August 5, 2016
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Register Today for the 2016 HCBS Conference! 

Join us for the National Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Conference held in Washington, DC, August 29 - September 1. 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. Quickly becoming the "go-to" conference for learning in the expanding field of HCBS and long-term services and supports, the Conference allows states to share best practices, present unique partnerships, and recognize the work of their peers. 

The National HCBS Conference will include federal, state, and local policymakers and those who administer, manage, and deliver waiver and other HCBS programs. The Conference always sees a strong presence from U.S. Health and Human Services ranging from the Administration for Community Living (including AoA, Office of Disability, and AIDD) to CMS, HRSA, SAMHSA, Office of Developmental Disabilities, and other federal agencies.

Click here to view details and register. 
HCBS Clearinghouse E-Clips
This section of  Friday Update highlights reports that have been added to the HCBS Clearinghouse within the past week. Visit for more information.
Future of Medicaid Transformation: A Practical Guide for States
The National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices Health Division released a new guide, "The Future of Medicaid Transformation: A Practical Guide for States." The guide provides a framework for how states can design statewide Medicaid transformation proposals, and was developed from the NGA policy academy attended by three states that initially pursued Section 1115 waivers (Alabama, Nevada, and Washington).

Click here to view the toolkit.

From the Administration
Administration for Community Living

Public Comment on Guidance for State Plans on Aging 
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) seeks public comment on the template to be used to prepare the information collection requirements contained in the Program Instruction entitled "Guidance for the Development and Submission of State Plans on Aging, State Plan Amendments and the Intrastate Funding Formula." Each State Unit on Aging is required to develop a State Plan on Aging using guidance published in this annual Program Instruction in order to be eligible to receive a formula grant under Section 307(a) of the Older Americans Act (OAA).


ACL is also seeking comments specific to the included targeting guidance that aims to ensure maximum inclusion of all populations of seniors, including older American Indians, LGBT seniors, and Holocaust survivors living in the United States, and other isolated groups of older adults. Comments are requested on the extent to which the direction provided is sufficient for states to fully assess the existence of, and develop plans for serving, these individuals and their families. If commenters believe the proposed direction is insufficient, it is requested that the commenters include the specific guidance desired as well as the practical means and data available to implement the guidance, direction, and requirements for states. Comments should be submitted to by Monday, August 22, 2016.

Click here to view the notice in the Federal Register.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

2017 Medicare Part D Premium Projection
On Friday, July 29, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) announced their projection that the average basic premium for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan will remain relatively stable in 2017 at an estimated $34 per month, which is an increase of approximately $1.50 over the actual average premium of $32.56 in 2016. "Stable Medicare prescription drug plan premiums help seniors and people with disabilities afford their prescription drugs," said Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of CMS. "However, I remain increasingly concerned about the rising cost of drugs, especially high-cost specialty drugs, and the impact of these costs on the Medicare program."
Click here to view the press release.

Click here to view detailed rate information.
Strengthening and Stabilizing the Medicaid Home Care Workforce
On Wednesday, August 3, 2016, the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services released an informational bulletin that highlights steps available to states, providers, and others to strengthen the home care workforce. The home care workforce refers to all individuals furnishing home and community-based services (HCBS), consistent with advancing goals of beneficiary autonomy and self-direction of needed services.  The bulletin states that a stable workforce, engaged in the delivery of services and supports that address the needs and preferences of beneficiaries, is a critical element to achieving continued progress towards remedying a longstanding imbalance between institutional and HCBS.

Click here to view the bulletin.
Use of New or Increased Pass-Through Payments in Medicaid Managed Care
On Friday, July 29, 2016, the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services released an informational bulletin to address whether states can increase or add new pass-through payments under Medicaid managed care plan contracts and capitation rates. These supplemental payments added to the contracted payment rates between the managed care plan and hospitals, physicians, nursing facilities, and physicians are often used by states to ensure a consistent payment stream for certain critical safety-net hospitals and providers as well as to avoid disruption of provider tax mechanisms with the move away from fee-for-service (FFS) payments. CMS' recent Medicaid managed care regulations strengthen existing policy that prohibit states from directing managed care plans' expenditures under the contract, while also providing exceptions to this general rule. Since publication of the Medicaid managed care regulations, CMS has received inquiries about states' ability to integrate new or increased pass-through payments into Medicaid managed care contracts. According to the informational bulletin, CMS believes that adding new or increased pass-through payments into Medicaid managed care contracts is inconsistent with the goals and objectives associated with the transition periods under the Medicaid managed care regulations. CMS intends to further address this policy in future rulemaking, linking pass-through payments through the transition period to amounts in place at the time the Medicaid managed care rule was effective on July 5, 2016. In addition, the bulletin describes CMS' plan for monitoring the transition of pass-through payments to approaches for provider payment under Medicaid managed care programs that are based on the delivery of services, utilization, and the outcomes and quality of the delivered services.

 Click here to view the bulletin.
Webinar: Proposed Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMS Innovation Center) is hosting a webinar to discuss the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program that was proposed on July 7, 2016. The program is a structured lifestyle intervention that includes dietary coaching, lifestyle intervention, and moderate physical activity, all with the goal of preventing the onset of diabetes in individuals who are pre-diabetic. The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, August 9, 2016, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET.

Click here to register.

CMS is accepting comments on the proposed Diabetes Prevention Program until Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Click here to view the proposed rule. 
Department of Labor

Training and Employment Notice on CILs and AJCs

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration and Office of Disability Employment Policy have issued a Training and Employment Notice (TEN) on "Promoting Employment and Economic Advancement: A Toolkit for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and American Job Centers (AJCs)." The purpose of the TEN is to provide information about services available from CILs and AJCs, as well as strengthen opportunities for collaboration between the entities that can improve employment outcomes for job seekers with disabilities.

Click here to view the notice.
Healthy People 2020
Webinar: Improving Health Outcomes through Inclusion and Participation
Healthy People 2020 is hosting a Progress Review webinar focusing on the topic areas of Disability and Health as well as Health Related Quality of Life and Well-Being.  The session will highlight how public health efforts are improving inclusion, participation, and health-related quality of life and well-being for Americans with and without disabilities. This webinar will also feature a community-based initiative, the Montana Disability and Health Program, that has successfully improved health outcomes. The event is scheduled for Thursday, August 11, 2016, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET.

Click here to register.
From Other Organizations
Consumer Voices Matter Blog Post

On Monday, July 25, 2016, the AARP Public Policy Institute published a new blog entitled "Consumer Voices Matter: Meaningful Engagement of Consumers and Caregivers in Long-Term Care." This post about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) final rule for Medicaid managed care focuses on how states can provide supports to consumers and their caregivers in ways that make meaningful contributions to their managed long term services and supports (MLTSS) programs.

Click here to view the blog.
Webinar: True Help Claiming Power to Improve Your Relationships
Allsup is hosting the webinar "True Help Claiming Power to Improve Your Relationships" as part of their series designed to empower individuals living with chronic illness and disabilities, veterans and military families.  The webinar is designed to help participants improve their relationships with friends, family, and service providers. The program features the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Colon Cancer Alliance, No Family Left Behind, and Allsup Veteran Disability Appeals ServiceŽ. The event is scheduled for Thursday, August 18, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to  2:30 p.m. ET.

Click here to register.
Center for Health Care Strategies
Webinar: Rate-Setting Strategies to Advance Medicaid Managed LTSS Goals
The Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc. (CHCS) is hosting a webinar that will highlight state approaches for using rate-setting to advance managed long term services and supports (MLTSS) program goals, including: 1) helping more people to live in the community; and 2) adjusting risk appropriately based on MLTSS cost drivers, including functional status.  Representatives from Tennessee and Wisconsin will share their experiences in refining MLTSS rate-setting approaches to achieve strategic goals. The presentation will draw from the soon-to-be released "Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports Rate Setting Resource Center" developed by CHCS, Mathematica Policy Research, and Airam Actuarial Consulting through support from West Health Policy Center. The session is scheduled for Tuesday, August 16, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET.

Click here to register.
Health Management Associates
Webinar: Physician Perspectives on Using Telemedicine to Address the Shortage of Mental Health Providers
Health Management Associates (HMA) is hosting the webinar "Physician Perspectives on Using Telemedicine to Address the Shortage of Mental Health Providers." HMA physicians, an internist and psychiatrist, will discuss the impact that telemedicine and other technologies can have on improving access and care for vulnerable mental health populations. The session will also outline the most important elements of a telemedicine program with a special emphasis on the needs of patients and perspectives of the interdisciplinary teams serving them. The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, August 25, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET.

Click here to register.
National Alzheimer's and Dementia Resource Center
Webinar: Faith-Related Dementia Programs
The National Alzheimer's and Dementia Resource Center (NADRC) will present a webinar entitled "Examples of Developing and Implementing Faith-Related Dementia Programs." Participates will learn about two faith-related programs for people with dementia and their caregivers- Alzheimer's Orange County Interfaith Outreach Program in Orange County, California and the Respite Ministry in Montgomery, Alabama.  The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, August 23, 2016, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.

Click here to register.
Helping Workers Keep Their Jobs After an Injury, Illness, or Disability
The Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy and Mathematica's Center for Studying Disability Policy is hosting the policy forum and webinar "Helping Workers Keep Their Jobs After an Injury, Illness, or Disability." The session will provide policy recommendations intended to improve the SAW/RTW outcomes for workers who experience injury, illness, or disability.  Presenters will discuss 1) steps states can take to help workers keep their jobs after injury, illness, or disability; 2) adapting a successful workers' compensation initiative to off-the-job cases; 3) and behavioral interventions designed to promote SAW/RTW. The event can be watched online or in person at Mathematica's office in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, September 13, 2016, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET.

 Click here to register
Jobs & Internships 
Mid-America Regional Council Seeks Director of Aging and Adult Services
The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) in Kansas City, Missouri is seeking a Director of Aging and Adult Services.  The director will play a key role in helping to advance the vision that all adults in the Kansas City region have access to resources and networks to support a high quality of life. The director will play a visible, active role in the broader community and state initiatives to strengthen and develop new services and systems, and will provide central leadership in internal efforts to develop and deploy a strategy for assessing and reorganizing services to older adults. At the same time, the director will be responsible for all aspects of planning and managing the effectiveness and statutory compliance of ongoing programs. In addition, MARC's Aging and Adult Services Department will support the Communities for All Ages initiative in cooperation with MARC's Community Development Department, which coordinates a variety of related local and regional planning efforts.  Applications should be submitted by Friday, August 19, 2016.

Click here to view the job announcement.
Funding Opportunities 
Native American Independent Living Demonstration Project
The Administration for Community Living (ACL), Independent Living Administration (ILA), announced a new funding opportunity that intends to 1) gain an increased understanding of service needs of Native Americans with disabilities living in Indian Country; 2) improve cultural competence in regards to the needs of specific tribal organizations targeted by current (Centers for Independent Living) CIL grantees; and 3) capture lessons learned and best practices for outreach and service delivery for Native Americans with disabilities, a traditionally under-served population. To achieve these goals, ACL is seeking applications from existing CIL grantees to develop capacity and demonstrate how to provide the five CIL core services in Indian Country. The grant application is due by Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Click here to view the announcement.

NADTC Innovations in Accessible Mobility Grant Opportunity
The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) announced a new grant opportunity intended to support program innovations that increase accessible transportation options for older adults and people with disabilities living in the community and maximize the utilization of Section 5310 and other federal funding investments. Local and regional private nonprofit or government organizations are eligible to apply for this funding opportunity.Grants of up to $50,000 each will be awarded to as many as six communities for a twelve month period. Applications are due by Friday, August 26, 2016.

Click here to view the announcement.

Benefits Enrollment Center Grants Serving Hard-to-Reach Populations
The Center for Benefits Access at the National Council on Aging (NCOA) is seeking qualified organizations to become Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs) serving hard-to-reach low-income Medicare beneficiaries. 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 - who have limited income and resources into available benefits, with the primary focus being on the following five core benefit programs: 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).
Agencies will serve specific hard-to-reach populations, such as people residing in rural areas, members of native tribes, people of color, members of the LGBT community, those with limited English proficiency (LEP), those recently released from incarceration, or veterans. BECs serving specific populations must be able to provide application assistance for a minimum of 500 people for all of the benefits for which they are eligible during an 11-month period. Applicants are encouraged to complete a notice of intent by Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. ET, and applications are due Friday, September 9, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Click here to view the Request for Proposals.

AARP Social Security Innovation Challenge
AARP is launching an Innovation Challenge to identify policy solutions to strengthen economic security for American workers and retirees by achieving Social Security solvency and maintaining benefit adequacy for future generations. Through the Challenge, scholars and researchers from a range of perspectives and sectors are invited to submit their best ideas for creating a strong Social Security system for the coming decades. Applicants are encouraged to consider macro trends (e.g., in the workforce, income, wealth, savings rates, life expectancy, fertility rates, marital status) and to take an innovative look at policy options that address these trends. Up to five successful applicants will be selected to further develop the policy innovation and will deliver a detailed policy paper on one or more specific policy innovation(s) to strengthen Social Security's solvency and/or adequacy. Additionally, AARP will work with The Urban Institute to assess the financial and distributional impact of the policy proposals developed by the successful applicants.The notice of intent is due Wednesday, August 31, 2016, and the application for funding is due Friday, September 30, 2016.

 Click here to view the announcement.

Community-Based Palliative Care Delivery for Adult Patients with Advanced Illnesses and their Caregivers
The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) posted a notice of an upcoming funding opportunity to: a) support care planning for adult patients with advanced illnesses over time that is consistent with the goals and preferences of adult patients and their caregivers, and b) support the delivery of coordinated, community-based palliative care that effectively implements those care plans. PCORI seeks to fund multiple, large, multi-site, community-based comparative effectiveness research (CER) studies to generate evidence in support of this goal. The funding announcement will be released in August 2016. The deadline for Letters of Intent (LOI) is Wednesday, September 14, 2016 

Click here to view more information.

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