Family Caregiver Alliance
Volume XIII, Number 1 - February19, 2013
As you may have noticed, FCA's Caregiver PolicyDigest has been on hiatus for a few months. We appreciate your patience and are happy to announce its' return with a brand new look! We welcome your feedback and encourage you to forward to others who may find it relevant to their work. Enjoy.
State Legislation, Policy & Reports
Articles of interest on pending and proposed legislation as well as current policies and new reports surrounding caregiving and healthcare at the state level.

1. California Healthline: Brown Highlights Budget, Health Care
in State of the State Address
2. Rhode Island:Family Caregivers Support Act of 2013
3. Vermont:Update on the Support and Services at Home (SASH) Program
4. Minnesota: Victory for Family Caregivers
5. New Jersey:  Caregiver's Assistance Act
6. Georgia: New program at Emory University Supports Family Caregivers
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Federal Legislation, Policy & Reports 
Articles of interest on pending and proposed legislation as well as current policies and new reports surrounding caregiving and healthcare across the United States.


1. Two New Reports from Family Caregiver Alliance's National Center on Caregiving

2. Health and Human Services: More Doctors, Hospitals Partner to Coordinate Care for People with Medicare

3. AHRQ Hospital at Homesm Care Reduces Costs, Readmissions, and Complications and Enhances Satisfaction for Elderly Patients

4. States Make Medicaid Enrollment Easier in Preparation for Healthcare Reform

5. The Public's Health Care Agenda for the 113th Congress - (Kaiser Family Foundation / Robert Wood Johnson Foundation / Harvard School of Public Health)  


International News
International news surrounding caregiving and related healthcare issues from countries around the world.

1. Goa, India: The Effectiveness of a Home Care Program for Supporting Caregivers of Persons with Dementia in Developing Countries: A Randomized Controlled Trial from Goa, India


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Research Reports & Journal Articles
Organizational reports and professional journal articles of interest surrounding caregiving and healthcare nationally and world-wide.

1. Scan Foundation 1: Who Pays for Long-Term Care in CA?

2. Scan Foundation 2: Fact Sheet about California's Budget

3. Scan Foundation 3: Who Pays for Long-Term Care in the U.S.?


Conferences & Trainings
Upcoming trainings, educational conferences and speaker series on caregiving and related healthcare topics.

1. ASA 2013: The Aging in America Conference

2. 13th Population Health Colloquium

3. Medication Safety Webinar - [National Council on Aging] 

4. Social Media Toolkit  - New for Senior Centers

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Funding, Media & Miscellaneous
Information and links related to funding and media and more...

1. Call for Proposals New Jersey Health Initiatives - Primary Care Workforce Innovations
2. Call for Proposals, PCORI Funding Announcement: Cycle III Application System Opens 
3. Fact Sheets from The Family Caregiver Alliance
4. Updates Website 
5. 10 Things You Can Do To Support Aging with Dignity and Independence 
6. Blog on Long-Term Care: Creating Realistic Long-Term Care Solutions as Part of the Entitlement Reform Debate
STATE . . .

state1California Healthline: Brown Highlights Budget, Health Care in State of the State Address
In his State of the State address on Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown promoted his fiscal year 2013-2014 budget proposal and discussed several Medi-Cal (California's Medicaid program) health care initiatives.Brown's plan includes an expansion of Medi-Cal to individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. The expansion---- included in the Affordable Care Act---- is expected to add up to 1.5 million newly eligible adults to the program. The budget plan also includes a 4.9% funding increase for In-Home Supportive Services---- with an assumption that the state will implement a 20% reduction in IHSS service hours in November---- and a $142 million funding increase for Cal-WORKs, the state's welfare-to-work program. . . .  READ MORE


state2Rhode Island: Family Caregiver Support Act of 2013  

The Family Caregivers Support Act of 2013 would create a family caregiver support act which would require a caregiver assessment if the plan of care involves a family caregiver. A plan of care would then be developed which would take into account the needs of the caregiver and the recipient. The Act was submitted In January 2013, and is currently being held in committee. . . .  READ MORE



state3Vermont: Update on the Support and Services at Home (SASH) Program  
The Support and Services at Home (SASH) model of Vermont brings a caring partnership together to support aging at home. A directory was developed to aid the SASH programs in developing and revising their Community Healthy Aging Plans, a key component of SASH. It is a ready-made "menu" of proven and promising practices for each SASH program to pick and choose from, based on the needs of their populations. The practices cover five intervention target areas: Lifestyle barriers to good health, falls prevention, medication management, chronic conditions, cognitive deficits and mental health problems. . . . READ MORE 


state4Minnesota: Victory for Family Caregivers  


In 2011, Minnesota passed a cost-saving amendment that would cut family caregiver wages by 20%. In December 2012, the Minnesota Court of Appeals deemed the legislation unconstitutional, and the Department of Human Services (DHS) decided not to appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The cuts would have taken effect on July 1, 2013, but many were already affected when their wages were pre-emptively cut by agencies that employed them. That back pay will be restored. . . .  READ MORE  



state5New Jersey: Caregiver's Assistance Act 
The proposed Caregiver's Assistance Act would provide tax credit for family caregivers. Under the proposed legislation, called the Caregiver's Assistance Act, individuals or couples who care for an elderly family member would be eligible to receive up to a $675 gross income tax credit to help offset expenses not covered by Medicare. In addition to the $675 cap, the proposed tax credits would be limited to individuals who earn less than $50,000 a year and couples earning less than $100,000 who are caring for a family member with income below $20,000. . . .  READ MORE

state6Georgia: New Program at Emory University Supports Family Caregivers  

Emory employees who are caregivers for adult family members or foresee they will be are the beneficiaries of a new program, the Emory Caregiver Support Program.The program is the result of nearly two years of research and planning to support employees who are responsible for the care of an aging, sick or chronically ill adult family member.The Emory Caregiver Support Program includes: Policy changes to enhance the support of employees with adult caregiving responsibilities; Increased efforts to support workplace flexibility on campus; Increased resources centralized through the Emory WorkLife Resource Center; Expanded workshop offerings to better meet the resource needs and health and wellness of employee caregivers and their families; Increased awareness about wellness services available to employee caregivers and their families through the Faculty Staff Assistance Program; Additional benefits to address the diversity of caregiving needs held by employees and their family members; Enhancements to the Emory WorkLife Resource Center. . . . READ MORE  



fed1National Center on Caregiving
Two reports were recently released from Family Caregiver Alliance's National Center on Caregiving. 


fed2Health and Human Services: More Doctors, Hospitals Partner to Coordinate Care for People with Medicare 

Kathleen Sebelius, the director of the Department of Health and Human Services announced on January 10, 2013 that doctors and health care providers have formed 106 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in Medicare, ensuring as many as 4 million Medicare beneficiaries now have access to high-quality, coordinated care across the United States. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 250 ACOs have been established. ACOs can be established by doctors and health care providers in order to work together to provide higher-quality care to their patients, while lowering costs. Beneficiaries using ACOs always have the freedom to choose doctors inside or outside of the ACO. Approximately half of all ACOs are physician-led organizations that serve fewer than 10,000 beneficiaries, approximately 20% include community health centers, rural health centers and critical access hospitals that serve low-income and rural communities. . . . READ MORE


fed3AHRQ Hospital at Home Care Reduces Costs, Readmissions, and Complications and Enhances Satisfaction for Elderly Patients 
AHRQ's Hospital at Homesm program provides hospital-level care (including daily physician and nurse visits, diagnostic testing, treatment, and other support) in a patient's home as a full substitute for acute hospital care for selected conditions that are common among seniors. Studies have shown that the Hospital at Home program results in lower length of stay, costs, readmission rates, and complications than does traditional inpatient care, and surveys indicate higher levels of patient and family member satisfaction than with traditional care. . . . READ MORE 


fed4States Make Medicaid Enrollment Easier in Preparation for Healthcare Reform  

Most states are making the online application process easier in preparation for the Affordable Care Act mandate that requires all states to offer online Medicaid enrollment by January 2014. States are also required to provide assistance to prospective enrollees. Pennsylvania, Michigan and Utah are the only states that have not begun work or submitted a planning document to upgrade its Medicaid eligibility system. Thirty-seven states currently offer online applications. . . . READ MORE  


fed5Kaiser Family Foundation/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health: The Public's Health Care Agenda for the 113th Congress  
A comprehensive new Kaiser Family Foundation/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health survey queried the public about their priorities for, and views on, a wide range of health and health policy issues. 55% of those polled said that establishing an insurance exchange/marketplace should be a top priority. 52% believed that Medicaid should be expanded to include more low income people. 58% and 46% do not want cuts in Medicare or Medicaid respectively. 60% of seniors polled reported that Medicare was working well for them. . . . READ MORE 




Intl1Goa, India:
The Effectiveness of a Home Care Program for Supporting Caregivers of Persons with Dementia in Developing Countries: A Randomized Controlled Trial from Goa, India
This study aimed to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a home based intervention in reducing caregiver burden, promoting caregiver mental health and reducing behavioral problems in elderly persons with dementia. This is the first trial evaluating the effectiveness of a community based intervention for persons with dementia and their caregivers. The caregiver/person with dementia dyads were randomized into an intervention and control group. The intervention was a "flexible, stepped-care model primarily aimed to improve the awareness and knowledge of family caregivers regarding dementia, to provide emotional support to caregivers, to maximize their caregiving resources and to improve their caregiving skills. The main findings showed that the intervention led to significant improvements in caregiver mental health and perceived burden. . . . READ MORE



rsch1Scan Foundation: Who Pays for Long-Term Care in California? 

A fact sheet from the Scan Foundation shows that California spends approximately 57% of its Medi-Cal long-term care funding on home- and community-based services (HCBS), such as personal assistance with eating, bathing or dressing provided in one's home. Forty-three percent is directed toward institutional long-term care, which includes nursing homes, intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities who do not need continuous nursing care, but require supervision and personal assistance, and mental health facility services. . . . READ MORE


rsch2Scan Foundation: Fact Sheet about The California Budget  

The Scan Foundation has released a fact sheet about the California budget titled, California's Proposed 2013-14 Budget: Impact on California's Seniors and People with Disabilities. . . . READ MORE


rsch3Scan Foundation: Who Pays for Long-Term Care in the U.S.?
A fact sheet from the Scan Foundation shows Medicaid long-term care expenditures for FY 2010 totaled $129.3 billion or approximately 31% of total Medicaid spending. In that same period, approximately 45% of Medicaid long-term care funding was spent on HCBS. About 55% was directed toward institutional long-term care, which includes nursing homes and intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities, and mental health facility services. . . . READ MORE



conf1The 2013 Aging in America Conference: March 12-16, 2003

The 2013 Aging in America Conference will be held this year from March 12-16, 2013 in Chicago. This conference brings together relevant content, innovations and best practices, and develops thought leadership on the most critical issues in the field of aging. Register here.

Please join us in a number of FCA-sponsored events at ASA including:
  • Caregiver Assessment Within HCBS Programs Across the States, March 13, 2013, 8 - 9:30 am. This workshop offers expanded coverage of our national survey to examine caregiver assessment on the state level within HCBS programs.  
  • Symposium on Caregiver Assessment: Research, Policy and Practice Issues, March 14, 2013 from 1 - 4pm This Symposium will cover four projects related to caregiver assessment: a pilot test of a self-administered caregiver assessment in HCBS programs in 4 counties in New Jersey; an updated inventory of caregiver assessment tools; a critical review of caregiver assessment in transitional care programs; and caregiver assessment within Medicaid waiver HCBS programs and Personal Care Services in the states.
  • Caregiving Legacy Awards 5 Year Anniversary Celebration, Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer's Disease, March 14th, 6:30 - 8 pm Join us for a celebration of the 2012 award winners and recognition of these innovators in the advancement of caregiving for Alzheimer's disease.The award reception also serves as a five-year celebration of the Innovations in Alzheimer's award program and will acknowledge all previous winners for their excellence in the categories of Diverse/Multicultural Communities, Policy & Advocacy, and Creative Expression. . . . READ MORE


conf2The 13th Population Health Colloquium: March 13-15

The 13th Population Health Colloquium will be held this year from March 13-15, 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. This colloquium is the leading forum on innovations in population health and care coordination. It is sponsored by the Jefferson School of Population Health. For more information:
Phone: (800) 503-7439
Email:  . . . READ MORE 



conf3Webinar: National Council on Aging, Medication Safety 
This webinar will be held Friday, February 28, 2013 from 3:00-4:30pm EST. Medication-related problems and errors are a growing and very common issue, especially with older adults. Serious medical issues can result from improper use of all types of medications. This webinar will teach about medication safety among older adults and how the HomeMeds program can help. For more information and to register. . . . READ MORE


conf4New Social Media Toolkit for Senior Centers

Our National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) has produced a new Social Media Toolkit designed to help senior centers attract participants and generate interest in their programming. The guide offers tips on building a Facebook page, using Twitter, and sharing videos on YouTube. . . . READ MORE   



fund1Call for Proposals. New Jersey Health Initiatives - Primary Care Workforce Innovations.
New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI), a statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, invites organizations to apply under New Jersey Health Initiatives: Primary Care Workforce Innovations. In brief, projects that will be supported are those that seek to redesign the practice team by implementing creative workforce models, and using human resources in ways that improve access to, and quality of care without raising the overall cost. Project funds will support the redesign of the current primary care workforce within a practice, as well as participation in a learning network focused on primary care practice redesign and workforce development. Deadline: March 14, 2013 (3:00 p.m. ET). . . . MORE INFORMATION


fund2Call for Proposals, PCORI Funding Announcement: Cycle III Application System Opens 

Call for Proposals, PCORI Funding Announcement: Cycle III Application System Opens. The online application system is now open for Cycle III funding for PCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs) issued under the first four of the five National Priorities for Research.  


There are three funding cycles each year for all PFAs, which correspond to the following national priority areas:

  • Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options - for projects that address critical decisions that patients, their caregivers and clinicians face with too little information; Improving Healthcare Systems - for projects that address critical decisions that face health care systems, the patients and caregivers who rely on them, and the clinicians who work within them;  
  • Communication and Dissemination - for projects that address critical elements in the communication and dissemination process among patients, their caregivers and clinicians;  
  • Addressing Disparities - for projects that will inform the choice of strategies to eliminate disparities. You can learn more about all future funding milestones and access application materials, including the revised Application Guidelines, in the PCORI Application Center. For any questions, please contact . . . MORE INFORMATION 
fund3Fact Sheets from The Family Caregiver Alliance 
 The facts sheets are available in English, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean, covering topics such as: Caregiving issues and strategies, health conditions, legal issues, and statistics and demographics. There are also teleconferencing archives, as well as other FCA publications.- READ MORE Updates Website    

Changes to the site include an interactive timeline for the Affordable Care Act (displaying what will be changing and when, by year), and new information about the Health Insurance Marketplace, a new way for consumers to find and buy health insurance. Open enrollment begins October 1, 2013. Check the website for more. . . .  READ MORE 


fund510 Things You Can Do To Support Aging with Dignity and Independence 
Americans are living longer than ever before. This country currently lacks a system of care and support that enables older adults to age with dignity, independence, and choice in the face of increasing health and daily needs. Vulnerable older adults need more affordable and accessible options for receiving care and support in their homes so that they don't have to end up in a nursing home. Fulfilling this need will take unprecedented levels of public involvement in our neighborhoods, communities, and at the state and federal levels.The Scan Foundation has put together a list of 10 ways you can help to ensure that a system of care is available for you and your loved ones should you ever need it. . . . READ MORE

fund6Blog: Creating Realistic Long-Term Care Solutions as Part of the Entitlement Reform Debate   

Bruce Chernof, President and CEO of The SCAN Foundation discusses current and projected expenses as people live longer lives with more functional impairments, and how the country must plan for that eventuality. He discusses the Congress-approved formation of a commission to propose policy solutions to address the long-term care challenges that a growing number of Americans face, which is a long overdue step towards bringing the long-term care needs of Americans to the forefront of public policy debate, and this will occur as the country's entitlement reform discussion takes center stage. It is important to address the issue of the long-term care now with regard to Medicare and Medicaid expenditures because this is a situation all Americans will face one way or another. . . . READ MORE  


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