, this is the second in a series of four webinars on advocacy skills training. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, April 29 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. The session will include information on deciding who to meet with, assembling people, meeting preparation, how to conduct meetings, and the follow up.

Click here for more details and registration for the webinar. 
Webinar: WIOA Implementation: Employment First Planning Tool 
On Wednesday, May 6 at 1:30 p.m. ET, RespectAbility will host a webinar detailing how to create a "Unified State Plan," as required by WIOA, and how best to expand employment for people with disabilities. Speakers include Donna Meltzer of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities and Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi of RespectAbility.

Click here to access details. 
Job & Internship Postings
Program Director for Medicare/Medicaid Dual Eligibles  
The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) is seeking an experienced individual to join the Health System Performance team to conduct qualitative evaluations of the state demonstrations to integrate care for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. The Program Director is responsible for leading the qualitative evaluation of demonstrations in several states designed to integrate care for dual eligibles. The Program Director also may have responsibility for program development and management in other areas of state health policy. 

Click here to view the full posting. 
Directing Attorney, Health Team  
Justice in Aging seeks a strategic, dynamic attorney to join its Washington, D.C. office. The successful candidate will help lead our strong, respected, and effective health team. S/he will work with our team to develop and implement new projects and initiatives that improve access to health care and long term services and supports for low-income older adults across the country. In addition to leading the health team, the Directing Attorney will work closely with the Executive Director, Communications Director, and Development Director.

 Click here to access the complete posting. 
Advocacy & Communications Associate 
An Advocacy and Communications Associate position is available with RespectAbility, a non-profit organization that enables people with disabilities. The position will report to the organization's CEO and will be responsible for developing and implementing social media, web content, articles, and presentation materials. The position is located in Bethesda, MD, and is open until filled.

Click here for the full posting. 
Senior Program/Policy Analyst  
New Editions Consulting is looking for a Senior Program/Policy Analyst to join their Virginia office. Responsibilities of the position include providing technical assistance to states on CMS programs and policies. Applicants should send a resume and cover letter to HR@neweditions.net by May 31.

Click here for the full posting. 

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