News

Category: Federal News

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

Now Active: VA Community Care Network

The Community Care Networks (CCNs) from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are now active. CCNs replace the Veterans Choice Program and are designed to expand the provider network and improve customer service for veterans and timeliness of payments for providers. Along with Veterans Care Agreements, the CCNs are the main vehicle through which VA pays non-VA providers.  

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HUD Seeks 15% Budget Cut but More Funding for Section 202 Housing

Yes. You read that correctly. The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) is seeking a 15% cut to its own funding in fiscal year 2021 that will have a detrimental impact on programs that serve older adults. 

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New Video Resource: PRACtical RAD Overview

The U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department (HUD) has released the first of a series of short videos on RAD for PRAC.  

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1 in 6 Medicaid Dollars at Stake: Medicaid Takes a Hit in Trump Budget

We delved deeper into the proposed fiscal year 2021 budget from the Trump Administration and discovered a $1 trillion spending cut that could impact aging services and the people you serve. While there is a lack of detail on where these cuts would come from and the budget is likely dead on arrival, it provides perspective on the Administration's vision for Medicaid that could come into play as part of the November election.  

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President Trump Releases Budget

President Donald Trump this week released A Budget for America’s Future, which includes $4 trillion in mandatory and discretionary budget cuts in FY 2021 that would result in significant reductions to federal health care spending, including Medicare and Medicaid and other entitlement programs.  

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New CMS Block Grant Waivers Could Endanger Funding

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a state Medicaid director's letter on Jan. 30 outlining how states can apply for Medicaid block grant waivers. We oppose Medicaid block grants and similar initiatives that would limit Medicaid funding, including per capita caps. 

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CMS Urges Healthcare Settings to Prepare for Possibility of Coronavirus

As concerns arise with the emerging 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) threat, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging all healthcare settings to carefully review information provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

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Trump Administration Efforts on Fair Housing and Public Charge Pose Concerns for Aging Services Providers

The Trump Administration is working on three major changes in the area of affordable housing and pathways to citizenship that will weaken obligations to fair housing, lessen resources for affordable housing, and discourage older adults from receiving needed assistance. 

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CMS Announces Integration of Compare Sites

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the eight “compare” websites currently operating will be integrated into one streamlined user interface in spring 2020. The move is part of the its efforts to increase transparency and will create a one-stop-shop for Medicare beneficiaries exploring their provider options.  

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Apply Now: Grants Available to Improve Care Transitions

Up to $2 million in grant funding is available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to test technology solutions that improve care transitions, communication and care coordination. 

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HUD Proposal Would Weaken Fair Housing Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) last week published a proposed rule that would weaken the Fair Housing Act enforcement tool to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH).  

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Appropriations Bill Funds Key Priorities

The 2020 appropriations package that was signed into law in late December features key initiatives and funding for workforce, dementia, veterans and potential transportation solutions for rural and underserved communities.   

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Hazardous Drug Management Rules Now in Effect for Health Care Centers and Assisted Living

While the new standards for handling hazardous drugs in health care facilities went into effect for skilled nursing, long-term care and assisted living in December, there are many questions on who the rules apply to, who is enforcing the rule and how to be compliant in the various care centers. The following information answers some frequently asked questions:  

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CMS Posts Draft Version of 2020 MDS Item Sets

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unexpectedly announced last month that it posted a new draft version of the 2020 MDS item sets (v1.18.0) for skilled nursing settings that is scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1, 2020. Changes of note in this draft version: 

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Spending Bill Avoids Shutdown, Contains New Housing Funds

House and Senate leaders have reached a spending agreement and it is anticipated the final fiscal year 2020 appropriations package will be signed into law by midnight Dec. 20. 

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Capitol Hill Update: Partisan Wrangling Hinders Action on Key Priorities

Partisan wrangling over issues not related to aging services has made it difficult for Congress to pass even routine legislation this session. So, how will this work get done and what will happen to issues that matter most to you? 

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Take Action: Tell Congress to Support New CNA Training Lockout Legislation

LeadingAge last week commended the Ensuring Seniors’ Access to Quality Care Act, a new bill in the U.S. Senate that ends mandatory certified nursing assistant (CNA) training lock-outs. Now you can help this bill advance in Congress by telling our U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative to support this bill.  

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Lack of Action Threatens HCBS Programs that Help Consumers and Save States Money

Looming deadlines pose a potential threat to two programs that help older adults remain in their homes or assisted living while saving consumers and the State of Minnesota money. Rules on spousal impoverishment and funding for the Money Follows the Person demonstration project are both set to expire Dec. 31 unless Congress acts.  

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Phase 3 Requirements Take Effect Nov. 28 Despite Lack of Interpretive Guidance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the Phase 3 Requirements of Participation for care centers will take effect Nov. 28, but the agency will not release interpretive guidance and training materials for these requirements until early 2020. 

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CMS Awards QIO-QIN Contract to Superior Health Quality Alliance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently awarded a five-year contract to Superior Health Quality Alliance (Superior Health) to serve as a Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. 

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