News

Category: Federal News

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

CMS Proposes to Revise Mandatory Remedies Policy

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to revise its policies regarding mandatory immediate imposition of federal remedies, and there are positive changes for care centers. 

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Appropriations Bill Funds Key Priorities

The 2020 appropriations package that was signed into law in late December features key initiatives and funding for workforce, dementia, veterans and potential transportation solutions for rural and underserved communities.   

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Hazardous Drug Management Rules Now in Effect for Health Care Centers and Assisted Living

While the new standards for handling hazardous drugs in health care facilities went into effect for skilled nursing, long-term care and assisted living in December, there are many questions on who the rules apply to, who is enforcing the rule and how to be compliant in the various care centers. The following information answers some frequently asked questions:  

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CMS Posts Draft Version of 2020 MDS Item Sets

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unexpectedly announced last month that it posted a new draft version of the 2020 MDS item sets (v1.18.0) for skilled nursing settings that is scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1, 2020. Changes of note in this draft version: 

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Spending Bill Avoids Shutdown, Contains New Housing Funds

House and Senate leaders have reached a spending agreement and it is anticipated the final fiscal year 2020 appropriations package will be signed into law by midnight Dec. 20. 

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Capitol Hill Update: Partisan Wrangling Hinders Action on Key Priorities

Partisan wrangling over issues not related to aging services has made it difficult for Congress to pass even routine legislation this session. So, how will this work get done and what will happen to issues that matter most to you? 

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Take Action: Tell Congress to Support New CNA Training Lockout Legislation

LeadingAge last week commended the Ensuring Seniors’ Access to Quality Care Act, a new bill in the U.S. Senate that ends mandatory certified nursing assistant (CNA) training lock-outs. Now you can help this bill advance in Congress by telling our U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative to support this bill.  

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Lack of Action Threatens HCBS Programs that Help Consumers and Save States Money

Looming deadlines pose a potential threat to two programs that help older adults remain in their homes or assisted living while saving consumers and the State of Minnesota money. Rules on spousal impoverishment and funding for the Money Follows the Person demonstration project are both set to expire Dec. 31 unless Congress acts.  

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Phase 3 Requirements Take Effect Nov. 28 Despite Lack of Interpretive Guidance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the Phase 3 Requirements of Participation for care centers will take effect Nov. 28, but the agency will not release interpretive guidance and training materials for these requirements until early 2020. 

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CMS Awards QIO-QIN Contract to Superior Health Quality Alliance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently awarded a five-year contract to Superior Health Quality Alliance (Superior Health) to serve as a Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. 

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New Bill Calls for Minimum Staffing Requirements in Nursing Homes

A new bill in Congress, the Quality Care for Nursing Home Residents Act, would revise minimum staffing requirements for skilled nursing settings that participate in Medicare and Medicaid. LeadingAge opposes the legislation as it fails to address the underlying causes and rising challenges of workforce shortages across the long-term care continuum.  

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#DearCandidate: Pete Buttigieg Brings Long-Term Care Plan to the National Stage

One of the greatest challenges facing our field, our state and our country just hit the national stage. Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg this week introduced his Dignity and Security in Retirement proposal to ensure every American has access to affordable health care. 

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Advocates Call for Bipartisan Action on Long-Term Care Funding

Testifiers in a hearing in the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee last week called for bipartisan legislative action to address the needs of a growing aging population facing high costs of healthcare and housing. 

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GAO Calls for Better Abuse Oversight for Nursing Homes

In a report released last week, the Government Accountability Offices (GA)) alleges that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has yet to enforce several of its recommendations after an earlier GAO report found oversight gaps in abuse reporting requirements for nursing homes. 

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CMS Updates Emergency Preparedness Requirements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made two revisions to emergency preparedness requirements for nursing facilities under a rule taking effect Nov. 29, 2019. Read a summary of the rule’s impact prepared by LeadingAge national.  

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Join LeadingAge Capitol Hill Insights Call on Nov. 21

Get the latest scoop on what is happening in Congress and how we can work together to accomplish our important legislative agenda. Join the LeadingAge Capitol Hill Insights call on Nov. 21 at 1 p.m.  

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Final HUD Bill Elusive

Congress has yet to pass a FY20 HUD appropriations bill as the House and Senate Appropriations Committee have not reached an agreement on spending limits. 

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CMS Extends Quality Reporting Program Deadline to Nov. 18

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the submission deadline for the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program MDS assessment data for April 1, 2019 – June 30, 2019. All data must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 18.  

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U.S. House Passes Older Adults Act Re-Authorization

The U.S. House of Representatives this week voted unanimously to pass the Dignity in Aging Act, which reauthorizes the Older Americans Act (OAA) and increases funding for vital programs that help aging Americans live independently and with dignity.

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CMS Division Director Addresses LeadingAge Conference

Evan Shulman, national Director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Division of Nursing Homes, offered a Regulatory Update during this week’s LeadingAge national conference in San Diego.  Here are a few highlights from his Oct. 29 remarks:  

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