News

Category: Federal News

Welcome to the Federal News category. These news items pertain to aging services national policies and programs.

Action Alert: Affordable Housing Provisions Must Be Included in Next COVID-19 Relief Package

The $1.2 billion in financial support provided by the Emergency Housing Assistance for Older Adults Act (S. 4177, H.R. 6873) must be included in Congress’ next COVID-19 relief package. Ask your members of Congress to help the more than 700,000 older adults in HUD-assisted housing. S. 4177 and H.R. 6873 would provide key relief for affordable senior housing communities navigating the impacts of the coronavirus crisis, including: 

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Reminder: Check Exclusions Databases Monthly

Organizations that participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs are prohibited from employing or contracting with a person or vendor on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG), List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE). 

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CMS Announces Changes to Five-Star System and Restart of PBJ Data Submission

In a policy memo on June 25, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced temporary changes to the 5-star rating system on Nursing Home Compare. These changes include freezing pieces of the staffing and quality measures domains, as well as the immediate end to the payroll-based journal (PBJ) staffing submission waiver. 

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Advance Beneficiary Notice for Part B Services Has Been Renewed

The Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN), Form CMS-R-131, and instructions have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for renewal. The use of the renewed form with the expiration date of June 30, 2023 will be mandatory on Aug. 31, 2020.   

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Shared Accountability: New National Commission on Nursing Home Safety & Quality

A new White House commission focused on protecting nursing home residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond was announced last week. Providers who were appointed to that commission are seeking deeper collaboration with regulators that is focused more on solutions, not penalties.  

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Affordable Housing: RAD for PRAC Call with HUD on June 30

Affordable housing providers should plan to participate in a RAD for PRAC call with HUD on Tuesday, June 30 at 1 p.m. The call will feature information about RAD flexibilities during COVID-19 and other updates, as well as a discussion on the new RAD for PRAC forms.  

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Paycheck Protection Program Loans Still Available

As part of the response to COVID-19, the federal government has also been offering forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans to qualified small businesses through local lenders. Funding remains available for additional loans, so members who qualify and have not yet received a loan can still apply. 

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HUD Urged to Release Millions Earmarked for Affordable Housing for Older Adults

LeadingAge has called upon the U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department (HUD) to release the $50 million for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program and remaining $200 million of Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance funds.  

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LGBTQ Individuals Get Protection on the Job, But Not for Healthcare

The U.S. Supreme Court this week ruled that existing federal law forbids job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation of transgender status. The ruling will affect LGBTQ workers across the country, because most states don’t provide protections from workplace discrimination. However, that decision followed a federal announcement stripping transgender health protections from the Affordable Care Act.  

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LeadingAge Continues Federal Advocacy on PPE

Six weeks after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it would coordinate a shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE), totaling a 14-day supply, to Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes across the United States, significant numbers of facilities across the country still have not received a shipment. Some that have received supplies have found them to be low quality, even expired in some cases, or delivered in quantities smaller than expected. 

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Nursing Homes: CDC Releases Updated Consolidated Testing Guidelines

Testing a nursing home resident for COVID-19 more than once in a 24-hour period is not being encouraged, according to consolidated recommendations released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) over the weekend. The updated guidance includes: 

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Medicaid Providers: Apply for Provider Relief Funds, Application Portal Opens Today

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will distribute funds to Medicaid providers who do not participate in Medicare, including Assisted Living and Adult Day, through the Provider Relief Fund through a time-limited  application process vs. automatic payment. The application portal opens June 10 (today). Here’s what we know so far: 

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Provider Relief Funds: Submit Info Today (June 3)

If you want to be considered for future Provider Relief Fund payments from HHS you need to register and submit information by the end of today (June 3). 

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HUD Announces CARES Act Allocation for Project-Based Communities

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) this week published a funding allocation update on COVID-19 relief from the CARES Act. Of the $1 billion approved for Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), HUD will complete $800 million in funding allocations during the week of June 1 to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus through regular operations.  

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Tell Lawmakers to Prioritize Seniors in the COVID-19 Response

Senior services providers are called to join in advocacy for priority personal protective equipment and testing, and the financial support to continue caring for our nation’s seniors now and after the pandemic recedes.  

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CMS Offers Weekly COVID-19 Learning Opportunities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosts several recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Here are call details for opportunities this week:  

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Update: OSHA Issued New Interim Enforcement Response Plan and Guidance for COVID-19

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recently issued an updated interim enforcement response plan for dealing with workplace investigations during COVID-19. In addition, OSHA released revised enforcement guidance for recording cases of COVID-19. These two requirements went into effect on May 26 and replace the previous interim enforcement response plan and recordkeeping guidance, respectively, on that date. Finally, OSHA also released an alert on COVID-19 Guidance for Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Workers.  

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Providers Call for More COVID-19 Relief Federal Funding for Assisted Living

As the federal government continues to provide funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, senior living providers continue to express concerns that the support leaves assisted living, memory care and independent living behind.  

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Adult Day: Allowable Services

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has amended service delivery for Adult Day Services in response to COVID -19. Allowable services, with the consent of the Veteran as allowed by state plan, include: 

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New CMS Toolkit Helps Advance Telehealth

In response to the COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded access to telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries and nursing home residents. A new toolkit from CMS can help states identify which aspects of their statutory and regulatory infrastructure may impede the rapid deployment of telehealth capabilities in their Medicaid program.  

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