All Posts By

Vanessa Barrington

Minnesota Victims of Nursing Home Abuse Challenge Arbitration Clauses

By | IN THE NEWS | No Comments

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Minnesota Victims of Nursing Home Abuse Challenge Arbitration Clauses (1/29/2017) Arbitration agreements are proliferating in the senior care industry. Many times potential residents are required to sign them as a condition of admission. The clauses require residents to forfeit their right to a court hearing in cases of neglect, abuse, wrongful eviction, and even death. The nursing home industry uses these agreements to block residents and their families from pursuing lawsuits. A new federal rule that is part of new nursing home regulations implemented last fall bars long-term care facilities that receive federal funding from requiring residents enter into arbitration before a dispute arises. “More and more people are waking up to the essential unfairness and lack of transparency of these clauses,” said Eric Carlson, directing attorney of Justice in Aging.” The rule has been blocked in court, but the government’s case is being cited as evidence that many such clauses are invalid and that victims of maltreatment have a right to their day in court.

Justice in Aging and Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation Offer Recommendations to Improve Non-Emergency Medical Transport for Older Adults

By | NEWS, News Releases, PRESS RELEASE | No Comments

November 3, 2016 (Oakland, CA) – A new report released today by the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation (the Center) and Justice in Aging outlines the importance of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Services (NEMT) for older adults and people with disabilities, details the challenges faced by users and offers a series of recommendations based on promising state practices. The report, Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: An Overlooked Lifeline for Older Adults, can be accessed at Justice in Aging and the Center.

Across the country, 7.1 million Americans rely on NEMT services to get to medical appointments. Yet, every year, an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss or delay health care because of difficulty accessing these critical services. NEMT is an important Medicaid benefit for the people who rely on it to visit their doctors, receive treatment for chronic conditions and travel to settings such as adult day health care. Considering that NEMT represents less than 1 percent of total state and federal Medicaid expenditures and has the potential to prevent much more costly medical care, it provides exceptional value for states.

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Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT): An Overlooked Lifeline for Older Adults

By | ISSUE BRIEF, REPORTS | No Comments

Low-income older adults depend on Medicaid’s non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) benefit for transportation services to and from medical services. Nearly 7.1 million Americans rely on it. Yet, every year, an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss or delay health care because of difficulty accessing these critical services.

With our partners at Community Catalyst’s Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation, we created an issue brief, Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: An Overlooked Lifeline for Older Adults.

The brief outlines the importance of NEMT for older adults and people with disabilities, details the challenges faced by users, and offers a series of recommendations based on promising state practices.

For a quick overview of the full brief, visit our blog. You can also view the accompanying webinar here.

 

Justice in Aging Launches New Bay Area Project with Two New Attorneys

By | PRESS RELEASE | No Comments

Oakland, CA – Justice in Aging is pleased to announce a new outreach, education and advocacy project in the San Francisco Bay Area that will improve access to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) for low-income seniors residing in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

SSI and IHSS are programs that provide an important lifeline to low-income older adults. SSI provides vital basic income support to extremely low-income older adults and people with disabilities to pay for food, shelter, and other necessities. In Alameda County 52,820 people rely on SSI, and Contra Costa County is home to 26,658 SSI recipients. IHSS is a life changing and life sustaining program for over 25,000 people in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The program provides personal care services to seniors and people with disabilities who need help with activities of daily living in order to remain at home and in their communities.

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Class action settlement about ALJ hearing delays for Medicare beneficiaries amended- Fairness Hearing rescheduled for August 1, 2016

By | BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, LITIGATION, Medicare | No Comments
As previously reported, the Center for Medicare Advocacy filed Exley v. Burwell on behalf of Plaintiffs appealing Medicare denials before an Administrative Law Judge and not receiving decisions within the 90 days required by law. The Fairness Hearing has been rescheduled for August 1, 2016. Read More

How SSA Can Improve the Representative Payee Program to Protect Vulnerable Seniors

By | ISSUE BRIEF, REPORTS | No Comments

Social Security’s Representative Payee Program is crucial to protecting the resources and economic security of vulnerable older adults who cannot manage their own finances. It is also inadequate to meet the growing needs of older adults and has a number of problems in both its capability determination process and in the way the overall program is administered. This Issue Brief, How SSA Can Improve the Representative Payee Program to Protect Vulnerable Seniors is the final paper in a series that Justice in Aging has produced with the support of a fellowship grant from the Borchard Foundation on Law and Aging.

You can access the full toolkit of publications on the Representative Payee Program here.

Big Win For Married LGBT SSI Recipients

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, LGBT, LITIGATION, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments
The last few weeks have brought some good news regarding Held v. Colvin, a case we (along with Foley Hoag LLP and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, or GLAD) filed in March 2015 against the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of Plaintiffs Hugh Held and Kelley Richardson-Wright and a proposed nationwide class.

We filed this case to stop SSA from attempting to collect “overpayments” from very low income people over 65 and people with disabilities receiving SSI who had been married to someone of the same sex on or before June 2013 when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Read More

The Duals Demonstration: A First Glimpse at Lessons Learned

By | DUAL DEMONSTRATIONS, ISSUE BRIEF, Medicaid, Medicare | No Comments

In January 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the first ever evaluation of the Financial Alignment Initiative (FAI) known as the dual eligible demonstration.

Since the first dual eligible demonstrations rolled out in August 2013, Justice in Aging has followed the process both through the advocates on the ground who counsel clients directly, through the plans we’ve worked closely with, and through our work directly with the state agencies that administer the demonstrations. As national experts on the issues facing dual eligibles we’ve been both an information hub for advocates and feedback loop for policymakers. As such, we’ve been awaiting the release of the first formal evaluations of the demonstrations to see if they match the information we’ve been receiving. They have been released and we’ve analyzed them and published an issue brief on the findings.

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Times are Changing: Needs of Low-Income Seniors in the Spotlight

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE | No Comments
Recently there has been a groundswell of media, academic, and pundit attention on the issue of senior poverty.

From the New York Times, the The Atlantic, to NPR, important and influential sources are finally acknowledging the difficult reality that too many of the older adults in our families and communities are facing. At Justice in Aging we are working with partners to leverage this attention to push for policy changes that can help these seniors. Read More