The Buzz

News on transforming care for older adults


    November17 th

    Learn about the advocacy efforts at Marin County Aging Action Initiative (AAI) in our inaugural Regional Coalition feature story. AAI is part of the California Advocacy Network, a statewide movement involving nearly 1,000 organizations who serve more than 95 percent of California’s population. Explore the Regional Coalition profiles.

    A new brief from AARP Public Policy Institute presents the vision and framework for the 2023 Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) State Scorecard. The brief discusses AARP’s approach to the 2023 edition of the Scorecard, reflects on changes since the Scorecard was first published in 2011, and considers how future editions may best meet today’s needs.

    November10 th

    We are hitting the road. TSF will be in Las Vegas, Nevada, for HLTH 2022—health care’s leading innovation event. You are invited to hear about our future innovation and investments activities.

    Then it’s onto Charm City. Mission Investors Exchange National Conference (MIE) is the premier event for impact investors in philanthropy. Come discuss partnerships and investments, and hear from leading voices. Then join the TSF Innovation and Investments team for a dinner December 5, location TBD in Baltimore, Maryland. Contact Gina Alferez at to request an invitation.

    Older black man and black woman embracing each other. This National Family Caregivers Month, The SCAN Foundation salutes the tremendous contributions that family caregivers provide to older adults and people with disabilities.

    Nearly everyone will be a caregiver or need a caregiver in their lifetime. Currently, 53 million people in America are unpaid caregivers—providing physical, emotional, social, and financial support to family, friends, and neighbors. They are the “invisible backbone” of U.S. health care, spending roughly $7,000/year on out-of-pocket caregiving costs, such as household and medical expenses. An earlier report found that caregivers’ estimated 34 billion hours of unpaid care translated to an estimated economic value of $470 billion.

    California had 6.7 million adult caregivers in 2020, and 1 in 4 adults provided at least 20 hours/week of caregiving. Nearly 3 in 5 were women, 3 in 5 were 45 years of age or older, and 4 in 5 were white or Latino. Further, we see communities of color living in multigenerational settings (or households) more often than whites, which suggests that these families are more likely to provide unpaid caregiving across the generations.

    Family caregivers are the unsung heroes of health care and deserve more recognition than just 30 days in November. Their service reinforces our commitment to lift their voices—like Sandy, a woman caring for her proud veteran father, and ensuring he can age at home surrounded by his friends and community.

    Similarly, Grace cares for her parents. She adjusts as her parents’ needs change to ensure they can keep doing what they like to do. Simultaneously, she is thinking about how she can obtain support and maintain her own well-being.

    Though Angela moved into an assisted living facility to be supported with her daily living needs, her granddaughter Sarah continues to provide emotional and social support.

    We pledge to continue to advance efforts for every state to develop a Master Plan for Aging that includes the needs of family caregivers—like paid leave, multilingual training resources, virtual care options, and other supports. So what can you do today?

    • Start important conversations about aging well with older adults in your life. Then when caregiving needs exist, you’ll know what matters most to them.
    • Find your local AARP chapter to learn about family caregiver assistance and ongoing efforts to expand home- and community-based resources near you.

    Throughout National Family Caregivers Month and every day, we must continue to shine a light on family caregivers. They deserve our deep appreciation, and our responsiveness to their wants and needs.

    Older adults and family and friend caregivers are discussing what really matters. Our Aging Well with Community page shares how three older adults are navigating growing older with support from their family caregivers and communities. Related, check out our 10 Things series for millennial caregivers and families.

    Older woman and daughter in nursery.

    November2 nd

    Watch a recent Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP) discussion on services and supports offered to California’s older adult population and dual eligible beneficiaries and how these services align with the Master Plan for Aging.

    A brief from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) highlights current federal initiatives for integrating payment and delivery of services for dually eligible beneficiaries and opportunities for future integration efforts.

    The Better Care Playbook elevates promising approaches to improve care for adults with complex health and social needs. Help the Playbook grow and evolve by sharing your feedback by November 30.

    October26 th

    A new Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP) resource shares facts about California’s older adult population and steps the state is taking to advance health and transform aging.

    Join the related ITUP webinar tomorrow, October 27, at 1 pm PT for a discussion on new services and supports offered to California’s older adult population and dual eligible beneficiaries, and how these services align with the Master Plan for Aging.

    CA for ALL Ages & Abilities Day of Action brought together nearly 900 participants (in-person and virtual) representing advocates, providers, policymakers, and more. This event – supported in partnership with Archstone Foundation, Gary and Mary West Foundation, May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, Metta Fund, San Diego Foundation, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, and The SCAN Foundation – provided opportunities for stakeholders to hear and recommend key priorities of focus for the next two years.

    The themes of equity and partnership were woven throughout the day and centered on continuing momentum for advancing the Master Plan for Aging(MPA). Access event recordings and materials and read Dr. Sarita Mohanty’s reflections on the day.

    A Master Plan for Aging (MPA) lays out a roadmap to help states transform the infrastructure and coordination of services for their aging populations and people with disabilities. The Center for Health Care Strategies outlines the principles essential to MPA development and shares examples of best practices. Learn about the unexpected benefits of an MPA and how to get started.

    October19 th

    In a competitive bid, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) selected Medicaid agencies in eight states — Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington State, and Wisconsin — to participate in Medicare Academy: Capacity-Building for Advancing Medicare-Medicaid Integration. The Academy will help the states develop and oversee integration programs and engage in longer-term policy and program refinement.

    Join Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP) on Thursday, October 27, at 1 pm PT for a discussion on new services and supports offered to California’s older adult population and dual eligible beneficiaries, and how these services align with the Master Plan for Aging.

    An Investigative Reporting Program article, originally published in The San Francisco Chronicle last month, takes a deeper look at many older adults’ inadequate access to home- and community-based services and affordable housing.

    The Better Care Playbook provides evidence-based research and promising practices for improving complex care. Read the latest blog on measuring equity during people’s inpatient hospital experiences, stratifying by race and ethnicity, language preference, and social risk.

    October12 th

    A recent Health Affairs blog highlights cutting-edge efforts by the California Department of Health Care Services’ Office of Medicare Innovation and Integration (OMII). OMII sits within the state’s Medicaid agency and is tasked with expanding the health and human service focus beyond Medicaid to improve health outcomes, quality, affordability, and equity for all Medicare beneficiaries in California, including those that are dually eligible.

    ADvancing States and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) home- and community-based (HCBS) Technical Assistance Collective announced a third phase of technical assistance (TA) to state Medicaid programs to facilitate and expedite state implementation of the ARPA HCBS Funding Initiative. This is the largest investment in HCBS systems capacity in 40 years. Interested states must complete the online application by October 25.

    Recent analyses by NORC at the University of Chicago explored the financial challenges likely faced by middle-income older adults in California and nationally by 2033. Watch the related California-focused discussion that builds on NORC’s findings. Also, read our fact sheet, highlighting key investments within the California state budget.

    The Better Care Playbook elevates promising approaches to improve care for adults with complex health and social needs. Help the Playbook grow and evolve by sharing your feedback by November 30.

    Clipboard with symbol of survey

    October6 th

    More than one-third of older adults worry about paying for health care and long-term care. Middle-income older adults, coined the “forgotten middle,” are in the particularly precarious position of being ineligible for Medicaid assistance, yet still have difficulty affording out-of-pocket costs.

    A new analysis from NORC at the University of Chicago looks at California’s middle-income, older adult population and forecasts that the state will have 1.6 million middle-income older adults (age 75 and older) in 2033, nearly half of which will be people of color. Findings show that half will struggle to pay for housing and care, even if those who own sell their homes.

    Earlier this week, TSF, West Health, Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP), and expert guests discussed the challenges facing older Californians, the relationship of these findings to longstanding inequities, and potential policy opportunities. View the recording.

    We partner with UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program to elevate issues affecting the lives of older adults. A recent CapRadio piece examined California’s affordable housing shortage through the lens of LGBTQ older adults.

    People receiving award

    This year we celebrate the City of West Hollywood for its Aging in Place, Aging in Community initiative, designed to help the city embrace aging and be a place that people can enjoy across the lifespan. Dr. Mohanty enjoyed presenting the Innovation Award to the City Council and Mayor earlier this week.

    Watch a video about the winner and see the honorable mentions.

    September22 nd

    Join TSF, along with West Health and Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP), to explore the demographic characteristics of California’s middle-income older adults and future challenges regarding health care and long-term care affordability. Register here.

    The webinar will offer a local perspective that builds on the recent national findings from NORC at the University of Chicago. That research projected more than 11 million middle-income older adults may have insufficient resources to pay for long-term care and housing by 2033.

    In a recent request for information, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sought feedback to strengthen Medicare Advantage and advance health equity. Drawing on years of research, ATI Advisory and Long-Term Quality Alliance (LTQA) shared how CMS can strengthen supplemental benefits to advance health equity and better support Medicare beneficiaries.

    The latest podcast from the National Committee for Quality Assurance explores person-centered outcome measures and what could be a revolutionary reorientation of the traditional doctor-patient relationship.

    September14 th

    We recently hired three vice presidents from diverse sectors of health care to build out our executive team:

    • Anika S. Heavener, Vice President of Innovation and Investments;
    • Narda Ipakchi, Vice President of Policy; and
    • Rigo A. Saborio, Vice President of Programs, Equity, and Community Impact.

    The appointments conclude a broad executive search for proven, dynamic, and diverse leaders to advance TSF’s strategic priorities. Read more.

    National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15, recognizes the achievements of Hispanics who have influenced and enriched our nation.

    The SCAN Foundation (TSF) celebrates the tremendous contributions of Hispanic older adults to society. With earnings of more than $1 trillion each year and tax contributions of more than $252 billion, Hispanic individuals not only add significant value to the U.S. economy but also support and help fund social services and infrastructure that ultimately benefit all Americans. In addition, Hispanic Americans –  particularly Hispanic immigrants – continue to start and lead their own businesses at higher rates than the rest of the population.

    We are proud to partner with experts serving this vibrant community and directly engage with Hispanic older adults to inform our vision and mission.

    This year’s theme for Hispanic Heritage Month – Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation –  inspires us to work hard to advance inclusivity and achieve true health equity. While Hispanics positively impact our nation, they continue to experience disparities and inequities. Research we funded at The LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston found significant disparities in older adults’ experiences based on race, ethnicity, income, and other demographic factors. One-third of older adults reported that their preferences were never or only sometimes considered, with Hispanics being twice as likely to say that the system does not account for their preferences. When preferences are ignored, older adults are more likely to forgo medical care and report lower satisfaction with their health care. We must work harder to ensure that person-centered care includes everyone’s needs.

    TSF is committed to ensuring health equity and innovation are at the center of the aging experience. As such, a critical part of our mission is uplifting the voices and priorities of Hispanic older adults. Co-funding alongside the California Health Care Foundation, we are soon embarking on an effort with Community Catalyst to elevate the diverse voices of dual eligible beneficiaries (those who have both Medicare and Medicaid), including Hispanic dual eligibles. We will learn what matters most to them and determine which health care and nonmedical supports are unavailable in their communities. This effort will be an initial step in transforming the information infrastructure behind policy and practice decisions and producing better total health outcomes for diverse populations.

    These and other grantee organizations are working with TSF to address inequities in the U.S. health care and long-term services and supports systems. Let us celebrate Hispanic voices this month and every month to achieve better aging for all.

    Our latest Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll indicates that most U.S. adults think private health insurers (60%) and Medicare (57%) should have a large responsibility for paying for the costs of long-term care, and about half think the same about Medicaid (53%).

    Also, majorities of Black and Hispanic adults are very or extremely concerned about having access to high-quality health care when they need it. Read the press release and article.

    September8 th

    California’s 2022-23 enacted budget addresses longstanding system challenges for older adults, people with disabilities, and their caregivers. Read our fact sheet to learn about key investments, including the continued investment for implementing the Master Plan for Aging.

    Symbol of California and coins.

    Older adults thrive in settings best suited to their individual needs. A new report from the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution highlights steps toward a system of care and supports that reflect the preferences and life goals of older adults. These include creating a constellation of care settings with adaptable and viable business models so that preferred options are available as people age, and ensuring there are enough direct and family caregivers.

    The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) included one-time funding for states to expand and enhance home and community-based services (HCBS) including modernizing infrastructure and expanding benefits. ADvancing States released two related papers on ARPA initiatives: one on increasing wages and career opportunities for direct service workers and another on expanding access to enabling technology.

    August31 st

    New findings from NORC at the University of Chicago indicate that more than 11 million middle-income older adults – coined the “forgotten middle” – may have insufficient resources to pay for long-term care and housing by 2033. According to the research, the numbers of middle-income older adults will almost double over the next decade, and the population will be more racially and ethnically diverse. Read the press release.

    The Better Care Playbook provides evidence-based research and promising practices for improving complex care. Learn how Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) are successfully contracting with health care entities to provide care coordination, evidence-based programming, nutrition, and other services to improve outcomes for older adults.