News

Category: Federal News

Welcome to the Federal News category. These news items pertain to aging services national policies and programs.

HUD to Join Aug. 17 LeadingAge Call with Updated NSPIRE Inspection Standards

On August 3, HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) released a fully updated set of NSPIRE Inspection Standards for the physical inspection demonstration program.

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HUD Updates Multifamily Q&A

The U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department (HUD) updated its Q&A for Multifamily Housing programs. The July 31 Q&A document relays HUD’s guidance on operational and procedural questions related to the safe administration of HUD-assisted programs during COVID-19. In the Q&A, HUD provides clarity on mask requirements for residents, testing requirements for residents, and management and occupancy reviews. Included in the updates: 

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CMS Extends Deadline for Use of Renewed ABN for Medicare Part B Services

As we previously reported, the Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN) Form CMS-R-131 and instructions have been approved for renewal.  

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SNF Quality Reporting Program Temporary Exceptions Have Expired

A reminder that the temporary reporting relief outlined in the March 27 CMS memo for the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP) and SNF Value-Based Purchasing (SNF VBP) program has expired as of June 30, 2020. 

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CMS to Outline SNF Prospective Payment Rule on Thursday Open Door Forum

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will share information on fiscal year 2021 skilled nursing facility payment policies during a Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)/Long Term Care Open Door Forum this Thursday, Aug. 6 at 1 p.m.  The full agenda will include:     

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HUD Answers Questions on COVID-19 Supplemental Payment Funds

Application forms for the COVID-19 Supplemental Payment funds are due to HUD by Aug. 5. 

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Potential Funds Available for Private Pay Assisted Living

Relief funds for private-pay assisted living providers are under consideration by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. 

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New U.S. Senate Bill Includes Liability Protections

A Republican proposal introduced in the U.S. Senate this week, the HEALS Act (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools Act) includes measures that address liability protections.  

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HUD Announces Service Coordinator CARES Act Allocation

The U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department (HUD) released a memo last week outlining plans to allocate the $10 million in Service Coordinator funding approved by the CARES Act at the end of March. The funds will support approximately 1,600 properties with grant-funded Service Coordinator programs. The agency said they plan to issue guidance for budget-funded Service Coordination and other COVID-related expenses soon.  

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LeadingAge Regional HUD Monthly Calls Start July 16

A monthly call is now available for HUD provider members to join others in our region for news and discussion.  Minnesota joins with LeadingAge Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana for these meetings which are scheduled for the third Thursday of each month at noon. 

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Reminder: Advance Beneficiary Notice for Part B Services Has Been Renewed

The Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN), Form CMS-R-131, and instructions have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for renewal.  The use of the renewed form with the expiration date of 06/30/2023 will be mandatory on Aug. 31, 2020.

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CMS Extends Deadlines for HCBS Settings Rule

On July 14, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new guidance for states with respect to the home and community-based services (HCBS) Settings Rule. Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS is extending key deadlines for compliance with the Settings Rule, including the final compliance deadline that is now March 17, 2023. 

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Action Alert: Affordable Housing Provisions Must Be Included in Next COVID-19 Relief Package

The $1.2 billion in financial support provided by the Emergency Housing Assistance for Older Adults Act (S. 4177, H.R. 6873) must be included in Congress’ next COVID-19 relief package. Ask your members of Congress to help the more than 700,000 older adults in HUD-assisted housing. S. 4177 and H.R. 6873 would provide key relief for affordable senior housing communities navigating the impacts of the coronavirus crisis, including: 

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Reminder: Check Exclusions Databases Monthly

Organizations that participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs are prohibited from employing or contracting with a person or vendor on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG), List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE). 

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CMS Announces Changes to Five-Star System and Restart of PBJ Data Submission

In a policy memo on June 25, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced temporary changes to the 5-star rating system on Nursing Home Compare. These changes include freezing pieces of the staffing and quality measures domains, as well as the immediate end to the payroll-based journal (PBJ) staffing submission waiver. 

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Advance Beneficiary Notice for Part B Services Has Been Renewed

The Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN), Form CMS-R-131, and instructions have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for renewal. The use of the renewed form with the expiration date of June 30, 2023 will be mandatory on Aug. 31, 2020.   

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Shared Accountability: New National Commission on Nursing Home Safety & Quality

A new White House commission focused on protecting nursing home residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond was announced last week. Providers who were appointed to that commission are seeking deeper collaboration with regulators that is focused more on solutions, not penalties.  

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Affordable Housing: RAD for PRAC Call with HUD on June 30

Affordable housing providers should plan to participate in a RAD for PRAC call with HUD on Tuesday, June 30 at 1 p.m. The call will feature information about RAD flexibilities during COVID-19 and other updates, as well as a discussion on the new RAD for PRAC forms.  

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Paycheck Protection Program Loans Still Available

As part of the response to COVID-19, the federal government has also been offering forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans to qualified small businesses through local lenders. Funding remains available for additional loans, so members who qualify and have not yet received a loan can still apply. 

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HUD Urged to Release Millions Earmarked for Affordable Housing for Older Adults

LeadingAge has called upon the U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department (HUD) to release the $50 million for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program and remaining $200 million of Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance funds.  

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