LeadingAge submitted comments to the Health and Human Services’ Administration on Community Living (ACL) on the June 2023 release of proposed rules to modernize regulations governing Older Americans Act (OAA) programs. The proposal included many laudable updates, including more flexibility to better align programs with changing technology and preferences of recipients.
We are concerned with an update that would require all contracts and commercial engagements undertaken by Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) to be reviewed and approved by state units on aging. The intrusion into AAA business could cause unnecessary administrative burdens and delays. By further complicating service delivery, we are concerned some AAAs will reduce their contractual agreements and limit services.
The OAA has undergone multiple congressional reauthorizations since the most recent regulatory updates in 1988. This proposed rulemaking was intended to align the regulatory framework with statutory requirements that have been updated over the years. We urge ACL to reconsider their interpretation and revert to the previously accepted standard of approving only AAA contracts for OAA services.