Monthly Archives: January 2018

ELA News: Congressional Support Grows to Make HCBS a Civil Right

January 26, 2018

What is the Disability Integration Act?

The Disability Integration Act (DIA) is civil rights legislation, introduced by Senator Schumer in the Senate and Representative Sensenbrenner in the House, to address the fundamental issue that people who need Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) are forced into institutions and losing their basic civil rights. The legislation (S.910, H.R.2472) builds on the 25 years of work that ADAPT has done to end the institutional bias and provide seniors and people with disabilities home and community-based services (HCBS) as an alternative to institutionalization. It is the next step in our national advocacy after securing the Community First Choice (CFC) option.

NAELA News: Center for Medicare Advocacy Toolkit: Medicare Skilled Nursing Facility Coverage

January 26, 2018

Center for Medicare Advocacy Toolkit: Medicare Skilled Nursing Facility Coverage
And Jimmo v. Sebelius

  1. IntroductionJimmo v. Sebelius, No. 11-cv-17 (D. VT), is a nationwide class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries who received care in skilled nursing facilities, home health care, and outpatient therapy and who were denied Medicare coverage on the basis that they were not improving or did not demonstrate a potential for improvement (known as the “Improvement Standard). On January 24, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont approved a Settlement in Jimmo between attorneys for the Jimmo plaintiffs (the Center for Medicare Advocacy and Vermont Legal Aid) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Continue reading

NAELA News: Falls Prevention Conversation Guide for Caregivers

January 26, 2018

Caregivers, let’s talk about keeping you and your family safe and active.

It seems like common sense — everybody falls, no matter what age. However, for many older adults, an unexpected fall can result in a serious and costly injury. The good news is that most falls can be prevented. As the caregiver, you have the power to reduce your loved one’s risk of falling, and your own fall risk as well. Continue reading

NAELA News: Non-Borrowing Spouse Protections In HECM Transactions By Stephen R. Pepe, JD

January 26, 2018

Recently enacted regulatory changes to HUD’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program offer additional protections for “non-borrowing spouses.”

Many of us have seen the unfortunate news stories featuring a widow or widower homeowner whose recently deceased spouse took out a reverse mortgage and now he or she faces foreclosure and involuntary displacement. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has responded through a series of recently enacted regulatory changes to its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program that offer additional protections for “non-borrowing spouses.” Continue reading

NAELA News: Medicaid is GOP target in 2018

January 26, 2018

Medicaid could face crucial tests in 2018 at both the federal and state levels.

Republicans in Congress failed in their attempts earlier this year to impose drastic cuts to the program as part of ObamaCare repeal, but GOP lawmakers could try again next year.

The tax bill that President Trump recently signed into law is projected to add $1 trillion to the federal deficit, making cuts to Medicaid an even more tempting target for some conservatives. Continue reading

ELA News: An Unconscious Patient with a DNR Tattoo

January 26, 2018

We present the case of a person whose presumed code-status preference led him to tattoo “Do Not Resuscitate” on his chest. Paramedics brought an unconscious 70-year-old man with a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, and atrial fibrillation to the emergency department, where he was found to have an elevated blood alcohol level. The staff of the medical intensive care unit evaluated him several hours later when hypotension and an anion-gap metabolic acidosis with a pH of 6.81 developed. His anterior chest had a tattoo that read “Do Not Resuscitate,” accompanied by his presumed signature. Continue reading

ELA News: Long-Term Care Insurance Prices Drop AALTCI’s 2018 Price Index Reports

January 26, 2018

Established in 1998, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance is the leading national organization exclusively focused on educating both consumers as well as insurance and financial professionals who market long-term care solutions. We gladly provide the latest information and data.

Reporters, columnists and other media wishing to receive on-going news from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance can be added to our E-mail listing. We will only add those with a legitimate media address or freelancers who include information on who you write/broadcast for. Continue reading

ELA News: Trump Administration Relaxes Financial Penalties Against Nursing Homes

January 26, 2018

The Trump administration — reversing guidelines put in place under President Barack Obama — is scaling back the use of fines against nursing homes that harm residents or place them in grave risk of injury.

The shift in the Medicare program’s penalty protocols was requested by the nursing home industry. The American Health Care Association, the industry’s main trade group, has complained that under Obama inspectors focused excessively on catching wrongdoing rather than helping nursing homes improve.

“It is critical that we have relief,” Mark Parkinson, the group’s president, wrote in a letter to then-President-elect Donald Trump in December 2016.

Since 2013, nearly 6,500 nursing homes — 4 of every 10 — have been cited at least once for a serious violation, federal records show. Medicare has fined two-thirds of those homes. Common citations include failing to protect residents from avoidable accidents, neglect, mistreatment and bedsores.

The new guidelines discourage regulators from levying fines in some situations, even when they have resulted in a resident’s death. The guidelines will also probably result in lower fines for many facilities.

The change in policy aligns with Trump’s promise to reduce bureaucracy, regulation and government intervention in business.

ELA News: Key Elder Law Numbers for 2018: Our Annual Roundup

January 26, 2018

Below are figures for 2018 that are frequently used in the elder law practice or are of interest to clients.

Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Figures for 2018

The new minimum community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) is $24,720 and the maximum CSRA is $123,600. The maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance is $3,090. The minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance remains $2,030 ($2,536.25 for Alaska and $2,333.75 for Hawaii) until July 1, 2018. Continue reading

ELA News: Estate Planning Implications Under The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

January 22, 2018

In their first major legislative victory since President Trump took office, the GOP passed through the House and Senate earlier this week what is touted to be the most extensive reform of the U.S. tax system since 1986. President Trump officially signed the bill into law this morning before leaving Washington for Mar-A-Lago. Continue reading