The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a major revision of federal nursing facility regulations on October 4, 2016, providing new and expanded requirements for nursing facilities that participate in Medicare or Medicaid. This was the first major revision since the regulations were issued more than 25 years before. This article provides a comprehensive guide to the revised regulations, focusing on care planning and person-centered care; admission, transfer, and discharge procedures; grievance procedures; resident rights, choice, safety, and self-determination; staffing, medications, and quality of care; and protections from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The article also discusses advocacy and enforcement issues raised by the new rules and subsequent CMS rulemaking activities under the administration of President Donald Trump, which are likely to result in modification of the rules. Read the article by Justice in Aging’s Eric Carlson and the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care’s Lori Smetanka and Nancy Stone in the Spring 2018 issue of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) here.Read the article
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)—a need-based program administered by the Social Security Administration – provides a very basic income to over 8.2 million people, including 2.2 million seniors age 65+. As more seniors struggle to make ends meet in today’s economy, getting access to SSI can help low-income seniors escape deep poverty and avoid or move out of homelessness. Justice in Aging’s Supplemental Security Income 101: A Guide for Advocates introduces advocates and individuals who provide assistance to older adults to the SSI program and focuses on the basics of the program for those who qualify based on age (65 years or older).
Released today, the Guide includes:
- A description of the SSI program and benefits
- An overview of the application and appeals processes
- A discussion of key eligibility criteria, including examples
Ventura County Star: Group helps aging LGBT community face challenges (3/9/2018). Older adults in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community face unique challenges as they become more vulnerable and are forced to depend on outside services for care and assistance. That’s the belief of the LGBT Aging Coalition of Ventura County, which was formed in late 2015 to bring together allies and members of the LGBT community. Most recently, the coalition presented a talk by Denny Chan, staff attorney of Justice in Aging, a national nonprofit with an office in Los Angeles. His talk, which took place on a recent Wednesday afternoon at the Pleasant Valley Community Center in Camarillo, covered some of the most pressing legal and long-term care issues facing LGBT older adults, as well as some of the best practices for reaching and serving this population.
Late last year, Carol Wong joined us in our Washington, DC office as our new litigation attorney. She’ll be working on impact litigation, increasing our capacity to file more cases that protect the health care and economic security rights of low-income seniors. Carol comes to Justice in Aging most recently from the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section. Read More
The New York Times: How to Challenge a Nursing Home Eviction Notice, and Other Tips (2/22/2018). This brief article features tips from our guide 20 Common Nursing Home Problems—and How to Resolve Them.
The New York Times: Complaints About Nursing Home Evictions Rise, and Regulators Take Note (2/22/2018). One reason for the evictions, legal advocates say, is that the residents’ better-paying Medicare coverage is ending and will be replaced by Medicaid.
The Atlantic: This Is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like (2/22/2018). Many seniors are stuck with lives of never-ending work—a fate that could befall millions in the coming decades. The problem is growing as more Baby Boomers reach retirement age—between 8,000 to 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, according to Kevin Prindiville, the executive director of Justice in Aging, a nonprofit that addresses senior poverty. “In the early decades of our work, we were serving communities that had been poor when they were younger,” Prindiville told me. “Increasingly, we’re seeing folks who are becoming poor for the first time in old age.”
What can be done to help today’s seniors and generations to come? There are two approaches, Prindiville says: help people save for old age and make retirement more affordable.
The Hill: Weak federal oversight endangers health and safety of assisted living residents (2/8/2018). This week’s GAO report shines a long-overdue light on Medicaid-funded assisted living. Federal funding of assisted living is large and growing, but to this point the federal government has not adequately ensured the quality of assisted living care. This lack of oversight has had tragic consequences for an unfortunately large number of older Americans. The GAO report was requested by a bipartisan group of senators, and its publication should prompt Congress and CMS to take action.
California Healthline: No Car, No Care? Medicaid Transportation At Risk (2/5/2018). In California, Medi-Cal members in managed care get transportation through their health plans, while fee-for-service enrollees can arrange for the service through their counties, said Amber Christ, a Los Angeles-based staff attorney for Justice in Aging, a legal advocacy group. Medi-Cal transportation is a “lifeline” for the low-income seniors she works with, she said. “Most of them cannot afford a car, or if they have a car they can’t afford to keep gas in that car, or they can’t use public transportation,” she said. “Medicaid transportation is the only way they are going to their doctor appointments.” California has not proposed cutting this service, but should the federal government slash Medicaid funding overall, “you could see where states would feel the pressure to make cuts, and this might be one of the first places to do that,” Christ said.