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Advocacy in Action June 14, 2019

Posted By Jennifer Gill, Friday, June 14, 2019
Updated: Friday, June 14, 2019

    
June 14, 2019


Senate Health Care, Finance Committees Move Forward with CON Exemption for CCRCs

Earlier this week, the Senate Health Care and Senate Finance committees each passed Senate Bill 361. Included in the bill is a provision exempting CCRCs from CON review for Medicare-certified home health. The bill now goes to the Rules and Operations Committee of the Senate. During Wednesday’s Senate Health Care Committee hearing, Sen. Joyce Krawieck (the bill’s primary sponsor and co-chair of the Health Care committee) indicated that she had heard from “so many staff and residents of continuing care retirement communities over the past several days.” At the same time that the Senate is hearing Senate Bill 361, a conference committee made up of a select group of Representatives and Senators has been meeting to hammer out a compromise on the budget. Contained in the budget bill (House Bill 966) is a provision that mirrors the language in Senate Bill 361 on our exemption from CON for Medicare-certified home health (included on page 144 of the bill that was available at press time).


General Assembly in Final Negotiations Over State Budget
The North Carolina House of Representatives and Senate have formed a conference committee to negotiate a final version of the state’s two-year budget. Once the two chambers have reached agreement, their version of the budget will go to Governor Roy Cooper. It is widely believed that Cooper will veto the budget if it does not contain Medicaid expansion. The budget continues to honor the state’s longstanding tax policy provisions affecting nonprofits, including the property tax exemption and the sales tax refund. While the Senate Health Care committee has approved a bill (Senate Bill 361) exempting CCRCs from the CON need determination process for Medicare-certified home health (see article above), the Senate’s budget proposal also includes the language. The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits has prepared a helpful comparison chart highlighting many key nonprofit provisions in the House and Senate versions of the budget.


LeadingAge NC Participates in PACE Final Rule Information Sharing
Earlier this week, LeadingAge NC participated in a call with LeadingAge national and PACE sites from around the country to discuss the impact of the final rule for PACE recently announced by CMS. Brendan Flinn, Director of Home and Community-Based Services for LeadingAge national, provided information and context for those participating. As a reminder, late last month CMS announced a new final rule for PACE programs. The final rule increases flexibility for PACE programs and may have the effect of expanding access to PACE among consumers. LeadingAge has prepared a summary analysis of the final rule (also in PDF). Members with questions or comments about the Final Rule are encouraged to reach out to Brendan.


Hill Action on Spending, Medical Expense Deduction, and Housing Credit
Congress is abuzz with activity. The House is considering a package of spending bills, including its fiscal year 2020 (FY20) HHS appropriations bill. Next week, the week of June 17, the House will consider its FY20 HUD appropriations bill as part of another spending package. In addition to these appropriations measures, three non-appropriations issues are also in motion.

First, LeadingAge national is supporting H.R. 2073 and S. 110, bi-partisan legislation to make permanent the 7.5% threshold for the medical expense deduction. LeadingAge national has joined over 50 other consumer and aging services organizations in a letter supporting these bills. Second, national is pouring over the Senate Health, Education and Labor (HELP) Committee's bipartisan discussion draft to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA). Of note, the draft does not address any changes to Title V, the SCSEP Programs, that are a priority for LeadingAge and were included in the recommendations of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations to the HELP Committee. Third, we were thrilled to see the June 4 introduction of Senate and House bills to expand and strengthen the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. The bills would expand state Housing Credit allocations by 50% and make several improvements, including clarifying some year-15 issues to help nonprofits attain communities after investors absorb their tax benefits and a basis boost for communities serving extremely low-income households.


New Edition of Research Update Now Online
The LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston just released the latest edition of Research Update, their regular online newsletter about recent developments in the long-term services and supports world. Check out articles on what we can learn from state efforts to finance LTSS, family caregiving from a distance, and the home-care workforce.



LeadingAge National Webinar
RoPs Overview: Compliance and Ethics Enforcement

Tuesday, June 18
2-3 p.m. ET


How did you become involved in LeadingAge North Carolina?
I met the previous executive director down in New Bern as we were both sailors. I was fortunate when Tom Akins came on board that we hit it off and have had a great working relationship ever since.

What makes our mission meaningful to you?
The options that our community residents (and not quite residents) have in choosing how they want to spend their later years, knowing that the CCRC/LPC staff will be there in good times and trying times. That has to be such a gift of peace of mind.


If you had a magic wand, what is the one thing you as our lobbyist would like to do for the population we serve?

CON REFORM!!!

If you could share one gold nugget of information with the LeadingAge North Carolina membership, what would you want them to know?
Although, I am at the legislative building everyday they are in session and a lot of days they are out, the LeadingAge NC membership has a more powerful voice collectively than I do. They should use it more often.


What do you do to relax, to get away, to recharge your batteries?
Ride my horse, sailing, hiking and a really good glass of Bourbon, Pinot Noir or Cabernet.

LeadingAge North Carolina
222 N. Person Street Suite 205
Raleigh, NC  27601
Ph. 919.571.8333 | Fax 919.869.1811
| www.LeadingAgeNC.org



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