Aging News Alert

Tennessee

 

Meeting To Outline Effective Education About Aging

This conference will provide a forum for professionals in the field of aging to present their work and share ideas about gerontological and geriatric education and training.

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Caris Healthcare Acquires South Carolina-Based Solaris Hospice

Knoxville, TN-based Caris Healthcare has completed the purchase of Solaris Hospice, a South Carolina provider of outpatient hospice services. With this acquisition, Caris increases its staff by nearly 40%, from 400 employees to 550 employees across Tennessee and South Carolina. Caris also adds eig...

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(ENRICHMENT) Senior Living Provider Launches Virtual 'Trip' Around The World

Residents of Brookdale Senior Living communities will this year embark on a trans-continental journey with an itinerary boasting an African safari and a stop at the Great Wall of China, all without having to worry about passports or full-body scans.

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(MENTAL HEALTH) Company's Unique Business Plan Includes Behavioral Healthcare for Seniors

Haven Behavioral Healthcare (HBH), based in Nashville, TN, is a senior-centered behavioral health company specializing in care for a demographic disproportionately affected by mental and emotional issues. Founded in 2006 by CEO Vernon Westrich, the company has facilities in Tennessee and five more states -- Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia -- and recently received funding from private equity groups interested in helping it expand its unique business model.

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(ALZHEIMER'S) Museum Pioneers Alzheimer's Outreach Program; Incorporates Interactive Tours and Art Therapy

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is pleased to report successful results in reaching those afflicted with Alzheimer's disease through the museum's art therapy program "Piece of Mind."

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(TRANSPORTATION) Transportation Services for Seniors Suffer Under Budget Cuts

Dramatic funding reductions at the state and local levels continue to force reductions in transportation services for seniors as well as increased fares in many areas. For example, in Prince William County, VA, -- located just outside metropolitan Washington, DC -- funding for senior transportation recently was reduced from $250,000 to less than $100,000. That reduction led the local Area Agency on Aging to eliminate five drivers and sell six vans once used to deliver older adults to senior centers.

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(FUNDING) 'JumpStart the Conversation' Grant Workshops Slated for Four Cities in June

As part of a national movement to promote "Aging in Place" initiatives, four communities in America will be hosting workshops throughout the month of June, bringing local experts together for discussions aimed at helping older Americans remain in their communities. Attendees also will learn how to apply for "JumpStart the Conversation" grants designed to help local organizations bring innovative ideas to life.

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Use of Atypical Antipsychotic Drugs Raises Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death

Patients ages 30 to 74 who took atypical antipsychotics such as risperidone (sold as Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel), olanzapine (Zyprexa) and clozapine (Clozaril) had a significantly higher risk of sudden death from cardiac arrhythmias and other cardiac causes than patients who did not take these medications, according to a new study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ).

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New Legislation Would Protect Seniorsí Capital Assets

Capital gains realizations clearly increase with age. According to the IRS and the Tax Foundation, some 30.2% of taxpayers between age 65 and 74 claim capital gains income, while 27.6% of taxpayers over age 75 have capital gains income. The percentage of taxpayers over age 65 with capital gains income is higher than any other age group, and is more than twice the national average of 12.9%.

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Jackson Madison General Hospital To Pay Over $2.5M; Milan General Hospital To Pay $5.3M To Settle False Claims Allegations

Two western Tennessee hospitals have entered into agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to resolve allegations that they submitted false claims to Medicare. Jackson Madison General Hospital, located in Jackson, TN, has agreed to pay the United States $2,568,280 to settle civil allegations associated with the submission of claims for non-emergency ambulance transportation. The government alleged that between July 1, 1997 to June 31, 2002, Jackson Madison submitted claims to Medicare for non-emergency transports for its beneficiaries that did not meet Medicare's medical necessity and documentation requirements.

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Appalachian Community Fund Seeking Proposals

Organizations seeking funding for projects must show how their proposed projects would eliminate barriers to full participation in society -- i.e., racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, ageism, ableism, and exclusion from decision-making processes.

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Senate Aging Panel Scrutinizes Medicare Call Centers

Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have made substantial progress in serving Medicare recipients, but there is much to be improved, says Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), ranking minority member of the Special Committee Aging. Smith made the observation Thursday (Sept. 10) at a hearing of the panel. He based his view on the results of a three-and-a-half-year (still ongoing) investigation by his staff.

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CBO Updates Long-Term Projections For Social Security

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) regularly prepares long-term projections of the future paths of revenues and outlays for the Social Security program. In its latest report, CBO presents projections for the 75-year period from 2008 through 2082. The projections differ somewhat from earlier results because of newly available programmatic and economic data, updated assumptions about future demographic and economic trends, and improvements in CBOís models.

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'Doughnut Hole' Has Serious Consequences, Study Finds

Kaiser Foundation CEO Drew Altman says the so-called "doughnut hole" coverage gap in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program "has consequences from some patients with serious health conditions," something a new president and Congress should keep in mind if they consider changes to the program....

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Five Good Reasons Why Seniors Should Rent Their Vacation Properties

If you have a vacation home you're not ready to retire to, author Christine Karpinski has a suggestion: Rent it out. You'll get to keep your beloved getaway, earn extra income, meet new friends, and discover a rewarding new lifestyle.

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Covert Probe Exposes Serious Weaknesses In CMS' Oversight Of DMEPOS

Investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have uncovered serious flaws in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service's (CMS) oversight of suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS). GAO investigators easily set up two fictitious DMEPOS companies using undercover names and bank accounts. GAO's fictitious companies were subsequently approved for Medicare billing privileges despite having no clients and no inventory.

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Housing Bill Poised For Senate Approval, President's Signature

After nearly a year of haggling over various aspects of housing market rescue and months of debate over what became the proposed Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the House approves the measure on a 272-152 vote late Wednesday afternoon and sent the measure to the Senate where Democratic leaders say it will pass.

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n4a To Launch Nationwide Senior Housing Resource

For more than 50 million family caregivers across the country, the Internet is becoming a first-line resource for needed support. This week during its annual meeting, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) will unveil an online navigational tool designed to simplify the search for senior housing for seniors and caregivers, no matter where they live. Powered by SNAPforSeniors, the n4a Senior Housing Locator makes objective, nationwide information available 24-hours a day, seven days a week through the convenience of the Internet.

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Leading Aging Agencies Win Nat'l Family Caregiving Awards

Representatives from leading aging organizations and agencies convened Tuesday (July 22) in Nashville, TN to honor the 2008 winners of the National Family Caregiving Awards, sponsored by the National Alliance for Caregiving, a Washington,D.C.-based coalition of national organizations, with support from MetLife Foundation.

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$10 Million Available For Nursing Home Diversion Program

The Administration on Aging (AoA) is making available some $10 million for its Nursing Home Diversion Modernization Cooperative Agreement program. AoA expects to make as many as 15 awards. Maximum grant amount is $1 million. Only state units on aging are eligible. The deadline for applications is Aug. 14

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AoA Announces Nursing Home Diversion Funding Opportunity

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Aging Josefina Carbonell on July 1 announced the availability of $13 million to support state efforts to help individuals with long-term care needs to avoid unnecessary nursing home placement.

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Senators Author Bill To Protect Seniors From Investment Fraud

Sens. Bob Casey, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Herb Kohl, chairman of the committee, are pushing a legislative proposal aimed at protecting seniors from investment fraud. Dubbed the "Senior Investor Protections Enhancement Act," the measure would increase penalties for those who commit securities violations against people who are at least 62 years old.

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Stark: GAO Finds MA Plans Earned Over $1 Billion In Additional Profits

Ways & Means health subcommittee Chairman Pete Stark (D-CA) has unveiled a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) showing that private Medicare Advantage (MA) plans spent less than they projected in their 2005 bids on medical care for beneficiaries, which in turn earned them $1.14 billion in additional profits over what was expected.

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Centers Will Focus on the Economics of Aging

Funds create research and development centers focusing on the areas of demography and economics of aging, including relevant interdisciplinary areas rooted in population-based social science research.

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Boomers, Parents Riding Out Tough Economic Times At Home

A survey conducted for AARP finds three in 10 (29%) middle age and older Americans pinched by tight economic times report making changes to their homes to live there longer. Only 10% postponed selling their current homes, and few (8%) moved to a smaller home or apartment.

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Legislation Would Bar Voluntary Arbitration Agreements In LTC Facilities

Legislation is now before the House and Senate to prohibit long-term care providers from asking residents to sign an arbitration agreement when they enter a long-term care facility, even if the arbitration agreement is not required for admission.

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CMS Part D Regulation Changes Spur Confusion

Two final CMS regulations regarding the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit address issues raised by beneficiaries, providers and health plans in the administration of the drug program. Unfortunately, some of the changes made by these new rules are not beneficiary-friendly.

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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.

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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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Treatment Of Incontinence, Dementia Associated With Functional Decline

Older nursing home residents who took medications for dementia and incontinence at the same time had a 50% faster decline in function than those who were being treated only for dementia, find researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

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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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Medicare Expands Coverage For Artificial Heart Devices

CMS has issued a final National Coverage Determination expanding Medicare coverage of artificial hearts when they are implanted as part of a study that is approved by the Food & Drug Administration and that meets CMS' Coverage with Evidence Development clinical research criteria.

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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.

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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.

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NCOA, Human Arc Partner To Help Low-Income Health Plan Members

NCOA and Human Arc have established a nationwide partnership to help seniors with limited means. The new partnership enables members of participating Medicare health plans to determine -- right at home -- their potential qualification for benefits programs and then, if qualified, get expert assistance to apply and get enrolled.

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Former Senate Leaders To Tackle Healthcare Reform

Former Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole (R-KS) and George Mitchell (D-ME) are taking on what may well turn out to be their toughest challenge to date -- reforming the nation's healthcare system.

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ALFA Names Year's Top Assisted Living Providers

The Assisted Living Federation of America has just released its annual list of "Largest Providers" in the assisted living business. This year's list expands the rankings from the Top 50 to the Top 70, giving industry watchers a broader view of the competitive assisted living landscape.

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CMS Unveils 2009 Medicare Advantage Payment Rates

CMS releases its Announcement of Calendar Year 2009 Medicare Advantage Capitation Rates and MA and Part D Payment Policies.

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Bills Would Delay Hospice Repayments to Medicare

Legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate that would place a three-year moratorium on retroactive repayments from hospice providers to Medicare and mandate a top-to-bottom review of Medicare hospice benefits.

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Weinberg Foundation Offers $9 Million In Grants for Caregivers, Informal Care

The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the nation's largest private philanthropies with more than $2.2 billion in assets and annual distributions of approximately $110 million, has unveiled an innovative program to provide $9 million in grants to assist caregivers nationwide.

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Loss of LIS Due to Beneficiary Not Responding to SSA

The Social Security Administration now is in the process of mailing "SSA Medicare Prescription Drug Assistance Notice of Termination" letters to some beneficiaries who are currently receiving the low-income subsidy.

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Attention Former President Bush: Broccoli Sprout Extract May Protect Against Bladder Cancer

A concentrated extract of freeze dried broccoli sprouts cut development of bladder tumors in an animal model by more than 50%.

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When Everyday Becomes Mother's Day

"It shook me to the core when a stroke left my mom so helpless and vulnerable," reveals Louise Lewis, author of No Experts Needed: The Meaning of Life According to You! "She was never sick a day in her life. But now she needed me, and the roles were reversed. The reality of the natural progression of life set in."

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Family Structure Shapes Mid-Life Retirement Planning

A new MetLife study finds that 40-65-year-olds with non-traditional families face more challenges with regard to saving and investing and are less likely than others to have a distinct retirement vision.

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CMS Broadens List of Poor Quality Nursing Homes in U.S.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is once again making public more names of underperforming nursing homes across the country.

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USDA Wants to Ensure Proper CACFP Payments

The Agriculture Dept. is seeking comments on the best way to test potential data collection processes to ensure proper reimbursement payments for family day care homes involved in the Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

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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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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.

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Grassely Probes Evangelists' Nonprofit Status

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), ranking member of the Finance Committee, sent letters to six media-based ministries seeking information regarding expenses, executive compensation, amenities given to executives, and board governance.

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Congress Pressed to OK Medicare Improvements for Low-Income Seniors

The National Council on Aging is weighing in on recommendations by the nonpartisan Medicare Payment Advisory Commission urging Congress to improve assistance for low-income Medicare beneficiaries.

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