|Home > Newsletters > Caregiving PolicyDigest > Volume X, Number 15, August 25, 2010
E-mail to a Friend
|A newsletter of FCA's National Center on Caregiving
August 25th, 2010
Volume X, Number 15
| IN THIS ISSUE|
State Legislation, Policy & Reports
- States Reduce Services to Elderly, Low-Income and Disabled More...
- Maryland Settles Class-Action Lawsuit Over Medicaid Calculations More...
- Pennsylvania Legislators Hold Hearings on Paid Sick Leave More...
- New Law in New York Requires Doctors to Discuss Palliative Care More...
Federal Legislation, Policy & Reports
- CMS Sends Letter about Flexibility in Providing Home and Community Based Services More...
- Report Highlights New Models for Medicaid-Funded Long Term Supports and Services More...
- New Analysis of of the CLASS ACT More...
- New Law Introduced to Require Medicare to Fund Alzheimer's Diagnosis More...
- Quebec Seniors Wait for Spots in Residential or Long-Term-Care Centers More...
- Reports on Germany and Denmark's Long-Term-Care Systems Released More...
Research Reports & Journal Articles
- Study Links Midlife Stress to Increased Risks of Dementia More...
- Review of Caregiver Intervention Studies Highlights Lack of Cultural Tailoring More...
- Study Analyzes Stress Variance in Family Caregivers More...
- Study Examines Differences in how Siblings Serve as Caregivers More...
Conferences & Trainings
- Festival of International Conferences on Caregiving, Disability, Aging and Technology June 2011 More...
- Fourth National Congress on Palliative Care Oct 28-30 More...
- Webinar:Focus on Suicide Prevention Sept 14 More...
Funding, Media & Miscellaneous
- Families of Wartime Veterans May Miss a Little-Known Benefit on Long-Term-Care More...
- Minnesota Caregivers Profiled as Part of Larger Caregiving Conversation More...
- Collaborative Effort to Share Alzheimer's Research Pays Dividends More...
- Medicare Will Cover Preventive Screenings Starting in January More...
States Reduce Services to Elderly, Low-Income and Disabled |
A recent USA Today article highlighted how states are responding to shrinking budgets by cutting back on programs and services for the elderly and disabled. States face difficult decisions of balancing their budgets while also complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the landmark Olmstead Supreme Court decision. In a recent analysis, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that since the beginning of the recession at least 29 states and the District of Columbia are increasing costs and/or cutting medical, rehabilitative, home care, or other services needed by low-income people who are elderly or have disabilities. For more information, visit:
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Maryland Settles Class-Action Lawsuit Over Medicaid CalculationsThe State of Maryland recently agreed to pay $16 million to nursing homes and nursing home residents as part of a settlement around how the state calculated Medicaid recipients' ability to pay for their care. Attorneys argued that the state incorrectly assessed residents' income by not including debt incurred by Medicaid recipients while they lived in a nursing home awaiting a determination of their eligibility for Medicaid. For more information, visit:Washington Post
Pennsylvania Legislators Hold Hearings on Paid Sick Leave
The Pennsylvania House Labor Relations Committee held a hearing on August 17th on House Bill 1830, the "Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act." The proposed law would allow workers to earn up to 6.5 days of paid sick time annually which they could use if they are sick or if they are caring for a family member who is sick. Caregivers, who may have to take off time for doctor appointments, injuries, or illnesses, could benefit from this legislation, which is similar to a law in San Francisco which has been in effect for four years. New York City is also considering paid sick leave legislation. For more information, visit:
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Pennsylvania General Assembly
New Law in New York Requires Doctors to Discuss Palliative Care
New York Governor David A. Paterson recently signed the New York Palliative Care Information Act which will change how doctors work with patients who have a terminal illness or condition. Under the new law, doctors will be required to offer information about prognosis and options for end-of-life care, hospice care, and possibilities for life-sustaining treatment. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine (Vol. 363 Number 8) found several improvements in quality of life for patients who received palliative care vs. those who did not. To read "Early Palliative Care for Patients with Metastatic Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer" by Jennifer S. Temel, M.D. and colleagues, visit:
New England Journal of Medicine
New York Times
back to top
CMS Sends Letter about Flexibility in Providing Home and Community Based Services|
Cindy Mann, the Medicaid Center Director, sent a letter to state Medicaid directors on August 6th, informing them that under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states have increased flexibility for offering home and community-based services (HCBS) through Medicaid. Specific changes include giving states the ability to provide HCBS to individuals who have not met an institutional level of care. In addition, states will have the option to provide services to individuals with income up to 300% of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Federal benefit rate (FBR). The new and revised provisions take effect October 1, 2010. To read the letter sent to states, visit:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Report Highlights New Models for Medicaid-Funded Long Term Supports and Services
A recent report, "Medicaid-funded Long-Term Supports and Services: Snapshots of Innovation" highlights a number of promising practices for states to deliver Medicaid-funded home-and community-based services (HCBS). The report features models of provider-focused initiatives, new directions for managed long-term care, administrative and financing solutions, and also examines telehealth technologies. A supplement to the August issue of Medical Care Research and Review featured results from the Commonwealth Fund's survey of long term care specialists around financing of long-term care. Two-thirds of the respondents ranked financing reform as one of the top three challenges facing long-term care. For more information, visit:
Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc
The Commonwealth Fund
New Analysis of the CLASS ACT
The current issue of Public Policy and Aging Report (Vol. 20 Number 2) features seven articles focused on different aspects of the CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports) Act, including its legislative history, an analysis of provisions within the act and potential hurdles for implementation of the law. The Secretary of Health and Human Services is expected to define the CLASS benefits by October 2012 and the first benefits will not be distributed until 2017. For more information, visit:
The Scan Foundation
New Law Introduced to Require Medicare to Fund Alzheimer's Diagnosis
Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) recently introduced the Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer's Act (HR 5926/ S 3674). The proposed law would require Medicare to pay 80% of the cost of visits for comprehensive Alzheimer's and other dementia diagnosis services when a doctor determines that an individual may have a cognitive impairment or a need for a diagnostic evaluation. For more information, visit:
Rep. Markey Press Release
Quebec Seniors Wait for Spots in Residential or Long-Term-Care Centers|
A recent article in the Montreal Gazette reported that there are more than 6,000 Quebec senior citizens on waiting lists for spots in residential or long-term-care centers. The numbers were obtained from the goverment by the Association qu?b?coise des retrait?(e)s des secteurs public et parapublic (AQRP), an organization which advocates for retired Quebecers. The government estimated that creating 6,000 new spots would cost $300 million per year and instead chose to spend $362 million on home care between 2003 and 2008. For more information, visit:
Reports on Germany and Denmark's Long-Term Care Systems Released
Two recently released reports provide overviews of the long-term care systems in Germany and Denmark. Germany created a mandatory, universal social long term care insurance program in 1995, which covers almost the entire population. Denmark's system is considered a "state responsibility" model in which the local municipality is primarily responsible for personal care and family members also assist with practical duties. For more information, visit:
The Long-Term Care System in Denmark
The Long-Term Care System in Germany
Study Links Midlife Stress to Increased Risks of Dementia|
The current issue of Brain features a longitudinal study on the relationship between psychological stress in midlife and the development of dementia in late-life. A representative sample of females aged 38-60 years were examined in 1968-69, and re-examined in 1974-75, 1980-81, 1992-93 and 2000-03. During the 35-year follow-up, 161 females had developed dementia (105 Alzheimer's disease, 40 vascular dementia and 16 other dementias). The risk of dementia was about 65% greater for women who reported stress in midlife as compared to those who did not. To read "Midlife Psychological Stress and Risk of Dementia" by Lena Johansson and colleagues, visit:
Review of Caregiver Intervention Studies Highlights Lack of Cultural Tailoring
The August issue of the American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias (Vol 25. Number 5) features a literature review focused on caregiver interventions and ethnic differences in family caregivers' experiences from 1980 to 2009. The authors explain that while there are a number of ethnic differences in caregiving, of the 47 intervention articles reviewed, only 18 reported outcome by caregiver ethnicity. In addition, while 11 reported cultural tailoring, 8 were from a single initiative. Cultural tailoring addressed familism, language, literacy, protecting elders and logistical barriers. The authors conclude that more research is needed to systematically evaluate the benefits of cultural tailoring in caregiver interventions. To read "Developing Culturally Sensitive Dementia Caregiver Interventions: Are We There Yet?" by Dr. AM Napoles and colleagues, visit:
American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
Study Analyzes Stress Variance in Family Caregivers
A recent study, "Evaluation of an Assessment Battery for Estimating Dementia Caregiver Needs for Health and Social Care Services," surveyed family caregivers of persons with dementia (Alzheimer's or other) to compare mental health status of caregivers. Researchers found that personality factors explained over 20% of the variance in caregiver mental health status and depression. The authors conclude by suggesting that measures of personality factors, self-efficacy, mental health status, and distress response could be used for assessing caregivers and providing a multicomponent intervention program. For more information, visit:
American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
Study Examines Differences in how Siblings Serve as Caregivers
A recent report examined differences in how siblings provide care for their parents. Using a 50-year longitudinal study of 10,317 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957, the report analyzed whether parents received caregiving assistance and if so, which children provided the assistance. The odds of one child helping the parents (as compared to no children helping) increased by 30% when one of the offspring was a sister. Parents with two sons (but no daughters) were least likely to receive help. In addition, married men were significantly more likely to assist their parents. To read "Providing for Older Parents: Is It a Family Affair?" by Esther Friedman and colleagues, visit:
California Center for Population Research
Festival of International Conferences on Caregiving, Disability, Aging and Technology June 2011|
The conference will be held June 5-8 2011 in Toronto, Canada. Abstracts for the conference are being accepted until December 1st, 2010. For more information, visit:
Festival of International Conferences on Caregiving, Disability, Aging and Technology
Fourth National Congress on Palliative Care, Oct. 28-30
The fourth National Congress on Palliative Care will take place October 28-30 in St. Louis, Missouri. The theme this year is "Recovering Our Traditions" and the conference will examine current trends, recent developments and leading practices in palliative care programs across the continuum of care, offering successful growth and sustainability strategies for the next generation of palliative care services. Early bird registration ends September 17th. For more information or to register, visit:
Fourth National Congress on Palliative Care
Webinar: Focus on Suicide Prevention Sept 14
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center will host a webinar, "Promoting Mental health and Preventing Suicide among Older Adults" on September 14, 2010 from 3:00-4:30 PM (EST). The webinar will review the research associated with suicide among older adults and will address the issue of suicide risk and prevention in the context of community programs and residential facilities. For more information or to register, visit:
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Families of Wartime Veterans May Miss a Little-Known Benefit for Long-Term-Care|
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal focused on a little-known benefit to help families of wartime veterans pay for long-term-care. The aid-and-attendance benefit pays a monthly benefit of up to $1,949 a month to married veterans who qualify. Veterans must meet certain thresholds for medical and financial need. Almost 105,000 veterans were using the benefit as of last year, along with a large number of widows, according to the VA. Potential recipients could be much higher, according to VA estimates, there are 2.3 million veterans from World War II; 2.6 million veterans who served in Korea, and 7.7 million Vietnam veterans. For more information, visit:
Wall Street Journal
Minnesota Caregivers Profiled as Part of Larger Caregiving Conversation
A recent article in the Minnesota StarTribune profiled two family caregivers who are taking care of their parents. While examining the day-to-day challenges faced by the caregivers (and important solutions like providing respite care) the article also provides an excellent overview of Minnesota's approaching "Silver Tsunami" of a growing elderly population, lack of geriatric health care providers, and fewer younger workers to fund long-term-care for baby boomers. Family Caregiver Alliance data is used to estimate the annual value of informal caregivers in Minnesota each year which is over $7 billion. For more information visit:
Family Caregiver Alliance State Profiles
Collaborative Effort to Share Alzheimer's Research Pays Dividends
The New York Times recently profiled a unique, joint effort by Alzheimer's researchers to share data and research in an effort to find the biological markers that show the progression of Alzheimer's in the brain. The joint research study, the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), began in 2003 and represents a new way of conducting research in which all of the data is publicly shared. A number of governmental, business, and nonprofits provided funding and partnered in the initiative and this model is now being used for a similar Parkinson's study. For more information, visit:
The New York Times
Medicare Will Cover Preventive Screenings Starting in January
A recent Washington Post article discussed the free preventive services and screenings available to Medicare beneficiaries starting in January 2011 under the Affordable Care Act. Covered screenings and services include mammograms, colorectal cancer screening, bone mass measurement, and nutritional counseling for people at risk of diet-related chronic diseases like diabetes. In addition, beneficiaries will also be able to receive a free annual wellness visit. The requirement for free services won't apply to people enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plans; however, many of these plans already provide free screenings. For more information, visit:
|To find caregiver support services in your state, visit FCA's Family Care Navigator http://caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/fcn_content_node.jsp?nodeid=2083|
?2010 Family Caregiver Alliance. All rights reserved.
The National Center on Caregiving at Family Caregiver Alliance works to advance the development of high-quality and cost-effective policies and programs for caregivers in every state in the country. The National Center is a central source of information and technical assistance on family caregiving for policymakers, health and service providers, program developers, funders, media and families. For questions or further information about the National Center on Caregiving, contact Policy_Digest@caregiver.org or visit the Family Caregiver Alliance website at www.caregiver.org.
To subscribe or unsubscribe to Caregiving PolicyDigest, use the following link: www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=836
Or, contact Family Caregiver Alliance using our toll-free phone number: (800) 445-8106
Your subscription information is used only for the purpose of improving this service and tailoring it to the needs of its audience. Information provided to us will not be shared with any other organization, agency, corporation, entity or third party.
Caregiving PolicyDigest is a publication of the National Center on Caregiving at Family Caregiver Alliance, 180 Montgomery Street, Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94104.
E-mail to a Friend