Aging News Alert

Oklahoma

 

Retirement Center Cuts Ribbon on Completed Renovation Project

Officials at the Tulsa Jewish Retirement & Health Center in Tulsa, OK cut the ceremonial ribbon on recent renovations and several strategic additions to the Centerís continuum of care community.

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Tornado Leaves Moore Hospital Incapable of Treating Victims, Including Elderly

A tornado devastates a small Oklahoma hospital Monday afternoon, rendering the facility totally incapable of treating victims in the area -- many of which are elderly.

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Oklahoma Senior Summit Aims To Educate Medicare Beneficiaries

The goal of the three-hour event, which is now in its third year, is to inform Medicare beneficiaries, their families, community leaders and health professionals in southwestern Oklahoma about the main components of Medicare.

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SNAP Grant Replaces Leaky Roof for Elderly Homeowner

Twenty five years ago, Lula Hulett replaced her roof not thinking about the longevity of her new shingles. Year after year, the elements wore on the roof of her Houston, TX home. Then, in the aftermath of a recent rain storm, Hulett realized she could wait no longer to replace her leaky roof. "...

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(OKLAHOMA) Health Care Authority: 'Send Mo' Money!'

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority will be asking state legislators to appropriate an additional $15 million this fiscal year so it can receive about three times that amount in federal Medicaid funds, the agency's director told a House budget panel this week.

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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.

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ACE Demo Sites Selected By CMS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made its selections for the Acute Care Episode (ACE) demonstration. ACE is a new hospital-based demonstration that will test the use of a bundled payment for both hospital and physician services for a select set of inpatient episodes of care to improve the quality of care delivered through Medicare fee-for-service.

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Increased Bystander CPR, Faster Patient-to-Doctor Time Seen As Key Improvement Areas in Resuscitation

A new "State of Resuscitation" survey from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) finds an overwhelming majority (90%) of the emergency physicians surveyed believe that resuscitation practices in the United States are not very effective. Emergency physicians cite increased bystander CPR, faster patient-to-doctor time, improved data collection and sharing, and greater use of technology as critical to improving resuscitation for victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

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AAHomecare To Press For Alternative To CMS' Competitive Bidding Program

The American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) has created a task force to develop an alternative to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' competitive bidding program to which home medical equipment (HME) and durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers are subject.

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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.

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Brookdale Foundation Has Grants to Encourage Leaders in Aging

The Brookdale Foundation is offering two-year research grants of up to $125,000 to encourage emerging leaders in the field of aging. It will accept applications for people in a broad range of disciplines, including medical, biological and basic sciences, nursing, social sciences, the arts, and humanities.

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Seniors Call Today's Economic State Worst Ever Experienced

When asked to compare the current economy to similar situations in the past, 53% of Americans over the age of 60 said today's economic conditions are worse than those they have experienced in the past, even though unemployment and inflation rates have been higher within the last 30 years. A new poll from the MetLife Mature Market Institute, conducted by Harris Interactive, reports that an overwhelming majority of this group is feeling the pinch in today's current economy and that it has affected the way they spend their money, but not their plans for retirement.

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What Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries Should Expect And Do

Each fall, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) notify certain individuals, who are receiving "Extra Help" (also called the Low-Income Subsidy or LIS) paying for their Part D drugs, of their status with respect to that benefit for the following year as well as their status with respect to their Part D plan.

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HUD Has Funds for Emergency Capital Repair

               Agency: Housing & Urban Development Dept. Program: Emergency Capital Repair. Eligibility: Private, nonprofit owners of Sec. 202 direct loan projects with or without Sec. 8 rental assistance; Sec. 202 capital adv...

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Retirement vs. 'Secondment' -- Baby Boomers Get Second Life

Some 76 million baby boomers -- that's more than one-quarter of the U.S. population -- are now entering their 50's and 60's. And in doing so, they are confronting the "r" word (i.e.,retirement). But theirs is a generation of over-achievers; a generation that will not stop working -- at least not completely. On the other hand, they don't necessarily want to continue working full-time, say Joan Strewler-Carter and Stephen Carter, co-founders of the Life Options Institute, an organization dedicated to helping people plan for life after age 50.

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New Tax Laws Dry Up Car Donations

Car donations -- a favorite tax deduction for many older Americans -- have plummeted since Congress in 2004 tightened the tax rules for claiming charitable deductions, finds a Grant Thornton analysis of new IRS data. Before 2005, taxpayers who donated a vehicle were allowed to deduct its fair market value. Tax legislation enacted in 2004 changed the rules to generally limit vehicle donation deductions of over $500 to either the actual proceeds from a vehicle's sale or the vehicle's fair market value -- whichever is less.

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Older Adults at High Risk For Gambling Problems

Research from the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University shows that one in five older adults who enter a casino eventually displays problem gambling behaviors. Problem gambling behaviors include the compulsive need to bet more and more money, and lying to others about the amount of time and money spent on gambling.

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Panel Chair Scrutinizes PhRMA's New 'Code of Conduct' For Drug Industry

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, is reviewing a newly developed voluntary "code of conduct" authored by the Pharmaceuticals Research & Manufacturers Association (PhRMA), the drug industry's principal trade association. Kohl is behind several initiatives to force greater transparency in the way drug companies interact with doctors, in an effort to curb spiraling prescription drug costs.

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AoA Makes $10.9 Million Available For Alzheimer's Disease Demo Grants

The Administration on Aging (AoA) is making availabile $10.9 million for Alzheimer's Disease Demonstration Grants to States Projects. Funding is available for states through two ADDGS Program Announcements: "Innovation Grants to Better Serve People with ADRD" and "Evidence-Based Intervention Translation Grants to Serve People with People with ADRD and their Caregivers." Both announcements provide the opportunity for the Aging Services Network and its partners to modernize and strengthen their approach to helping individuals with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias and their caregivers.

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Payment Policies Under Physician Fee Schedule & Other Revisions To Part B

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services propose rule changes to the Medicare Part B payment policy to "ensure that our payment systems are updated to reflect changes in medical practice and the relative value of services," CMS says in its notice.

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CMS Proposes Payment, Policy Changes For Docs' Services In 2009

CMS says it is trying to encourage greater efficiency in the delivery of care, while reducing treatment errors through the use of electronic health records. Additionally, the agency is exploring new payment models to see if there are ways to promote greater coordination of care among providers, producing better outcomes for the healthcare dollar.

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NCOA: Low Income Beneficiaries May Lose Help

Unless the Senate acts this week to pass HR 6331, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) fears that low-income Medicare beneficiaries -- people who are already struggling with increased food and gasoline costs -- could lose an important benefit. The House recently passed the bill by an overwhelming bipartisan margin.

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Drug Industry Spent Record Amount Lobbying In 2007

Pharmaceutical manufacturers and their trade groups racked up another banner year on Capitol Hill, spending a record $168 million on lobbying in 2007, a 32% increase over 2006, finds a Center for Public Integrity analysis. Based on data obtained from the Senate Office of Public Records, the pharmaceutical industry has spent more than $1 billion lobbying the federal government over the past decade.

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Legislation Would Shield Retirees From Rising Healthcare Costs

Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-NY) has introduced legislation intended to ensure that Americans are financially prepared for the healthcare costs they will face during retirement. The proposed "Retiree Health Account Act" would provide Americans with the tax incentives needed to set aside funds for retiree health costs.

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Stark, Camp Introduce Bill To Delay DME Bidding Program

House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stark (D-CA) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) have introduced HR 6252, legislation that would delay the competitive bidding program for Medicare's Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS).

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Set For June 15

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, set for Sunday, June 15, is an opportunity to focus much needed international attention on the problem. Every community and organization that participates will intensify the message that "our elders deserve better."

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Effort Underway To Help Beneficiaries Lower Costs For DME

Nearly 4 million people with Medicare living in 10 communities across the nation will receive information about a new program aimed at lowering their costs for certain medical equipment and supplies by changing how Medicare pays for these items. CMS will begin mailing letters on the new program, which begins July 1, to beneficiaries later this month.

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Warning: Don't 'Swipe' Out Retirement Savings With 401(k) Debit Cards

The introduction of the 401(k) debit card has made borrowing from a retirement savings account as easy as swiping and spending -- a tempting convenience that can have significant repercussions on the card user's future retirement security.

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New Tools for Cell Fate Determination and Tissue Homeostasis in the Aged

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) invites Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant applications from institutions and/or organizations that propose to develop tools to track cell fate determination and to determine cell life spans in normal tissue homeostasis and in response to injury or disease in the elderly.

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Research Funding To Study Rejuvenating The Aged Immune System

The National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) seek Research Project Grant applications from organizations that want to study the biology of thymic involution and the decline of naive T cell production, differentiation, and function in the aged population. The deadline for applications is June 18.

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CMS Demo Project Aims To Boost Quality Using Bundled Hospital Payments

CMS unveils a new demonstration project designed to allow hospitals to test the use of a bundled payment for both hospital and physician services for a select set of episodes of care. The aim is to improve the quality of care delivered through Medicare fee-for-service, the agency says.

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Trade Association Presses Hill Staff On Delaying CMS Bidding Plan

Leaders from the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) met late last week with key congressional committee staff to discuss possible delays or adjustments to competitive bidding and alternatives to the bidding program.

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Rule Would Delay Revisions In Payment Plan For LTCHs

CMS unveils its interim final rule aimed at implementing certain provisions of Sec. 114 of the Medicare, Medicaid, & SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 regarding long-term care hospitals.

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CMS Requirement Of Early Evidence Submission Seen As Barrier To Appeals Process

Medicare beneficiaries who wish to appeal when their claims are denied face a daunting obstacle: the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) demand that beneficiaries submit evidence supporting their claims early on in the appeals process.

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Proposals Sought for Alzheimer's Disease Respite Program

The Brookdale Foundation Group Respite Program supports community-based efforts to develop and sustain social model respite programs for elders with Alzheimer's disease and their families.

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Social Security Administration Multilanguage Gateway Opens Doors

The Social Security Adminsitration is now offering information to the public in 15 languages besides English.

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Elder Care Initiative Long-Term Care Grant Program

The Indian Health Service makes available grants to support planning and implementation of sustainable long-term care services for American Indians and Alaska Native elders.

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Martha Stewart Testimony Inspires Optimism at Hearing on Elder Care

Martha Stewart, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, describes for lawmakers how caring for her aging mother led her to become deeply committed to easing the difficulties associated with caring for the elderly.

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MedPAC Adopts Recommendations for Nursing Homes, Primary Care

MedPAC will soon send recommendations to Congress regarding Medicare reimbursements for skilled nursing facilities and primary care.

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Seniors Fall Prevention Bill Passes House, Heads to President

House passage Tuesday of the Safety of Seniors (SOS) Act, clears the measure for the signing by President Bush. Advocates say the bill comes at a critical point.

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Need Info on Health & Aging? Have We Got A Deal For You

The American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging publishes tip sheets on Health & Aging that can be downloaded and used in health fairs, education with elders, etc.

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Home Healthcare For Elderly Seen As Growing Franchising Niche

There's an expanding list of franchise players that offer in-home supportive care and assistance services for the elderly who want to continue to maintain some degree of independence.

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Studies: Older People Want Technology to Help Them Remain at Home

Older adults want to use technology so they can age safely in their home. Family caregivers agree believing technology can ease some of the challenges of caregiving. Concerns such as cost to install and maintain equipment remain barriers for people 65-plus and for caregivers.

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House Bill Would Eliminate Part D Co-Pays for Dual Eligibles in Assisted Living

A legislative effort is under way in the House aimed at providing so-called "dual eligibles" living in assisted living residences and other home and community-based settings the same co-pay coverage under Medicare Part D as those residing in nursing facilities.

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Senate Panel Hears that Elderly Would be Helped by Farm Bill Passage

Several witnesses at a March 5 hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging urge passage of a farm bill that contains provisions which would increase food stamp benefits for the elderly, make more seniors eligible for food stamps and reduce barriers that inhibit seniors from applying

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Targeted Imaging May Lead to Earlier Diagnosis of Dementia, Alzheimer's

Researchers involved in a large, multi-institutional study using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging have been able to classify different types of dementia with very high rates of success.

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DOL Makes Online Tool Available For Retirement Planning

The U.S. Department of Labor has unveiled a new online resource that makes it easier for Americans to prepare for a financially secure retirement.

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NEW: Private Grants for Community Health Programs -- 1st Edition

Discover over 200 newly-researched private foundation grants for a wide range of community health programs with a brand-new online and print directory from the publishers of Aging News Alert.

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Analysis: Cost of Providing Care to Seniors Continues To Rise

A new analysis shows that the federal government spends more on seniors than on any other group or program.

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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.

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Senate Dems Grill Leavitt on Bush's Plan for Medicare

Senate Finance Committee Democrats on Wednesday sharply criticized President Bush's health proposals in the FY 2009 budget request released by the Whit House on Monday (Feb. 4).

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Part D Helping to Lower Rx Drug Costs? Maybe...Maybe Not

An assertion this week by HHS Secy. Mike Leavitt that the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit is saving money for beneficiaries as well as the federal government is being characterized as "propaganda" by a key congressional leader.

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IRS Partners Host Free Tax Help for Low-Income, Elderly Taxpayers

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free tax help to people who earn less than $40,000. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program offers free tax help to taxpayers who are 60 and older.

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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.

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CMSA Unveils Online Senior Housing Locator

In an effort to meet the rapidly growing need for appropriate senior housing, the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) has launched the CMSA Senior Housing Locator, an online senior housing navigational tool developed by SNAPforSeniors.

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Looking Older? How Square is Your Jaw Line?

Your face may be giving away your age, and it has nothing to do with wrinkles, sagging skin or droopy eyelids.

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Additional Proposed Funding Rules Issued on Pension Protection Act

The Treasury Dept. and the Internal Revenue Service have issued proposed regulations that provide employers sponsoring single-employer defined benefit plans with guidance regarding the measurement of pension assets and liabilities under the new funding rules enacted as part of the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

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During Deadly Ice Storm, Providers Mobilized to Safeguard Patients

In several Midwestern states impacted by severe ice storms, seniors on home oxygen therapy were taken to warming centers or shelters because of power outages that cut electricity needed for oxygen systems.

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Tips for Helping Elders with Depression during Holidays

While millions of people suffer late life depression year round, the situation is exacerbated during the holidays.

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Should Hospice Providers Analyze Dollars vs. Patients' Status?

It appears hospice providers are being penalized for caring for patients who live longer than six months.

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