IN THE NEWS

DOJ Crackdown on Nursing Homes to Include Criminal Counts

By | IN THE NEWS, Long Term Care, Nursing Homes

Bloomberg Law: DOJ Crackdown on Nursing Homes to Include Criminal Counts (September 30, 2019)

The Department of Justice is pushing to bring criminal charges against nursing facilities and staff accused of harming residents, alongside civil charges. Justice in Aging attorney, Eric Carlson, was interviewed for this story, in which he applauded the agency’s intent to aggressively prosecute criminal violations, stating that poor quality care and inadequate staffing levels in nursing facilities can lead to serious, and common, issues like bed sores, infection, and malnutrition.

Nursing Care Crunch Puts the Onus on Patients to Expose Problems

By | IN THE NEWS, Long Term Care, Newsroom, Nursing Homes

KALW: Nursing Care Crunch Puts the Onus on Patients to Expose Problems (September 18, 2019)

Not only is there a shortage of facilities that offer nursing care, but there is insufficient oversight by state and federal regulators. While cases of extreme abuse make headlines, unsafe conditions, inadequate staffing levels, poor training, and wrongful discharges are common problems. With lack of oversight from regulators, the task of raising these issues often falls on the nursing facility residents themselves. Justice in Aging attorney, Eric Carlson, was quoted extensively in this story. Eric recommends that residents do speak out, but also believes oversight bodies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and state regulators need to put patients, not operators, first.

Medicare Races to Fix Flaw in New Tool that Lets Millions of Seniors find Cheap Drug Plans

By | IN THE NEWS, Medicare, NEWS, Newsroom

Boston Globe: Medicare Races to Fix Flaw in New Tool that Let’s Millions of Seniors Find Cheap Drug Plans (September 10, 2019)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its new Medicare Plan Finder on August 27. The Plan Finder is an important tool for 45 million Medicare beneficiaries during the annual enrollment period. Advocates are concerned that the Plan Finder makes it more difficult for users to evaluate the costs of their drugs and other services in relation to the costs of their overall plans, among other problems with the plan, and could lead to users choosing a plan that is not the best one for them. Justice in Aging is mentioned in this story as one of the four advocacy groups who sent a letter to Medicare Administrator, Seema Verna, expressing concern about the Plan Finder.

How Not to Grow Old in America

By | ASSISTED LIVING, IN THE NEWS

New York Times | Opinion: How Not to Grow Old in America (August 29, 2019)

Assisted living facilities in the United States need serious reform to provide the care older adults need. Compared to nursing homes which are regulated, inspected, and graded for quality, assisted living facilities are neither licensed nor overseen by the federal government. States often set minimal rules. Facilities are designed to provide only minimal help and monitoring which has led to increasing complaints in courts. Justice in Aging’s Directing Attorney Eric Carlson says that “nobody realizes the system is broken.”

More and more Californians are old, sick and on the streets. Here’s how we can fight senior homelessness.

By | IN THE NEWS, SENIOR POVERTY

San Francisco Chronicle: More and more Californians are old, sick and on the streets. Here’s how we can fight senior homelessness. (July 28, 2019)

More and more older adults living in California are homeless. Many are just one crisis away from homelessness. Poverty, a lack of economic security, and a lack of affordable housing are the main causes of homelessness. In this op-ed Justice in Aging authored with Margot Kushel, a medical doctor who researches the health impacts of homelessness on older adults, we make the case for  creating more affordable housing and providing older adults with a fixed income to lower cases of homelessness. Making health care more affordable, helping older adults maintain their home while recovering in nursing homes, and restoring SSI are additional ways to keep older adults from homelessness.

New Budget Boosts Health Coverage For Low-Income Californians

By | CA Health Network Alert, Health Care, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security

Kaiser Health News: New Budget Boosts Health Coverage For Low-Income Californians (June 25, 2019)

California’s new state budget for 2019-20 includes funds that will help about 25,000 low income older adults and people with disabilities get full Medi-Cal coverage. In the past, older adults had to meet stricter requirements to qualify for Medi-Cal than adults under 65. Regarding the past eligibility rules, Justice in Aging’s Directing Attorney Amber Christ said, “We call this the senior penalty, because basically you’re being penalized with a stricter eligibility limit based fully on your age or disability.” The new budget will also restore five areas of Medi-Cal coverage: audiology, optical services, podiatry, incontinence supplies and speech therapy.

Benefits on the Line

By | IN THE NEWS, Medicare, Safety Net Defense, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income

The American Prospect: Benefits on the Line (June 19, 2019)

The Trump Administration has proposed to change how inflation is calculated, moving from the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (chained CPI). This change in how poverty is measured would have drastic negative consequences for millions of low-income people, older adults, and people with disabilities. Many would become ineligible for benefits or would receive less assistance as chained CPI lowers the poverty line. Justice in Aging’s Directing Attorney Tracey Gronniger says that, “It would hurt people who are so close to getting help. All of sudden, you have hundreds of thousands of people who are told, ‘Now you’re not poor anymore.’”