Aging News Alert

Texas

 

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.

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HHS Responds as Storm Emergency Impacts Medicare Beneficiaries

As Hurricane Harvey continues to impact the Gulf Coast and local officials look toward assessing communities’ health care infrastructure and medical needs, HHS placed additional personnel on alert.

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Once Floundering Senior Living Community Sees Huge Turnaround

It’s no secret the goal of every senior living community provider is to have 100% occupancy of its residences. And, with the guidance of Greystone, an Irving, TX-based senior living professional services consultancy, Moldaw Family Residences in Palo Alto, CA can now boast a full house.

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Austin Doc Charged with Defrauding Medicare of $2 Million

Dr. Dennis B. Barson Jr., 40, and his medical clinic administrator, Dario Juarez, 53, have been charged in a 20-count indictment alleging a conspiracy to defraud Medicare of $2.1 million in less than two months.

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Texoma AAA to Host First Annual Caregivers Conference

Texoma Council of Governments' Area Agency on Aging, located in Sherman, TX, is partnering with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Grayson College's Center For Workplace Learning to host its first annual "Champion Caregivers Conference" this month.

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Intergenerational Initiative Garners Honors for Educational Programming

The Farmers Branch Senior Center, located in Farmers Branch, TX, receives the National Council on Aging's top award for educational programming for its "I Teach You, You Teach Me" initiative.

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SNAP Grant Replaces Leaky Roof for Elderly Homeowner

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

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San Antonio Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Obtain Needed Support

The agency distributed $75 tax-exempt vouchers to 95 grandparents for 286 children. Vouchers totaled $20,000, courtesy of federal funding.

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Grant Helps Fund Dallas-Area Senior Living Community

The new housing development will consist of 130 assisted living units designated for low-income seniors on the existing 39-acre Lake West campus.

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Home Healthcare Provider Opens Franchise in Texas

Based in The Woodlands, TX, the franchise will provide at-home care to seniors in Harris and Montgomery counties.

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'Passport to Aging' Program Encourages Seniors to Stay Active

The week-long event offers a special schedule of nearly 60 different activities ranging from exercise and computer classes to dances, trips and games. Regularly scheduled classes are also offered, along with hearing, eye and balance screenings.

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Houston Hospital Official Guilty in $116 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

A 62-year old assistant administrator of a Houston hospital pleaded guilty to charges steeming from his role in a $116 million Medicare fraud scheme involving false claims for mental health treatment.

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(STUDY) Medicare Patients Risk Long-Term Institutionalization After Hospital Stay

Confirming many elderly patients' worst fears, a national study has shown that being hospitalized for an acute event, such as a stroke or hip fracture, can lead to long-term institutionalization in a nursing home.

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(FRAUD) Houston DME Company Owner Gets 12-Year Prison Sentence for Medicare Fraud

Sunny Robinson, the owner of Memorial Medical Supply - a Houston-based durable medical equipment (DME) business, was sentenced Wednesday (Aug. 31) to 97 months in prison for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme.   Robinson was convicted in March of all 19 counts of health care fraud and anti-ki...

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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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(NCOA) Partnership Connects Older Diabetics with Support Elements

The National Council on Aging (NCOA), in a unique partnership with diversified global healthcare services provider sanofi-aventis U.S., the John A. Hartford Foundation, the WellMed Foundation and the Bexar County (TX) Area Agency on Aging, has launched a pilot program aimed at helping physicians connect older patients with diabetes to evidence-based education and wellness support.

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(AMBULANCE FEES) Dallas to Pay $2.47 Million to Resolve Allegations Improper Medicare, Medicaid Claims

The United States and Texas contend Dallas caused "upcoded" claims to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for city-dispatched 911 ambulance transports between 2006 and 2010.

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(TEXAS) State's Nursing Homes Prepare for Medicaid Cuts

Only 16 of the 86 residents at Avalon Place nursing home pay with private insurance. The rest are covered by Medicaid. If those funds are cut by a third, at the very least, the current level of service is unsustainable.

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(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.

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(GRANTS) TX Foundation Funds Mental Health Programs

St. David's Community Health Foundation works to increase access to preventive and primary healthcare, improve health outcomes, provide health-related education and help older adults access basic needs and services and maintain independence. The foundation gives priority to programs that (1) reach large numbers of people in Central Texas, (2) receive support from organizations other than St. David's Foundation, (3) are sustainable and (4) have a reasonable and cost-efficient budget.

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(ANTI-FRAUD) Campaign to Protect Seniors from Financial Fraud Now Underway

A new survey reveals that 7.3 million older Americans have become to financial investor fraud. To combat this, Investor Protection Trust -- a nonprofit focused on investor education -- is launching the "Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation" project, a collaborative effort involving ITP, the North American Securities Administrators Association, and the National Adult Protective Services Association. Under this new partnership, the three advocacy organizations will collaborate on cases, report fraud cases to securities regulators, and educate medical professionals on how to spot early warning signs of vulnerability.

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(FRAUD) AmeriFirst Exec Convicted in Fraud Scheme That Targeted Seniors

Following a week-long trial before U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn, a federal jury has convicted Jeffrey Charles Bruteyn, formerly the managing director of the now-defunct Dallas-based AmeriFirst Funding Corp. and AmeriFirst Acceptance Corp., on charges stemming from his role in fraudulent securities offerings.

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(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.

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

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

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(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.

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(HOUSE) Energy & Commerce Committee Approves CLASS Act

In a move being loudly applauded by advocates for the elderly, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Joe Barton (R-TX), Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and John Dingell (D-MI) led efforts Monday (July 20) by the House Energy & Commerce Committee to include the Community Living Assistance & Supportive Services (CLASS) Act in HR 3200, the Affordable Health Choices Act.

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(ALABAMA) 'Safe Center' Concept Becomes Model for Senior Centers Everywhere

The Alabama Department of Senior Services (ADSS) and its top executive, Commissioner Irene Collins, are being honored for developing what ADSS is calling the "Safe Center" concept. The Alabama agency has been named winner in the "Senior Citizens' Preparedness Award" category at the 2009 National Hurricane Conference in Austin, TX. The Safe Center concept, a storm-proof structure that provides a safe refuge for seniors in times of emergency, is the result of a partnership between ADSS, the U.S. Administration on Aging, Alabama Emergency Management Agency and the Alabama Department of Economic & Community Affairs.

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

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

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(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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(FALSE CLAIMS) Regency Nursing & Rehab Centers Pay $4 Million to Resolve False Claims Allegation

Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers Inc. nursing home chain will pay the United States $4 million to settle allegations that Regency submitted false claims to Medicare and the Texas Medicaid program, according to the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas. The Victoria, TX-based chain currently owns and operates 24 nursing home facilities located throughout the state.

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(US HOUSE) Legislation Would Help Cognitively Impaired Seniors Navigate Medicare

The legislation, dubbed "The Guidance, Understanding and Information for Dual Eligibles (GUIDE) Act" -- HR 2390 -- specifically targets 7 million individuals in the nation who are enrolled in both the federal Medicare health insurance program because of age or disability status and the Medicaid program, which is administered by states to provide healthcare to low-income individuals and families.

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(WORKFORCE) AARP to Hold Job Fair in San Antonio

AARP, the nation's largest advocacy organization for people over 50, will hold a job fair this Friday and Saturday (May 15-16) in San Antonio as part of an AARP Life Festival Event. The goal is to connect job seekers age 50 and older with employers that are hiring and value the experience of mature workers.

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Sisters Who Operated Fraudulent Medicare & Medicaid Firms Sentenced to Prison

Two sisters convicted of conspiring to defraud Medicare and Medicaid have been sentenced to prison by U.S. District Judge John Rainey. Brenda Davis Miller, also known as Brenda Graham Davis, 37, of Kingwood, TX, and her sister Dorothy Ann Hawkins, 46, of Houston, pleaded guilty in September 2008 to conspiring to defraud Medicare and Medicaid.

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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.

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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

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Legislation Would Address Looming Shortfalls in Social Security, Medicare

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and John Cornyn (R-TX) have introduced legislation that would create a permanent, bipartisan entitlement commission to guarantee the long-term financial stability of Social Security and Medicare.

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ACE Demo Sites Selected By CMS

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

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Xcel Energy Foundation Offers Seniors-Related Grants

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

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Home Healthcare Agencies to Get Medicare Payment Increase

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

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Key Senator Probes AARP About Questionable Marketing Of Health Insurance

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is asking the AARP to account for the way its marketing materials for a product it calls health insurance fails to limit policy holders’ exposure to the potentially high cost of a serious illness. Grassley says the AARP materials include examples of medical expenses, but the examples are misleading and do not reflect how the policy would actually work in a typical situation.

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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.

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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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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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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.

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No One Feels Great, But Elderly Are Safe in Wake of Gulf Hurricanes

Few if any of the approximately 5,000 elderly evacuated from the Houston-Galveston area before Hurricane Ike hit early Saturday morning are feeling comfortable, but there have been no reported deaths and the disaster plans have been implemented with no major foul-ups.

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National Seniors Advocate Urges McCain To Clarify Social Security Privatization Position

The head of the Washington, DC-based National Committee to Preserve Medicare & Social Security is taking GOP presidential candidate John McCain to task over comments the Arizona Republican made in the wake of this week's Wall Street debacle. Specifically, Barbara Kennelly, president and CEO of The National Committee, points to a McCain's Sept. 16 interview on CNN.

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Home Locators Respond To Crisis

Several independent house and apartment locators nationwide are pumping their data into the Department of Housing & Urban Development's National Housing Locator (NCL) to accelerate temporary housing opportunities for thousands of victims of Hurricane Ike. The locators offer their services to HUD whenever a state of emergency is declared, which in turn, eliminates duplications before the housing is posted on NCL.

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Early Successful Evacuations Result In Low Hurricane Death Toll

Early and successful evacuations appear to have led to the low death toll of eight people as of 8 p.m. EDT, Sept. 14, from Hurricane Ike in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. "We’re looking like everything is in pretty good shape statewide," Cecilia Federov, press officer for the Texas Dept. of Aging & Disability Services (DADS), tells Aging News Alert. "We have not seen any further evacuations."

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McCormick Foundation, Partners Launch Hurricane Ike Disaster Relief Campaign

The Chicago-based McCormick Foundation has teamed up with the Chicago Tribune, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Colorado Rockies, CW11 New York (WPIX-TV), the Denver Newspaper Agency, Fox 61 Hartford (WTIC-TV), KTLA-TV Los Angeles, Newsday, North County Times, and WGN Radio 720 AM to raise money for victims of Hurricane Ike, which has battered the Texas coast and is working its way across the state.

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Rescue Operations Begin In Wake Of Hurricane Ike

Rescue teams have begun moving in and helping thousands of people in coastal regions of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana who refused to evacuate in advance of Hurricane Ike’s landfall. The eye of the Category 2 storm roared ashore near the Galveston-Houston area early Saturday morning, bringing with it a storm surge generating a wall of water 20-25-feet high.

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Taxpayers In Area Threatened By Ike have Until Sept. 22 To File Corporate, Individual Estimated Taxes

Taxpayers and tax preparers affected in coming days by Hurricane Ike will have an extra seven days to file corporate tax returns and third-quarter estimated taxes otherwise due on Monday, Sept. 15, Internal Revenue Service officials said Friday (Sept. 12). Hurricane Ike is expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast of Texas, not far from Houston, by early Saturday morning (Sept. 13).

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Brookdale Foundation Has Grants to Encourage Leaders in Aging

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

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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.

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AMA To Congress: Now Is The Time To Reform Medicare Physician Payment System

Congress has created a window of time to fix the fatally flawed Medicare physician payment system, says the head of the American Medical Asssociation (AMA), Dr. Nancy Nielsen. In testimony today (Thursday, Sept. 11) before the House Ways & Means health subcommittee, Nelson urged lawmakers to quickly enact permanent reform in order to "achieve the vision of a healthcare system that provides quality, cost-effective care."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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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FDA Approves 2008-2009 Flu Vaccines

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved this year's seasonal influenza vaccines that include new strains of the virus likely to cause flu in the United States during the 2008-2009 season. The six vaccines and their manufacturers are: CSL Limited, Afluria; GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Fluarix; ID Biomedical Corporation of Quebec, FluLaval; MedImmune Vaccines Inc., FluMist; Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited, Fluvirin; and Sanofi Pasteur Inc., Fluzone.

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Five Good Reasons Why Seniors Should Rent Their Vacation Properties

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

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Seniors Seen Especially Vulnerable To Dehydration

"Water is such a basic element of our lives and so readily available in the United States that people are seldom aware of its importance," says Becky Drake, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Foxcare Wellness Center in Oneonta, NY. "Yet, it is so essential to the human body, we can not survive more than a few days without it. If deprived of water for even a short period of time, we begin to experience the physical consequences of loss of water, or dehydration."

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Thinking About A Reverse Mortgage? Consider All Options

Sometimes reverse mortgage providers don't go as far as they should in explaining to their customers exactly what it is they're getting into. For example, take the case of Senior Reverse Mortgage Services Inc., a Bedford, TX-based home equity conversion mortgage originator. In its audit of SRMSI, the Department of Housing & Urban Development's Office of Inspector General found that the originator could have improved its service by consistently following requirements to adequately disclose the financial aspects of the loans to borrowers, counsel the borrowers on other available financing options, and complete documents.

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Ensuring Affordable, Quality LTC an Urgent Challenge, Experts Say

More than two-thirds of respondents to the latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey believe it is important that the health reform plans of the presidential candidates address the quality and financing of long-term care.

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Court Preliminarily OKs Settlement Of Medicare Rx Drug Case

As previously reported, a settlement has been reached in the Medicare prescription drug case Situ v. Leavitt, brought by the Center for Medicare Advocacy and the National Senior Citizens Law Center. A federal court in San Francisco on July 9 issued an "Order Preliminarily Approving Class Settlement, Approving Class Notice, and Setting Final Fairness Hearing" for the settlement agreement filed on June 19 between a nationwide class of Medicare beneficiaries who are also eligible for Medicaid and the Secretary of Health & Human Services.

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Thousands Struck Down By Summer Heat; Mostly Poor, Elderly

About 6,200 Americans are hospitalized each summer due to excessive heat, and those at highest risk are poor, uninsured and/or elderly, according to the latest numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality. About 180 people who were hospitalized for heat exposure died in 2005, the AHRQ analysis shows.

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Centers On Demography & Economics Of Aging Grants Available

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is soliciting Research and Development Center (P30) grant applications in the areas of demography and economics of aging, including relevant interdisciplinary areas rooted in population-based social science research.

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AoA Solicits Applications For Next Generation: POMP Grants

The Administration on Aging (AoA) is soliciting applications for its Next Generation: Performance Outcome Measurement Project (POMP). Closing date for applications is Aug. 12. Only state agencies on aging are eligible to apply. Twelve grants, each ranging between $20,000-$60,000, will be awarded.

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House & White House Agree on Supplemental War Appropriations Bill

House leaders and the White House this week reached agreement on a $250 billion supplemental war appropriations bill with a provision that would place a one-year moratorium on six new Medicaid regulations proposed by the Bush administration.

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House Panel Kills Bush HOME Hike to Fund HUD Programs

A House subcommittee eliminates proposed White House increases in the HOME Investment Partnership Program and uses the excess to propose some moderate increases above current levels to most housing and community development programs -- inclduing housing programs for the elderly -- in the first mark of the FY 2009 budget. The bill now heads to full committee in a markup that will take place following the July 4 recess.

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LivHOME Acquires Continual Feast Companion Care

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

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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.

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HUD Extends NOFA Deadlines For FSS, SHOP Programs

The Department of Housing & Urban Development is extending by more than one month the application deadlines for its Housing Choice Family Self-Sufficiency Voucher Program (FSS) and the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) to July 16 and July 18, respectively.

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AAHomecare Sues HHS To Halt Controversial Bidding Program Set For July 1

Citing faulty implementation of Medicare's competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, and supplies, the American Association for Homecare has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to stop the controversial bidding program. The program affects medical equipment and services used by Medicare beneficiaries in the home including oxygen therapy, hospital beds, and power wheelchairs.

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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.

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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.

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Most Voters Oppose Bush's Cuts To Medicare-Financed Nursing Home Care

A new Zogby International survey finds that a whopping 70% of likely U.S. voters oppose the Bush administration's plan to cut $5 billion from Medicare-financed nursing home care. In addition, the poll finds 67% are less likely to re-elect their member of Congress if he or she voted for these Medicare cuts.

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Dems Ignore Veto Threat; Push Bill To Stop 10.6% Physician Payment Cuts

Ignoring a White House veto threat, Senate Democrats within the next couple of weeks will move forward on legislation to reduce payments to Medicare Advantage plans as a way to offset the cost associated with postponing a 10.6% cut to Medicare physicians' payments.

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CMS Tries Easing Concerns About Quality Improvement Contractors

In response to criticisms from Congress and from independent oversight agencies, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is using its 9th Statement of Work, effective August 2008 through July 2011, to impose more specific requirements on its Quality Improvement Organization contractors.

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Nat'l Senior Health & Fitness Day Set For May 28

Organized as a public/private good health partnership by the Mature Market Resource Center, Senior Health & Fitness Day will offer fitness activities for older adults at more than 1,000 locations including hospitals, park and recreation departments, senior centers, health clubs, retirement communities, houses of worship, health departments and other community locations.

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Rural Health & Safety Education Grants Available

USDA is making available grant funds for the Rural Heath and Safety Education Programs focusing on issues related to aging. The deadline for applications is June 2.

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CMS Demo Project Aims To Boost Quality Using Bundled Hospital Payments

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

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Report On Nursing Home Decisions Underscores Need For Serious Penalties

A report this week from the Center for Medicare Advocacy describes serious deficiencies in the quality of care received by nurisng homw residents. It reveals a need for stronger oversight and better enforcement of the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law.

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SSA Adding New Retirement Benefits Calculator To Online Tools

The Social Security Administration intends to add a new calculator to its online Benefit Calculators suite. The Retirement Estimator will allow authenticated individuals to calculate estimates of potential retirement benefits in real-time.

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Stark, Health Subcommittee Grill CMS Over Bidding System Problems

"The system is somewhere between flawed and lousy," notes Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) during Tuesday's (May 6) House Ways & Means health subcommittee hearing on the Medicare competitive bidding program.

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Assisted Living Conversion Program for Eligible Multifamily Housing Projects

HUD is making grant funding available for its Assisted Living Conversion Program for Eligible Multifamily Housing Projects. The deadline for applications is July 3, 2008. The award ceiling is $24.75 million.

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Commonwealth Fund Provides Grants Nationwide

The mission of this independent foundation is to promote a high performing healthcare system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including elderly adults.

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Seniors Pressuring Congress For 'Senior Bill of Rights'

Thousands of older Americans have begun an online petition campaign calling for congressional passage of a "Senior Bill of Rights." The campaign, organized by seniors' advocacy nonprofit RetireSafe, has already generated more than 250,000 signed petitions delivered electronically to Congress.

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Conference to Focus On 'Medicare: Past, Present & Future'

The conference will examine the past, present and future of Medicare, with keynote addresses from Dr. Peter Orszag, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, and Dr. Mark B. McClellan, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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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.

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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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Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program

Supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies and administered by Columbia University, this national program seeks to provide professionals in health and aging with the experience and skills necessary to make a positive contribution to the development and implementation of health policies that affect older Americans.

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How Well Do Older Adults Handle Change?

A new study of Americans aged 50+ shows they are not nearly as fearful of or resistant to change as people may think.

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Home Healthcare For Elderly Seen As Growing Franchising Niche

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

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Legislation Would Boost Nation's Long-Term Care Workforce

The proposed Caring for an Aging America Act of 2008 (S 2708) seeks to enhance recruitment and retention of direct care workers in long-term care settings with specialty training in geriatrics and gerontology.

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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.

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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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New Orleans Seniors To Get New Affordable Housing Community

Hundreds of elderly New Orleans residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina will soon be able to return home to the Crescent City thanks to the efforts of Volunteers of America.

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Sens. Conrad, Cardin Add Budget Provision to Enhance Long-Term Care Quality

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) have collaborated to including a provision in the Senate FY 2009 Budget Resolution that highlights long-term care as an important priority.

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Hospitals File Lawsuit Against U.S. Government to Stop Medicaid Cuts

A coalition of hospitals is asking a federal court to prevent the Bush administration from implementing a proposed Medicaid regulation that would cut $5 billion in funding to safety net hospitals.

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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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Grantees Help Seniors Report Healthcare Fraud

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

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Senate Republicans Offer Medicare Fix

Senate Republicans are distancing themselves from many White House budget requests, but its Medicare plan isn't one of them.

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Special Economic Stimulus Letters Reach Mailboxes in March

More than 130 million American households will begin receiving Internal Revenue Service letters next week reminding them to file a 2007 tax return in order to receive a 2008 economic stimulus payment.

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OMB Watch: Multiple Rules Work in Concert to Undermine Medicaid

The Bush administration is pursuing or has achieved several policy goals that work to cut social support services by reducing federal funding for Medicaid programs, says OMB Watch, a Washington, DC-based watchdog organization that closely monitors the activities of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

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Heinz Fellowship in Issues of the Aging Now Accepting Applications

The John Heinz Senate Fellowship program provides an opportunity for mid-career professionals in aging to learn public policy as a member of the U.S. Senate staff.

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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.

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Bush Signs Stimulus Package

President Bush on Wednesday signed the two-year, $168 billion rescue package passed by Congress last week.

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Internet Alert: Valentine's Day E-Card Carries Virus

If you unexpectedly receive a Valentine's Day e-card, be careful. It may not be from a secret admirer, but instead might contain the Storm Worm virus.

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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.

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Purpose Prize for Social Innovators Over 60 Nomination Deadline

The Purpose Prize provides five awards of $100,000 and 10 awards of $10,000 to people over 60 who are creating new ways to tackle society's biggest challenges.

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Grants to States Hit Hardest by President's Proposed Budget

Grants to state and local governments have long been an important way in which the federal government supports and administers programs efficiently. The new budget, however, continues to significantly erode those grants.

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FDA Issues Public Health Advisory on Chantix

FDA issued a Public Health Advisory to alert healthcare providers, patients, and caregivers to new safety warnings concerning Chantix (varenicline), a prescription medication used to help patients stop smoking.

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Bush's Proposed FY 2009 To Seek Significant Cuts in Medicare, Medicaid

President Bush on Monday (Feb. 4) is expected to unveil his proposed FY2009 budget, a spending plan that likely will call for significant reductions in Medicare cost growth as well as decreased spending for Medicaid

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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."

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Upcoming Events for 2008

Here's the latest updated calendar of events for 2008.

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Free Download for Grantseekers!

Really! This is absolutely free -- no strings attached. It's our exclusive Grantseeker's Checklist, four pages of "inside" information on how to maximize your chances of winning a grant.

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Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security Spending Could Harm States, Local Governments

The Government Accountability Office is warning states and local governments of an impending fiscal crisis resulting from runaway spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- a crisis that has the potential of crippling the nation within a decade.

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Now Available: Three New Directories for Private and Federal Grants

CD Publications, Aging News Alert's parent company, has developed three new resources to give you an edge in your search for new private and federal grants!

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Medicare Anti-Fraud Measures Way Overdue, Says DME Industry

The American Association for Homecare, while welcoming efforts by the CMS to crack down on Medicare fraud, is raising serious questions about why it has taken the government so long to act.

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Why Subscribe to CD Publications' News Products?

The problem is none of the government's websites are very easy to use, and some of them are downright impossible to navigate! At least that's what the government's own experts are saying.

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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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EEOC Finalizes Controversial Rule on Retiree Health Benefits

EEOC publishes in the Federal Register a final rule allowing employers providing retiree health benefits to continue the longstanding practice of coordinating those benefits with Medicare (or comparable state health benefits) without violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

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OIG Probes Medicare Costs Associated with Hospice Care

HHS' Office of Inspector General found that beneficiaries in nursing facilities tended to be older and more likely to have ill-defined conditions, and their time in care was longer and more costly.

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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.

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Omnibus Spending Bill Maintains Domestic Focus

Lawmakers Sunday completed work on a $516 billion omnibus budget package that would include the FY 2008 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill and the 10 other unapproved appropriations bills.

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New Directory of Social Service Grants Now Available

If you're responsible for tracking down private grant funding, a new report from CD Publications is bound to make your job a whole lot easier.

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New Directory of Social Service Grants Now Available

If you're responsible for tracking down private grant funding, a new report from CD Publications is bound to make your job a whole lot easier.

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Medicare Package May Be Added to Alternative Minimum Tax Bill

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives will not include a Medicare package in an omnibus spending bill, but they may try to add it to a highly controversial bill redefining the alternative minimum tax.

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What Is RSS?

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) news feeds make it possible for you to put together your own customized list of news and information.

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What Is RSS?

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) news feeds make it possible for you to put together your own customized list of news and information.

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Major New Initiatives Focus on Elder Abuse

The World Health Organization has developed a global strategy for the prevention of the abuse of older people, and the Dept. of Health & Human Services' Admin. on Aging (AoA) has launched a new National Center on Elder Abuse.

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CMS Lists Poor-Performing Nursing Homes

CMS has released the first ever ranking of the nation's poor-performing nursing homes.

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