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Member Update

Posted By Jennifer Gill, Friday, February 7, 2020
February 7, 2020

The LeadingAge North Carolina Member Update is published twice monthly.
Click on a section header to view that section.

Awards 2020 - due February 28
Advocacy & Policy
  |  On the Road
Strategic Thinking
  |  Member Question
   News & Notes  |  Value First


 
Shine a light on your member community with a 2020 award nomination(s).
The categories this year include a new one called Workplace Excellence.


This year we are asking for 3-5 photos to accompany your one-page nomination. If selected, photos will be used at the LeadingAge North Carolina Annual Conference awards recognition luncheon on May 20, 2020 at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville.

    Nominations are due February 28, 2020.   
Submit yours today!

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Bed Tax Update - a Federal Issue

We’ve heard back from a number of sources that outreach by staff and residents at our member communities has been tremendous! CMS received more than 4,000 comments nationwide and our own Congressional delegation received thousands of letters from North Carolina. The comment period on the proposed Rule is now closed and CMS will proceed to final rulemaking in light of feedback they received (a copy of LeadingAge North Carolina’s letter to CMS can be found by clicking here). In the meantime, a “Dear Colleague” letter was circulated in the US House of Representatives encouraging Members of Congress to sign on to a letter to CMS urging that the rule be withdrawn or CCRCs be exempt. We were in contact with members of the North Carolina delegation (as were a number of residents) encouraging them to sign on to the letter. We’re working to ascertain a timeline for next steps and will share that as it becomes available.

Sales Tax Update - a State Issue
We’re meeting with key stakeholders and policymakers at the General Assembly’s to update them on the sales tax issue and gain perspective on both the substance and timing of the Department of Revenue’s new interpretation of CCRCS as “retailers.” At the same time, we’ve engaged counsel to help us in drafting potential solutions. Until we have potential solutions in hand and perspective from committee staff and leadership, it would be premature to reach out in mass to elected officials about the issue. As soon as we have those items in place, we’ll reach out with information about a timeline for any phone calls/letter writing campaign. We’ve also asked our counsel for their perspective on how our members should be dealing with the sales tax issue in the interim as we work legislatively to resolve this challenge. We are working closely with the North Carolina Continuing Care Residents Association on this and other issues and continue to value their partnership.

LeadingAge National Releases 2020 Policy Roadmap
LeadingAge National unveiled its 2020 Policy Priorities, a comprehensive roadmap of policy goals, actions, and resources. Nearly 3,000 LeadingAge members participated in 32 Town Hall Conversations across the country during 2019, offering thoughts and comments about “what keeps them up nights” and federal policy changes that could free them up to do what they were established to do: provide mission-driven, consumer-centered services. LeadingAge North Carolina’s Public Policy Committee is busy crafting priorities for our work with the General Assembly (this year's short session is slated to begin in late April.)

Update on Medicaid Block Grant Announcement
The Trump administration announced its new “Healthy Adult Opportunity” program and guidance last week. The optional program allows participating states to receive a block grant for a specific population enrolled in Medicaid — adults under the age of 65 who aren’t eligible for Medicaid on the basis of disability or who aren’t eligible under a state plan.

These new waivers would allow states to establish a block grant (or per capita cap) waiver for adults between ages 19 and 64 enrolled in Medicaid. The guidance allows for such waivers at the option of states and there is no requirement that a state adopt a block grant waiver. Notably, states cannot establish this program for children and older adults 65+.

In its announcement, CMS stated that states have the potential to share in savings that result from these waivers and can use those savings to reinvest in their Medicaid programs. It is very unlikely, however, that any block grant waiver would result in significant funds available for such reinvestment. In fact, the purpose of block grants is to reduce spending on the Medicaid program, often to reallocate state dollars to other programs and policy areas. There is also the potential that reduced federal Medicaid funding as a result of these waivers could cause states to make cuts to other aspects of their Medicaid programs to make ends meet, including reduced rates and more restrictive eligibility criteria for long-term services and supports.

While it is likely there will not be an immediate impact on many of the services provided by our member communities, there are definitely downstream impacts to consider:

If North Carolina did adopt a block grant, it would be limited only to the under 65 adult without disabilities population – so mostly an expansion population. Long term services and supports wouldn’t be subject to the waiver, but we can envision a situation in which a state adopts a waiver, then doesn’t have enough money to cover the costs and ultimately looks to make cuts elsewhere in Medicaid to make ends meet. If they did that, home and community based services would likely be where they would look. This could come in the form of reducing waiver slots, cutting rates, cutting entire service lines, restricting eligibility or, in all likelihood, some combination of these.

The proposed block grant waivers are at a state’s option. Democrats have historically opposed these and per capita caps, also allowed in the new waiver. This was the big Medicaid issue during health reform in 2017. While anything is possible in the policy arena, it remains to be seen whether North Carolina or any other state would adopt a waiver like this as long as they have a Democrat as governor (Governor Roy Cooper is already on record opposing the new waiver).

As with any policy issue, the best action is to continue to provide high quality services and look for every opportunity to showcase your mission to policymakers and key stakeholders in your community. We’ll continue to monitor the issue and provide updates as the situation evolves.

Housing and Assistance Animals: New Guidance
On January 28, HUD issued new guidance to clarify “how housing providers can comply with the Fair Housing Act when assessing a person’s request to have an animal in housing to provide assistance because of a disability.” The 19-page guidance, which should be very helpful to all types of housing providers, includes two sections. The first is about accessing a person’s request to have an animal as a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act. The second section provides guidance on information that an individual seeking a reasonable accommodation for an assistance animal may need to provide to a housing provider about their disability-related need for the requested accommodation, including supporting information from a health care professional.

2020 Voting Requirements
Voters will not be required to show photo ID for the March 3, 2020, primary election. Be sure to provide residents and staff with the most up-to-date voting information by clicking with the NC State Board of Elections website.

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  • Revenue Laws Study committee meeting - Raleigh
  • LeadingAge North Carolina board of directors meeting - Brookridge Retirement Community - Winston-Salem
  • LeadingAge North Carolina Foundation board of trustees meeting - Brookridge Retirement Community - Winston-Salem
  • Member visit, Covenant Village - Gastonia
  • Member visit, Aldersgate - Charlotte


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2020 Trends Quick Scan Now Available
Thanks to our friends at LeadingAge Maryland for putting together this great 2020 Trends Quick Scan.

2020 Census: What it Means for Members
What will the 2020 Census mean for your community? Get the facts and spread the word by clicking on the U.S. Census 2020 webpage. In addition, LeadingAge national has compiled Frequently Asked Questions for your reference.

Coronavirus: An Ounce of Prevention
Amidst all the global coverage of the novel coronavirus, communities with sensitive populations need to keep an eye on prevention. LeadingAge national has prepared several resources to help member communities prevent the spread of the virus. Please click here to access the information from national.

In addition, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has prepared a fact sheet, frequently asked questions and more. Please click here to download and view the information from NCDHHS. If you have general questions about 2019 novel coronavirus, you may call the NC Division of Public Health at 1-866-462-3821.

What You Need to Know about the Flu
From October through May, the NC Division of Public Health provides weekly updates on the spread of Influenza in North Carolina. Click here to view this page and bookmark it for reference. The CDC also provides updates on activity across the nation, as well as prevention, treatment, fact sheets and more. Click here to view these resources.

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Responses to the most recent question are available to download by clicking the text below.

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Save the Date for the LeadingAge NC Annual Conference & Expo
The LeadingAge North Carolina Annual Conference will be May 18-21, 2020 at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville. We're busy finalizing details and can't wait to gather with you this spring. Be on the lookout for more info in the coming weeks. Registration will be announced via social media, email, and website in early spring.

Save the Date: Manager Training Seminar
April 16, 2020
8am-5pm
Friends Homes Guilford
Greensboro, NC
Target audience: managers, directors, team leaders, supervisors
More details to come!

2020 Event and Education Calendar Now Available
Mark your calendar for these LeadingAge North Carolina events and programs in 2020. New this year is a Fall Conference on September 24 in Colfax designed specifically for Department Directors and Managers/Supervisors in HR, marketing, finance, social work, nursing, maintenance, wellness, and fundraising. Watch for more details!

LeadingAge National Webinar: Crisis Communications - Messaging Negative Publicity
This webinar will take place on Wednesday, February 26 from 2-3 p.m. and details a strategic approach to communications that allows organizations to establish and maintain control of their message while mounting a defense against negative publicity. Click here for more information and to register.

Upcoming Special Days/Weeks/Months
Days, weeks and public awareness events to celebrate in February, March and April.

Have Job Openings?
Contact Jennifer Gill with the job title, description, and how to apply and she will post it for you under the Careers tab on the LeadingAge NC website. It's free!

In Case You Missed It
Click below to read our most recent newsletter.

Follow @LeadingAgeNC on Social Media
Stay connected in 2020. Be sure you are following @LeadingAgeNC on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You'll be up-to-date whatever comes your way!

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A Note from your Value First Representative


When it comes to balancing resident satisfaction and food service costs, you face many challenges. As specialists working with senior living and long-term care communities, Value First can help you provide your residents with nutritious and satisfying meals that fit your budget. However, our support goes far beyond helping you reduce food costs. Our tools and resources can support your entire operation by reducing costs and improving efficiencies at every step of your supply chain.

It all starts with a cost study where we’ll work with your purchasing team to analyze your current expenses and give you line item comparison on exactly how we can help you save. As the new year started we have already seen successes in a number of food cost studies.

Please take advantage of this, it only takes a few minutes from your end, and Value First does all the leg work.

If you are currently using CINTAS but not through our program, please take a look at this. CINTAS and Value First in partnership with Vizient are offering members with incredible savings, click here for more information.

Please contact me, Bobby Bernal, at 850-509-8112 or email me.

I will walk you through the few easy steps.

Please click here for the NEW Value First vendor catalog.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you on the road.

Robert "Bobby" Bernal, Value First Regional Southeast Manager
C: (850) 509-8112 | Email

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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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