News

Category: Federal News

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

CMS Offers Weekly COVID-19 Learning Opportunities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosts several recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Here are call details for opportunities this week:  

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Update: OSHA Issued New Interim Enforcement Response Plan and Guidance for COVID-19

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recently issued an updated interim enforcement response plan for dealing with workplace investigations during COVID-19. In addition, OSHA released revised enforcement guidance for recording cases of COVID-19. These two requirements went into effect on May 26 and replace the previous interim enforcement response plan and recordkeeping guidance, respectively, on that date. Finally, OSHA also released an alert on COVID-19 Guidance for Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Workers.  

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Providers Call for More COVID-19 Relief Federal Funding for Assisted Living

As the federal government continues to provide funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, senior living providers continue to express concerns that the support leaves assisted living, memory care and independent living behind.  

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Adult Day: Allowable Services

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has amended service delivery for Adult Day Services in response to COVID -19. Allowable services, with the consent of the Veteran as allowed by state plan, include: 

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New CMS Toolkit Helps Advance Telehealth

In response to the COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded access to telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries and nursing home residents. A new toolkit from CMS can help states identify which aspects of their statutory and regulatory infrastructure may impede the rapid deployment of telehealth capabilities in their Medicaid program.  

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Now Available: COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfecting Webinar Recording & Handouts

As reported last week, HUD and the CDC delivered presentations on their interim guidance on facility cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19. The recorded webinar and handouts, which are helpful to any housing setting and staff, is now available.  

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President Trump Calls for Testing of All Nursing Home Residents and Staff

President Trump yesterday called upon states to universally test all nursing home residents and staff within the next two weeks. The announcement, however, did not provide details or support for how states would complete this widespread testing. 

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Inspections, Testing Top Long-Term Care Priorities of House Task Force

A new blueprint introduced by the U.S> House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Aging and Families on will make long-term care and affordable seniors housing a priority for future pandemic relief. The blueprint includes:  

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Push for Transparency in Assisted Living is Met with Request to Prioritize PPE & Testing

Three members of Congress recently asked 11 assisted living companies to detail their case counts and strategies related to COVID-19, including their use of personal protective equipment, testing, visitation polices, and sick leave, family leave, medical leave and hazard pay offered to employees. LeadingAge and Argentum used this call for information as an opportunity to push the federal government to prioritize assisted living operators for PPE and other resources to combat COVID-19. 

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Take Action: Contract Congress for Affordable Senior Housing Relief

Congress is working on its next COVID-19 funding package and now is the time to raise our voices to support affordable senior housing. Join us to urge Congress to provide funding and support for affordable senior housing, including a $1.012 billion package of relief funds for affordable senior housing:   

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HUD COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfecting Webinar

The U.S. Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) this week delivered presentations on their interim guidance on facility cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19.  

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House Task Force Presses for $100 Million in Long Term Care Funding

A newly-formed Democratic task force in the U.S. House is pushing Congress to immediately distribute $100 million in funding to aid infection control efforts in senior care settings. Among the priorities:  

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PPE: Possibly Headed to Nursing Homes, But We Demand More for All Senior Care Providers

According to a news report, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be direct shipping PPE – masks, gowns, gloves, eye protection – to every one of the 15,400 nursing homes in the nation.  While this forthcoming action is welcome, it is not nearly enough. It is unacceptable to not provide PPE to ALL senior care and living providers.   

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Senate Approves $484 Billion in COVID-19 Funding

The U.S. Senate yesterday approved $484 billion to provide from the effects of COVID-19. The bill includes $75 billion for personal protective equipment, $25 billion for testing and $310 million in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. It is no clear at this time whether the funds for PPE will be prioritized for nursing homes and assisted living.  

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$200 Million Available for COVID-19 Telehealth Program

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is accepting applications for $200 million in funding through the COVID-19 Telehealth Program. 

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CARES Act Temporarily Suspends Federal Student Loan Payments and Interest

The federal COVID-19 relief bill known as the CARES Act includes benefits that go beyond payments to individuals and financial assistance to health care providers.  One of the lesser known benefits is a temporary suspension of interest accrual and monthly payments on some student loans. 

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Low-Income Housing Advocacy Amid COVID-19

LeadingAge continues to urge various program offices within HUD, and the agency at large, to provide further support and guidance for housing providers serving older adults during this health and economic emergency.  

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HUD COVID Call April 16

HUD housing providers are encouraged to join the LeadingAge daily COVID-19 call on April 16 that will feature a specific update from the HUD Multifamily Housing Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight.  

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Ask Congress to Include Aging Services Relief in Next COVID-19 Relief Bill

Congress is working on the next COVID-19 relief bill. Contact our senators and your representative to tell them to include this funding and critical resources for aging services providers:  

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HUD Clarifies Options for Income Certifications, Electronic Submissions

HUD-assisted housing communities across the country continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19, including by helping residents lower their rent contributions if they have lost income due to the crisis. In an updated guidance document from April 2, HUD clarified options that housing property staff have for completing income recertifications as residents face economic challenges during COVID-19.  

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