Aging News Alert

Minnesota

 

Friendship Village Names Miller as New Executive Director

Friendship Village of Bloomington (MN) names David Miller as the new executive director of the senior living community.

read complete story

'Retirement Time Bomb' Shows Boomers Burdened with Mortgages

A survey by St. Paul, MN-based Securian Financial Group shows that about half of the retirees (49%) carried debt into retirement. Of those, more than half (55%) carried $25,000 or more. More than one-fifth (21%) held $100,000 or more in debt at retirement.

read complete story

Knitting Group Churns Out 600 Winter Items for Area Needy

Knitting groups are popular and quite common among senior centers, but few match the output of the knitters at Edina Senior Center, of Edina, MN. Last year, the group knitted nearly 600 articles of clothing to donate to needy residents.

read complete story

Foundation Offers Grants for Senior Services

The foundation supports nonprofit organizations which encourage youth development, address women's issues and provide for the elderly.

read complete story

Artificial Butter Flavor Ingredient Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The food-flavoring ingredient used to produce that distinctive buttery taste in microwave popcorn, margarines, snack foods, candy, baked goods, pet foods and a host of other edibles may be linked to Alzheimer's disease.

read complete story

The Green Premium: Moving Consumers from Intent to Action

According to new research from Minneapolis-based marketing firm Russell Herder, consumers are demonstrably interested in green, sustainable products, yet the willingness to move toward an environmentally-friendly purchase is highly dependent on the langua

read complete story

Senior Center Marks 50th Year with Wedding Anniversary Party

The Rochester, MN, Senior Center celebrates its 50th year with a special week of activities, including a 50th Wedding Anniversary Party, open to area couples celebrating their 50+ wedding anniversaries.

read complete story

Evaluation of Largest AmeriCorps Program Could Impact Funding

The program places AmeriCorps members -- largely seniors -- as literacy tutors in sites across Minnesota to implement a researched-based early literacy effort to help struggling readers.

read complete story

Andersen Foundation Grants Support Aging Services

The foundation's geographical focus is national, with a special emphasis on Minnesota and Wisconsin. It provides funds for capital campaigns, general/operating support, and program development.

read complete story

(AGE DISCRIMINATION) 3M to Pay $3 Million to Settle EEOC Lawsuit

The EEOC's suit charged that 3M unlawfully laid off hundreds of employees over the age of 45 during a series of reductions in force (RIFs) from July 1, 2003 through Dec. 31, 2006

read complete story

(GRANTS) Private Funder Favors Aging-Related Programs, Services

Generally speaking, grant funding is limited to areas of company operations in Des Moines and Dubuque, IA; East Metro, MN; North Brunswick, NJ; Luray and Page Counties, VA; Dunn County, Menomonie, and St. Croix Valley, WI; and some national and international organizations.

read complete story

(GIFTS FOR ELDERLY) Senior Housing Developer Creates Program to Help Seniors During Holiday Season

If you're in the business of providing housing for seniors and you want to generate public interest in your operation, take a lesson from New Perspective Senior Living (NSLP), a suburban Minneapolis-based provider, owner and operator of senior living facilities scattered throughout the Midwest.

read complete story

(TELECONFERENCE) Congressional Dems Move to Reassure Public about Benefits of Healthcare Reform

Two leading congressional Democrats on Friday told reporters there has been too much partisan rhetoric around the issue of healthcare reform, and it has left many Americans misinformed about the benefits of the new law. "There is going to be an aggressive effort to explain the bill because there have been so many mischaracterizations," says Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), "especially to the elderly."

read complete story

(AWARDS) Eight Nonprofit Organizations Garner Encore Opportunity Honors

To honor organizations that are making it easier for experienced workers to transition into encore careers -- paid jobs offering meaning and the chance to make a social impact -- Civic Ventures and MetLife Foundation, during a press conference in Washington, DC on Tuesday (Nov. 17), named winners of the 2009 Encore Opportunity Awards: eight nonprofit and public sector organizations that are tapping "encore" talent to serve the common good. Each organization will receive a $2,500 cash prize.

read complete story

(MINNESOTA) Proposal Would Convert Vacant Schools to Senior Co-ops

If you're a developer of housjng for seniors and you're looking for a unique project with the potential of attracting financial help from the federal government, consider this: A Minnesota developer is proposing to buy two former elementary schools in Minneapolis and redevelop them into senior cooperatives.

read complete story

(GRANTS) MDU Resources Foundation Grant Application Deadline Approaches

MDU Resources Foundation, a Bismarck, ND-based funder, supports organizations serving seniors. The foundation is particularly interested in supporting programs related to health and human services, education, civic and community activities, culture and the arts. The Foundation is underwritten by MDU Resources Group Inc., a company primarily focused on energy and transportation infrastructure.

read complete story

(FALSE CLAIMS) Minnesota Hospitals Pay $2.28 Million to Settle False Claims Charges

Three HealthEast Care System hospitals have agreed to pay the United States $2.28 million to settle allegations that the health care facilities submitted false claims to Medicare, the Justice Department announced today. All three hospitals are located in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN area.

read complete story

(RETIREMENT) Debt-Free Retirement Could Be Downturn's Biggest Casualty

Consumers are more concerned about short-term security than long-term financial goals, a new study suggests. The 2009 Survey of Financial Values and Debt, sponsored by St. Paul, MN-based Securian Financial Group, indicates that saving for emergencies is among Americans' top financial priorities. And while they have found many ways to spend less, consumers are not reducing their debt.

read complete story

Medicaid Dollars in Stimulus Would Boost States

The inclusion of nearly $88 billion in House of Representatives' economic recovery package (HR 1) would not only help states continue to provide health coverage for vulnerable populations, details a new Families USA report, but it would also help to revitalize states' overall economies by preventing loss of jobs, wages and business activity, the group says.

read complete story

Xcel Energy Foundation Offers Seniors-Related Grants

Among the organizations the Xcel Energy Foundation supports with its generous grants are those involved with housing, financial counseling, diversity, senior citizens, and economically disadvantaged people.

read complete story

CMS Issues Agent Compensation Requirements MA, Rx Drug Programs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued revised compensation requirements for sales agents and brokers who sell Medicare Advantage and prescription drug benefit plan options to people with Medicare. This CMS interim final rule with comment period modifies regulations issued on Sept. 18.

read complete story

Home Healthcare Agencies to Get Medicare Payment Increase

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says it will increase Medicare payments on average to home health agencies in 2009 and will take action to remedy inappropriate outlier cases in which providers bill Medicare unusually large amounts.

read complete story

Review 2009 Medicare Health & Drug Plan Options, Group Advises

With premiums for most major Medicare drug plans rising sharply in 2009, many people with Medicare must look for alternative coverage as Medicare prescription drug and health plans begin marketing their 2009 plan offerings starting Oct. 1, warns the Medicare Rights Center (MRC), a national consumer service organization.

read complete story

WI Insurance Regulator Wants Authority Over MA Plan Sponsors

A state insurance regulator and a top official of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services disagree about what authority states should have to regulate Medicare Advantage plans. The discussion occurs during a Sept. 22 session of the annual Medicare Conference of America's Health Insurance Plans.

read complete story

Modified Insulin Most Effective For Controlling Post-Meal Blood Sugar Levels

Pre-mixed insulin analogues, a modified form of conventional pre-mixed human insulin, are more effective than long-acting analogues for controlling high blood sugar levels after meals in patients with type 2 diabetes, find the authors of a new report funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, part of the Department of Health & Human Services.

read complete story

NIA to Fund Research on Older Cancer Patients

The grants will support translational research in the overlapping areas of aging and cancer, linking basic and clinical research relevant to older cancer patients through both bench to bedside and bedside to bench approaches.

read complete story

Grassley Wants CMS To Account For Inaccurate Estimates Of Improper Medicare Payements

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wants the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to produce a full accounting of how the agency provided inaccurate estimates of improper and fraudulent Medicare payments. Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, says the findings of a new Inspector General (IG) report require the agency to be forthcoming about the policies and procedures that were used.

read complete story

Poll: Nearly Third Of Age 50+ Americans Find Streets Inhospitable, Public Transportation Inaccessible

A new poll by AARP finds that while many Americans ages 50+ are trying to move away from car transportation as a result of high gas prices, their attempt to go "green" is challenged by inadequate sidewalks and bike lanes, as well as insufficient public transportation options. "More Americans age 50+ are trying to leave their cars behind but face obstacles as soon as they walk out the door, climb on their bikes or head for the bus," says Elinor Ginzler, AARP senior VP for Livable Communities.

read complete story

Doc Groups See Performance Pay For Improving Patientsí Quality Of Care

All physician groups participating in the Physician Group Practice (PGP) Demonstration improved the quality of care delivered to patients with congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes mellitus during performance year 2 of the demonstration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says.

read complete story

National Think Tank Releases State Rankings on Health Ownership

Americans lack the basic freedom to make their own healthcare decisions, says the author of the second edition of the U.S. Index of Health Ownership, an annual report by the Pacific Research Institute (PRI). The Index measures the degree to which individuals -- be they patients, health professionals, entrepreneurs, or taxpayers -- "own" the healthcare in their states.

read complete story

Pharmacies Found Having Problems With Medicare Drug Program Providers

Nearly all of the 100 community pharmacies examined by the Department of Health & Human Services' (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) experienced problems when contracting with Medicare prescription drug program (PDP) sponsors.

read complete story

CMS Takes Steps Aimed At Encouraging Greater Patient Safety In Hospitals

CMS is taking several actions to improve the quality of care in hospitals and reduce the number of so-called "never events" -- i.e., preventable medical errors that result in serious consequences for the patient. A final acute care inpatient prospective payment rule that went on display Thursday (July 31) at the Office of the Federal Register for publication Aug. 18, updates Medicare payments to hospitals for FY 2009 and provides additional incentives for hospitals to improve the quality of care provided to people with Medicare.

read complete story

Study Finds Surgical Errors Cost Nearly $1.5 Billion Annually

Potentially preventable medical errors that occur during or after surgery may cost employers nearly $1.5 billion a year, according to new estimates by the Department of Health & Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ). In a just released study, AHRQ researchers Drs. William Encinosa and Fred Hellinger found that insurers paid an additional $28,218 (52% more) and an additional $19,480 (48% more) for surgery patients who experienced acute respiratory failure or post-operative infections, respectively, compared with patients who did not experience either error.

read complete story

Breadwinning Boomers Responsible For Multi-Generational Brand Decisions, Study Finds

With 40 and 50-somethings at or near the peak of their earning potential and typically having several financial dependants ranging from small children to elderly parents, this prime adult demographic is making the majority of the household spending decisions, according to cable network TV Land's new study, "Generation BUY: A Close Look at the Boomer Consumer."

read complete story

Survey Finds Considerable Room For Workers Over 50

A new AARP national survey has found that workers age 50 and over are satisfied with employer-based training programs offered to them (79%), and they participate in those programs in large numbers. But while two-thirds (67% of workers questioned online said that they received all of the training th...

read complete story

Senators Call For Release Of $120 Million In LIHEAP Funding

Forty-five senators, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), co-chairs of the Senate Northeast-Midwest Coalition, have fired off a letter to the White House urging President Bush to release $120 million in remaining contingency funds from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The money is being sought to help alleviate the burden high energy prices have placed on working families and seniors throughout the country.

read complete story

Proposed Rule Jeopardizes Nursing Home Quality, AHCA Says

The American Health Care Association (AHCA), in formal comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), says the agency's proposed rule on the Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS) for FY 2009 jeopardizes quality in the nation's nursing homes. AHCA's comme...

read complete story

LivHOME Acquires Continual Feast Companion Care

LivHOME Inc., the nation's largest provider of professionally led at-home care for seniors, has acquired Continual Feast Companion Care in Minneapolis, MN. With two offices in the Twin Cities area, Continual Feast Companion Care has provided caregiving and companion care services to seniors since 2002.

read complete story

Michael J. Fox Foundation Launches Research Funding Initiative

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research is launching a funding initiative to promote development and testing of technologies to image alpha-synuclein and/or Lewy body-related pathology associated with Parkinson's disease in living brain tissue.

read complete story

Investing In Longevity Science To Bolster Seniors' Contributions

With the nation's economy uppermost in many Americans' minds, the Alliance for Aging Research explores the economic benefits from increased investment in longevity science in its most recent podcast series. The podcast series is part of the Alliance's SAGE Crossroads website, a forum that explores emerging issues of human aging and longevity.

read complete story

Finalists Named For 2008 Boomer Venture Summit

The competition, which attracted submissions from emerging businesses in the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, and Singapore, will be held June 17 at Santa Clara University. The finalists will present their business plans in two sessions, one prior to and one following lunch.

read complete story

Five States Cut Aid To Elderly, Disabled; Will More Follow?

At least five states are cutting or proposing to cut medical, rehabilitative, home care, or other services needed by low-income people who are elderly or have disabilities, or significantly increasing the amounts that such people must pay for the services, says the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

read complete story

Minnesota Ruling May Limit Tax-Exempt Status For Nonprofits

With waning budgets at the state and federal levels, officials are questioning the logic of tax-exempt status for all nonprofits, which is worrisome for the sector because many are struggling despite receiving the benefit.

read complete story

Long -Term Care Industry Group Urges Caution In Regulating Sector

A senior-leve representative of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) argues that the long-term care profession has pioneered transparency and disclosure efforts among U.S. healthcare providers, and outlined a variety of reforms designed to ensure seniors and every long-term care stakeholder benefits from smarter, more effective oversight of the nation's long term-care system.

read complete story

Are Boomers Prepared for a Disability?

The answer is no, according to America's Health Insurance Plans. The organization commissioned Harris Interactive for a series of surveys to determine the extent of boomers' coverage in case of disability.

read complete story

Dems Move On $3.3 Trillion Budget Plan; No Proposed Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid

Congressional Democrats appear to have reached a tentative agreement on a $3.3 trillion FY 2009 budget resolution that does not include the Bush administration's proposed spending cuts for Medicare and Medicaid.

read complete story

Rule Would Increase Availability Of Home, Community-Based Services In States

Because the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 gives states the option of providing home- and community-based healthcare services, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is proposing a rule that would offer guidance to states on how to implement this provision.

read complete story

Online Meeting To Focus On Culture Change In Nursing Homes

The Picker/Commonwealth Fund Quality of Care for Frail Elders program and the Pioneer Network on Monday, May 19, will co-host an online meeting, "Culture Change in Nursing Homes: How Far Have We Come?"

read complete story

Senators Push Bill To Exempt Certain Rehab Services From CMS Bidding Program

Sens. Tim Johnson (D-SD), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are pushing proposed legislation that would exempt complex rehabilitative services from the new Medicare equipment bidding program.

read complete story

CMS Rule Would Lower Payments To Inpatient Rehab Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposes a new rule that would reduce funding for inpatient rehabilitation facilities by about $20 million in FY 2009.

read complete story

Top 10 Reasons Why You May Need A New Knee Surgeon

With all the advances that have been achieved, the decision to have surgery made by many doctors is still often the incorrect one, leaving patients with unnecessary physical and financial burdens.

read complete story

Court of Appeals Upholds PCMA Challenge to D.C. Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in a unanimous three-judge decision, has issued an opinion supporting the position of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) and holding that it is entitled to renew its constitutional challenge to the fiduciary-disclosure provisions of the District of Columbia's AccessRx Act of 2004.

read complete story

CMS Releases Rule Aimed At Modernizing Dialysis Centers

CMS has released a final rule that is intended to modernize the Medicare conditions for coverage for the nation's dialysis centers and promote higher quality of care for patients receiving dialysis.

read complete story

Calendar of Events - Spring, Summer 2008

Interested in attending aging-related events? Here's the 2008 Calendar of Events for Spring & Summer at a glance

read complete story

CMS Asked to Extend Contract Evaluation Window, Postpone Round One

The American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) has fired off a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Kerry Weems asking for an extension in the 10-day contract evaluation window for providers that were offered contracts in Round One of competitive bidding.

read complete story

Medicare To Save Average of 26% For Some DMEPOS

A new method of paying for some items of medical equipment and supplies means that Medicare beneficiaries who use those items in ten select regions of the country will see average savings of 26 percent.

read complete story

1,000 Mayors Deliver Meals to Seniors

Mayors across the country today (March 19) joined the fight to end senior hunger by delivering meals to the homebound elderly with their local Meals On Wheels program.

read complete story

MedPAC Eyes Draft Recommendations On Nursing Homes, Drug Benefit, Primary Care

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission is reviewing draft recommendations to Congress regarding skilled nursing facilities, prescription drug plans and primary care.

read complete story

Bush Proposes Means Testing for Part D Beneficiaries

The Bush administration has unveiled a legislative proposal calling for higher Medicare prescription drug benefit premiums for higher-income beneficiaries. The proposal also would cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits and compel healthcare providers to adopt the use of e-health records.

read complete story

Is Nursing Home Culture Change Coming to the For-Profit Sector?

A new report from the Commonwealth Fund discusses results of a 12-month evaluation of Beverly Healthcare's resident-centered care initiative -- one of the nation's largest nursing home chains.

read complete story

Nonprofit Consultant Discusses Ways To Prepare For Economic Downturn

Nonprofits, funders and donors facing a possible recession would do well to draw lessons from the challenging economic period that the sector went through in 2001, made worse by 9/11, says the head of a nationwide consultancy for nonprofit organizations.

read complete story

CMS Report on Nursing Homes Underscores Need For Better Staffing Ratios

With CMS reporting that more than 90% of nursing homes do not have sufficient staff to meet residents' needs, it is time for Congress to enact legislation mandating comprehensive and meaningful nurse staffing ratios, say officials at the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

read complete story

Labor Dept. Proposes Update for FMLA

The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing to update its regulations under the 15-year-old Family & Medical Leave Act to help workers and their employers better understand their rights and responsibilities.

read complete story

Elderly Housing Money Available

A revised FY 2007 Dept. of Housing & Urban Development appropriation allocates $19.8 million for pre-development grants to private nonprofits and consumer groups for development of Sec. 202 housing for the elderly.

read complete story

Capitol Hill Briefing Highlights Tech Advancements Aiding Seniors

Experts on technology for the aging and current technology consumers discuss technology's potential to facilitate independence and allow older Americans to remain in their own homes.

read complete story

CMS Updating Medicare PPS Rates for Long-Term Care Hospitals

CMS proposes a rule aimed at updating the annual payment rates for the Medicare prospective payment system for inpatient hospital services provided by long-term care hospitals.

read complete story

More Web-Based Resources on Aging

Here are two more handy Web-based resources designed to help seniors.

read complete story

Groups Offer Plan To Strengthen Long-Term Care

Some of the nation's leading long-term care organizations gathered this week in Washington, DC, to warn consumers and policymakers about the severe long-term care crisis.

read complete story

Proposals Sought for Programs to Strengthen Geriatrics Training

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation has issued a Call for Proposals from U.S. medical schools for Comprehensive Programs to Strengthen the Training in Geriatrics of Medical Students, Residents, and/or Practicing Physicians.

read complete story

MedPAC Approves Recommendations on SNFs

MedPAC's latest recommendations to Congress will affect skilled nursing facilities and home healthcare agencies.

read complete story

OIG Audits Part D Rx Drug Costs

Medicare Part D payments, excluding dispensing fees, to local, community pharmacies exceeded the pharmacies' drug acquisition costs by an estimated 18.1%, OIG finds.

read complete story

First Rigorous Analysis Defines Impact of Medicare Part D

The most thorough study to date of the impact of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit found that this benefit led to a 13.1% decrease in out-of-pocket expenses for patients and a 5.9% increase in prescription use.

read complete story

Voluven Approved to Treat Blood Volume Loss After Surgery

The FDA has approved Voluven, an intravenous solution that prevents and treats a dangerous loss of blood volume, a condition that sometimes occurs during and after surgery.

read complete story

CMS to Issue RFP for Quality Improvement Organizations

CMS plans to issue a Request for Proposal for competitions resulting in awards of separate contracts for Quality Improvement Organizations for the states of Alaska, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.

read complete story

P4P Experiments Attract Interest, But Data about Effectiveness Is Scarce

Pay-for-performance initiatives have attracted a growing interest among those who think financial incentives can affect physician behavior to improve healthcare outcomes but there is a paucity of evidence about the effectiveness of these efforts

read complete story

Advocacy Group Endorses Measure to Halt COLA Erosion

The proposed "Social Security COLA Protection Act of 2007", introduced by Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), garners strong support from the Washington, DC-based seniors' advocacy group, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare (NCPSSM).

read complete story

Senate Passes Final Bill with No Cuts to Homecare

This year's final Medicare bill, which passed in the Senate Dec. 18 by unanimous consent and which is slated for a vote in the House Dec. 19, does not contain any provisions relating to oxygen, wheelchairs, or durable medical equipment competitive bidding.

read complete story

CMS Proposes Policy for CPAP Therapy

CMS is proposing to extend Medicare coverage for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices to include beneficiaries who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea as a result of a Type II, III, or IV home sleep test.

read complete story

2008 Calendar of Events and Meetings

Here's a handy-dandy list of aging-related events slated for 2008. Put those fridge magnets to work now!

read complete story

Nominations for the Purpose Prize

(Deadline March 1, 2008) Civic Ventures is accepting nominations for the 2008 Purpose Prize, a major initiative that invests in Americans over 60 who are leading a new age of social innovation. The "Purpose Prize" provides five awards of $100,000 and 10 awards of $10,000 to people over 60 who are ta...

read complete story

OSHA Publishes Final Rule on Employer-Paid Personal Protective Equipment

OSHA publishes a final rule that requires employers -- including agencies providing home healthcare providers -- to pay for personal protective equipment for their employees.

read complete story

Half of Older Adults Go Unscreened for Colon Cancer

Only half of all Americans age 50 and over have had a colonoscopy, one of several common screening tests for colon cancer, according to the latest news and numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality.

read complete story

HUD Awards Grants to Convert Multifamily Projects into Assisted Living Facilities

New York: Residents of seven states will find themselves living in upgraded apartments more equipped to meet their physical needs thanks to more than $22.2 million in grants from the Housing & Urban Development Dept. (HUD). On Oct. 31, HUD Deputy Secretary Roy Bernardi unveiled HUD's Assisted Li...

read complete story

AoA News: High Ratings from White House; $1M in Alzheimer's Demo Grants

The Admin. on Aging (AoA) reports that programs it administers under the Older Americans Act received the rating of "effective" after a review by the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB). "Effective" is the highest grade a program can receive under OMB's Program Rating Assessment Tool...

read complete story