News

Category: Federal News

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

National Quality Forum Releases Opioid Stewardship Playbook

The National Quality Forum released a new, comprehensive guide to help frontline providers more safely and effectively manage patient and resident pain. 

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Bed and Bed Rail Safety Inspections Guidelines and Safety Check

Bed rails have often been implemented in a desire to provide a supportive, assistive and safe environment for residents and home care clients, but they do pose a risk for entrapment.  

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New Medicare Cards Coming Soon

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is required to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. This will have an impact on how providers submit claims.  

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Prioritizing Affordable Housing as Congress Works to Complete HUD Funding by March 23

Congress has until March 23 to finalize the FY18 appropriations bill that includes funding for U.S. Housing & Urban Development (HUD) programs. LeadingAge has been very active on Capitol Hill advocating for our affordable housing priorities, which include: 

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Take Action: Tell Congress More HUD Funding, Not Less

President Donald Trump has proposed a 14 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for fiscal year 2019. We need your help! Tell Congress to invest more in affordable housing for seniors and reject these proposed cuts. 

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More Details Released on President’s Proposed Steep HHS Cuts

After reviewing the proposed budget from President Donald Trump, we have identified several proposals that would have a negative impact on long-term services and supports and one area that LeadingAge Minnesota care center members will embrace. 

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CMS Updates FAQ on Care Center Surveys

Care centers will find it valuable to review the “Frequently Asked Questions Related to Long Term Care Regulations, Survey Process, and Training” posted on the CMS webpage dedicated to the requirements of participation and survey process.  

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Five-Star Rating System to Reflect PBJ Data Beginning April 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will soon use payroll-based journal (PBJ) data to update staffing measures in the Five-Star Quality Rating System. 

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They’re Back: President Trump FY19 Budget Proposes Medicaid Per Capita Caps, Block Grants

Shortly after signing the new budget deal approved by Congress, President Donald Trump released his initial budget request for fiscal year 2019. It features $1.4 trillion in Medicaid cuts over the next decade and brings back the per capita caps and block grant proposal we successfully defeated last year. 

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FY18 Federal Budget: Good News, Bad News

President Donald Trump last week signed a $320 billion budget agreement and stop-gap funding through March 23 that ended a blink-and-you-might-have-missed-it government shutdown. There is some good news and bad news for aging services providers: 

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President Trump Proposed Budget Includes Deep Cuts to HUD

The initial budget request released by President Donald Trump this week includes deep cuts to affordable housing programs. The budget proposal cuts funding to the U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department by 18 percent, which would: 

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Therapy Caps Not Addressed in Continuing Resolution

Every year since 2006, Congress has ultimately renewed the exceptions process for annual caps on outpatient therapy under Medicare Part B. Since that has not yet happened for 2018, the caps are currently in effect. This year the caps are $2,010 for physical and speech combined and another $2,010 for occupational therapy. 

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Home Health Conditions of Participation on Schedule, Guidelines Not Yet Available

Home health care agencies should now be complying with the new Conditions of Participation that went into effect Jan. 13. Unfortunately, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has yet to finalize the interpretive guidelines that offer more detailed information on certain measures. 

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Quarterly Payroll Based Journal Deadline Drawing Near

Feb. 14 is the due date for care centers to submit Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) staffing data for the period Oct. 1, 2017 – Dec. 31, 2017. Submitting timely and accurate data may be especially important this quarter, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has said it will utilize PBJ data in 2018 to calculate the staffing measures posted on the Nursing Home Compare website and used in the Five Star Quality Rating System.  

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Congress Ends 3-Day Government Shutdown with Continuing Resolution

A three-day government shutdown came to an end on Monday when the Senate advanced a continuing resolution to provide funding for the federal government through Feb. 8.   

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HHS Announces New Conscience and Religious Freedom Division

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week announced the formation of a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights.  

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What Would a Government Shutdown Mean for LeadingAge Minnesota Members?

Congress has until Friday, Jan. 19 to find agreement on an appropriations bill. If they fail to meet that deadline or fail to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government open, a partially government shut down will begin at midnight on Jan. 20. What does a government shutdown mean for LeadingAge Minnesota members and the people they serve? 

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Department of Labor Fines Increase for 2018

Employers that violate laws enforced by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division could face slightly higher civil penalties in 2018.  

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RAISE Act Creates National Caregiving Strategy

The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act, which develops and maintains a national caregiving strategy to promote promising practices, expand services and training for family caregivers, and better leverage and coordinate resources will soon be signed into law. 

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HUD Updates Security/CyberAwareness Annual Training

The U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department requires Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) and TRACs users to complete annual security awareness training. The online training was recently updated, and users must complete the new online CyberAwareness Challenge 2018 training program. 

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