The Buzz

News on transforming care for older adults

    April4 th

    Early-Stage Workforce Venture Fund Announces $15M First Close

    FROM TSF’S IMPACT INVESTING TEAM – “The SCAN Foundation is proud to participate in the first close of the JFFVentures Fund II, reflecting our unwavering commitment to fostering a world where all older adults can age well with purpose,” said Dr. Sarita A. Mohanty, president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation. “Employment not only provides older adults with a sense of purpose and community, but also enhances their financial resilience. The establishment of this fund is pivotal in driving innovation aimed at creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce that will benefit older adults and enrich the labor market as a whole.”


    February23 rd

    As California moves into year four of its Master Plan for Aging (MPA) implementation, several recently published reports highlight progress to date, while elevating forward-looking recommendations to keep this vital work moving. Since 2019, The SCAN Foundation (TSF) has championed the use of Multisector or Master Plans for Aging in California and states nationwide, recognizing the need for a state level commitment to ensure all of us can age well with purpose. 

    The following reports demonstrate the ongoing value of the California MPA and the importance of continued engagement around its goals and objectives:

    • The MPA Third Annual Report reflects on key activities of California MPA implementation in 2023, such as promoting access to healthcare and LTSS, investing in housing and services; addressing older adult behavioral health; centering equity; and grounding an all-of-government approach.
    • The CA 2030 Final Report creates a roadmap for improving the California aging network, specifically fulfilling MPA Goal 3, Strategy F of the MPA.
    • The Little Hoover Commission Report on MPA Implementation provides recommendations, including those elevated in TSF’s testimony, to strengthen MPA implementation, oversight, and stakeholder engagement.


    Looking Ahead: TSF’s Future Engagement on the California MPA

    The California MPA sets forth a roadmap to address aging well across the state, including critical topics such as health care, housing, transportation, belonging, equity, and economic security. TSF looks forward to continuing its engagement and collaboration with all stakeholders to further the work and implementation of the California MPA.

    Specifically, TSF will continue to ensure progress on the California MPA by:

    • Joining our partners in advocating for the preservation of previous investments in services and supports for older adults and people with disabilities;
    • Building policy support for a home care system that works for all Californians;
    • Elevating the need for improved financial security for low and middle-income older adults and people with disabilities; and
    • Stressing an “all-of-government” approach to MPA implementation.

    As we continue to navigate the best approach for ensuring sustained momentum on the MPA, we recognize that California currently faces a budget deficit of $73 billion, and further expected shortfalls could very likely result in even more spending cuts, additional delays, and deferrals. TSF remains steadfast and engaged in navigating this deficit in a time where progress on aging well in California remains critically important to all Californians.

    August9 th
    Image of Summit Logo

    Building on the opportunity for further coordination and greater impact to address racial and ethnic disparities, our United for Health Equity in Aging Summit convened the aging and disability sectors with the racial equity and social justice movements for a day of informative panels and energizing dialogue.

    The TSF event was rooted in the lived experience of older adults from marginalized communities and we were honored to have several of them join us in person.

    Materials from the Summit, including older adult video stories and a photo gallery are now available, as well as a full livestream recording. Take a look!

    Image of panel speakers from the United Health Equity in Aging Summit. Pictured: Eric Harris, Roque Barros, LaRae Cantley, and Eunice Lin Nichols

    TSF is driving efforts to ensure equitable aging for all and funding efforts to illustrate key research. The second in a series from the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston uses Health and Retirement Survey data to elucidate health inequities in aging.

    During COVID-19, Black and Hispanic older adults reported using telehealth less and delaying medical care more often than white respondents. Access the latest chart pack.

    Image of Rigo J. Saborio, VP of Programs, Equity, and Community Impact at The SCAN Foundation. Quoted statement reads: A series of interconnected factors contribute to communities of color having worse health care experiences - and worse health outcomes - than white communities


    Image of Health Affairs Forefront Logo

    For decades, states have been working to integrate care to improve access to high-quality care for people dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, but progress is limited. Multisector Plans for Aging (MPAs) can support a process by which states can navigate the infrastructure and political constraints that have historically prevented states from advancing Medicare-Medicaid integration efforts.

    In a new Health Affairs blog, TSF explores how an MPA can help states navigate barriers to advancing integrated, high-quality health care.

    Graphical illustration of the various elements (e.g., health care, mobility devices, meals and other supports) that affect total health and relate to either Medicare and Medicaid. Implication that integration and coordination need to be improved
    Image of California for All Logo

    TSF champions Multisector Plans for Aging (MPA) in California, as well as at the regional and local levels. See the latest.


    • As the state’s MPA implementation advances, the Little Hoover Commission is reviewing efforts to ensure accountability and progress toward MPA goals. TSF President and CEO Sarita A. Mohanty recently testified before the Commission to highlight successes and continued priorities. Read her testimony and watch the recording. A second hearing is scheduled for August 24 at 9:30 am PT.


    • We launched a two-year rural MPA initiative, funding three members of the California Advocacy Network to develop local MPAs. Early findings from this work were highlighted in Generations, a publication of the American Society on Aging.
    • Visit California’s Data Dashboard for Aging for a map of age-friendly communities reporting activity around developing local MPAs.
    August2 nd

    We’re thrilled to share that President and CEO Sarita A. Mohanty is recognized alongside 199 other entrepreneurs, investors, inventors, and artists on Forbes’ third annual 50 Over 50 list.

    The acknowledgment in the announcement about age being a superpower resonates deeply with the worldview we embrace at TSF and the positive impact we strive to make. Read more of Sarita’s reflections on LinkedIn.

    Image of Dr. Sarita Mohanty next to Forbes 50 over 50 list branding

    By asking individuals with complex care needs “what matters most?” person-centered outcome (PCO) measures drive care that aligns with people’s personal health goals, and encourage organizations throughout the care continuum to work together in an integrated manner.

    The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) convened multidisciplinary experts to review the current landscape of goal attainment scaling methodology and identify best practices for implementing the method with diverse audiences. The learnings from these convenings contributed to the following:

    1. Advancing Best Practices for Goal Attainment Scaling (white paper)
    2. Using Goal Attainment Scaling (online training module)

    These resources can help health care delivery systems and other entities start documenting what matters most to an individual in a structured way.

    Finally, a session at NCQA’s Health Innovation Summit will focus on current efforts to test the PCO measures (October 25, 2:50 pm ET). Register today.

    Graphic about person-centered outcome measures

    Bringing awareness to aging and equity issues, our partnership with UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program advances unique reporting. A recent piece in The Washington Post examines states’ actions to train paid caregivers in an effort to better care for our growing aging population.

    The latest report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality examines opportunities for developing a person-centered care system and integrating the voices of older adults, caregivers, and communities to design effective models of care for improving older adults’ health and well-being. View the spring roundtable report.

    Image of cover of AHRQ report
    July27 th

    Health disparities among older adults are further exacerbated for individuals from historically marginalized communities. Efforts to address racial and ethnic disparities in aging exist, but there is an opportunity for further coordination and greater impact.

    Last week, we held our inaugural United for Health Equity in Aging Summit, convening the aging and disability sectors with the racial equity and social justice movements. Panels were informative, conversations were energizing, and the stories shared by older adults throughout the day grounded us.

    We’re still reflecting! Materials and next steps from the meeting will be shared in the coming weeks. Until then, learn about the Advancing Health Equity in Aging initiative and meet individuals from the movement.

    Graphic image taken from initiative introduction video

    We continue to grow our team in 2023

    Olivia Burns, MSW, is completing her second week at TSF. As our Senior Policy Analyst, Olivia will support our policy, communications, and program staff by tracking and analyzing trends in federal and state policy.

    As our Program Manager of Innovation, Xenia Viragh will expand TSF’s Innovation and Investment portfolio – managing partnerships and supporting projects related to our financial security and data/technology equity objectives.

    We’re excited to have you, Olivia and Xenia!

    Graphic showing headshots of Olivia Burns and Xenia Viragh

    July12 th

    Read the chartbook; attend the July 17 webinar.

    California’s older Medicare beneficiaries with income just above the Medi-Cal eligibility limit (near dual) have a similar demographic profile to people dually eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal. They also have higher rates of disability and less access to social supports than those with higher incomes. However, they are not eligible for Medi-Cal long-term services and supports and do not have the resources to pay privately for care.

    To better understand the demographics and needs of this population, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Office of Medicare Innovation and Integration recently released a Profile of Older Californians: Medicare Beneficiaries Near Income Eligibility for Medi-Cal. Developed by ATI Advisory, this is the third chartbook in a series that provides information on the demographics, needs, and health care experiences of California’s Medicare beneficiaries. See the other chartbooks, and the related TSF webpage:

    Join TSF on July 17 for a webinar and discussion hosted by DHCS which will build on the chartbook topics.

    Bar graph depicting CA Medicare beneficiaries who report disability



    TSF Director of Strategic Initiatives Natalie King discussed the unique needs and challenges of our aging population with Unite Us, highlighting the importance of cross-sector collaboration and technology in developing comprehensive and effective solutions.

    King conveyed the importance of elevating the voices of older people of color, older adults with lower incomes, and older residents of geographically underserved areas. She also brought to light some data and technology inequities experienced by older adults. View the recording.

    Image promoting the recent webinar


    “In 10 years, 1 out of every 4 New Yorkers will be over age 60,” said Adam Herbst, deputy commissioner for the Health Department’s Office of Aging and Long Term Care. “What that means is a tremendous shift in everything,” he said, “our communities, our economy, our budget, how we value our families, so many significant things.” …

    “We started with small things, like putting benches near grocery stores and possibly giving the aging places to sit inside the store to rest, and slowing the time for crosswalk signals on some streets,” said architect Edward Mills, who served on the Age-Friendly New York City Commission …

    Read more from a WAMC Northeast Public Radio piece about New York’s efforts to develop their Master Plan for Aging (MPA). This journalism was supported by our partnership with UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program. Also, learn more about MPA activities across the country.

    Map of Multisector Plan for Aging Activity Across States

    June28 th

    Ten states — Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington State — have been selected to participate in the next Multisector Plan for Aging (MPA) Learning Collaborative.

    Led by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) and made possible through support from TSF, West Health, and the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, the learning community is helping states advance planning efforts to support the needs of older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers across the nation. Learn more.

    Map of Multisector Plan for Aging Activity Across States

    A recent webcast from innovation-focused Future Proof unpacks what an Multisector Plan for Aging (MPA) is, what it looks like at different stages, and how it can be valuable to a variety of communities and priorities. The episode, made possible by the American Society on Aging (ASA), also explores applying an aging and disability lens and going beyond traditional health and community services to build a movement.

    Also, check out the latest ASA blog post on supporting local MPAs in rural communities.

    A resource guide published by USAging’s Aging and Disability Business Institute, the Partnership to Align Social Care, and the Camden Coalition lists five reasons why health plans should work with community-based organizations (CBOs) and uses case examples from real-life partnerships.

    Read Partnerships with Community-based Organizations: Opportunities for Health Plans to Create Value.

    Image of ADBI Resource
    June15 th
    Image with Juneteenth message and colors

    Last year The SCAN Foundation joined in the celebration of Juneteenth, recognizing its profound importance for Black people in the United States. We are committed to centering the experiences of older Black adults and all people of color – elevating their voices and perspectives as we pursue equity and transformative systems change.

    We’ve continued our evolution as an organization – finalizing a strategic plan that prioritizes efforts to improve the lives of people from Black communities and all older people of color. We’ve launched our first public expression of this goal with our Advancing Health Equity in Aging initiative.

    Although important health equity conversations are being had, aging is often overlooked. The initiative aims to reduce health inequities and improve the lives of older adults from historically marginalized communities. Launched in October 2022, we are harmonizing efforts by activating and sustaining a diverse, cross-sector network of leaders and accelerators – Equity Community Organizing (ECO) Groups – to develop and design solutions targeting the specific drivers of poor health outcomes. Simultaneously, we’re dedicated to engaging those with lived experience at each phase of the work.

    As a philanthropic organization, we recognize the privilege we carry and its ability to effect change. Although we’ve asserted ourselves in past efforts, this initiative is different as it has been built from the ground up. We recognize that power must be shared with community, and that community is more than capable of explaining what it needs and identifying levers to improve health and well-being.

    This Juneteenth, we honor Black older adults; we are listening to community; and we are honing our plans for long overdue efforts. We hope you’ll follow the work.

    Although recent data from the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston shows that U.S. adults, age 50+, feel their care preferences are being considered more often, stark racial and socioeconomic inequities persist. That’s the main finding of a comprehensive look at care preferences from 2014-20, funded by The SCAN Foundation.

    The analyses reveal that race, income, and geography highly influence people’s care experiences. Read the related press release.

    Image of quote within news release by Dr. Sarita Mohanty


    The “forgotten middle” represents more than 11 million older adults who will need health care and housing in the next 10 years but won’t qualify for Medicaid to help alleviate increasing costs.

    Last month, we hosted a virtual briefing on the urgent need for action. Sarita A. Mohanty, President and CEO of The SCAN Foundation, and Caroline Pearson, Executive Director at the Peterson Center on Healthcare, discussed the intersections of housing insecurity, health care access and affordability, and community services. Watch the recording.

    Image of May 11 Forgotten Middle Virtual Briefing Promo Graphic

    Earlier this year, The SCAN Foundation’s Vice President of Policy Narda Ipakchi joined seven other U.S. leaders and met with peers in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore to learn about innovative global efforts to advance health care delivery and equity.

    How can we translate these insights and get more creative within our U.S. system? A recent piece about the trip is a New York Times guest essay by trip participant Aaron E. Carroll, MD, MS, Chief Health Officer of Indiana University.

    Image of quote from article, which says: "“Our narrow view too often defines health care as what you get when you’re sick, not what you might need to remain well.”
    June1 st

    We are thrilled to announce the latest additions to our team!

    Lindsey Chao is our Senior Executive Assistant. With nearly a decade of experience supporting C-level executives across a variety of industries, Lindsey is passionate about helping people, finding creative solutions, and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

    Allis Gilbert, EdD, MHA, will support TSF across our capabilities and functions as our Senior Director of Operations. Allis combines her education and experience in organizational change and leadership with a passion for heath equity to support the Foundation’s mission.

    As our Director of DEI and Community Impact, Vivian Nava-Schellinger, MS, JD, will lead TSF’s DEI activities and support our Advancing Health Equity in Aging initiative. Vivian has spent the last decade championing efforts to increase the intersectionality of aging, disability, and social justice programs.

    Graphic sharing the headshots of new staff members

    The California Department of Health Care Services Office of Medicare Innovation and Integration recently released the second in a series of chartbooks developed with ATI Advisory. Each resource provides information on the demographics, needs, and health care experiences of California’s Medicare beneficiary population.

    Developing programs and services that are culturally and linguistically responsive is critical to addressing disparities and improving the care experience. Cultural and Linguistic Demographics of the California Medicare Population includes information about language and birthplace demographics. Also, read the prior chartbook, an overview of the state’s Medicare beneficiaries.

    Pie graph image illustrating the primary languages of California Medicare beneficiaries with limited English proficiency

    We partner with UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program (IRP) to elevate innovative programs for older adults. Two recent articles share local activities that help older adults connect to their communities and could be replicated across the nation.

    • An Atlanta-based collaborative is equipping Black churches with funding and support to make services more welcoming for people living with dementia and their families.
    • Intergenerational programs in Connecticut and Ohio are helping older adults care for and retain their pets.

    Review past articles in the IRP series.

    May17 th

    The majority of older adults want to remain in their own homes and communities as they age, and home- and community-based care tends to be more cost-effective than institutional alternatives. Estimates indicate that gradually shifting Medicaid spending from institutional services to home- and community-based care, a process known as rebalancing, can reduce state costs by about 15 percent over 10 years.

    The federal American Rescue Plan Act temporarily increased funding states could use to improve Medicaid home- and community-based services, known as HCBS. States have through March 31, 2025, to use the funding for a variety of HCBS services.

    Learn more from the National Conference of State Legislatures, and watch a related webinar.

    Image of older couple at home

    In a recent article for Today’s Geriatric Medicine, TSF President and CEO Sarita A. Mohanty, MD, MPH, MBA, discussed barriers to aging well at home and in community, and potential solutions to make it more of a reality. It starts with a person having conversations with their families and friends as well as doctors about one’s “aging goals.”

    “This includes asking questions about [a person’s] future preferences and reiterating the need to plan how their needs will be met and how they will be paid for,” Dr. Mohanty said. “While helping every patient age in place is not the job of every physician, advocating for one’s patients is. Physicians and the organizations they work for can influence systems change and advocate for access to services for their older adult patients. …”

    May3 rd

    The “forgotten middle” represents more than 11 million older adults who will need health care and housing in the next 10 years but won’t qualify for Medicaid to help alleviate increasing costs. We’re hosting a virtual briefing on May 11 to discuss the urgent need for action.

    Join Dr. Sarita A. Mohanty, President and CEO of The SCAN Foundation, and Caroline Pearson, Executive Director at the Peterson Center on Healthcare, to provide insights on how the intersections of housing insecurity, health care access and affordability, and available community services affect older adults.

    Register for the May 11 webinar today.

    Image of May 11 Forgotten Middle Virtual Briefing Promo Graphic