News

Category: Federal News

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

Department of Labor Defines “Health Care Provider” Exempted Under Families First Act

While the Families First Corona Response Act (FFCRA) requires private employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid leave and paid expanded FMLA leave to employees unable to work or telework for several specific COVID-19 reasons, it allows employers to exclude “health care providers” from receiving the paid leave and paid expanded FMLA leave. 

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CARES Act Expands Federal Small Business Loans, Can Support Aging Services

About $350 billion of the $2 trillion economic stimulus package signed into law last week are directed to provide loans to small businesses, with the opportunity for loan recipients to receive forgiveness and not have to repay the amount borrowed. On April 3, smaller 501c(3) organizations will be able to access these funds. This article provides a summary of the provisions and guidance for borrowers and lenders. 

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$2 Trillion Economic Stimulus Package Supports Aging Services Providers

final package includes many of the priorities we have been advocating for, including an emergency fund to support health care providers that include aging services and temporarily suspending sequestration reductions to all free-for-service Medicare claims. 

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Delayed Implementation of Updated MDS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is delaying the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 v1.18.1 release, which had been scheduled for Oct. 1, 2020, in response to stakeholder concerns. 

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HUD Issues Updated Rent Increase Guidance for PRAC Owners

As of March 18, HUD has restarted routine processing and approval of Section 202 PRAC rent adjustments to increase Reserve for Replacement deposits. There have been several updates to field office procedures for reviewing Capital Needs Assessments (CNAs) and determining how capital needs should be reflected in annual PRAC project operating rents.   

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CMS Announces Reporting Relief for QRP and VBP

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced it is implementing exceptions and extensions for upcoming measure reporting and data submission deadlines for several quality reporting programs.  

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Affordable Housing: HUD Postpones REAC Inspections, Provides COVID-19 Guidance

HUD announced last week that the Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) is postponing all property inspections on all public housing, multi-family housing, and servicing mortgagee properties. This includes senior housing. 

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Federal Government Begins Legislative Response to COVID-19

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that addresses many needs related to the COVID-19 emergency, including aid to states, access to testing, and funding for unemployment insurance and sick leave for impacted workers. That bill has moved to the Senate, which is currently considering whether to pass that measure or to combine it with another measure they are working on, which would pump $850 billion into the economy to try and avoid a recession - primarily through direct payments to individuals.  

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DOJ Targets Grossly Substandard Care in Nursing Homes

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a National Nursing Home Initiative that will coordinate and enhance civil and criminal efforts to pursue nursing homes that provide grossly substandard care to their residents. 

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MFAR Receives Bipartisan Pushback on Capitol Hill

There are strong bipartisan concerns from federal lawmakers about the proposed federal rule that could eliminate up to $50 billion from the Medicaid program annually and have serious implications on aging services providers’ supplemental payments.   

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CMS Proposes Revisions to PASRR Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule on Feb. 20 that would revise requirements for Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR). While many of the changes seek to clarify or reinforce requirements already in statute, this overhaul could have significant implications for nursing homes.  

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Now Active: VA Community Care Network

The Community Care Networks (CCNs) from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are now active. CCNs replace the Veterans Choice Program and are designed to expand the provider network and improve customer service for veterans and timeliness of payments for providers. Along with Veterans Care Agreements, the CCNs are the main vehicle through which VA pays non-VA providers.  

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HUD Seeks 15% Budget Cut but More Funding for Section 202 Housing

Yes. You read that correctly. The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) is seeking a 15% cut to its own funding in fiscal year 2021 that will have a detrimental impact on programs that serve older adults. 

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New Video Resource: PRACtical RAD Overview

The U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department (HUD) has released the first of a series of short videos on RAD for PRAC.  

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1 in 6 Medicaid Dollars at Stake: Medicaid Takes a Hit in Trump Budget

We delved deeper into the proposed fiscal year 2021 budget from the Trump Administration and discovered a $1 trillion spending cut that could impact aging services and the people you serve. While there is a lack of detail on where these cuts would come from and the budget is likely dead on arrival, it provides perspective on the Administration's vision for Medicaid that could come into play as part of the November election.  

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President Trump Releases Budget

President Donald Trump this week released A Budget for America’s Future, which includes $4 trillion in mandatory and discretionary budget cuts in FY 2021 that would result in significant reductions to federal health care spending, including Medicare and Medicaid and other entitlement programs.  

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New CMS Block Grant Waivers Could Endanger Funding

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a state Medicaid director's letter on Jan. 30 outlining how states can apply for Medicaid block grant waivers. We oppose Medicaid block grants and similar initiatives that would limit Medicaid funding, including per capita caps. 

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CMS Urges Healthcare Settings to Prepare for Possibility of Coronavirus

As concerns arise with the emerging 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) threat, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging all healthcare settings to carefully review information provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

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Trump Administration Efforts on Fair Housing and Public Charge Pose Concerns for Aging Services Providers

The Trump Administration is working on three major changes in the area of affordable housing and pathways to citizenship that will weaken obligations to fair housing, lessen resources for affordable housing, and discourage older adults from receiving needed assistance. 

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CMS Announces Integration of Compare Sites

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the eight “compare” websites currently operating will be integrated into one streamlined user interface in spring 2020. The move is part of the its efforts to increase transparency and will create a one-stop-shop for Medicare beneficiaries exploring their provider options.  

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