News

Category: Federal News

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

HUD Makes $174.6 Million in Grant Funding Available for Construction

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced $174.6 million in grant funds through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to support the development of new affordable multifamily rental homes for low-income seniors and ongoing project rental assistance and supportive services. The grants are offered under HUD's Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program and will be awarded to nonprofit organizations across the country.

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Nursing Home Citations for Past Noncompliance

Recently, LeadingAge Minnesota received more questions about citations for past noncompliance actions and how those citations impact the five-star rating, calculating fines, and appeals.

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New Five-Star Reports Available with Staffing Domain Changes

New Five-Star Reports that reflect recent changes to the Five-Star Staffing Domain are ready to view in the LeadingAge Minnesota Data Portal. Primary contacts have access to the portal to view these reports. 

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Updated SNF QRP User’s Manual Now Available

The Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Quality Measures Calculations and Reporting User’s Manual Version 4.0 is now available. Changes go into effect on Oct. 1.

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Notice of Funds Available for Home Modifications Supports Aging at Home

This week, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge visited Minnesota to announce the availability of new funding for the Older Adult Home Modification Program. The federal government will provide an additional $15 million to help senior citizens across the country up

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FDA Includes Bi-valent Vaccine with Omicron Variant Protection in Amended EUA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for Moderna and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines yesterday.

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CMS Researchers Enter Nursing Homes to Establish a Federal Staffing Standard

This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to conduct a four-part analysis in pursuit of establishing a federal minimum staffing standard in nursing homes. As part of their study, researchers will visit 75 nursing homes across the country over the next three months though none are planned for Minnesota sites. A national staffing plan would be incorporated into skilled nursing proposed rules published next spring.

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New SNF QRP Measure Begins Oct. 1

Care centers must track and report flu vaccination information to the CDC this fall.

The reporting period for the new Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) measure "Influenza Vaccination Coverage among Healthcare Personnel" (HCP) begins Oct. 1.

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Free Webinar to Understand the CMS Five-Star Staffing Rating Changes

LeadingAge New York is holding one-hour training sessions next week to review the Five-Star Quality Rating System changes. The training will focus on changes to the Staffing Domain, the impact on the staffing and overall ratings, and how these changes will be reflected in the Five-Star reports.

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Updates from CMS on Staffing Standards Study in Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that, due to the significant response to the Request for Information on establishing a minimum staffing standard, it will conclude the staffing study in December. Initially, we expected the study to be part of the recently-issued final 2023 Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System rule.

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New National Survey Shows Double Digit Pay Increases for Caregivers

A new national report found that the national average hourly rate for CNAs and RNs increased by over 10% from 2021 to 2022, with virtually all titles showing significant salary jumps credited to the pandemic and ongoing staffing shortages.

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HHS Announces Proposed Rule to Strengthen Nondiscrimination in Health Care

On July 25, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR), issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise regulations relating to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (Section 1557), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics), in covered health programs or activities.

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New 988 Mental Health Crisis Lifeline Launched on July 16

People facing a mental health crisis can now dial 988 to connect to support. The change is part of a nationwide effort to transition the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to a phone number people can more easily remember and access in times of crisis. The shift also includes an online chat feature and a new texting option.

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Weekend Staffing and Staff Turnover Data Added to Five-Star Quality Ratings

The July 2022 Care Compare refresh includes the addition of nursing home staff turnover rates and weekend nurse staffing levels to the Five-Star Quality Ratings. The refresh also consists of a change to how staffing scores can impact a nursing home's Overall Five-Star Quality Rating.

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Reviewing the COVID-19 Data Tracker

Providers across the state must utilize data per regulatory requirements to help determine specific COVID-19 protocols, yet many data sources from different regulators can confuse the process.

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Civil Monetary Penalty Funds Available to Nursing Homes for Air Filters and Visitation Aids

In February, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued expanded guidance for the COVID-19 In-Person Visitation Aid Grants available to nursing homes.

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CNA Training Lockout Bill Introduced in US Senate

On June 13, US Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced S.4381, the Ensuring Seniors' Access to Quality Care Act, which would address the "CNA lockout" that's contributing to the long-term care staffing crisis across the country.

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CMS Releases Nursing Home Survey Guidance for Phase 3 Requirements

On June 29, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released long-awaited updates to the nursing home surveyor guidance found in Appendix PP to the State Operations Manual.

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CMS Plans Site Visits to Assess HCBS Settings Rule Compliance

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has been notified by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of their plans to conduct site visits of several provider settings this summer to review their compliance with the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule. Site visits will occur the week of July 25.

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CMS Relaxes Frequency of Inspection for Vaccination Requirement Compliance

This week, CMS announced that survey oversight of the staff vaccination mandate for Medicare and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers will continue to be performed during initial and recertification surveys but will now only be performed in response to complaints alleging non-compliance with this requirement, not all complaint surveys. This news comes after CMS determined that 95% of nearly 12,000 providers and suppliers surveyed by states have been in substantial compliance with this requirement.

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