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Kick Off the New Year: “Sneak Peeks” at District Meetings

The best way to kick off a new year? Joining LeadingAge Minnesota at one of its seven district meetings taking place in January. Our hot topic agenda features a sneak peek at our new Safe Care for Seniors program, and two breakout sessions that will help prepare care centers and housing with services/assisted living prepare for new opportunities in payment, regulations and more in 2019. Our meetings start next week, so don’t delay - register today!   

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New Year, New Opportunity: Get Involved with Health Occupations Students of America

As we continue to address the workforce challenges in aging services, we encourage you to get engaged with organizations that are educating your potential workforce at a crucial time in their development. 

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What’s the Top Concern for Health IT Executives in 2019?

Cybersecurity, telehealth and interoperability are the top three concerns for healthcare IT executives in 2019.  

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Affordable Housing Funding in Limbo; New Hemp Law Passes; More Funding For Alzheimer’s Education

The federal government remains in a partial shutdown, which could impact affordable housing as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is one of the federal funding bills in limbo. It is unclear at the time we distributed this newsletter how long the shutdown will last. This articles provides some details on what a shutdown means for affordable housing funding, plus an update on a new hemp law and funding for Alzheimer's education. 

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HHS Releases Draft Guidance to Ease Use of EHRs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking comments on draft guidance intended to streamline the use of electronic health records (EHRs) and other health information technology (IT). Comments are due Jan. 28.  

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Important HUD News: Social Security Announces 2.8% Benefit Increase for 2019

A 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) approved in October will begin with benefits payable to more than 62 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2019. 

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AgingServicesJobs.org Now Includes Job Board Dissemination

The newest upgrade to AgingServicesJobs.Org integrates your job posting into a premium job board with access to special pricing. Premium job boards include:   

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Connect Residents to Senior LinkAge Line during Medicare Special Enrollment Periods

Although the annual Medicare open enrollment period ended Dec. 7, special enrollment periods remain for most beneficiaries who live in one of the 66 Minnesota counties that are losing their Cost Plans as of Dec. 31, 2018. Members are reminded to refer residents and families with questions or in need of additional assistance to the Senior Linkage Line.  

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Survey Says: More People Willing to Move into Assisted Living

As reported in McKnight’s Senior Living this week, most people at or near retirement age would rather stay home than move into a senior living community -- but the gap between the two options is narrowing. 

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LeadingAge Comments on Proposed Rule Affecting Immigration Status

LeadingAge national has submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expressing opposition to its proposed rule broadening the factors used in public charge determinations, meaning whether a legal immigrant would become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.   

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LeadingAge Comments on Proposed Rule Affecting Immigration Status

LeadingAge national has submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expressing opposition to its proposed rule broadening the factors used in public charge determinations, meaning whether a legal immigrant would become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.   

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LeadingAge Minnesota Supports Proposed Rule on Mechanical Lifts

LeadingAge Minnesota filed comments last week with the United States Department of Labor (DOL) to voice our support for a proposal that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to operate power-driven patient lifts independently. 

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Focus on the Food Code: Person in Charge

The role of the Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) was reviewed in a previous edition of Advantage. One important clarification to that story is the designation of a Person in Charge (PIC). When present, the CFPM functions as the PIC. However, when the CFPM is not present and food service is being offered, the CFPM must designate a PIC. 

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New Report: Health Care Spending Nationwide is $3.5 Trillion

The United States spent $3.5 trillion on health care across all payors and out-of-pocket costs, according to the new National Health Expenditure (NHE) report.

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Food Protection Manager Course Offered Feb. 5

LeadingAge Minnesota is offering a Food Manager Certification Course on Tuesday, Feb. 5 to individuals seeking a new or renewal certification. This one-day ServSafe Manger course meets the criteria for Food Protection Manager Certification in Minnesota* and will provide eight hours of approved sanitation education required for CDMs. 

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A Closer Look: 2019 MA Plan’s HCBS Supplemental Benefits

Two new reports shed more light on how Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) evaluated offering the new benefits for 2019 Medicare Advantage plans. The conclusion? Few plans – only 102 – are testing the new benefits in 2019, with more looking to offer some new Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) in 2020. The report also note that challenges remain. 

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OnTrack: Year One in Review

Happy Anniversary to LeadingAge Minnesota Foundation’s OnTrack Nursing Assistant Training program, which launched the RN Train the Trainer curriculum in December 2017! The first students matriculated a month later in January 2018. 

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Fully Leveraging the Strength of Your Local Workforce Center

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development operates more than 50 Workforce Centers around the state to help job seekers find jobs and employers find staff. One LeadingAge Minnesota member has seen great results working with a Workforce Center– 75 percent of the Workforce Center referrals were hired and 90 percent were still employed after six months!   

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Get Connected to Premium Job Boards with AgingServicesJobs.org

AgingServicesJobs.Org continues to see upgrades. The newest upgrade includes integrating your Aging Services Job posting into a premium job board with access to special pricing. Premium job boards include: 

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Katelyn Reichow, Friendship Village CNA, Receives Coveted National Dementia Award

Katelyn Reichow, a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Friendship Village in Bloomington was named the 2018 CNA of the Year by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP).  

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Host an Open House for New Career Awareness Campaign

HealthForce Minnesota will soon launch Caring Careers Start Here, a career awareness campaign targeted at aging services. We are encouraging members to host an Open Hearts Open House to expose students and adults to the great careers that await them in your settings.

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Telemedicine Growing at Rapid Pace in Minnesota; Different Uses for Metro and Rural Patients

Telemedicine grew at a rapid pace in Minnesota between 2010 and 2015 with a nearly seven-fold growth in visits jumping from 11,113 in 2010 to 86,238 visits in 2015, according to a new Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and University of Minnesota School of Public Health study highlighted in Health Affairs

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State Budget Surplus Grows, Economic Growth Predicted to Slow

Minnesota’s latest budget forecast was released last week, showing a $1.544 billion surplus for the next biennium but also predicting a slowdown in economic growth. Positive reaction to the state budget surplus at the State Capitol was accompanied with a note of caution. 

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5 QRP Measures Newly Added to Nursing Home Compare

Nursing Home Compare has a whole new look after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added five of six Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (QRP) measures to the site on Nov. 28. While the measures are listed under the Quality of Resident Care tab with the other measures of short-stay quality, they are not used to calculate a Skilled Nursing Facility’s Quality star rating. The newly reported measures include:                 

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CMS Releases Results of First Year of Value-Based Purchasing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released individual Skilled Nursing Facilities results from the first year of Value-Based Purchasing (VBP). Under VPB, rates are adjusted based on Skilled Nursing Facility-specific hospital readmission rates. 

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Diversity Scholarships Available for Meeting of the Minds Dementia Conference

The Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter will offer 60 diversity scholarships for healthcare professionals to the Meeting of the Minds Dementia Conference on March 2. 

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Self-Neglect Growing Area of Common Adult Maltreatment

Nearly 40 percent of reports of maltreatment of older adults and people with disabilities nationwide are for self-neglect, according to a new report from the Administration for Community Living (ACL). 

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MDH Survey Trends in Assisted Living Home Care

A recent analysis of Comprehensive Home Care licensed provider surveys revealed several trends. Of the top 10 correction orders written over the past four quarters, the top two -- Contents of Service Plan and TB Prevention and Control -- have remained constant, eight tags are consistently cited, and only two have entered or dropped out over the last four quarters. Also, there are now only three Tags cited in 50 percent of the surveys currently being conducted.   

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Governance Consultant, Author Cathy Trower Headlines Feb. 6 Governance Intensive

The issues our organizations face are complex, the scrutiny is intense, and the stakes are high. It has never been more important for boards to act as partners in leadership with the CEO and senior team. Not-for-profit leaders and board members are invited to attend the Feb. 6 Governance Intensive during the upcoming Institute to explore governance as leadership and adaptive work. 

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Relationships with Local Schools Boost Recruitment

We know that the toughest workforce crisis is yet to come as the labor force fails to keep the pace with growth in the aging population. The ratio of the working age population compared to those over the age of 85 will decrease by 46 percent over the next 20 years. It is important to start building your future workforce pipeline today!   

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