Nursing Home Requirements of Participation: Halt Implementation Now 

In September 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a new rule setting out requirements of Medicare and Medicaid participation for nursing homes. The new rule compounds the existing problems with the oversight system and adds burdensome new requirements that are strangling nursing homes’ ability to provide high-quality care.

We urge Congress and the Administration to halt the new nursing home requirements of participation. Not only the new rule, but also an overhaul of the underlying nursing home oversight system. The new requirements of participation should not be implemented until a systematic review and reconsideration of the nursing home regulatory and enforcement apparatus is accomplished.

It is important to tell your members of Congress why the current regulatory system is strangling our nursing homes It is critical that we communicate to Congress that the nursing home regulatory system is broken and needs to be fixed. Take action NOW.

American Society on Aging Roundtable

On Feb. 7, we attended the American Society on Aging roundtable, "The New Political Landscape- Saving the Safety Net." Presenters discussed their biggest concerns about recently proposed policy changes:

  • Bill Benson, principal at Health Benefits ABCs, educated the crowd on threats to social service block grants, which fund state senior services programs.

  • Kevin Prindiville, executive director at Justice in Aging, conveyed the urgency of protecting Medicaid, which covers basic healthcare costs of America’s poorest seniors.
  • Karyne Jones, LeadingAge board member and president and CEO of NCBA, stressed the need for more affordable senior housing and the lack of support for new construction sites by the new administration.

Both the presenters and the audience were very concerned about these and other aging services policy proposals from Congress and the Administration and asked for senior advocates to step up and fight for seniors.

Senate Judiciary Committee considers bill to prevent elder financial exploitation

On Wednesday, Feb. 8, the Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up S. 178, a bi-partisan bill that targets elder financial abuse, establishes elder abuse coordinators in various agencies and federal judicial districts, improves collection of data on elder financial abuse, improves training in identification and prosecution of elder abuse, and increases penalties for fraudulent telemarketing and email scams directed at seniors. LeadingAge and the Elder Abuse Coalition support this legislation and look forward to seeing it advance.

Update on Cabinet Nominees

As the approval of President Trump’s cabinet nominees slows, some media are referring to the confirmation of Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to be the next director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as “on ice.” Without an OMB director, LeadingAge understands it is increasingly unlikely that we will see any budget, skinny or otherwise, on Feb. 28 as previously expected.

Meanwhile, reports are circulating that President Trump is preparing an executive order on his fiscal year 2018 (FY18) budget request. It is not unusual for a new president’s first budget request to be delayed. But, as new proposals in need of a slice of the FY18 budget seem to emerge daily, (e.g., the border wall, tax reform, and defense and infrastructure spending) how nondefense discretionary programs like housing and those under the Older Americans Act will fare in the request remains the question of the day.