Throughout 2012, a variety of federal legislative and regulatory issues arose that will affect senior living communities and senior living residents across the country. From the implementation of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act to proposed revisions to CMS’ waiver program, take a look back at some of the year’s most important initiatives.
Throughout the second session of the 112th Congress, the Senate Special Committee on Aging (SCOA) has been actively addressing a number of issues that touch senior living providers. In June, the committee conducted a hearing on the VA Aide and Attendance Program. The hearing exposed numerous cases of financial exploitation by some unscrupulous financial advisors who were hired to help seniors with the complicated application process. ALFA submitted testimony for the hearing and has been working with Senator Wyden (D-OR) and the Veterans Administration to improve the program and prevent these abuses.Last year, the SCOA held a hearing on the use of antipsychotics among those living with dementia in nursing homes, and this year the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) announced the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care, an initiative aimed at reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing home residents by 15 percent by the end of 2012. With the goal of ensuring appropriate use of antipsychotics in senior living communities, ALFA has joined with the Senate Special Committee on Aging (SCOA), as well as other stakeholders, in asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study examining the broad range of interventions and protocols employed by senior living providers to reduce the unnecessary use of psychotropic medication in seniors.
In addition to actions by Congress, some federal agencies have been active in issues that affect senior living providers. For example, the Centers For Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) are in the process of redefining home and community based settings. ALFA has been active in ensuring the new definition will allow low income seniors to reside in assisted living. The latest draft is very supportive of assisted living and reflects a person centered approach that ALFA’s professionally managed communities will likely meet.
CMS has also been actively implementing measures outlined in the Affordable Care Act. Earlier this year, CMS announced the creation of 89 accountable care organizations (ACOs). Senior living providers cannot officially join ACOs, but the new incentives for hospitals and other healthcare providers may allow for senior living communities to engage in meaningful partnerships.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has also been extremely active in 2012. Earlier this year, the National Labor Relations Board’s rule requiring employers to put up a poster outlining workers’ right to unionize and rule allowing expedited elections were both scheduled to take effect. Due to actions by the courts, neither have been implemented; but both may be pursued by NLRB at a later date. ALFA will continue to monitor these and a number of other labor issues pursued by NLRB and the Department of Labor.
President Obama allocated $80 million for Alzheimer’s research in his 2013 budget, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease. Although the initial draft did not include mention of assisted living, thanks in part to advocacy by ALFA and its members, the final plan recognized the role assisted living plays in the lives of many individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. The Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services has met several times throughout 2012 and will continue to meet in 2013 to implement this comprehensive plan.Many of these initiatives will carry over into the new year; but with some key members of Congress retiring at the end of the session, the political climate will be different in 2013. For example, the Senate Special Committee on Aging will have both a new chair and ranking member leading the committee. When the new Congress convenes on January 3, 2013, ALFA will begin targeted outreach efforts with new members and staff to begin developing relationships and introduce key policy objectives. Additionally, with President Obama’s second term there will likely be new political appointments. ALFA will proactively engage the new administration officials, including those assigned to the newly created Administration for Community Living, and continue its outreach with career level officials in the key federal agencies with oversight over ALFA issues.
To stay up to date on these and other public policy issues, read ALFA Update and subscribe to ALFA’s Senior Living Policy News RSS feed.
The Administration on Aging has announced the release of more than $1 million to the senior advocacy group Justice in Aging to create a new National C...
Active & Engaged Seniors, Community Awareness and Education, Federal Agency Activity, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, News
The National Institute on Aging has launched the third phase of an initiative to better understand Alzheimer’s disease by identifying and validating b...
Consumer Funding Resources, Facts and Figures, Family Relations, Financing Senior Living – Consumer Education, News, Research, Resident and Family Services
Many older Hispanics expect to provide care for an aging family member or friend within the next five years, although few say they are prepared to do ...
Consumer Funding Resources, Facts and Figures, Federal Agency Activity, Financing Senior Living – Consumer Education, Memory Care Education, News
The National Institutes of Health has released its budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 outlining the optimal approach it would take to meet the resea...
Community Awareness and Education, Core Principles, Elder Abuse, Facts and Figures, Family Relations, News, Policy in the States, Reports, Research, Resident and Family Services
Counties throughout the United States have developed effective community-based efforts to prevent, identify and respond to financial exploitation of o...
Clinical Quality and Quality Care Delivery, Facts and Figures, Federal Agency Activity, Medication Management, Medication Technology & Informatics, News, Science and Technology
Medical device companies will pay about $1 billion in fees to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2018 to 2022 to give the agency resources to...
Community Awareness and Education, Consumer Funding Resources, Facts and Figures, Financing Senior Living – Consumer Education, News, Research
A study by the Center for Retirement Research has shown a decline in replacement rates for married couples.
Career Resources, Employee Compensation, Federal Agency Activity, HR Systems & Processes, Human Resources, Human Resources and Organizational Development, News, Organization Development, Staffing, Staffing & Performance
he Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued updated posters under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Employee ...
Financing Senior Living – Consumer Education, Long Term Care Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance Education, Medicare, News
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will make changes to the Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (MA-VBID) mode.
Advocacy, Federal Agency Activity, Health and Wellness, Health Care, Legislation, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, News, Public Policy, Quality of Life, Regulations
This week, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sent a letter to the National Hockey League (NHL) Commissioner, urging the league to establish an indepen...