Aging News Alert

Florida

 

Brain Mapping ‘Normal’ Could Aid Alzheimer’s Treatment

Inside Florida’s largest retirement community researchers using new brain-mapping technology are trying to peel back the secrets of the brain. The goal: Make world-changing discoveries about how our minds work that could lead to earlier detection of Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.

read complete story

FL Files Appeal After Judge Invalidates Gov.’s Emergency Rule

Three major organizations representing the interests of nursing home operators and assisted living facilities -- Florida Argentum, LeadingAge Florida, and Florida Assisted Living Association -- filed a combined petition last month challenging Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) emergency rule requiring assisted living communities to obtain resources within 60 days, such as a generator and fuel, to support and sustain operations for at least 96 hours following a power loss.

read complete story

More Pet-Friendly Hurricane Shelters Needed for Older Adults

The lack of sufficient emergency shelters to house evacuees along with their dogs and cats in Florida's Miami-Dade metropolitan area may prolong older pet owners' hesitation to leave home when a hurricane hits.

read complete story

Harvey, Irma and Medicare: Info for Advocates in Texas and Florida

In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, older adults and people with disabilities will require additional help to ensure they have access to the Medicare benefits they rely upon.

read complete story

Researchers Find Mortality Rates Rising; Reverses Trend

Deaths among white U.S. men and women aged 45-54 rose significantly between 1999 and 2013, according to a new analysis funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). This change reverses decades of progress in mortality and was unique to non-Hispanic whites in the United States.

read complete story

Projects to Boost Disability Employment

The program supports the establishment of model demonstration projects that engage state vocational rehabilitation agencies in partnerships with other entities to develop and use career pathways to help individuals with disabilities.

read complete story

Models to Address End-of-Life Care

The program will support research dealing with adolescents and young adults ages 12 to 24 with serious, advanced illnesses, including end-of-life/palliative care models.

read complete story

Program Helps Reduce Hospital Readmissions among Frail Elderly

Emergence of the orogram is important because hospitalization is disrupting to elderly individuals and puts them at greater risk for complications and infections.

read complete story

Retirement Community, University Partner on ‘Brain Health’

The new program focuses on research and hands-on approaches to help improve the brain health of older adults.

read complete story

Group Initiates Certification Process for ‘Successful Aging’ Centers

Masterpiece Living (MPL), a Florida-based multi-specialty group that partners with other organizations around the nation for the purpose of helping older adults maximize their potential, has launched its Centers for Successful Aging (CSA) Certification process.

read complete story

Retirement Community Finds Success in 'Vitality Program'

Since this program's launch, the rate of new residents moving to the community has tripled. But officials at the community say the most important measures of success are seen in residents' health and quality of life.

read complete story

Move-In Process Begins for New Senior Living Community

The move-in process for residents of The Terraces at Bonita Springs, a new senior living community located in southwest Florida, is now underway with about 300 older adults moving in during the next few weeks.

read complete story

Hospital, Nursing Home Sued for Violating End-of-Life Directive

A 91-year-old woman was not allowed to die naturally, a desire she had made clear to her daughter and others, when she first learned she was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease many years ago.

read complete story

Cruise for People with Parkinson's Set for Feb. 24

Departing from Port Canaveral, FL, the Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas will tour the Eastern Caribbean, stopping in St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Cococay.

read complete story

REIT Acquires Arkansas-based Assisted Living Facility

CNL Lifestyle Properties Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), has acquired Culpepper Place of Fayetteville, a senior housing community in Fayetteville, AR, from an affiliate of Foster Hospitality Group for $14 million.

read complete story

Northeast FL AAA Hosts Successful Flu Education/Vaccination Events

ElderSource, the Area Agency on Aging for northeast Florida, has just completed hosting four health fairs and free flu vaccination clinics in an effort to reach older adults in the Jacksonville area with information about the dangers of flu and the importance of receiving an annual vaccination against it.

read complete story

HarborChase of Villages Crossing Breaks Ground in Florida

The community, with a $21.6 million construction budget, is expected to open in late 2013 and will join 17 other communities managed by HRA.

read complete story

North Florida AAA Hosts 14th Annual Caregiver Forum

The Area Aging on Aging of North Florida, in partnership with area Alzheimer support organizations, aging related service providers, senior centers, caregivers and health organizations, recently hosted its 14th annual Caregiver Forum in Tallahassee.

read complete story

CNL Healthcare Trust Invests More than $40 Million in Senior Housing

The $21.6 million to-be-built assisted living and memory care community, HarborChase of Villages Crossing, will be located in Lady Lake, FL adjacent to The Villages, the largest retirement community in the country.

read complete story

Inventor Focused on Bringing 'Healthy Water' to the World

Off and on for the past 30 years, inventor Robinson Gourley has worked on water ion technologies which have applications in the energy and health-related fields.

read complete story

$1.8 Milion Funds Effort to Lower Hospitalizations of Nursing Home Residents

The program is designed to facilitate the early identification, assessment, documentation and communication about changes in the status of nursing home residents and provide the necessary tools to manage conditions before they become serious enough to necessitate a hospital transfer.

read complete story

PR Firm Celebrates 20 Years With New Name, New Look

One of the top-ranked and longest-operating public relations firms in the Southeast is celebrating its 20th year with a major rebranding and ambitious goals for the next two decades.

read complete story

Homewatch CareGivers Expands Services for Florida Seniors

Homewatch CareGivers, an international provider of home care services, has signed a multi-unit franchise agreement to open 17 additional offices in South Florida, to further support the state's senior population.

read complete story

Hospice Company Agrees to Amend Policy on 'Reasonable Accommodation'

Vitas Health Care Corp. of Florida, a Miami-based hospice care provider, will pay $65,000 and amend its "reasonable accommodation" policy to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

read complete story

Middle-Age Spread: Exactly When Does Midlife Begin?

The topic intrigued this 41-year-old associate professor of sociology at FSU's Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy (who, by the way, views herself as middle-aged) because "there are so few clear markers of its boundaries, unlike adulthood or old age," she says. Few studies have examined people's views of middle age compared to young adulthood or old age.

read complete story

Senior Friendship Centers Bridge Digital Divide with Tech Boot Camp

Tech Boot Camp, held each summer, flips the traditional teaching model on its head, with young people serving as teachers and mentors to the older generation.

read complete story

Aging-Related Think Tank Taps Former Hallmark Exec as New CEO

The Sarasota, FL-based Institute for the Ages, a nonprofit think tank dedicated to the innovation of age-related products, services and policies, has named Tom Esselman as its new CEO.

read complete story

Miami-Area Resident Pleads Guilty to Participating in $200 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

Lazaro Acosta, 41, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz in Miami to one count of currency structuring to avoid reporting requirements.

read complete story

FSU Professor Named Top U.S. Clinician in Geriatrics

Dr. Niharika Suchak, an associate professor in the Department of Geriatrics, has been named Clinician of the Year by the American Geriatrics Society. She will receive the award in May at the group's annual scientific meeting.

read complete story

Miami-Area Woman Pleads Guilty in $200 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

Sandra Jimenez, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay and receive illegal health care kickbacks.

read complete story

Halfway House Owner Pleads Guilty to Medicare Fraud, Kickback Scheme

The owner and operator of a Broward County, FL-area halfway house pleaded guilty Monday (Jan. 9) for his role in a Medicare fraud kickback scheme that funneled patients through a fraudulent mental health company.

read complete story

(FRAUD) Miami-Area Nurse Guilty in $25 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

Miami-area resident Farah Maria Perez, a registered nurse, pleaded guilty Wednesday (Aug. 31) for her participation in a $25 million Medicare fraud scheme involving false billings for home health services.  Perez, 40, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard in Miami to one co...

read complete story

(FRAUD) Miami-Based Firm's Owner Guilty of $205 Million Medicare Rip-off

After a six-day trial, a jury in the Southern District of Florida found Judith Negron, 40, guilty of 24 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, conspiracy to pay and receive illegal health care kickbacks, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and structuring to avoid reporting requirements.

read complete story

(FRAUD) Two Firms Plead Guilty to More Than $200 Million Medicare Fraud

Two Miami-area corporations, American Therapeutic Corporation and Medlink Professional Management Group Inc., have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Miami for a fraud scheme resulting in submission of more than $200 million in bogus claims to Medicare.

read complete story

(FLORIDA) Poker for Charity: New Twist on an Old Game

Most of the players' buy-in money was given to children -- in this case, funding need-based scholarships for kids at a local day care and special-needs summer camp. But the concept just as easily applies to fundraising for seniors-related needs, too. Call it poker with a conscience.

read complete story

(HEALTHCARE REFORM) Judge's Ruling Seen as 'Radical Judicial Activism Run Amok'

A federal judge in Florida has struck down a requirement in the new healthcare law calling for nearly all Americans to buy health insurance, and in so doing, questions the constitutionality of the entire healthcare reform law. "I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate," wrote U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson.

read complete story

(BUILDERS' SHOW) Experts Separate Fact from Fiction in the 50+ Market

Three industry experts offer advice on how to sell to potential homebuyers in the 50+ sector, as part of educational session this week at the 2011 National Association of Home Builders' International Building Show in Orlando, FL.

read complete story

(BUILDERS' SHOW) Boomers: 'We Don't Need No Stinking Retirement Community'

Fewer than half of all Boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) embrace the concept of the traditional "retirement community," says Margaret Wylde, CEO of Oxford, MS-based ProMatura Group market research and consulting. Wylde is among presenters at the

read complete story

(GRANTS) Zale's Giving Focuses on Texas, Florida, Oregon, New York

The M. B. & Edna Zale Foundation (formerly The Zale Foundation) honors the tradition of its founders through grants that stimulate change. To accomplish this mission, the foundation acts as a catalyst for collaboration and makes grants in communities where the directors live or have an interest.

read complete story

(LANDMARK DECISION) Pritikin Center Programs Approved by CMS for Medicare Coverage

In a groundbreaking decision, Medicare will pay for lifestyle education programs offered by Miami-based Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa for qualifying individuals with a history or risk of cardiovascular events, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has disclosed. The decision makes the Pritikin Center the first and only residential healthy-lifestyle education program in the country to offer Medicare-covered intensive cardiac rehabilitation, or ICR.

read complete story

(CAREGIVING) Just a Phone Call Away: Peace of Mind for Family, Potential Income for Organizations

Interested in emerging technology associated with aging, Peter Scharff began to research trends associated with an people who want to age-in-place, e.g., remain in their current homes rather than relocate to a retirement community. Memories of his own grandmother falling at home and struggling on the floor for two days before she was discovered left him feeling like there was a need to be filled for older people who wish to remain at home.

read complete story

(BRAIN HEALTH) Boutique Senior Care Agency Focuses on Improving Brain Health

Over the course of six years caring for seniors still living independently, Nicci Kobritz, RN, president of Youthful Aging Home Services in Sarasota, FL, began noticing an increasing number of clients coming into her agency with memory issues. Disturbed by this growing trend, the question became how to design a program focusing on memory that would produce results. Her research led her to create a brain health program called Longevity.

read complete story

(ENTREPRENEUR) Netcrossers Offers Internet Help for Seniors

Realizing that more and more commercial enterprises are transitioning their business plans to include a Web presence, Morey Wright identified an opportunity to create a business model structured around the two things he most loves working with: computers and older people. Thus, he founded Netcrossers, a service that provides online information and phone assistance to people who are not -- how shall we put this? -- tech savvy.

read complete story

(FUNDRAISING) Florida Toolkit Offers Tips on Using Social Media

If you worh for or operate a nonprofit seniors services center in Florida, you've got a new resource available that's designed to help extend your organization's reach. Florida's new iToolkit can help nonprofits interested in improving their social media presence. The toolkit provides instructions on how to build Facebook and Twitter pages. It offers guidance on posting videos and establishing RSS feeds and addresses general legal and privacy concerns surrounding social networking.

read complete story

(NEW TOOL) Index Allows Easier Monitoring of Health for Aging, Hospitalized

One in 15 hospital patients fall victim to preventable medical errors, and as many as 30,000 people die every year as a result. After the death of their mother from a minor, yet undetected, hospital infection, brothers Steven and Michael Rothman, founders of Rothman Healthcare Research, developed an index to assist hospitals in more closely monitoring the condition of patients.

read complete story

(GRANTS) Retirement Research Foundation Accepting Proposals for Grants

The Chicago-based Retirement Research Foundation is now accepting proposals for its general grants program, which supports direct service, advocacy, research, and education and training programs for professionals working directly with elders. Proposals are due Aug. 1.

read complete story

(SUSPENSION) CMS Fines, Suspends Enrollment & Marketing For Quality Health Insurance Plan

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued two notices to Quality Health Plan (QHP) with intent to impose intermediate sanctions and a civil monetary penalty (CMP) on the Tampa, FL-based insurer for failure to comply with a number of administrative and contract management requirements.

read complete story

(COURTS) States File Federal Lawsuits to Stop Healthcare Reform

As expected, 13 states filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday (March 23) in an effort to strike down President Barack Obama's healthcare reform initiative. The states' attorneys general filed their complaint in the Northern District of Florida, alleging that the federal government violated the states' rights as "sovereigns and protectors of the freedom, health, and welfare of their citizens and residents."

read complete story

(ALZHEIMER'S) Debate Rages over Study on Cell Phone Radiation as Alzheimer's Therapy

If a newly released university study holds up to further scrutiny, it could lead to a completely new way of attacking Alzheimer's disease. It involves radiation produced by cell phones, which other research suggests can be harmful.

read complete story

(NCOA) Education Initiative Launched on Risks of MRI's, Electronic Implanted Devices

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is launching a national initiative to educate seniors on the risks of medical imaging for those with electrical implanted devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators, based on an NCOA survey released Feb. 17. The survey found doctor-patient communication for patients with electronic implanted devices is often inadequate.

read complete story

(CHINESE DRYWALL) Company Introduces New Treatment for Chinese Drywall

The AbShield fix comes at a time when tens of thousands of homeowners -- many of them retirees who purchased homes in or near Sun Belt retirement communities -- have been forced from their houses as a result of the odor-emitting Chinese drywall product.

read complete story

(CHINESE DRY WALL) Class-Action Lawsuit Seeks Drywall Remedy

A publicly traded homebuilder with significant Chinese drywall problems in its Florida active adult communities files a lawsuit against 14 insurance providers in hopes they will cover drywall-related damages incurred by homeowners.

read complete story

(CHINESE DRYWALL) HUD Eyes Remediation Plan for Homeowners Affected by Toxic Drywall

Guidelines that will allow use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money to help homeowners pay for renovations of homes plagued with toxic Chinese drywall are on the drawing board at the Department of Housing & Urban Development. This intervention by HUD comes as welcome news to thousands of retirees whose Sun Belt retirement homes have been rendered virtually uninhabitable by the suspect drywall.

read complete story

(RETIREMENT HOMES) U.S. House of Representatives Reacts To Drywall Findings

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have approves legislation aimed at addressing the growing toxic drywall problem, but the measure is only a prelude to possible rescue legislation that could emerge early next year.

read complete story

(DIABETES) HHS Report Focuses on Health Insurance Reform and Diabetes

Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a report today (Wednesday, Nov. 11), "Preventing and Treating Diabetes: Health Insurance Reform and Diabetes in America." The report comes one day after Sebelius toured a healthcare center in Bradenton, FL where she met with patients and Floridians who care for people with diabetes.

read complete story

(STUDY) Recovery Act Funds Support Large-Scale Trial to Test Exercise Program for Older Adults

The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, is awarding $29.5 million in grant support over the next two years to determine whether a specific physical activity program can stave off disability in older people.

read complete story

(CONSUMER PROTECTION) Hellish Drywall Problem Impacts Thousands of Retirees' Homes

With 27 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico now reporting problems with imported Chinese drywall, the federal government steps in to quell the fury of homeowners beset with uninhabitable houses and health problems. A significant portion of the affected homes are owned by retirees, many of whom invested their life savings in the properties.

read complete story

(COUNSELING) Reject Retirement for Healthier Living, Advises 'Life Coach'

Howard Stone has a message for those who counsel older people about post-retirement lifestyles. Indeed, for Stone, retirement just won't do. It's a nice place to visit, but no one should ever want to live there, he says. Stone, at age 64, became a "life coach" and launched a training service for older people called 2youn2retire.

read complete story

(SENATE) Measure Would Enhance Law Enforcement's Ability to Combat Elder Abuse

Four prominent senators on Thursday (Oct. 22) introduced legislation aimed at strengthening the law enforcement community's ability to combat elder abuse. The Senate measure would be a companion bill to the proposed Elder Abuse Victims Act (HR 448), which was introduced by Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) and overwhelmingly passed by the House earlier this year by a vote of 397-25.

read complete story

(LOCAL PROGRAM) Pinellas County, FL Combines Creativity with Healthy Aging

Pinellas County, FL has a thriving coalition focused exclusively on creativity and aging issues. Last year, the Marcia P. Hoffman Performing Arts Institute at Ruth Eckerd Hall coordinated the formation of the Partners for Creative Aging in Pinellas with representatives from the community, government, education, arts and aging services.

read complete story

(GRANTS) AoA Makes Available Disaster Assistance for State Units on Aging

The Administration on Aging (AoA) is seeking grant applications to provide disaster reimbursement and assistance funds to state-level units on aging (SUAs) and tribal organizations that are currently receiving grants under Title VI of the Older Americans Act (OAA). Some $500,000 is being made available for this program, and AoA plans to make up to seven awards.

read complete story

(INDICTMENTS) Two Miami Area Men Charged in Medicare Fraud Scheme

Two men -- defendants Jose Luis Perez, of Golden Beach, FL, and Reinaldo Guerra, of Miami, FL, -- have been indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud, Medicare fraud, and aggravated identity theft. According to the indictment, the fraud involved durable medical equipment (DME), whi...

read complete story

(SURVIVAL) Florida Dept. of Elder Affairs Issues Disaster Preparedness Guide

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs has issued 250,000 copies of its annual Disaster Preparedness Guide for Elders to help Florida seniors and their families prepare for disasters and emergencies. A Spanish language version has also been widely distributed. The Guide provides useful and timely information about what steps individuals can take to stay safe, and what resources are available throughout the state and in their communities.

read complete story

(MEDICARE FRAUD) Eight Miami Area Residents Nabbed in $22 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

Eight Miami-Dade County, FL, residents have been indicted in connection with an alleged $22 million Medicare fraud scheme operated out of Miami businesses purporting to specialize in home health care services. A temporary restraining order freezing assets of the indicted defendants and their companies was also filed.

read complete story

(SENATE) Measure Would Update U.S. Census to Better Assess Needs of Elderly, Disabled

Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), ranking Republican on the Special Committee on Aging, is pushing a measure aimed at updating the U.S. Census' function questions. The measure, Martinez says, would help improve the nation's long-term care services and support systems. By replacing a small portion of the Cen...

read complete story

Projects in Nine States Funded Via Family & Informal Caregiver Support Program

The Harry & Jeannette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, has made public the results of its Family & Informal Caregiver Support Program Request for Proposals. Some 14 different projects will receive a total of $8,184,145 over the course of the next three years.

read complete story

CMS Names Sites for Pilot Program Aimed at Elevating Quality as Patients Move Across Care Settings

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Monday (April 13) identified 14 communities around the nation that have been chosen for the agency's Care Transitions Project, which seeks to eliminate unnecessary hospital readmissions.

read complete story

Three South Florida Men Indicted in Multi-Million Dollar Medicare Fraud Scheme

A federal indictment charges three South Florida men with participating in a scheme to defraud the Medicare program. Charged are defendants Alejandro Gonzalez, of Davie, Robert Rodriguez, and Manuel Camacho, both of Miami, FL. The defendants are charged with multiple counts of mail fraud, money laundering and conspiracy in this multi-million dollar fraud case.

read complete story

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Invites Applications for Local Funding Partnerships 2009-2010

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Local Funding Partnerships program works to forge relationships between RWJF and local grantmakers willing to fund promising original projects with the potential to significantly improve the health of vulnerable people in their communities. This is an ideal opportunity for aging-related service providers. But time is running out. Brief proposals are due by April 15.

read complete story

Quaker Oats Announces New Grant Program to Help Combat Hunger

As part of its Quaker Go Project, Quaker Oats has announced a new grant program to support people working to combat hunger at the community level. This is a great opportunity for Meals on Wheels programs and other nutrition-related projects that serve seniors. But you need to get moving right away. Deadline for submissions is March 31.

read complete story

RWJF Funds Vulnerable Population Health Grants

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Local Funding Partnerships (LFP) program forges relationships between RWJF and local grantmakers to fund promising, original projects that can significantly improve the health of vulnerable people -- especially frail elders -- in their communities.

read complete story

Donors Forum of South Florida Invites Nominations for Impact Awards

The Donors Forum of South Florida is seeking nominations for its annual Impact Awards. This program honors funders of individual grants/initiatives that have had a positive impact on the community and/or demonstrated long-term support of a nonprofit.

read complete story

Campgrounds, RV Resorts Catering to 'Snowbirds' Report 2009 Business Consistent with 2008

The continuing allure of private parks is good news for many Sunbelt cities, whose economies thrive on the annual influx of winter visitors, though some seniors have cut back on meals out and other expenses. With a volatile stock market and a daily barrage of negative economic reports, one might expect "snowbirds" -- i.e., retirees in northern states -- to forego their annual trek south to private campgrounds and RV resorts across the Sunbelt.

read complete story

Campgrounds, RV Resorts Catering to 'Snowbirds' Report 2009 Business Consistent with 2008

The continuing allure of private parks is good news for many Sunbelt cities, whose economies thrive on the annual influx of winter visitors, though some seniors have cut back on meals out and other expenses. With a volatile stock market and a daily barrag

read complete story

CMS Issues Final Rule Requiring Surety Bonds for DMEPOS Suppliers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is requiring certain durable medical equipment suppliers to post a surety bond. In addition, CMS has revoked the billing privileges of more than 1,100 medical equipment suppliers in south Florida and southern California and suspending payments to home health agencies in the Miami-Dade, FL., area.

read complete story

Prison Sentence Among Longest Ever Received By Physician In Medicare Fraud Case

A Miami physician and nurse have been sentenced to 30 years and seven years in prison, respectively, in connection with their roles in an $11 million HIV infusion fraud scheme. The 30-year prison sentence is one of the longest terms ever given to a physician in a federal Medicare fraud case.

read complete story

Bayer Healthcare To Pay U.S. $97.5M To Settle Charges Of Paying Kickbacks To Diabetic Suppliers

Bayer HealthCare LLC has agreed to pay the United States $97.5 million plus interest to settle allegations that it paid kickbacks to a number of diabetic suppliers and caused those suppliers to submit false claims to Medicare, the Justice Department says. The settlement resolves allegations that Bayer engaged in a cash-for-patient scheme through which the company paid 11 diabetic suppliers to convert their patients to Bayer’s products from supplies manufactured by its competitors

read complete story

One In Four Boomers Plan Move, New Survey Reports

One in four baby boom generation households (26%) expects to move from their current home in the future, with the majority looking for a single-level home that is more comfortable or convenient, according to a new survey prepared for AARP.

read complete story

Liberty Mutual, ITNAmerica Urge Families To Give The Gift Of Safety As Aging Relatives Hit The Road During Holiday Season

The holidays may be the best time for older drivers to consider transitioning to the passenger seat. In addition to Thanksgiving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists Dec. 22, 23 and 24 among the deadliest days of the year for all drivers. Yet the wintry weather and crowded roads are of particular concern for senior drivers, many of whom are also dealing with health conditions, medication, and the normal changes associated with aging that put their driving at-risk.

read complete story

Former Hialeah Resident Pleads Guilty To $56.7M Medicare Fraud Scheme

Federal prosecutors tell us that Miguel Almanza, formerly of Hialeah, FL, has pled guilty in connection with a $56.7 million Medicare fraud scheme. U.S. Justice Department officials say Almanza operated and controlled 13 durable medical equipment (DME) companies, and three medical clinics located in Miami-Dade and Hillsborough Counties. Using these 13 companies, Almanza and his co-conspirators submitted nearly $57 million of false claims to Medicare for medical equipment, prescription medications, and outpatient medical services.

read complete story

FL Secretary Of State To Ask County Supervisors To Grant GAO Access To Polls

Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning has responded to a request from Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), saying he will encourage county election supervisors to grant the Government Accountability Office access to Florida polling places on Election Day as part of GAO’s nationwide study examining voting access for aging and disabled voters during the 2008 general election.

read complete story

SAMHSA Awards $12M-Plus In Grants To Meet Older Americans’ Mental Health Needs

The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) today has awarded 10 grants totaling more than $12 million over three years through the Older Adults Targeted Capacity Expansion Grant Program to help communities meet the special mental health needs of older Americans.

read complete story

Hurricane Grant Guidelines Now Available

The Internal Revenue Service has just released a notice designed to help eligible homeowners who received federal reimbursement grants stemming from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita or Wilma take advantage of a new tax provision.

read complete story

Medicare Fraud Strike Force Indicts 8 Miami-Dade Residents For AIDS/HIV Infusion Fraud

Eight Miami-Dade County residents have been charged in a 16-count indictment for their alleged roles in a Medicare fraud scheme involving fake HIV infusion treatments.

read complete story

This Is National Adult Immunization Awareness Week

This week, Sept. 21-27, is National Adult Immunization Awareness Week. This annual health observance is a great opportunity to promote the importance of adult immunizations. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reminds healthcare professionals that Medicare Part B reimburses healthcare providers who accept the Medicare-approved payment amount for influenza, pneumococcal, and hepatitis B vaccines and their administration.

read complete story

HHS Provides State Assistance To Prepare For Hurricane Ike

The Department of Health & Human Services has activated more than 1,600 agency personnel to assist Gulf states in preparing for and responding to Hurricane Ike, including support for medical evacuations which began late Wednesday night and continues today in Corpus Christi, TX. In preparation for Hurricane Ike, HHS has activated the National Disaster Medical System, a federally coordinated operation that can assist state and local officials in dealing with major disasters.

read complete story

Gustav Evacuees Returning, But Officials Concerned About More Evacuations

State offices on aging in Gulf Coast states affected by Hurricane Gustav are evaluating the impact of evacuations as people return and are very concerned about continuing storm activity in the area. "If we have to evacuate again in a couple of days it will take a huge toll, especially on the elderly," Margaret McGarity, program monitor in the Louisiana Governor’s Officer of Elderly Affairs, tells Aging News Alert.

read complete story

Gustav Evacuees Returning to Unknown Conditions

Although Hurricane Gustav evacuees in Gulf Coast states, including the elderly who reside in nursing homes, are being allowed by authorities to return to their homes, there has been no comprehensive assessment of how much damage the storm did and the condition their residences. Meanwhile, the state officials are carefully analyzing weather information to assess whether another evacuation may be required.

read complete story

HHS Program To Improve Disaster Assistance

The Department of Health & Human Services is implementing the Disaster Case Management demonstration program to make it easier for disaster victims to obtain a wide range of assistance and socialcservices. The program will aid people from the Louisiana parishes covered under President Bush's disaster declaration related to Hurricane Gustav.

read complete story

Experts Establish Baseline For Civic Engagement Among Retirees

The rise of retired people seeking active participation in their communities has led researchers to define this new aspect of American life. As a result, civic engagement can now be considered a distinct retirement role.

read complete story

Gustav Evacuation Goes Smoothly, But Storm's Impact Still Unknown

The evacuation in the wake of Hurricane Gustav of nearly 2 million people, including elderly residing in nursing homes, has gone smoothly, Moya Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Admin. on Aging (AoA), tells Aging News Alert. But she cautions that state and local officials have not yet begun a survey of the areas hit by the storm.

read complete story

Grant-Making Strategy In Place To Help Victims Of Gustav

A regional grant-making strategy developed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is ready to be followed again if needed during the current hurricane season, Chris Crothers, communications director of the Jackson, MS-based Foundation for the Mid South.

read complete story

President, HHS Secy. Respond To Hurricane Gustav With State of Emergency Declaration

Are you affected by Hurricane Gustav? Need information about applicable waivers and modifications? Here's what you need to know.

read complete story

United Way 2008 Hurricane Recovery Fund Established

United Way has launched the United Way 2008 Hurricane Recovery Fund to support long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts throughout the states that have been devastated by the intense 2008 hurricane season. Several Gulf Coast states have been severely affected by Hurricane Gustav, with thousands of people evacuated and untold destruction to homes and businesses. People throughout Florida and other Southeast states are now bracing for Hurricane Hanna, with other major storms immediately following.

read complete story

DME Defendants Sentenced In Multi-Million Dollar Medicare Fraud Scheme

Three south Florida defendants have been given lengthy prison terms following their convictions for a Medicare scam that resulted in fraudulent reimbursments of hundreds of millions of dollars for durable medical equipment (DME).

read complete story

ACEP: McCain Advisor’s Statement On Americans’ ER Access ‘Irresponsible’

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is lambasting an assertion by John Goodman, presumptive GOP presidential candidate John McCain’s health policy advisor, that anyone with access to an emergency department effectively has health insurance, and called his logic flawed and his statement irresponsible toward all patients, insured and uninsured alike.

read complete story

Miami Doc And HIV Clinic Honcho Plead Guilty In Medicare Fraud Scheme

Miami physician Dr. Ronald Harris, and Miami resident Mariela Rodriguez each pleaded guilty this week to defrauding the Medicare program in connection with a $37 million HIV infusion fraud scheme, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) tells us.

read complete story

Corporate America Faces a Brain Drain

As the more than 76 million baby boomers approach retirement, an imminent talent shortage is affecting the workforce and many U.S. companies will be challenged with a significant loss of experienced workers. This talent drain can be partially alleviated if companies entice older workers to remain in the workforce longer, say Joan Strewler-Carter and Stephen Carter, the husband/wife team that co-founded the Life Options Institute, an organization dedicated to helping people plan for life after age 50.

read complete story

IRS Revises Voluntary Correction Program for Retirement Plans

"Employers and plan administrators want to comply with the tax laws and regulations to protect plan participants," says Michael Julianelle, director of the IRS’s Employee Plans division. "EPCRS helps employers and plan administrators take a proactive role in identifying and fixing mistakes. It also encourages implementation of practices and procedures that ensure retirement plans comply with laws and regulations."

read complete story

New Regulation Requires Sprinklers in All LTC Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have published a final rule requiring the installation of sprinkler systems in all long-term care facilities by Aug. 13, 2013.             The American Health Care Assn., which worked with CMS t...

read complete story

New Medicare Law Will Help Beneficiaries

While reporting on the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), passed July 15 to override a veto by President Bush, focused primarily on the provisions canceling a pay cut for physicians that went into effect July 1, the Center for Medicare Advocacy issued a release citing other...

read complete story

Treasury, IRS Issue Ruling Preventing Certain Pension Transfers

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have issued Revenue Ruling 2008-45, which states that a transfer of a tax-qualified pension plan from an employer to an unrelated taxpayer when the transfer is not connected with a transfer of significant business assets, operations, or employees, is not permissible under current law.

read complete story

Searching For The Fountain of Youth

The search for the highly fabled, disgustingly illusive "Fountain of Youth" continues into the 21st century -- more than 600 years after Juan Ponce de León first claimed he found it somewhere in what is now northern Florida. Today, the quest for eternal youth is scientific in nature -- and researchers are more determined than ever to succeed.

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

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.

read complete story

Feds Arrest Three On Charges of Medicare Fraud

Federal authorities have arrested three people -- David Hernandez and Laura Hernandez of Pembroke Pines, FL, and Jose Miguel Hernandez, of Hialeah, FL -- on one charge each of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, and eight counts of Medicare fraud. Additionally, David Hernandez was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and eight counts of money laundering.

read complete story

ALJ Affirms Sanctions Against Florida DME Owner, Provider

Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Steven Kessel has affirmed the Department of Health & Human Services' Office of Inspector General's (OIG) imposition of administrative sanctions under the Civil Monetary Penalties Law (CMPL) against Cary Frounfelter and Kast Orthotics & Prosthetics Inc. The ALJ upheld the OIG's imposition of a $100,000 civil money penalty, a $42,220 assessment, and a seven-year exclusion against Frounfelter and Kast.

read complete story

New 2008 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Payment Rates

As a result of the July 15 enactment of the Medicare Improvements for Patients & Providers Act of 2008, the mid-year 2008 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) rate of -10.6% has been replaced with a 0.5% update, retroactive to July 1.

read complete story

Conference of Mayors Backs Single-Payer National Health Insurance

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, meeting in Miami, has adopted a resolution in support of single-payer national health insurance. The assembly, in unanimous vote, backed a resolution calling for the enactment of the "United States National Health Insurance Act," HR 676.

read complete story

Share Aging News Alert With A Friend or Colleague -- Absolutely Free!

That's right. You can arrange to have your friend receive a free two-week trial subscription to Aging News Alert's online service, and be assured we won't send you (or your friend) a bill. We promise!

read complete story

HUD Seeks Removal Of Most 50% FMR Program MSAs

The Department of Housing & Urban Development is proposing that most of the so-called "50th percentile" areas currently in HUD's Fair Market Rent (FMR) portion of Sec. 8 be removed during fiscal year 2009. Most would occur because of either failure to reduce density of those receiving vouchers or poor program reporting.

read complete story

$2.2 Billion Recovered Thus Far From Fighting Fraud, Waste, Abuse

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) "Semiannual Report to Congress" says it expects to see recoveries of $2.2 billion for the first half of fiscal year 2008 from efforts to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse in HHS programs.

read complete story

Grassley Seeks FDA Scrutiny of Paxil Suicide Risk

Finance Committee Ranking Member Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) wants the Food & Drug Administration to scrutinize information it received from drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) about the anxiety disorder drug Paxil -- an anxiety disorder drug used by hundreds of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries.

read complete story

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."

read complete story

Arbitration Seen ‘Reasonable, Intelligent Option’ To Resolve Eldercare-Related Disputes

Claiming that the proposed Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act of 2008 "needlessly discriminates against long-term care providers and the patients and residents in our nation’s nursing facilities and assisted living residences", the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law that pre-dispute arbitration agreements are a viable legal option for long-term care consumers and providers, and their use should not be eliminated by passage of overzealous legislative remedies.

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

29 States Face Total Budget Shortfall Of At Least $48 Billion In 2009

At least 29 states plus the District of Columbia, including several of the nation’s largest states, faced or are facing an estimated $48 billion in combined shortfalls in their FY 2009 budgets (which begins July 2008 in most states), say analysts at the Center on Budget & Policy Priorites. Two other states expect budget problems in FY 2010, although some of those gaps may occur earlier than expected, the CBPP analysts say.

read complete story

Sanchez Presses For More Funding For Hispanics With Alzheimer's

The legislative proposal comes in the wake of new data from the Alzheimer's Association showing that the number of Hispanics with the disease is expected to increase from 200,000 to 1.3 million by 2050. The increasing number of Hispanics in the U.S. population and longer life spans are likely causes for the increase.

read complete story

IG Serves Up 4 New Reports On Medicare- Medicaid-Related Issues

The Department of Health & Human Services' Office of Inspector General has just released four reports focusing on Medicare- and Medicaid-related issues. Two of the reports deal with how the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit is made available to residents of nursing homes.

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

Are You Having Problems With Our Website?

We apologize for any difficulty you may have had during the past few days. We're aware of the problem and we are correcting it.

read complete story

Revised Accreditation Deadlines For Round 2 DMEPOS Competitive Bidding

In order to participate in the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program, suppliers must meet quality standards and be accredited by a CMS-approved Deemed Accreditation Organization.

read complete story

CMS Names Contract Suppliers For First Round DMEPOS Bidding Program

CMS has selected the contract suppliers for the first round of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program. A total of 325 suppliers receiving 1,345 contracts were selected for the ten Round 1 communities.

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

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.

read complete story

'Creativity & Aging in America' Initiative Underway

"Creativity and Aging in America" is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to actively engage older Americans in quality arts programs. Through this initiative, the Arts Endowment will support exemplary projects in the disciplines of literature and music.

read complete story

Online Resource Launched For Seniors' Driving Safety, Transportation

Liberty Mutual, the nation's eighth largest car and home insurer, and ITNAmerica, the first and only national nonprofit transportation network for America's aging population, have joined forces to help keep senior drivers safe on U.S. roads.

read complete story

AARP Offers to Host Presidential Forums On Healthcare, Financial Security

AARP, the nation's largest advocacy organization representing people over 50, is offering to host a series of what it describes as "joint forums" for the presidential candidates. The purpose of the proposed forums, says AARP Executive VP Nancy LeaMond, is provide a venue in which the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees can discuss their respective positions on the issues of healthcare and financial security.

read complete story

Analysis: Presidential Candidates' Healthcare Reform Plans

As Illinois Democrat Sen. Barack Obama closes in on his party's presidential nomination, he and his opponent, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), continue to present their respective plans for fixing the nation's ailing healthcare system at forums throughout the country.

read complete story

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.

read complete story

Hartford Fellows Program Supports Scholars in Geriatric Social Work

The Hartford Doctoral Fellows Program in Geriatric Social Work is aimed at bringing outstanding, talented, skilled people to the field of gerontological social work to train practitioners, research best practices, and set future directions.

read complete story

FL: Tobacco Fund Tapped For Low-Income, Severely Ill Residents' Healthcare

Florida budget officials have approved the transfer of $300 million from the Lawton Chiles Tobacco Endowment for Children & Elders to help pay for social and healthcare services for about 40,000 residents enrolled in the state's Medically Needy and Medicaid Aged-and-Disabled programs.

read complete story

Special Meals Target the Older Set

For a lot of older adults, cooking becomes an increasing burden as they age. DineWise, a direct marketer of chef-prepared meals, recognized the need and developed its own line of meals for older adults.

read complete story

Bush Signs Seniors Fall Prevention Bill Into Law

President Bush has signed into law legislation aimed at helping prevent falls among senior citizens. The Safety of Seniors Act of 2007 (S 845) authorizes new programs to help prevent falls among older adults through public education, research and demonstration projects.

read complete story

CMS to Award Long-Term Care Reform Grants

CMS is requesting proposals for $8 million in Real Choice Systems Change Grant funding and $5 million for Aging and Disability Resource Center/Area Agencies on Aging grants.

read complete story

Weinberg Foundation, Family & Informal Caregiver Support Program

The Weinberg Foundation will help community partnerships develop innovative ways to support these devoted caregivers.

read complete story

Conrad Pushes Legislation to Expand Medicare Telehealth Program

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) has introduced legislation aimed at improving the Medicare telehealth program. The proposed Medicare Telehealth Improvement Act of 2008 (S 2812) would expand Medicare reimbursement for telemedicine in several ways.

read complete story

Healthcare Work Force Too Small, Unprepared For Boomers

As the first of the nation's 78 million baby boomers begin reaching age 65 in 2011, they will face a healthcare work force that is too small and woefully unprepared to meet their specific health needs, says a new report from the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine.

read complete story

Prevent Shingles -- A Vaccine

If you're 60 or older, you may be at risk of getting shingles. For some people who get shingles, the malady is short-lived and only mildly uncomfortable. For many others, shingles can be a long-lasting ailment causing considerable pain.

read complete story

Opportunity Finance Network To Award $8.35 Million

Opportunity Finance Network commences the second annual round of the Wachovia NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance -- an awards program totaling $8.35 million for responsible lenders across the United States known as community development financial institutions.

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

IRS Offering Additional Part-Year Grants for Low Income Taxpayer Clinics in 12 States

The IRS will accept applications for a part-year Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) matching grant from qualified organizations that will provide services to qualified taxpayers in the following areas: Los Angeles; Central Oregon; Boise, ID; Minneapolis; Reno and Las Vegas, NV; St. Louis; Brownsville and Laredo, TX; Southwest Florida; New Mexico; Colorado; Mississippi; and Northeast Pennsylvania.

read complete story

PCMA: 'Prompt Pay' Legislation Could Cost Medicare $3.3 Billion Over Next Decade

Legislation that would make Medicare prescription drug plans pay drugstores twice as fast as Medicare pays other providers could cost the program and its beneficiaries at least $3.3 billion over the next decade, finds a new by PricewaterhouseCoopers that was commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.

read complete story

Colorectal Cancer Testing on the Rise

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that colorectal cancer testing in the United States has been rising steadily since 2002, a sign of slow but encouraging progress in the fight against a cancer that's largely curable when caught early, and can even be prevented in some cases.

read complete story

10 Million Boomers at Risk for Alzheimer's

A new report from the Alzheimer's Association estimates that 10 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer's disease in the United States.

read complete story

Bush's FY 2009 Medicare Funding Policy Takes Biggest Toll in 10 States

Analysis of the Bush administration's FY 2009 budget finds the combination of proposed budget cuts and intended regulatory changes will have the most significant negative impact on seniors in CA, NJ, NV, OR, WA, HI, CT, NH, CO, and FL.

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

U.S Postal Inspection Service Fights Fraud against the Elderly

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) is committed to protecting seniors from telemarketing and mail fraud schemes, and has several resources available for that purpose.

read complete story

Serious Questions Raised About CMS' New Medicaid Rules

The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee has unveiled a new report detailing the state-by-state impacts of seven regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service that would make major, wide-ranging changes in Medicaid, the nation's largest low-income healthcare program.

read complete story

DeMint: 'Stop The Raid On Social Security'

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) wants to force a vote during the budget resolution on an amendment that would require Congress to stop borrowing Social Security surpluses.

read complete story

Los Angeles County Seen As Hot Spot For DMEPOS Fraud

The Dept. of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) has just issued a stinging report focusing on compliance failures by Los Angeles County durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supply (DMEPOS) suppliers.

read complete story

Grantees Help Seniors Report Healthcare Fraud

The Admin. on Aging has $4.6 million for 28 awards to fund Senior Medicare Patrol projects.

read complete story

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.

read complete story

Unique Social Network Targets 45+ Demographic

Bolder Broadcasting Inc., an Orlando, FL-based content provider specializing in the 45+ market, launches GrowingBolder.com, a unique online community for men and women (we daren't use the "O" word here) interested in living life to its fullest.

read complete story

Measure Today's Success -- Win More Grants Tomorrow

In an excluive report for CD Publications, grant-writing expert Katie Krueger provides solid advice on how to achieve better results in winning funding for seniors' programs.

read complete story

Physician Group Practice Demo Produces Few Winners

Only two of 10 participants in CMS' demonstartion project actually met all the program's benchmarks.

read complete story

GAO Finds VA Unable To Soundly Decide New Pension Claims

Unlike other federal agencies with similar income-based programs, VA largely does not independently verify the accuracy of financial information provided by claimants to support initial pension program eligibility, the GAO says in a new report to Congress.

read complete story

FTC Staff Issues Advisory Opinion on Kaiser Foundation Health Plan

The Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition has advised Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. regarding Kaiser's purchase and use of discounted pharmaceuticals in connection with a proposed program to provide healthcare services to people covered under health benefits plans offered by self-insured employers.

read complete story

White House Eyes Overhauling Healthcare In Response To Medicare 'Trigger'

The Bush White House is poised to propose legislation aimed at eliminating excessive Medicare spending, thus reducing reliance upon the so-called "Medicare funding warning" provision contained in the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement & Modernization Act of 2003.

read complete story

Nation's First Boomer Receives First Benefit Check Via Direct Deposit

Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, the nation's first Baby Boomer, on Tuesday (Feb. 12) became the first of her generation to receive a Social Security retirement benefit.

read complete story

Reverse Mortgage Market Index Shows Decline in Senior Home Values

The quarterly Reverse Mortgage Market Index shows a decline in senior home values and home equity held for the third quarter of 2007.

read complete story

Pomeroy: Asset Smoothing Regs Will Freeze Pension Plans

A senior member the House Ways & Means Committee ins pressing Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to provide proper clarification on proposed Pension Protection Act (PPA) regulations related to asset smoothing.

read complete story

New Part D Data Spotlights on Formularies, Utilization Management

The Kaiser Family Foundation has issued two new Medicare Part D Data Spotlights focusing on Medicare drug plan formularies and utilization management techniques.

read complete story

Kennelly: State of Union for America's Seniors is Anything But Strong

Barbara. Kennelly, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare says the president's State of the Union address Monday "confirms that there will be no aging epiphany in the remainder of President Bush's last year in office."

read complete story

New Issue Brief Examines Medicare Financing

The rapid growth in the nation's healthcare expenditures and overall demographic trends pose a challenge to Medicare's financing in the 21st century.

read complete story

Most Medicare Drug Plans Continue to Hike Costs into 2008

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, has found that 75% of Medicare drug plans continue to hike the cost of prescriptions for seniors.

read complete story

Course Helps Firms Approach Ethical Selling to Seniors

On the heels a congressional investigation, many financial services companies are realizing there's no time to lose in educating their sales staff about the do's and don'ts when it comes to ethical sales practices and the mature market.

read complete story

New Aging-Related Resources on the Web

Aging News Alert offers a quick update of the newest aging-related resources on the Internet.

read complete story

Proposals Sought for Programs to Strengthen Geriatrics Training

The Reynolds Foundation expects to commit up to a total of $20 million under this call for proposals. Up to 10 grants will be awarded, each totaling up to $2 million over four years, with a limit of $500,000 in each grant year.

read complete story

Generations United Launches Financial Literacy Website

This new website trains grandparents and other relative caregivers how to teach the young people in their lives about money and handling finances.

read complete story

Renewed Focus on Poor Quality Nursing Homes

CMS on Nov. 29 made public a list of 54 nursing homes -- called Special Focus Facilities -- that provide especially poor quality care to their residents. Interestingly, the CMS list includes no more than three facilities in any state; California, with 1,400 nursing homes, has only one SFF on the list.

read complete story

Radio Program, Research Points to Opportunities for Older Workers

Americans aged 50+ are not only the biggest consumer market, they're also a burgeoning pool of talent that businesses are quickly realizing they either need to hold onto or bring back from retirement.

read complete story

Public-Private Partnership Seeks to Prevent Falls

Strengthening state coalitions and links between aging services network and healthcare providers to help prevent falls among older Americans and lessening the economic burden of these falls is the focus of a new public-private partnership.

read complete story

Medicare, Elderly Patient-Related Legislation Gaining Steam

Five more members of Congress agree to add their names to the list of those who have already chosen to support HR 621, the Home Oxygen Patient Protection Act.

read complete story

NIA's Web Training Curriculum Now Available

The National Institute on Aging has just released the Toolkit for Trainers, a free, downloadable training curriculum that instructors can use to help older adults find reliable health information online.

read complete story

AARP 'Baffled' by Administration's Medicare Inconsistencies

AARP's top executive sends a letter to Health & Human Services Secy. Michael Leavitt outlining AARP's priorities for a Medicare bill and questioning Leavitt's plan.

read complete story

New Data from Bureau of Labor Statistics Focuses on Baby Boomers, Work

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has just released its 10-year projections of employment and labor force trends for the 2006-2016 decade, shedding light on an aging workforce.

read complete story

Florida Awaits Special Funding for Seniors Housing Program

The federal government recently launched a new funding program aimed at keeping older Americans out of more-expensive nursing homes.

read complete story

Forum Eyes Significance of Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Employment law experts told an AARP forum about the historical importance and future role of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

read complete story

Guide Helps Elders Find Health Information Online

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has developed a free training curriculum for those who teach and work with older adults.

read complete story

Book Takes Long, Hard Look at Long-Term Care

In what appears to amount to part-educational piece, part-lobbying ammunition, Genworth Financial unveils a compilation book designed to raise awareness regarding the long-term care industry.

read complete story

Survey Examines How Florida's 50+ View Election Issues

A just-released AARP survey of aged 50+ voters in the key state of Florida shows 80% of "swing" voters in that state's primaries are likely to change their position before they vote based on health and financial security issues.

read complete story

Dietary Supplements Deemed Unapproved Drugs Seized

At the request of the Food & Drug Admin. (FDA), U.S. marshals have seized about $71,000 worth of products from Florida-based FulLife Natural Options Inc. after FDA determined that FulLife violated food and drug law by promoting certain products for use in treating serious conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure -- maladies often affecting seniors.

read complete story

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.

read complete story

AIDS Medicare Claims High in Florida

The HHS Office of Inspector General found a disproportionate number of Medicare claims for treatment of HIV/AIDS patients in three south Florida counties and recommends the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services mandate site visits for certain types of providers before certifying them as eligible to participate in Medicare.

read complete story

Another Florida MA Terminated

   Florida: CMS officials terminate another Florida Medicare Advantage (MA) plan as state insurance officials take control of the company. A state judge ordered SunCoast Physicians Health Plan in Fort Lauderdale to be liquidated because it doesn't have sufficient emergency cash reserves.&n...

read complete story

FL Billing Firm Owners Plead Guilty To $170M Infusion Therapy Fraud

The Health & Human Services and Justice Depts. step up their campaign against Medicare fraud by eliciting a guilty plea from Rita Campos Ramirez, owner of Miami, FL-based R&I Medical Billings, who admitted she submitted more than $170 million of fraudulent bills between 2002-06.Campos was em...

read complete story