News

Category: Federal News

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

Tell Congress: Include Investments for Older Adults

Congress has begun developing a $3.5 trillion infrastructure investment package — so NOW is the moment to make sure U.S. Representatives and Senators hear our voices!

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LeadingAge National Advocates for Members on CMS Vaccination Rule

On behalf of members across the country, the LeadingAge national team has submitted comments to CMS on the recently-issued rule requiring nursing homes to offer COVID-19 vaccine to residents and staff, to educate residents and staff regarding the benefits and potential side effects of the vaccine, and to report COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutics treatment information to NSHN.

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Transition BCA to Nursing Assistant with OnTrack

Many skilled nursing facilities are planning ahead and transitioning caregivers and Basic Care Aides into Registered Nursing Assistant positions. The 1135 Waiver and corresponding MDH approvals that allow nursing assistants to work without being on the Registry still apply. However, there is growing concern amongst members on making the transition in advance of the waiver discontinuing.

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New Report Outlines Workforce Vision

LeadingAge National's LTSS Center @UMass Boston released a report titled Feeling Valued Because They Are Valued, describing “a vision for professionalizing the caregiving workforce in the field of long-term services and supports.”

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Emergency Preparedness Standards for Assisted Living

Our team has created a new resource to support assisted living facilities with understanding and implementing the emergency preparedness requirements contained in the so-called "Appendix Z."

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CMS Extends Flexibility on Emergency Preparedness Exercises

CMS has extended a regulatory flexibility relating to emergency preparedness exercises.

Under CMS regulations, nursing facilities are required to conduct two emergency preparedness testing exercises annually – with exercises alternating between full-scale functional exercises and exercises of choice (mock drill, table-top exercise, workshop).

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OSHA Issues Temporary Emergency Standard for Healthcare Settings

The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on June 10 issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect healthcare workers from contracting coronavirus.

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HUD Prepares Housing Providers for Disaster Season

With the start of tornado, wildfire, and flood season, HUD has reminded subsidized housing communities of their responsibilities for both properties and residents in the event of a disaster.

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Save the Date: Pre-1974 HUD Section 202 Preservation

Please join LeadingAge on Thursday, June 10 at 1 p.m. CT for a conversation about preserving pre-1974 Section 202 Direct Loan affordable senior housing communities. Nationally, there are more than 10,000 pre-1974 Section 202 Direct Loan apartments.

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FAQ: Can I Correct NHSN Data Once It Is Submitted?

With CMS announcing that it will make public vaccination rate data submitted by nursing homes to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network, it reminds us of the need for providers to ensure accurate data reporting.

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HUD Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Partnership Webinars

Last week’s HUD and HHS announced a joint effort to increase vaccine access at HUD-assisted communities. Yesterday, the Department announced it is hosting COVID-19 webinars focusing on housing and health partnerships, the COVID-19 vaccine, and community health workers.

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HUD Details June Restart to Physical Inspections

On Thursday, HUD provided more information about their June restart to physical inspections for both regular UPCS and NSPIRE demonstration properties, including an FAQ document, a flyer for residents, a memo to property owners, and an inspector notice. HUD has also informed us that they are working on several translations for the resident flyer.

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Biden Issues Executive Order on Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

On April 27, President Biden issued an Executive Order to increase the federal minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $15 per hour.

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HUD Announces June Return To Physical Inspections

On April 23, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge announced that HUD will substantially increase housing inspections for Multifamily Housing communities and Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) during the public health emergency, including properties participating in the NSPIRE demonstration program, beginning June 1. The restarted inspections will temporarily provide properties with 28 days advance notice instead of the regular 14-day notice.

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Expanded Emergency Preparedness Guidelines for Long-Term Care Facilities

As we reported earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued memorandum QSO-21-15-ALL providing updated guidance (Appendix Z) for all providers covered by the federal Emergency Preparedness requirements.

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HUD Updates Section 202 NOFA FAQs

On April 15, HUD updated the Frequently Asked Questions associated with the Section 202 Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA), applications for which are due May 26. Based on the questions submitted, HUD has updated the FAQs. The new update includes questions on Opportunity Zones, FHA-insured financing in the development of projects, Environmental Review contacts, Appraisals, Physical Design, and Income Restrictions. The new questions are numbered 4, 16, 17, 30, 31, 32, 33, and 61 in this updated FAQ on the 202 NOFA website.

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Round Two of FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Program Announced

The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau will begin accepting applications for Round 2 of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program on Thursday, April 29 at www.fcc.gov/covid19telehealth. The filing window will last seven calendar days and close on Thursday, May 6 at 11 a.m. CT. Round 2 of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program is a $249.95 million federal initiative that builds on Round 1—a $200 million program established as part of the CARES Act. 

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CMS Releases Proposed Rule that Updates SNF Rates

Late last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an annual Proposed Rule that updates the SNF PPS rates effective October 1, 2021.  CMS will follow up with a final rule on the October 1 rates around August 1.

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CMS Expands Emergency Preparedness Interpretive Guidelines

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued memorandum QSO-21-15-ALL providing updated guidance (Appendix Z) for all providers covered by the federal Emergency Preparedness requirements. CMS is currently working on updates to the Emergency Preparedness Basic Surveyor Training Course to reflect the new changes.

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“Information Blocking” Rule Takes Effect But Enforcement Mechanism Is Delayed

A set of rules took effect this week that are designed to support secure patient access to electronic medical records, as well as smooth electronic exchange of patient information. The so-called “Information Blocking” rule was developed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

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