Week In Review

Date: 6/23/17

Senate Health Reform Proposal Jeopardizes Care for Us All as We Age

In a statement released yesterday, the AGS voiced our opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). BCRA, the Senate proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), mirrors many provisions of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill which narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 4 despite serious concerns voiced by the AGS and many other stakeholders. Like the AHCA, the new Senate proposal would drastically cut Medicaid funding—an important source of support for most vulnerable citizens, particularly older Americans who rely on this program for long-term care services and supports.

"We believe the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 will have a negative impact on us all as we age," notes Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA, Chief Executive Officer of the AGS. "Medicaid is the largest public payer for long-term care services and supports for older Americans, including nursing home care. Even if the Senate bill falls short of the $800 billion cut in Medicaid funding under the House bill, there is no doubt it will negatively impact older Americans and those who care for them. We are opposed to both the House and Senate health reform proposals, and we call on Congress to work with the American public and stakeholders to design health system reforms that improve access and care quality for all Americans." Learn more, and be on the lookout for an advocacy alert from AGS early next week.

 

Here's What's Trending on MyAGSOnline

  • Looking for conferences to attend this summer? Have an event that would be relevant to AGS members? Check out the MyAGSOnline events calendar to see what fits into your schedule, or contact us to have your event added to the roster.

  • MyAGSOnline community spaces are growing! Visit the All Communities page to join a new Special Interest Group community. Looking for a place to start? Consider contributing to conversations with Women in Geriatrics, Healthy Aging, and more!

Congratulations to this week's most active members: Alice Pomidor, MD, AGSF; Rebecca Boxer, MD; Quratulain Syed, MD; and Paul Mulhausen, MD, MHS, FACP, AGSF. Thank you for your contributions!

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EWA Advocates Visit Capitol Hill to Urge Support for GWEPs

Last week, 22 Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA) advocates visited Capitol Hill to participate in a particularly effective form of advocacy: the face-to-face kind. Together, these advocates—members of EWA, the AGS, the National Association for Geriatric Education (NAGE), and the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) Coordinating Center Advisory Committee—represented 12 states and participated in meetings with 22 Senate offices to discuss the importance of funding for the GWEPs. Together, they gave voice to how GWEP programs are training health professionals, direct care workers, and family caregivers to care for us all as we age.

A special thank you to AGS members Judith Beizer, PharmD, CGP, FASCP, AGSF; Amanda Borer, MHA; Maura Brennan, MD; Jan Busby-Whitehead, MD, AGSF; David Fenn; Ellen Flaherty, PhD, APRN, AGSF; Robyn Golden, LCSW; James Pacala, MD, MS; Jane Potter, MD, AGSF; and Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, AGSF—as well as AGS CEO, Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA, and AGS staffers Marianna Drootin, MPA; Anna Mikhailovich; and Julia Seibolt—for participating!

We hope that you'll join us in our GWEP advocacy efforts by visiting the AGS Health in Aging Advocacy Center and taking action here.

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(Left to right) AGS staff; Maura Brennan, MD; and Judith Beizer, PharmD, CGP, FASCP, AGSF, visiting the office of Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
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Nancy Wilson, MA, MSW (left), and Karen Studwell, JD (right), with Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO).

 

CMS Seeks Public Input on Reducing the Regulatory Burdens of the ACA

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), under direction of Executive Order 13765, "Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal," is seeking input in its efforts to reduce regulations under Title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Interested parties are invited to comment on creating a more person-centered health system that adheres to the key principles of affordability, accessibility, quality, innovation, and empowerment. Comments must be submitted on or before Wed., July 12. Learn more.

6 FAQs on SSNRI & New Medicare Cards

Under the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI), the 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) requires the removal of Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards by April 2019. Read CMS's answers to six important questions about the SSNRI, and what it means for Medicare, healthcare providers, and patient privacy.

i-HOPE Hospital Questions Survey Due Jun. 30

The AGS is participating in the "Improving Hospital Outcomes through Patient Engagement (i-HOPE)" project. The aim of this project is to identify important questions that will then be used to design research studies and improve hospital care. We ask that you think about any questions still unanswered when it comes to hospitalization or the time immediately following hospitalization. Share these questions with us by completing this survey. Thanks, as always, for your help!

 

Webinar: Diagnosis and Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

Community Catalyst, in collaboration with The Lewin Group and the AGS under contract with the CMS Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO), is excited to announce an upcoming webinar on Geriatric-Competent Care: Diagnosis and Treatment of Parkinson's Disease (Wed., June 28, 12-1:30pm ET).

This webinar will emphasize the recognition of Parkinson's disease (PD), related treatment options, the importance of an interdisciplinary care team in the treatment of PD, and the impact of the illness on older adults, including Medicare-Medicaid enrollees and their caregivers. CME and CE credit is available at no cost to participants. Register here.

 

New Innovations in Nutrition Programs and Services Grant Opportunity to Promote the Quality and Effectiveness of Nutrition Service Programs

A new funding opportunity from the Administration for Community Living aims to increase the knowledge base of nutrition providers, drive improved health outcomes for program recipients, and increase program efficiency through innovative nutrition service delivery models. Funding will support innovative and promising practices that enhance the quality and effectiveness of nutrition services programs or outcomes among older adults. Innovation can include:

  • Service products that appeal to caregivers (such as web-based ordering systems and carry-out food products)
  • Increased involvement of volunteers (such as retired chefs)
  • Consideration of eating habits and choice (such as variable meal times, salad bars, or more fresh fruits and vegetables)
  • New service models (testing variations and hybrid strategies)
  • Other innovations to better serve a generation of consumers whose needs and preferences are different

Through this program, funds may be used to help develop and test additional models or to replicate models that have already been tested in other community-based settings. Learn more.

Members & Geriatrics in the News

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