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Advocacy in Action

Posted By Jennifer Gill, Friday, February 22, 2019

February 22, 2019

Watch for Webinar on North Carolina’s Transition to Medicaid Managed Care
With the State’s recent announcement of additional details surrounding its transition to Medicaid Managed Care (including identifying the providers selected to serve North Carolina’s Medicaid population), LeadingAge North Carolina is gearing up to help member communities navigate the changing landscape. We’re currently finalizing details for a series of webinars to help you assess the transition's impact on your organization and what you need to be doing in this new payment and service environment. Watch for a special announcement with times and dates for this webinar series that will include state regulators and providers.

LeadingAge NC Continues to Advocate for Member Communities on DHSR Rules Proposal
The North Carolina Division of Health Service is proposing rules that would require all skilled nursing home beds in the state to be surveyed using federal standards. Those communities that have made the business decision to not accept federal money would be forced to play by federal rules. Switching from being surveyed using state rules (as is the current practice for strictly private pay facilities) to being surveyed by federal rules would potentially cost communities millions of dollars — additional costs that would in all probability be borne by the residents we currently serve. In a particularly cruel twist, many of those communities are prohibited from even applying for federal money by the state’s CON process, which prohibits their participation in Medicare or Medicaid services. We are continuing to work with those member communities directly impacted by the proposed rules changes, as well as leadership at the General Assembly.

Ask Your Representative to Cosponsor H.R. 1265 to End the Mandatory CNA Training Lockout
Congress has just re-introduced the bipartisan Nursing Home Workforce Quality Act (H.R. 1265) and we need your help to get it passed! Right now, nursing homes that are assessed penalties above a certain dollar level automatically lose their authority to train certified nursing assistants for 2 years. This “CNA Training Lockout” runs counter to a nursing home’s ability to provide the highest quality of care. The Nursing Home Workforce Quality Act (H.R. 1265) would end this mandatory lockout, instead leaving it as a discretionary penalty available to survey agencies. In addition, nursing homes subject to a lockout would regain their authority to train CNAs once the deficiencies for which they were cited are corrected. Now is the time to use your voice and help us build momentum for this legislation. Call or email your representative TODAY by visiting our action alert page!

Finally, Enactment of FY19 HUD Bill
For HUD, the bill provides $51 million for new housing under HUD’s Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program, full funding needed to renew existing rental assistance contracts, including for Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contracts and Project-Based Rental Assistance, funds to renew Service Coordinators, and $10 million for a new HUD program to assist older adults with the modification of their homes. Enactment of the bill is a relief for housing providers and residents who had just weathered a 35-day federal shutdown and then a three-week Continuing Resolution, which was attempting to keep afloat HUD programs at fiscal year 2018 levels five months into this new fiscal year.

HUD’s Restart Priorities; Expedited Contract Renewals
On February 12, HUD headquarters issued an important announcement regarding prioritized effort focused on February contract expirations. One day later, during Congressional hearings on February 13 to explore reasons for the gap in contract renewals, HUD committed to Congress that it will take the necessary steps to get funding out as quickly as possible for contracts that expired during the shutdown or will expire this month. HUD initiated the process with the following message:

You are receiving this message because you have a rental subsidy contract that has expired, or is due to expire in February 2019. Understanding that Continuing Resolutions generally create uncertainty, HUD staff are prioritizing the renewal of all expired or February expiring contracts.
If you’ve been in communication with HUD or PBCA staff about the status of your contract and have returned contract paperwork, you do not need to take further action at this time. If you do not know your contract status, please respond promptly to all inquiries from HUD or PBCA staff related to your contract renewal, including rent setting and most importantly, signing and returning your contract via emailed PDF if possible. Please reach out to your assigned Account Executive or the managers listed below if you have any questions about your contract or this process.

North Carolina Institute of Medicine Taps LeadingAge North Carolina Perspective
LeadingAge North Carolina staff is an integral part of two current North Carolina Institute of Medicine Task Forces. NCIOM task forces and projects bring together stakeholders to identify evidence-based solutions to address health issues in North Carolina. Jennifer Gill, LeadingAge NC’s Director of Strategic Communications, has been appointed to NCIOM’s Task Force on Health Services for Individuals who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which has been established to study the current state and limitations of health services for the deaf and hard of hearing population in North Carolina and the consequences of those limitations. Scope of work will include, but not be limited, to interpreter training, distribution of interpreters, appropriate use of technology solutions, qualifications of sign language interpreters, and provider education. The NCIOM in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Service for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will convene six meetings through 2019 to develop consensus-based, evidence-based, and actionable recommendations that will be published in a final report and disseminated to key stakeholders across the state.

Tom Akins, LeadingAge NC’s President and CEO, has been appointed to NCIOM’s Task Force on Serious Illness Care, which has been established to develop a workable plan to meet the needs of individuals living with serious illness and their caregivers across the state of North Carolina. The NCIOM, in partnership with agencies and organizations that provide care and advocacy around issues of aging, palliative care, hospice care, and long-term supports and services, will convene the Task Force ten times through 2019 and issue a final report in early 2020. This Task Force is supported by the Duke Endowment, with additional support from AARP NC, Leading Age NC, the NC Health Care Facilities Association, American Cancer Society NC, the Association for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina, the NC Medical Society, and the Carolinas Center.

LeadingAge North Carolina Bill Tracker Back in Action for 2019 Long Session
LeadingAge North Carolina has a dedicated tracking list of legislation in front of the General Assembly with particular relevance to member communities. Developed and maintained by Carolina State Strategies under the direction of Lu-Ann Perryman, our lobbyist, the bill tracker helps keep us focused on those issues most important to LeadingAge NC. Click here for a look at the most recent listing…and email us with questions or for additional information.

LeadingAge North Carolina | 222 N. Person Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
919-571-8333 | |

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