What Have We Done for You Lately? – January 2018

Our Story | January 31, 2018

January was a busy month at LeadingAge, as we solidified plans for the New Year, helped members navigate a government shutdown, represented your interests on important advisory groups, and released a host of resources to help you do your work. Follow the links below to learn more.

Assessed 2017 and Planned for 2018

As the New Year dawned, LeadingAge took stock of our progress on 2017 advocacy goals and set our course for the rest of this Congress.

Despite substantial challenges, we achieved notable successes over the past year, such as staving off repeated efforts to convert Medicaid into a system of block grants or per capita capped allocations. We also countered a call for severe cuts in housing funding, and achieved an 18-month delay in the imposition of civil monetary penalties on nursing homes for deficiencies cited under Phase II of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Requirements of Participation.

While we were not able to defeat the new tax law, we were able to preserve the medical expense deduction and tax-exempt private activity bonds, 2 provisions that matter to all LeadingAge members and their residents and clients.

We are preparing to build on these successes in 2018 by working to preserve and enhance security and supports for people as they age. Our recently-issued integrated services and long-term services and supports financing papers will give us direction.

Helped Members Navigate the Government Shutdown

With a government shutdown looming and then in effect, we informed our affordable housing members about the operating plan that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would follow during a government shutdown. We also let members know that LeadingAge team members would be on hand to help them during a shutdown by acting as a liaison with HUD employees not exempted from the government funding freeze. We all breathed a sigh of relief when the shutdown ended.

Represented Your Interests on Important Advisory Groups

Two LeadingAge content experts began serving this month on important advisory groups that will deliberate on and make recommendations for ways to address issues important to LeadingAge members.

Peter Notarstefano, director of home and community-based services, has been appointed to a Technical Expert Panel (TEP) convened by CMS. The TEP will work to develop refinements to the Home Health Groupings Model. As a member of this group, Notarstefano plans to share the insightful recommendations on the home health payment system that he’s received from members of the LeadingAge Home Health Advisory Group.

Dr. Robyn Stone, our senior vice president of research, is lending her expertise to 2 state coalitions focused on the future of the workforce caring for older adults.

Stone has been appointed to the Healthy Aging and Care for Older Adults subcommittee of the California Future Health Workforce Commission. The subcommittee is one of 4 subgroups making recommendations to the full workforce commission. That commission, in turn, will make its recommendations to California state officials by April.

Stone is also serving on the steering committee for a new Maryland coalition that will develop a vision and concrete recommendations for ensuring a quality aging services workforce over the next 2 decades.

Conducted Research Used to Support a Call for Policy Change

Groundbreaking research by the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston (formerly the LeadingAge Center for Applied Research) was cited this month in a call for increased public funding for resident service coordinators in New York’s senior housing communities.

Writing in The Time Union newspaper, Judi Kende of Enterprise Community Partners suggested that New York must enable older adults to age in place by pairing affordable housing with services. To support her argument, Kende cited a 2015 study by LeadingAge and the Lewin Group. That study found that the availability of an on-site service coordinator in federally subsidized senior housing reduced hospital admissions among residents by 18%.

Shared Best Practices

LeadingAge serves as a conduit for sharing best practices that members can adapt to their own organizations. This month, we’ve shared best practices through:

Released New Resources and Tools

January saw the release of several important resources that we encourage you to review:

  • The 2017 edition of the LeadingAge Ziegler 150 (LZ 150), an annual compilation of data from the 150 largest nonprofit systems in the United States, which reveals important trends in the field of aging services;
  • Our latest issue of LeadingAge magazine, which explores how our members make their communities better by creating jobs, spearheading advocacy, boosting volunteerism, and changing minds; and
  • Our growing collection of resources to help members understand, prevent, and recover from cyberattacks.

Advocated for Changes in Federal Policy

During January, LeadingAge’s Advocacy Team:

  • Began collecting input from LeadingAge members about their current or future participation in bundled payments, service-enriched housing, and integrated services models. Findings from the survey will be shared with regulators and legislators.
  • Held a preliminarily meeting with key HUD staff to discuss how the agency may go about implementing one of LeadingAge’s key policy priorities: expanding HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration to include Section 202 communities with Project Rental Assistance Contracts (RAD for PRAC).
  • Prepared comments on HUD’s draft procurement documents, which would significantly restructure third-party contract administration roles, responsibilities, and relationships with owners/agents and properties.
  • Submitted comments to HUD on the FAST Act provisions, which give public housing agencies and multifamily housing owners the option to conduct full income recertification for certain families every 3 years instead of annually.