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Advocacy in Action

Posted By Jennifer Gill, Friday, November 22, 2019
Updated: Thursday, November 21, 2019
November 22, 2019

Medicaid Managed Care Transformation Suspended
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced earlier this week that the transformation to a system of managed care for providing Medicaid services will not begin on February 1, 2020. Instead, current and future Medicaid beneficiaries will continue to rely on the existing fee-for-service system. Department officials did not have a new date for when the transition might occur. In announcing their decision, the Department pointed to the inability of the General Assembly and the Governor to reach a budget compromise. The General Assembly closed its session last week without an end to the impasse and with no funds dedicated to the transformation project. The Governor’s veto in late June of the General Assembly’s proposed budget was in large part predicated on the spending plan not including any funds for Medicaid expansion. Providers enrolled in Medicaid will continue to bill the state through its NCTracks system, the Department said.

Paycheck to Paycheck Homeownership Affordability Calculator
Paycheck to Paycheck is an interactive online tool from the National Housing Coalition that allows users to research and compare rental and homeownership affordability challenges of workers in 81 occupations in 259 metro areas nationwide.
The tool provides data to compare ‘Income Needed’ and ‘Median Salary’ in up to three metro areas at a time for aging services related occupations including:

  • Affordable Housing Occupancy Specialist
  • Laundry Worker
  • Computer Support Specialist
  • Maintenance Worker
  • Social Worker
  • Nurse
  • Food Prep Worker
  • Office Clerk
  • Groundskeeper
  • Home Health Aide
  • Housekeeper
  • Physical Therapist
    Nursing Aide

The website highlights affordability challenges workers face in five job categories in the construction industry: carpenters; electricians; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) mechanics; maintenance workers and plumbers. We know we have an affordability crisis when the men and women who build our homes can’t afford to live in most of them. The same is true for the aging services field, when members of the workforce can’t find or afford homes. You can apply the same methodology to create reports that focus on aging services occupations.

New Discharge Planning Rule Effective Next Week
CMS's new discharge planning rule goes into effect next week on November 29. This rule impacts hospitals and home health agencies, requiring a formal discharge planning process. As part of this requirement, hospitals and home health agencies are required to share nursing homes' quality measure and resource utilization data. CMS recommends the use of the SNF QRP data, available on the Nursing Home Compare website, along with any other "compare" sites and information that meets the patient's goals for discharge. What does this mean for our members? Hospitals and home health agencies will need to comply with the rule. Our members with skilled nursing facilities should also be aware of this rule, as it may impact referrals and census. LeadingAge has posted this information in the Nursing Homes group on the LeadingAge Member Community and recommended that nursing homes keep an eye on their quality measure data, utilizing the Five Star Analysis Reports to see how they might improve. As a reminder, the next Nursing Home Compare update is scheduled for December 4.

Three U.S. Senators Question Private Equity Firms Stakes in Nursing Homes
Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent letters to four private equity firms that invest in companies providing skilled nursing care, questioning their commitment to quality of care. Click here for a closer look at the issue.

AG Stein and Speaker Moore Bring Added Focus to Scam Callers
Looking to bring more attention to the scourge of unwanted telemarketing calls, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein posted a downloadable voice note that people can use as a voicemail message. The attorney general’s office has initiatives to combat telemarketing scams, featuring a hotline (1-877-5-NO-SCAM) that people can call if they have been the victim of a scam. Add to that legislation introduced by House Speaker Tim Moore and signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper (the “Truth in Caller ID Act,” which fines violators up to $5,000 for multiple transgressions), and it’s easy to see why North Carolinians are fed up with unwanted calls. Click here for Stein’s voicemail message.

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

Tags:  Advocacy in Action 

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