What Have We Done for You Lately? – June 2018

Our Story | June 27, 2018

“Let’s talk about it” has been LeadingAge’s primary message to consumers, policy makers, and members during June 2018. We’ve asked millennials to “Carry the Conversation” by becoming the voice of long-term services and supports (LTSS). We’ve been talking with policy makers about a variety of issues that matter to older Americans. And we’ve provided resources that member organizations can use to frame their internal conversations about important decisions.

Conversations about LTSS Financing

Think it’s surprising that an organization representing nonprofit providers of aging services is talking with millennials? Think again.

Our Carry the Conversation: Be the Voice of Long-Term Services and Supports campaign recognizes that millions of millennials are trying to pay for and provide care for loved ones. The campaign also acknowledges the lack of affordable LTSS options available to these caregivers and their families.

We’re raising awareness about these issues on social media. We’re also providing resources to help millennials educate themselves about LTSS, start a conversation with family and friends about how they will meet LTSS needs, and eventually start talking with state and federal policy makers who can take steps to strengthen LTSS financing and caregiver supports. Our goal is to enlist new allies in our fight to reform the LTSS financing system.

Conversations about Technology

LeadingAge is holding conversations about other important topics with a variety of audiences. The LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST) led these efforts in June by hosting, for the first time, the annual long-term and post-acute (LTPAC) Health IT Summit.

The summit fostered meaningful conversations—among LTPAC providers, acute care providers, payers, health IT vendors, health information exchange intermediaries, consultants, system integrators, and solution providers—about how to use technology to connect the health care ecosystem in this era of health and payment reforms. Read Katie Sloan’s column about why those conversations were so important.

Conversations with Policy Makers

Holding meaningful conversations is what our advocacy team does best. To date, we’ve collaborated with state association partners around the country to hold 15 town hall conversations with LeadingAge members. This month, we also had important conversations with policy makers about:

LTSS financing: LeadingAge submitted technical comments on the Medicare Long-Term Care Services and Supports Act of 2018 discussion draft released by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ). This legislation reflects our goals to facilitate independence, protect families and individuals from high out-of-pocket expenses, alleviate the burden on family caregivers, and address unmet needs.

Payment rules: We submitted comments on the skilled nursing facility and hospice fiscal year 2019 proposed payment rules.

RAD for PRAC implementation: We’ve been in frequent conversation with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), LeadingAge members, and assorted stakeholders about HUD’s plans to include Section 202 Housing for the Elderly communities with Project Rental Assistance Contracts (PRAC) in the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). In June, we sent HUD’s Office of Recapitalization our formal recommendations for implementing RAD for PRAC.

Tax credits: We asked LeadingAge members to talk with their Congressional representatives about co-sponsoring the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 1661), which would strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

Resources to Fuel Your Internal Conversations

Your organization’s decision-making process often begins with internal conversations among senior management, board members, care teams, residents/clients, and others. These conversations go best when they are based on solid information and practical resources. The latest LeadingAge resources may help you make decisions about:

How to participate in the upcoming election season: Guiding Principles for Nonprofit Providers will help you follow federal rules prohibiting 501(c)(3) organizations from intervening in political campaigns.

How the recent tax overhaul will affect you: Some provisions of December’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will affect nonprofit providers. We’ve identified some of the issues you should be talking about with your accountant.

How to navigate your next REAC inspection: We’ve updated our REAC Inspections Fact Sheet, which outlines your rights regarding scheduling, stopping a review in process, appealing unwarranted deficiency findings, and/or responding to exigent health and safety violations.

How to select an electronic health record (EHR): Look for valuable information and guidance in CAST’s EHR Selection Tool, which was updated in June.

How to engage older adults in your work: The LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston and CJE SeniorLife, a LeadingAge member in Chicago, launched a 4-part virtual seminar series in June that explores how to engage stakeholders, including older adults, in research that affects them. Learn about this new consumer engagement model, view the June 20 seminar, and register for future seminars at the Sages in Every Setting website.

Conversations to influence the LTSS field

LeadingAge content experts often hold public conversations that help spread awareness among LTSS issues, offer insights on the latest trends in the field, or make the case for new initiatives and legislation. During June, our team members were talking about:

Requirements of participation: In late May, the attorneys general of 17 states filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regarding the moratorium on civil monetary penalties for deficiencies cited under Phase II of the nursing home requirements of participation in Medicare and Medicaid. Janine Finck-Boyle, vice president of regulatory affairs, responded to that complaint in Skilled Nursing News. You can also read LeadingAge’s response to the complaint.

Medicare shortfall: Nicole Fallon, vice president of health policy and integrated services, offered Skilled Nursing News her take on dire predictions that the Medicare fund that helps pay for skilled nursing care is projected to run out of money for full benefits 3 years sooner than was predicted last year.