News

Category: Federal News

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

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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New Calculators Available to Navigate the FFCRA and Cares Act

There are two new calculators to help aging services providers know what help is available to them through the two Federal COVID-19 Bills that have been signed into law through April 1, 2020, the Families First COVID Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).   

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Department of Labor Defines “Health Care Provider” Exempted Under Families First Act

While the Families First Corona Response Act (FFCRA) requires private employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid leave and paid expanded FMLA leave to employees unable to work or telework for several specific COVID-19 reasons, it allows employers to exclude “health care providers” from receiving the paid leave and paid expanded FMLA leave. 

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CARES Act Expands Federal Small Business Loans, Can Support Aging Services

About $350 billion of the $2 trillion economic stimulus package signed into law last week are directed to provide loans to small businesses, with the opportunity for loan recipients to receive forgiveness and not have to repay the amount borrowed. On April 3, smaller 501c(3) organizations will be able to access these funds. This article provides a summary of the provisions and guidance for borrowers and lenders. 

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$2 Trillion Economic Stimulus Package Supports Aging Services Providers

final package includes many of the priorities we have been advocating for, including an emergency fund to support health care providers that include aging services and temporarily suspending sequestration reductions to all free-for-service Medicare claims. 

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Delayed Implementation of Updated MDS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is delaying the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 v1.18.1 release, which had been scheduled for Oct. 1, 2020, in response to stakeholder concerns. 

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HUD Issues Updated Rent Increase Guidance for PRAC Owners

As of March 18, HUD has restarted routine processing and approval of Section 202 PRAC rent adjustments to increase Reserve for Replacement deposits. There have been several updates to field office procedures for reviewing Capital Needs Assessments (CNAs) and determining how capital needs should be reflected in annual PRAC project operating rents.   

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CMS Announces Reporting Relief for QRP and VBP

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced it is implementing exceptions and extensions for upcoming measure reporting and data submission deadlines for several quality reporting programs.  

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