Aging News Alert

Maryland

 

Grants Support Healthcare, Needs of Seniors

The National Lutheran program Impact1890 provides grants to nonprofit organizations, including congregations and community-based programs, which address the critical needs of seniors in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

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Maryland Hospitals Overbilled Medicare $23 Million

As bad as it was, Maryland ranked number 38 on a list of the worst states with Medicare waste in 2013, the most recent year for which government data is available.

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Maryland Could Become Next ‘Assisted Suicide’ State

Maryland could become the next state to pass legislation authorizing physician-assisted suicide. The proposed Richard E. Israel and Roger "Pip" Moyer Death With Dignity Act will move to a legislative working group in preparation for its reintroduction next January.

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In-Home Care Firm Creates Senior Residence in DC Area

The new facility will be an elegant senior residence in Bethesda, MD, and is scheduled to open later this month.

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Maryland Gov. Hopefuls Urged to Support Death-With-Dignity Law

Claiming that most voters support such laws, the end-of-life choice organization Compassion & Choices is challenging Maryland’s gubernatorial candidates to pledge to pass death-with-dignity legislation if they are elected.

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Group Forms Human Chain to Protest Chained CPI

Except for obvious age-related characteristics, it could have been a scene right out of 1968.

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Catering to Diversity: A New Twist on an Old Idea

Here's a good idea -- senior daycare facilities specializing in diverse populations.

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Asbury Names New Exec for Asbury Methodist Village CCRC

Henry Moehring of Germantown, MD, is the new executive director of Asbury Methodist Village, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Gaithersburg, MD.

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Center Raises Black History Awareness Via Award-Winning Program

Baltimore County's Bykota Senior Center garners a national education award from the National Council on Aging (NCOA) for its highly successful, "Black History of Lutherville" program.

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Financial Advisor Warns Boomers to 'Space' Investments

The economy may be recovering, but some of the changes wrought by the Great Recession may be long-lasting. Boomers and seniors, more than any other demographic, need, to take those changes into account.

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Silver Spring 'Senior Village' Shares Launch Lessons

Silver Spring, MD, an older, urban area bordering Washington, DC, plans to launch its first Senior Village in September 2013, after more than two years in the planning process.

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Baltimore Senior Center Combines Fitness, Fun Through Dance

The class incorporates a mixture of styles, including ballet, folk and tap. Musical selections range from "Cielito Lindo" and other Latin music, marches to "Twist and Shout," and everything in between. Participants range in age from 65 to 91.

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Maryland AAA Partners with Local Restaurants for Fundraiser

MAC Inc. (Maintaining Active Citizens), the Area Agency on Aging serving the Maryland counties of Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester, is partnering with the region's Local Owner Restaurant Association and Harbor Point in Salisbury to host a tasting event designed to benefit the Meals on Wheels program.

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Senior Olympian Readies for Upcoming Maryland Competition

This 83-year-old has competed in the Maryland Senior Olympics for 20 years, winning at least a silver medal in swimming almost every year, ribbons in volleyball and a third place medal in the high jump a few years ago.

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Baltimore Program Lets Seniors Relive 'School Days'

The one-day program begins with a nutritious breakfast similar to those served in public schools, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. "Test papers" are then handed out, and the "students" are asked to correctly match pictures with corresponding names.

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Are 'Senior' Newspapers Now Titles of the Past?

The Beacon's decision to change started nearly 10 years ago, when people increasingly said they didn't relate to the term "senior." That's nothing new. There has been controversy for years over what different segments of the older population prefer to be

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Maryland Senior Center Photo Class Develops Snapshot for Success

The Seniors Center of Catonsville, MD, is receiving national recognition for its "Developing Photographers -- Senior Edition" program. The program, conceptualized by a former staff volunteer, was recently named a 2011 Expressive and Creative Arts Award winner by the National Council on Aging.

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National Capital Area to Host Regional Conference on Aging

"This is the first attempt that we know of in which three jurisdictions are trying to convene a regional conference focusing on these issues," says Wesley Wood, state program administration for Maryland Department on Aging.

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Baltimore Mayor Joins in Dedication of Newly Renovated, Locally-Owned Nursing Center

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Good Samaritan Hospital President Jeffrey Matton joins FutureCare leaders, staff and residents, as well as local community leaders for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

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Sixth Annual MD 'Senior Idol' Competition in Full Swing

The sixth annual Maryland Senior Idol Competition is heating up, with many of the state's agencies on aging and senior centers hosting preliminary competitions in the coming weeks.

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(FUNDRAISING) MD Agency Compiles Cookbook Of Classic Eastern Shore Recipes

MAC Inc., the designated area agency on aging for the Maryland counties of Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester, has published a cookbook of classic Eastern Shore recipes as part of an effort to raise funds to assist the agency in its programming costs.

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(BEST OF THE BEST) Baltimore Sun Names FutureCare Health

The Baltimore Sun has selected FutureCare Health & Management Corp., owned by the Attman family, as the best large company in its annual Top 75 Workplaces list. The annual rankings are based on employee feedback.

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(HOSPICE) National Healthcare Thought Leaders to Discuss End-of-Life Issues

The theme of this year's event, "Transitions and Coordinated Care: The Impact of Pain Across the Continuum of Care," will examine emerging national healthcare trends and how these will impact the delivery of patient care.

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(AWARD) Worker Honored for 'Going Above and Beyond' at Long-Term Care Facility

To accommodate residents' needs, Denise Pearson went above and beyond the call of duty, and she did it on a daily basis at Genesis Healthcare, an elder care center near Severna Park in Anne Arundel County Maryland.

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(DIABETES) Pilot Program Supports Diabetes, Pre-Diabetes Patients

The program, dubbed Community Connections to Aging Well, offers a six-week crisis management course for Medicare patients suffering from diabetes. It also offers the course to caregivers of diabetes patients at community seniors centers.

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(GRANTS) Consumer Health Foundation Funds Programs in DC, MD, VA

This is big, generous funder. Last year, the Foundation awarded grants totaling some $1.8 million, with most grants ranging from $25,000 to $35,000.

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(SKILLED NURSING CENTERS) Maryland's Skilled Nursing Facility Sector Axe Avoidance

Even as state legislatures across the nation are eyeing cuts in Medicaid as a way to reduce massive deficits, the skilled nursing facility sector in Maryland is wasting no time in getting its message before the state's lawmakers. It's a tactic not without some risk, but it's one that may be worth replicating by stakeholders in other states similarly affected by deficit issues.

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(INTERGENERATIONAL) Cross-Generational Tutoring Program Benefits Retirees, Students Alike

Looking for a clever way to get the seniors your organization provides services to engaged in community service? Asbury-Solomons Island retirement community in Calvert County, MD has launched a tutoring program for the 2010 school year that matches seniors with public high school students for cross-generational academic assistance and encouragement.

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(GRANTS) Foundation Supports Seniors Programs in MD, MI

The Edward N. and Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation is committed to providing for the dignified treatment of older adults, including healthcare services. The foundation provides general operating and program support. Organizations in Maryland and Michigan that provide direct healthcare services are eligible to apply for funding on a rolling basis.

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(TOWN HALL) Obama Addresses Medicare Solvency, Healthcare Concerns Affecting Seniors

President Obama, speaking directly to seniors at the Holiday Park Multipurpose Center in Wheaton, MD, today (June 8) answered questions on the most pressing issues of the healthcare reform affecting seniors. Accompanied by Dept. of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, the president said that solvency of entitlement programs is a "worsening" problem, but insisted the issue has nothing to do with the new health care law.

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New Workout Video Aimed at Seniors and Boomers Looks for Way to Reach the Audience

John Humble is a 60-year old Montana athletic club operator and personal trainer who wanted to share his successful workout regimen with others. He self-produced "Forever Young," a 70-minute, four-step approach to a lifestyle that Humble says helps people

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(WORKFORCE) Organization Provides More Than Job Placement for Older Adults

The mission of Senior Service America Inc. (SSAI) is to provide adults 55 and over with employment and training opportunities. Its flagship program, the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), annually awards sub-grants to 81 organizations across 16 states, reaching out to rural and urban communities, employing over 10,000 older Americans every year. But from the organization's perspective, its mission entails more than merely finding work for people.

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(MARKETING) Retirement Community Partners with Newspaper to Develop and Distribute Lifestyle Magazine

Residents of Washington, DC suburbs recently opened their free weekly newspaper to find a glossy, 32-page, full-color marketing piece from Asbury Methodist Village, Gaithersburg, MD. The newest issue of Asbury Lifestyles is the fourth to be published by the accredited continuing-care retirement community.

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(BRAIN FITNESS) Experience Corps Improves Older Adults' Brain Functioning, Study Confirms

Older Americans can delay or actually reverse brain aging at a neurological level by tutoring young children in reading and math, according to a new Johns Hopkins study of the national service program Experience Corps.

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(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.

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(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.

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(DUAL ELIGIBLES) States to Pursue Integrated Care Approaches for 'Dual Eligibles'

The Hamilton, NJ-based Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is launching Transforming Care for Dual Eligibles, a state initiative to test innovative care models for people who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid (aka: "dual eligibles"). Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont will implement strategies to improve care and control costs for dual eligibles, a high-need population with health care costs nearly five times those of other Medicare beneficiaries.

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(ENERGY) Maryland Launches Programs to Aid Energy Efficiency Efforts

The Maryland Energy Administration has established a Clean Energy Loan Payment Program to help property owners in the state finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for commercial and residential properties. Once authorized by MEA, property owners will repay the clean energy loan through a surcharge on their property tax bill.

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(SENATE) Bill Would Allow People Ages 55-64 to Buy Into Medicare Early

Proposed legislation being pushed by Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Finance subcommittee on Health Care, and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), a key member of the subcommittee, would allow individuals between the ages of 55 and 64 to buy into the Medicare program early. Many older Americans have lost their health insurance due to early retirement or lay offs, but are too young to qualify for health insurance under Medicare. The legislation -- the proposed Medicare Early Access Act -- would make certain this part of the U.S. population can access affordable healthcare coverage, while also protecting the solvency of Medicare, its sponsors say.

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Senior Community Service Employment Program Grantees to Get $118 Million-Plus

The Department of Labor has issued policy guidance to grantees of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) for the implementation of an additional $118,800,000 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

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'Phase 0' Oncology Trial Shows Effectiveness of New Drug on Target

The first "phase 0" clinical trial of a drug in cancer treatment, involving 13 patients with advanced cancers, showed that the drug, ABT-888, affected its target and was well tolerated. Most importantly, this trial showed that it is possible to enroll a small number of patients, treat them with a low dose of a new drug, identify whether the desired target of the drug was affected, and obtain all of this critical information relatively quickly.

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CMS Issues 2010 Guidance for Medicare Advantage, Rx Drug Plans

CMS is taking steps to "provide beneficiaries with more meaningful choices among Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans," the agency says. In addition, CMS will continue to build on its ongoing oversight efforts relating to Medicare health and drug plans.

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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.

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10 Organizations Receive Grants From NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is awarding grants to 10 organizations nationwide for the purpose of finding and enrolling older people and younger adults with disabilities who have limited means into public benefits programs. Awarded through NCOA’s National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrollment (www.CenterforBenefits.org ), the grants support the development of person-centered community-based systems for outreach and enrollment into public benefits through the creation of local and state Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs).

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Deadline Approaches for Senior Medicare Patrol Grants

The deadline for grant applications for the 2009 Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program is fast approaching. March 13 is the closing date for this significant funding opportunity.

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Hospital Opens Nation’s First Emergency Room Designed Specifically For Seniors

Holy Cross Hospital of Silver Spring, MD, has become the first hospital in the nation to create an emergency room specifically tailored to serve a growing senior population. Officially opened in early November 2008, the new six-bay Holy Cross Hospital Seniors Emergency Center is a separate, enclosed area of the main Emergency Center that provides safe, efficient emergency services designed to meet the complex, uncertain needs of non-acute elderly patients and those who care for them.

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Out-Of-Pocket Payments For Healthcare Rose Significantly During Past Decade

A rise in chronic disease, particularly among baby boomers and older adults, played a key role in a 40% rise in consumer spending on out-of-pocket cost for healthcare over the past 10 years, researchers report in a just-released study.

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Policy Primer Demystifies Federal Affordable Housing Programs

Although the ongoing foreclosure crisis has focused the nation's attention on housing problems and policies, the struggles of renters have largely been overlooked. Federal rental programs, dating back to the New Deal, serve about 6.5 million households, but an estimated 12.4 million low-income renters -- more than a third of which are elderly people on fixed incomes -- face serious housing problems without any assistance.

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New MacArthur Network To Examine Impact of Aging Society

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is creating a new inter-disciplinary research network to help America prepare for the challenges and opportunities posed by our aging society. In the middle of the next decade, the United States will become an aging society, one feature of which is that those over age 60 will outnumber those under age 15. Although the nation will become increasingly gray in subsequent decades, we are not well prepared to deal with the myriad consequences of this impending reality.

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Ginkgo Study Fails To Show Benefit In Preventing Dementia In Elderly

The study was conducted primarily to determine if ginkgo would decrease the incidence of all types of dementia and, more specifically, reduce the incidence of Alzheimer's disease. Secondarily, the study evaluated ginkgo for its effects on overall cognitive decline, functional disability, incidence of cardiovascular disease and stroke, and total mortality.

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Oregon State U. Academic To Receive GSA’s Prestigious Kleemeier Award

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has chosen Dr. Jon Hendricks of Oregon State University as the 2008 recipient of its Robert W. Kleemeier Award. This distinction is given annually to a GSA member in recognition for outstanding research in the field of gerontology. The award will be given at GSA’s 61st-annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from Nov. 21-25 in National Harbor, MD.

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17 People Doing Good Work In Second Half Of Life Win Unusual Story Contest

One winner retired from the military and found his true calling: teaching disadvantaged youth in a homeless shelter. Another realized her childhood dream of becoming a nurse after a career in office management. A third, a former TV news producer, applied the passion she felt for vulnerable children to her new job raising money for a pediatric care center. These are three examples of Americans who are successfully transitioning from mid-life careers to new encore careers -- work that combines personal meaning and social impact with continued income in the second half of life. They and 14 others have won a trip to a first-ever summit on encore careers organized by Civic Ventures, a national think tank on boomers, work and social purpose.

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CMS Issues Agent Compensation Requirements MA, Rx Drug Programs

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

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Genomic Dragnet Finds Clues To Likely Suspects In Alzheimer’s

Until now, only one gene variant, ApoE-4, has been implicated in such late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Its involvement was also confirmed in the new study. Yet this variant, and three others implicated in early-onset Alzheimer’s, account for only 30% of the genetic risk for the disorder, which is up to 80 percent heritable.

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Leukemia Information Added to NIH Web Site about Senior Health

"An estimated 44,000 new cases of leukemia will be diagnosed this year, and the majority of those cases will involve older adults," says Dr. John Niederhuber, director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a component of the NIH. "The new leukemia topic on NIHSeniorHealth is an excellent source of easy-to-understand information that will help older people, their families and caregivers learn about this disease, its diagnosis and treatment."

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Award In Aging Research Supports Work In Biological Gerontology

(Deadline: Dec. 16) The Ellison Medical Foundation and the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) invite proposals for the Julie Martin Mid-Career Award in Aging Research program from outstanding mid-career scientists who propose novel directions of high importance to biological gerontology.

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Study Offers Lessons On How To Attract 'Experienced' Students

San Francisco-based think tank Civic Ventures -- which focuses on baby boomers and work -- has released a new report profiling 10 community colleges (in AZ, CA, FL, KY, MD, MI, NC, OR, TX, VA) that have tapped into promising new student populations, engaged local employers, and helped prepare boomers for meaningful work in the second half of life.

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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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Medicare Beneficiaries Advised To Review, Compare Current Drug Coverage

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has unveiled the 2009 Medicare prescription drug and Medicare Advantage plan options and is advising benefiiciaries to reivew their plans. Approximately 97% of beneficiaries enrolled in a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) will have access to Medicare drug and health plans in 2009 whose premiums would be the same or less than their coverage in 2008.

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NIA Has $2.5 Million For Alzheimer's Drug Development Program

NIA has set aside $2.5 million in total costs in FY 2009 for applications submitted in response to the program announcement. However, because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary.

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Experience Corps Welcomes Five New Cities

The 2008 school year opens with five new Experience Corps programs in four states. The new sites will serve thousands of students in Annapolis, MD; Baltimore County, MD; Beaumont, TX; Evansville, IN; and Revere, MA.

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Advocates: Stable Part B Premium Is Good News For People With Medicare

The announcement Friday (Sept. 19) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that the monthly Part B premium will remain at $96.40 is welcome news for older adults and people with disabilities who have seen the premium charged for doctor visits and other Medicare outpatient services more than double, from $45.50 since 2000, say advocates for seniors.

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Research Initiative To Test Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms

Women troubled by hot flashes and night sweats during the years around menopause want safe, effective treatment options. A new research initiative from the National Institutes of Health will establish a multisite research network to conduct clinical trials of promising treatments for the most common symptoms of the menopausal transition.

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AFAR Funds Aging Research

(Deadline: Dec. 16) The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) is accepting applications for its Research Grants to assist in the development of the careers of junior investigators committed to pursuing careers in the field of aging research. In total, 15 grants of up to $75,000 each will be awarded.

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New Rules Issued To Enforce Marketing Requirements During Enrollment Period

CMS has released final regulations aimed at protecting Medicare beneficiaries from deceptive or high-pressure marketing tactics by private insurance companies and their agents during the upcoming 2009 Medicare Advantage and prescription drug open enrollment period. The regulations also include other non-marketing related Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plan provisions.

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Report: Millions of Low-Income Adults Can't Get Medicaid

A new report from AARP to be released Monday (Sept. 15) looks at why millions of low-income adults cannot get Medicaid and what can be done about it. The report will be released at a panel discussion taking place on Capitol Hill sponsored by AARP and the Alliance for Health Reform.

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New Survey Cites Experience Corps As Successful National Model

A just-released AARP report, "More to Give", concludes that tens of millions of baby boomers and members of the so-called "silent generation" appear ready to increase their civic participation in retirement. "The good news is that today's 50+ Americans have been volunteering their time and talents for decades, and they're ready to do more," says AARP Chief Operating Officer Tom Nelson. "The bad news is that our country needs it. Boomers and older Americans fear the American Dream is slipping away, but they're ready to turn it around again."

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Medicare To Launch New Caregiving Initiative

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), along with representatives from partner organizations will launch a new online Medicare caregiver initiative providing information, tools and materials to help family caregivers. The effort will be launched with a Webcast on Thursday, Sept. 18, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET, where forum participants will take questions from caregivers and highlight personal stories and experiences.

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States' Budget Crisis Worsens; 13 States Face New Shortfalls

In the six of these 13 states that have made specific estimates, the new gaps total $4.4 billion, or 4% of their budgets. These new shortfalls, which reflect the continuing weakness of the economy, highlight the growing need for the federal government to provide fiscal relief to states, as it did in the last downturn.

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Long-Term Care Providers Form Coalition for Capital Access

Long-term care facilities from across the country are forming the Coalition for Senior Healthcare Reform, an organization that seeks to improve the quality of healthcare for seniors by ensuring access to capital for long-term care, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.

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Extra Payments To Medicare Advantage Plans Seen Reaching $8.5B In 2008

Private Medicare Advantage (MA) plans will be paid an average 12.4% more per enrollee in 2008 compared to what the same enrollee would have cost in the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund. Even if the payment reductions to MA plans mandated by the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 had been fully in place in 2008, MA plans still would have been paid 10.6% more than expected fee-for-service costs.

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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.

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Community Colleges Win Awards for Innovative Caregiving Programs

Twelve innovative in-home caregiver training programs are being awarded up to $25,000 through the 2008 Community College Caregiver Training Initiative of the International Longevity Center-USA (ILC-USA)'s Caregiving Project for Older Americans, supported by MetLife Foundation.

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Rachel Carson Intergenerational Poetry, Essay, Photo Contest

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Aging Initiative, in partnership with Generations United and Rachel Carson Council Inc., invites the public to vote for their favorite submissions for the Second Annual Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Intergenerational Poetry, Essay and Photography Contest.

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GAO Suggest Improvements in Medicare Withholding

            The Government Accountability Office reports that some Medicare beneficiaries still are having the wrong amount withheld from their Social Security payments for Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D prescription benefit premiums but GAO...

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IRS Expands VITA Grants Program For Underserved Populations

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has unveiled a new matching grant opportunity to enable the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to extend services to underserved populations in hardest-to-reach areas, both urban and non-urban; increase the capacity to prepare and file federal tax returns electronically; heighten quality control; enhance training of volunteers; and significantly improve the accuracy of returns prepared at VITA sites. The deadline for applications is Sept. 2.

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Maryland Resident Launches Home Helpers Senior Care Business

With the number of seniors in the United States expected to reach 76 million by 2030, more and more families are facing the overwhelming responsibility of caring for aging loved ones. That fact, along with a desire to make a difference in the lives of others, inspired Frederick Mendoza to open a Home Helpers franchise to serve Harford County, MD, and its surrounding areas.

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Safety, Mobility Crisis Seen Looming For Aging Baby Boomers

In a just-released report, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety notes seniors and their families face serious challenges in maintaining personal mobility, including determining whether they remain capable of safely operating a motor vehicle, whether their driving can be improved, or -- if unable to drive safely -- how they can continue to be mobile.

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Durbin: Do More To Protect Identities Of Medicare Card Holders

Sen. Dick Durbin wants the Department of Health & Human Services to detail its response to a report criticizing the policy of listing Social Security numbers on Medicare identification cards. In a letter to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, Durbin highlighted the risk that listing Social Security numbers poses to Medicare beneficiaries and asked for an explanation of steps that are being taken to eliminate the numbers from Medicare cards.

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Prostate Cancer Vaccines Found More Effective With Hormone Therapy

Among patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, the addition of hormone therapy following vaccine treatment improved overall survival compared with either treatment alone or when the vaccine followed hormone treatment, according to recent data. Dr. Philip Arlen, director of the Clinical Research Group for the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, at the National Cancer Institute, says the findings have important implications for guiding treatment decisions for prostate cancer patients.

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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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Senate Republicans Blasted For Failing To Support Medicare Bill

Last night, the Senate, in a 58-40 vote, fell two votes short of the 60 votes needed to bring the bill to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote. Earlier in the week, the House of Representatives passed the same bill with a vote of 355-59, a margin well in excess of the two-thirds necessary to override a threatened veto by President Bush.

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CMS Plan To Rank Nursing Homes Raises Concerns

Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced plans to add a five-star ranking system to its nursing home website, Nursing Home Compare, by December 2008. Under the proposed system, each nursing facility participating in Medicare or Medicaid, or both, will receive one to five stars, with a composite score based on information currently on the website.

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Funds Added To FY09 Labor, Health & Human Services, Education Bill

The FY 2009 Labor, Health & Human Services and Education spending bill is approved Thursday by the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee and now heads to the Senate floor for a vote. The bill includes additional funding -- over and above President Bush's proposal -- for nurse training facilities, women's health initiatives and seniors programs, as well as critical investments for the National Institutes of Health ($30.26 billion), the National Institute on Aging ($1 billion) and the National Cancer Institute ($4.96 billion).

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Veto-Proof Majority In U.S. House Passes Medicare Package

The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelming approved passage of HR 6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients & Providers Act, by a veto-proof vote of 355-59

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Center For State Courts To Create Center For Elders And The Courts

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) is launching a Center for Elders and the Courts as a result of a grant award from the Retirement Research Foundation in Chicago.

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Scientists Isolate Toxic Key To Alzheimer's Disease

Scientists have long questioned whether the abundant amounts of amyloid plaques found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's actually caused the neurological disease or were a by-product of its progress. Now, using new research techniques, scientists have shown that a two-molecule aggregate (or dimer) of beta-amyloid protein fragments may play a role in initiating the disease.

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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.

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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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Reposting of Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule

CMS discovered an error in the calculation of the out-migration adjustment and corrected Table 4J accordingly. As a result of these corrections, some providers no longer qualify for an out-migration adjustment for the FY 2009 proposed wage index.

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Republicans Introduce Their Version Of Medicare Funding Bill

The measure was introduced today (June 11), and -- as Aging News Alert predicted -- includes language that virtually parallels that of the Democrats, delaying a Bush administration proposal to cut physician Medicare reimbursements by 10% beginning June 30.

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Preparing For And Responding To Excessive Heat Events

Older individuals are particularly vulnerable to the effects of heat stress. Because heat-related dates are preventable, people and communities need to be aware of who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death.

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ACCORD Clinical Trial Publishes Results

Intensively targeting blood sugar to near-normal levels in adults with type 2 diabetes at especially high risk for heart attack and stroke does not significantly reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, such as fatal or nonfatal heart attacks or stroke, but increases risk of death, compared to standard treatment.

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AMA Resorts To Issue Advertising To Halt Docs' Medicare Pay Cuts

The American Medical Association is turning up the heat on federal lawmakers in an effort to derail a measure by the Bush administration that will automatically cut physician Medicare payments by 10.6% next month. This week, the AMA began running an advertisement in several "inside-the-Beltway" publications with a headline that says: "Physicians provide state of the art care to seniors. Too bad Medicare is still 10 years behind."

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Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Naproxen May Be Effective At Reducing Risk of Alzheimer's

Different types of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin, appear to be equally effective in lowering the risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to the largest study of its kind.

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SuperNOFA Self-Help Guide Now Available!

Our one-of-a-kind "Self-Help Guide to the FY 2008 HUD SuperNOFA" is now available exclusively to paid subscribers of any of CD Publications' online news services.

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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.

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Secrets to Positive Aging Featured in YouTube Video

If you've heard that social activities prolong life, a new YouTube video confirms it. Created by the National Council on Aging and the American Society of Aging, the video features people in their 60s, 70s and 80s talking about their activities at senior centers, with clips of them dancing, exercising and just relaxing with a cup of coffee.

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CMS Slates Special Open Door Forum On Wage Index Reform

CMS will hold a Special Open Door Forum, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, May 20, to provide an opportunity for the public to discuss and share their opinions, suggestions and expertise on the wage index and alternative methods for computing the wage index.

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FTC Commissioner Rosch Tapped As ALJ In Controversial Case

The Federal Trade Commission has designated Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch as the administrative law judge (ALJ) in the administrative trial on the merits challenging the proposed acquisition by Inova Health System Foundation of Prince William Health System Inc. (PWHS).

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Pilot Project Tests Personal Health Records For SC Beneficiaries

CMS embarks on a new project aimed at encouraging beneficiaries covered by traditional Medicare to take advantage of Internet-based resources to track their healthcare services and better communicate with their providers.

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Leavitt Wants Fiscal 'Trigger Points' to Deal with Problems in Medicare

Health & Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt today (April 29) recommends that a series of fiscal trigger points be established that would force action to control Medicare costs so the financial disaster faced by a system in which fewer and fewer workers are paying for more and more beneficiaries can be avoided.

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HHS, Cleveland Clinic Collaborate On Treatment For Neurological Disorders

The Department of Health & Human Services and Cleveland Clinic are teaming up to raise awareness about deep brain stimulation and its impact on Americans with neurological disorders and disabilities.

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May Is Older Americans Month, But Should We Celebrate?

May marks the 45th anniversary of "Older Americans Month." Originally established by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, the month is set aside to honor those age 65-plus. However, Ilyse Shapiro, founder of the job search website MyPartTimePRO.com, wonders whether we should still be celebrating when so many of seniors cannot live the idealized picture we have of our golden years.

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Fundamental Change Seen Needed to Improve U.S. Healthcare

In order to achieve significant gains in quality and efficiency, the health care delivery system -- the way providers are organized and care is delivered -- will need fundamental and systemic changes, say healthcare and health policy leaders.

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HHS Moves To Keep Docs' Data Private

HHS has filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia of an August 2007 court decision requiring the HHS to release Medicare claims data on more than 40 million beneficiaries and 700,000 physicians.

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Going Green

In its online format, Aging News Alert gives you the ability to quickly and easily navigate through an array of Internet-based resources for additional, more comprehensive information.

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Weinberg Foundation, Family & Informal Caregiver Support Program

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

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Initiative Aims To Improve Healthcare; Offers Incentives To Professionals

CMS is encouraging physicians and other eligible professionals to take part in the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), a program designed to improve the quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries.

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McCain Proposes Higher Medicare Drug Benefit Premiums for Some Beneficiaries

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (AR-AZ) on Tuesday during a speech at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University said he plans to push a legislative proposal that would require higher-income Medicare beneficiaries to pay higher monthly premiums for the Part D prescription drug benefit.

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Baucus Looking For Longer Lasting Fix On Doctors' Pay

Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) is pushing Medicare-related legislation that would delay for 18 months a 10% Medicare physician payment cut scheduled become effective July 1.

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VA Rewriting Regs for VA Benefits Claims

The Department of Veterans Affairs proposes to reorganize and rewrite in plain language its regulations involving VA benefits claims.

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New Penn State 'Smart Spaces' Center To Research Independent Living

A new Penn State center will pursue interdisciplinary research that enhances independent living opportunities for older Americans in their homes and their communities and also fosters their physical, emotional and social well-being.

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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.

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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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2nd Annual Rachel Carson Intergenerational Poetry, Essay and Photo Contest

The EPA Aging Initiative, in partnership with Generations United and the Rachel Carson Council Inc., is inviting submissions for its Second Annual Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Intergenerational Poetry, Essay and Photography Contest.

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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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AARP Urges Congress to Support House, Senate Budgets

AARP is urging members of Congress to support the House and Senate budget resolutions and to oppose harmful amendments that would negatively impact older Americans.

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Senate Aging Committee Reviews Study on Hunger Among Seniors

The Senate Special Committee on Aging's March 5 hearing served as venue for the release of a startling new study from the Meals On Wheels Association of America Foundation's -- "The Causes, Consequences and Future of Senior Hunger in America."

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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.

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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.

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Key Republican Supports Another Stimulus

Many Senate Republicans are as anxious as Democrats to get a second stimulus package passed that includes funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

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Guide Available on Health Literacy & Older Adults

The Dept. of Health & Human Services makes available a "Quick Guide to Health Literacy and Older Adults" for people who serve older adults on health and aging issues.

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GAO: Many State, Local Government Retiree Health Plans Underfunded

Many state and local governments offering retiree health benefits generally have large unfunded liabilities, says the GAO in a just-released report.

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CMS Identifies $371.5M In Improper Medicare Payments In Three States

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says $371.5 million in improper Medicare payments has been collected from or repaid to healthcare providers and suppliers as part of a demonstration program using recovery audit contractors (RACs) in California, Florida and New York in 2007.

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Alzheimer's Caregiving Award Gets Funded

The Family Caregiver Alliance's National Center on Caregiving has been awarded a grant from The Rosalinde & Arthur Gilbert Foundation to oversee an awards program to recognize innovation in programs benefiting caregivers.

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Workshop Will Examine Medicare's Funding Warning

On Thursday, March 6, the Kaiser Family Foundation will hold a 9:30 a.m. (EST) policy workshop to examine the so-called "45% trigger" and its implications for this year's budget debate and Medicare's long-term fiscal health.

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Grassley, Kohl Propose Nursing Home Legislation

Proposed legislation is dsigned to improve quality of care in nursing homes nationwide.

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Report: Most Innovative Policy Work on Aging Happening at State Level

With a new understanding of the upside of the aging baby boom generation, leaders of several state governments are taking the initiative to develop policies and programs that make the best use of boomer experience.

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Income-related Part D Premiums Seen Costly for Medicare Beneficiaries

President Bush's proposed FY 2009 budget proposes establishment of an income-related Part D premium structure, similar to the income-related Part B premium -- a proposal the Washington, DC-based Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) finds most troubling.

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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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Survey: Stimulus Package Must Include Older Americans

A new poll by AARP finds an overwhelming majority of Americans think the government must ensure that people dependent on Social Security are included in any stimulus rebate package.

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Gerontology Conference To Include Talks on Social Networking

The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education will hold its 34th Annual Meeting & Educational Leadership Conference on Feb. 21-24 at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, MD.

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Numerous Interest Groups Decry Bush's Budget

Here's a sampling of the disgruntlement inspired by President Bush's proposed FY 2009 budget.

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IRS Warns of New E-Mail, Phone Scams

The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers -- especially the elderly -- to beware of several current e-mail and telephone scams that use the IRS name as a lure.

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Advocacy Group Exec: 'President Punts on Medicare'

President Bush, during his Monday night State of the Union speech, "punted on Medicare, lumping together Medicare with Medicaid and Social Security and telling Congress to fix them," says Judith Stein, executive director of the Washington, DC-based Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA).The CMA works on...

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FDA Under Pressure to Explain Genesis of Controversial Guidance

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) has fired off a strongly worded letter to Food & Drug Admin. Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, demanding release of documents related to the FDA's controversial draft guidance on off-label use of drugs and medical devices.

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'Good Samaritans' Take to Capitol Hill

Some 45 representatives from the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society visit Washington, DC, for the organization's regional meeting and use the occasion to discuss issues of concern with their congressional representatives.

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CMS Adds Phone Lines for Important Open Door Forum

As a result of high demand for participation in the Special Minimum Data Set 3.0 Special Open Door Forum, CMS has worked hard to obtain additional lines to accommodate as many telephone participants as possible. If you haven't had the opportunity to register, now is your chance.

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SSA Changes Rules on Face-to-Face Conferences

The Social Security Admin. is revising its regulations on personal conferences when waiver of recovery of an overpayment cannot be approved. The final rules allow for the conferences to be conducted face-to-face, by telephone, or by video teleconference in these circumstances.

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Experts Explore Projected LTC Needs

The projections of monetary and human resources needed to meet the long-term care needs of seniors are daunting, but experts at an Urban Institute (UI) forum offer myriad suggestions in an optimistic tone for meeting the challenges.

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PBM Tools Helped Restrain Drug Spending Growth

While expanded access and use of prescription drugs among Medicare seniors drove drug trend higher in 2006, greater use of generic medicines "helped restrain drug spending growth in 2006," find the authors of a new report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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Rx Drug Benefit Fuels Fastest Growth in Medicare Spending in 25 Years

Full implementation of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit contributed to an 18.7% increase in Medicare spending in 2006, the fastest rate of growth since 1981 and double the rise in 2005.

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'Inappropriate Accounting' at Sunrise Senior Living

The accounting mishap bug that bit so many large companies, including government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, appears to have sunk its teeth into one of senior housing's top players. And it has led to the sacking of some of the company's top officials.

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PBGC Moves to Protect Pensions at New York Racing Assn.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has initiated court action to protect the benefits of more than 1,700 workers and retirees covered by the pension plans of the New York Racing Association Inc.

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Profile of First Wave of Boomers Holds Lots of Surprises

"Contrary to what most of us have believed about the baby boomers who came of age in the turbulent 1960s, the group is very much like the 'Silent Generation' that preceded them," says Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, which conducted Boomers Ready to Launch, a comprehensive profile of the first baby boomers as they turn 62.

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Overview of Senate-Passed Medicare Legislation

Medicare legislation passed by the Senate will stop a 10% cut in federal reimbursement of Medicare doctors for six months and provide a half-percent update in payments, and will extend a number of expiring provisions vital to seniors' care under the program.

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CMS Taps 5 Organizations for Senior Risk Demo Project

It's been nearly two years since CMS first announced plans to embark on a demonstration project aimed at promoting health and wellness for seniors by way of preventive healthcare techniques.

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GAO Honcho: Serious Weaknesses Affecting Financial Systems

"If the federal government was a private corporation and the same report came out this morning, our stock would be dropping and there would be talk about whether the company's management and directors needed a major shake-up," GAO honcho David Walker tells an audience in Washington, DC.

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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.

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Senate Panel Eyes Reverse Mortgages

Prompted by litigation and reports of lenders leading seniors into inappropriate loans, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging holds a hearing to investigate the explosive growth of the reverse mortgage industry.

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Center on Senior Transportation Seeks RFPs for Demo Grants

The National Center on Senior Transportation is soliciting proposals from aging/human service agencies, tribal organizations, faith-based organizations, units of state and local government, public and private transportation providers and other entities interested in developing and implementing innovative approaches to increasing senior transportation options and improving older adult mobility.

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CMS to Set Accreditation Deadlines at Open Door Forum

CMS will hold a special "Open Door Forum" on Dec. 19 to announce the deadline by which all durable medical equipment providers will need to be accredited.

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Retirement for Low-Income Workers Could Be Less Secure

So-called "direct contribution" savings plans can provide a meaningful contribution to retirement security for some workers but may not ensure the retirement security of lower-income workers, finds the Government Accountability Office in a new report.

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Democrats' Budget Plan Falls Apart; New One Adheres More Closely to Bush's

The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee has decided not to introduce a $522 billion omnibus budget package that was to have included the FY 2008 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (HR3043) and 10 more unapproved appropriations bills, as well as additional funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Health Literacy Tool Available for Professionals Serving Seniors

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is making available a new health literacy tool for people who serve older adults. The Quick Guide to Health Literacy and Older Adults is designed to provide useful strategies and suggestions to professionals who work with older adults to help bridge the communication gap between professionals and older adults.

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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.

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Seniors' Advocates Urge Reform of Medicare Advantage

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare and the Alliance for Retired Americans have delivered 48,000 petitions signed by seniors from around the nation asking the Senate to eliminate or reduce billions in insurance industry subsidies to private Medicare providers.

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IP Access for Public, Higher Ed Libraries

Did you know that public and/or higher education (school/university) libraries can recieve this news service by way of IP access? And at no additional cost!

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IP Access for Public, Higher Ed Libraries

Did you know that public and/or higher education (school/university) libraries can recieve this news service by way of IP access? And at no additional cost!

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Survey Shows Growing Expenses, Stress Levels for Caregivers

A new survey shows respondents had an estimated annual out-of-pocket expense of $5,531 -- more than 10% of the median income of the group, which was $43,026.

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Expert Explains Why Brains Get Better With Age

Contrary to long-held beliefs that brain power inevitably declines as we age, the mind actually experiences a surge of creativity and brain function well into the second half of life.

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