What's New . . . JANUARY 14, 2019
DEADLINE: January 14 at 11:59pm Eastern
Comment on SSA's Proposed Rule on Video Appeals
JAN 9, 2019 | Justice in Aging
SSA has proposed a rule that could negatively affect people appealing agency decisions regarding their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Currently, claimants have the option of participating in an appeals hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ) via video or in person. While most claimants do not object to video hearings, about a third do opt out of such hearings in preference of a live, in-person hearing.
The proposed rule by SSA would instead allow the agency to determine the method of hearing for claimants and remove claimants' ability to opt out of video hearings. This could have significant negative effects on many claimants who, for various reasons, sometimes due directly to their disabilities, are not able to effectively participate in a video hearing. Issues can range from problems with understanding remote interpreters for people who are deaf or have limited English proficiency, to recurring technical difficulties and inadequate accommodations at specific video locations used by SSA.
The rule would also make other harmful changes, such as making remote testimony by medical and vocational experts the default, and reducing the notice time from 75 days to 20 days when SSA sends an amended notice of hearing or schedules a supplemental hearing. Justice in Aging is submitting comments to oppose this proposed rule. The overwhelming majority of comments, including from claimants, representatives, and the ALJ union, oppose these proposed changes.
If you would like to submit comments, you may do so at https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=SSA-2017-0015-0001.
The deadline for submitting comments is January 14, 2019 at 11:59pm Eastern Time.
New Fact Sheet on Medicare Enrollment Changes
JAN 8, 2019 | Justice in Aging
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new rules that limit enrollment and disenrollment from Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans for low-income Medicare beneficiaries. Previously, dual eligibles – individuals with Medicare and Medi-Cal coverage – and beneficiaries who receive the low-income subsidy (LIS) to make Part D prescription drug coverage more affordable could make enrollment changes any time throughout the year. The new rule, which became effective January 1, 2019, limits enrollment changes to once per quarter.
Justice in Aging has created a factsheet that explains these changes in detail and how they impact low-income Medicare beneficiaries in California.
MSSP Workgroup Releases Second Set of Recommendations for Public Comment
JAN 8, 2019 | California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS)
In preparation for the transition of Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) sites becoming a fully integrated Medi-Cal managed care benefit, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the California Department of Aging (CDA) have convened a Model of Care Workgroup composed of the two agencies, MSSP sites, and managed care plans. The workgroup's goal is to develop recommendations for a model of care for the new Home and Community-Based Services Care Planning and Management benefit that will take the place of the MSSP program.
DHCS and CDA are seeking public comment on the workgroup's second set of recommendations. The public comment period will be open from now until close of business on Friday, February 8 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 Cal MediConnect Stakeholder Process
JAN 4, 2019 | California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS)
As the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continue to work toward approval of a three-year extension to Cal MediConnect (CMC), we are pleased to announce an opportunity for stakeholders to help think creatively about ways to continue to strengthen and improve the demonstration program.
Stakeholders are invited to propose new ideas for how Cal MediConnect can provide a better member experience or otherwise improve care and care coordination.* Examples include programmatic improvements identified via best practices from other integrated programs, or via SCAN evaluation findings, additional topics for DHCS Cal MediConnect plan best practices meetings or strategies to continue to improve coordination with long-term services and supports providers or behavioral health providers. As much as possible, we are looking for new, CMC-specific proposals that are cost-neutral to the state and do not require changes to CMC rates.
DHCS and CMS will be accepting comments between now and February 15th through email@example.com. Please use this form to submit your proposal.
DHCS and CMS will review and compile those suggestions for release in March 2019 in conjunction with a webinar to review the suggestions in dialogue with stakeholders. DHCS and CMS anticipate announcing new CMC improvement initiatives in the spring of 2019, along with a timeline for implementation. Send any questions regarding this proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for more information.
*Please note that the "in lieu of services" proposal is currently under consideration at DHCS as a part of a broader initiative looking at care coordination across the Medi-Cal program, and will not be considered as a part of this CMC-specific process.
Sen. Kaine's legislation to combat Alzheimer's signed into law
JAN 2, 2019 | ABC/13 News Now | Author: Erin Patterson
Legislation that will help combat Alzheimer’s disease and preserve brain health was signed into law.
For the first time, legislation was signed into law to create a public health infrastructure that will help combat Alzheimer’s disease and preserve brain health.
On December 31, 2018, the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act was signed into law. The legislation was authored by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Act passed the Senate unanimously, and it passed the House 361-3.
The legislation offers a public health approach to reduce the risk, detect early symptoms, advance care, improve data, and ultimately change the trajectory of this devastating disease. The law allows $20 million annually over the next 5 years to create centers, generate data grants, and cooperative agreements with the CDC and State Health Departments.
About 5.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and the disease is costing the United States more than $277 billion per year, including $186 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid.
“I am thrilled that our bipartisan bill to strengthen our country’s response to Alzheimer’s was officially signed into law,” Senator Kaine said in a press release. “Too many families know what it’s like to have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, and I hope that our efforts will start to provide much-needed relief to those affected.”
The BOLD Act was introduced by the authored Senators last year. It was cosponsored by 58 Senators, and 181 organizations and individuals supported the Act.
Older Women & Poverty
DEC 19, 2018 | Justice in Aging | Brief | Video
Because of structural inequities that impact women more than men, a significant percentage of older women are struggling to stay out of poverty.
There are 7.1 million older adults living in poverty in the United States, with nearly two out of three of them being women. Women like Venorica, who is working three jobs at the age of 70, and Vicky, who once ran a successful business with her husband, are struggling to stay afloat.
A new Justice in Aging issue brief surveys the reasons more women are aging into poverty than men, discusses the support systems that are in place to help older women, and recommends ways we can strengthen and expand those support systems. The brief is accompanied by videos of women telling their own stories. Older women have cared for us and worked hard all of their lives. It's imperative that we enact policies so they don't have to struggle to make ends meet.
Read the brief and watch the accompanying videos.
Cal Duals Coordinated Care Initiative
Monthly Update: December 2018
DEC 19, 2018 | Cal Duals
The Cal Duals Coordinated Care Initiative Monthly Update: December 2018 is now available.
CAADS Congratulates Newsom on Election to Governor
DEC 5, 2018 | CAADS
In a letter to Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, CAADS Executive Director Lydia Missaelides congratulated him on being elected the next Governor of California, and expressed appreciation for his hard work and commitment to serving seniors and adults with disabilities in our state.
In the letter Ms. Missaelides stated,
We are pleased that you have committed to producing a master plan on aging. It is our hope that the plan focus on moving towards a more coordinated and integrated system of long-term services and supports, that is founded on core principles and directed toward specified goals that provides and pays for the sustainability and further growth of adult day services as a foundational component of the system.
Your Donations Help!
Three (3) great opportunities to further support Adult Day Services:
- CAADS | State Advocacy Fund
- CAADS | New Improved Website Fund
- ALE | Nina M. Nolcox Scholarship Fund
Learn more and DONATE today -- thank you!
California Association for Adult Day Services, a 501 (c) 6 non-profit grassroots-driven organization, advocates for the growth and development of adult day services in California and nationally. Centers in membership with CAADS provide innovative day programs that support individuals with physical or mental disabilities and older adults with Alzheimer's disease and their families.
Learn more about CAADS
CAADS is a proud member of the National Adult Day Services Association.
The California Senior Medicare Patrol offers free fraud prevention education throughout the state.
To schedule a presentation, call 855-613-7080