HUD has entered into an agreement with Roanoke, VA-based Retirement Unlimited Inc. resolving allegations of discrimination against residents with disabilities in two of the company’s rental properties.
Reports about bad nursing homes, staff abuse of patients, questionable medication protocol , etc., are often featured in this section of Aging News Alert. Such is not the case this week. In fact, the exact opposite is the focus of this report.
Alexandria, VA-based Mount Vernon Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (MVNRC) has achieved a 5-star Overall Rating from Medicare.gov, the official federal government site for Medicare. Medicare.gov provides national listings for nursing homes as well as hospitals, doctors, home health facilities and more.
The New River Valley Agency on Aging of Pulaski, VA, will host a series of "Community Conversations on Aging" this month to raise awareness about the concerns of citizens regarding their ability to "age-in-place."
The Hollin Hall Senior Center for Creative Retirement in Mount Vernon, VA, wins the National Institute of Senior Centers' top award for expressive and creative arts programming.
For seniors on fixed incomes who live in the Washington, DC area, there's good news coming from the Virginia side of the Potomac.
Trying to think of a good way to promote your continuing care retirement community (CCRC)? Here's what the folks at Northern Virginia's Westminster at Lake Ridge did.
Effective June 30, the United Way in central Virginia -- a.k.a., the United Way Thomas Jefferson Area (UWTJA) -- will no longer fund programs that support senior citizens and their caregivers. As one consequence of this decision, the United Way has cut all of its funding to the Charlottesville, VA-based Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA).
The website provides data about email use, online activities, the use of social networking sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and others, broken out by age group.
"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.
As the temperatures drop, many agency winter food drives are heating up, including Virginia's Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) annual Soup for Seniors Donation Drive.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, known in Northern Virginia as the "Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope (CASH) Campaign," is an initiative running from January to mid-April and recruits public agencies, businesses, libraries, faith- and community-based groups to operate free tax assistance programs.
Donations may be made to any of the more than 20 donation points located throughout the service area -- an area of approximately 2,200 square miles.
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.
The currency program helps support families that don't otherwise qualify for SNAP benefits but nevertheless need help obtaining nutritious foods.
Arlington County, VA's partnership with a low-income retirement apartment complex to provide cost-effective assistance that helps older residents live independently nabbed the top 2011 "Best Practices" award from the Commonwealth Council on Aging, an affiliate of the Virginia Department for the Aging.
Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging's (SAAA) At Home Program provides a part-time rural health outreach nurse, a part-time case manager, and 16 Shenandoah University physician assistant students each semester who bring information and support in chronic disease management to rural homebound elderly in Shenandoah County, VA.
When Doug Schiffman watched his mother-in-law, who was in her 90s, fall victim to a number of solicitations and scams, he was inspired to create a program to help other Virginia seniors with limited incomes from meeting the same fate.
Being abused as a child can have physical and emotional impacts decades and decades later, finds a new study by a U. of Southern California doctoral student and a USC professor.
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.
Generally speaking, grant funding is limited to areas of company operations in Des Moines and Dubuque, IA; East Metro, MN; North Brunswick, NJ; Luray and Page Counties, VA; Dunn County, Menomonie, and St. Croix Valley, WI; and some national and international organizations.
Judge Henry Hudson of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, on Monday (Dec. 13) filed his decision on Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act -- the federal health reform legislation adopted in March 2010. The decision rejects Virginia's attempt to strike down the Affordable Care Act, but invalidates the so-called "individual responsibility" provision of the law -- the portion of the Act requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance. Even so, the court made clear that it does not agree with Cuccinelli's request to strike down the entire statute.
When asked what ranked most important to them, surveyed seniors in Alexandria, VA, named three things that most concerned them about aging: (1) having access to decent medical care; (2) access to reliable transportation; and (3) having enough money on hand to live in reasonable comfort. With respect to the money issue, Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA) is helping its clients address that challenge by providing them with money management services.
As expected, 13 states filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday (March 23) in an effort to strike down President Barack Obama's healthcare reform initiative. The states' attorneys general filed their complaint in the Northern District of Florida, alleging that the federal government violated the states' rights as "sovereigns and protectors of the freedom, health, and welfare of their citizens and residents."
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.
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have approves legislation aimed at addressing the growing toxic drywall problem, but the measure is only a prelude to possible rescue legislation that could emerge early next year.
Dramatic funding reductions at the state and local levels continue to force reductions in transportation services for seniors as well as increased fares in many areas. For example, in Prince William County, VA, -- located just outside metropolitan Washington, DC -- funding for senior transportation recently was reduced from $250,000 to less than $100,000. That reduction led the local Area Agency on Aging to eliminate five drivers and sell six vans once used to deliver older adults to senior centers.
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.
This May 15 event brings together top mature marketers from around the globe to share valuable insights, new research and proven strategies for building successful relationships with boomer and mature consumers.
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, joins with Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Bob Casey (D-PA), along with lead House sponsor Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), in introducing bicameral legislation addressing the impending severe shortage of healthcare workers who are adequately trained and prepared to care for older Americans.
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.
With the holiday season under way, George Mason University Professor Andrew Carle has unveiled his third annual list of the best high-tech gifts for grandparents and other seniors. Carle, director of Mason's Program in Assisted Living/Senior Housing Administration, is internationally recognized for coining the term "Nana Technology" to describe microchip-based products that can improve quality of life for older adults.
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.
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.
Organizations seeking funding for projects must show how their proposed projects would eliminate barriers to full participation in society -- i.e., racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, ageism, ableism, and exclusion from decision-making processes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds that during calendar year 2006, about $1 billion in undisbursed funding remained in expired grant accounts in the largest civilian payment system for grants -- the Payment Management System (PMS). PMS is administered by the Department of Health & Human Services and makes payments for about 70% of grants and for 12 federal entities. Undisbursed funding is funding the federal government has obligated through a grant agreement, but which the grantee has not entirely spent.
Imagine nine different colors of lighting, each chosen for its ability to aid people with vision impairments; a contiguous "channeling kitchen," so residents can move heavy objects without lifting; a garbage can that opens with a wave of the hand; window shades that open by remote control; and power-lift easy chairs for easy access.
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.
Nutrition's role in eye health has become a topic of conversation, no doubt correlating at least somewhat with the aging of the baby boomers. It is believed the natural aging process with its attendance oxidative stresses plays the major role in the progressive degeneration of vision as we age. And with the increase in rates of obesity and the resulting increased incidence of type-2 diabetes comes another eye health issue: diabetic retinopathy.
Investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have uncovered serious flaws in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service's (CMS) oversight of suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS). GAO investigators easily set up two fictitious DMEPOS companies using undercover names and bank accounts. GAO's fictitious companies were subsequently approved for Medicare billing privileges despite having no clients and no inventory.
Throughout most of the country, it's another hot summer and many older people are trying to figure out how to pay for air conditioning, as well as food and medicine. And when the seasons change, millions of these same seniors will probably need help staying warm, with home heating oil costs expected to reach record highs.
New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D) has signed into law HB 1274, making his the first state to legislatively adopt provisions based on the North American Securities Administrators Association's Model Rule on the Use of Senior Certifications and Professional Designations.
The so-called "Medically Needy" – i.e., Medicare beneficiaries whose Medicaid eligibility depends on meeting a spenddown (or share of cost) each month or quarter -- are faced with difficult challenges just using their Medicaid, since, in most states, they must prove to the state that they have incurred a certain amount in medical bills before their Medicaid becomes effective.
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.
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
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.
Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-NY) has introduced legislation intended to ensure that Americans are financially prepared for the healthcare costs they will face during retirement. The proposed "Retiree Health Account Act" would provide Americans with the tax incentives needed to set aside funds for retiree health costs.
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.
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."
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has adopted a model bulletin and "Consumer Alert" to help protect seniors from unscrupulous, abusive sales practices and fraud.
One of the features of aging is memory loss, which can have devastating effects on the quality of life among older people. In a new study, Harvard School of Public Health researchers found evidence that elderly people in the United States who have an active social life may have a slower rate of memory decline.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has suspended work by Hewitt Associates on its part of the agency's effort to modernize processing of federal employee retirements.
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.
The percentage of federal spending covered by government agencies with satisfactory performance reports rose to its highest level since the reports were mandated nine years ago. However, this is only 35% of $2.587 trillion in spending, finds an analysis by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Northern Virginia.
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).
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.
One notice is a proposed rule to update payment rates used under the prospective payment system for skilled nursing facilities. The second notice updates prospective payment rates for Medicare inpatient psychiatric hospital services provided by inpatient psychiatric facilities.
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.
Older nursing home residents who took medications for dementia and incontinence at the same time had a 50% faster decline in function than those who were being treated only for dementia, find researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
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.
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.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has approved "fast-track" status for legislation that would block for one year seven new regulations the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is trying to implement.
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.
AARP Foundation and the National Council on Aging have launched a user-friendly online tool to simplify the economic stimulus payment application process for millions of Americans who are not otherwise required to file income tax returns.
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.
Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models have increasingly been employed in chemical health risk assessments carried out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and it is anticipated that their use will continue to increase.
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.
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) seeks applications for the Brodsky Grant, a $30,000 award for an innovative program or service improving the lives of those affected by Alzheimer's.
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.
Proposed legislation is dsigned to improve quality of care in nursing homes nationwide.
The University of California
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.
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.
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.
The leadership of the Senate Budget Committee signaled this past week it will seek a vote on a bill (S 2063) introduced last September aimed at strengthening the long-term financial stability of Medicare and other entitlement programs.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) on Wednesday canceled plans for a mark-up of Medicare legislation in order to give himself more time to negotiate with House Democrats on the measure
While the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) has improved conditions for older workers, is "a work in progress," says John Rother. director of policy and strategy for AARP.
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.