The Buzz

News on transforming care for older adults


Topics in: `Long-Term Care`

September16 th

Please join us for the virtual release of Advancing Action: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers from 10-11:30 am PT on Thursday, September 24. Register here.

This fourth edition of the LTSS State Scorecard measures state level data, policies, practices, and costs to compare system performance and set benchmarks for future reform. Check out the 2017 edition of the Scorecard.

Register today for our all-virtual 2020 Forum on October 19-20! Our two-day event will include livestream plenaries, breakout discussions, performances, networking opportunities, and more. Watch the video!

September10 th

Register today for our all-virtual 2020 Forum on October 19-20! Our two-day event will include livestream plenaries, breakout discussions, performances, networking opportunities, and more. Watch the video!

Invitation to join us at the 2020 Forum

The California Advocacy Network is a statewide movement involving nearly 1,000 organizations who serve more than 95 percent of California’s population. Explore our map, and learn more about the Network’s goals through 2021.

Elderly hands coming together

August26 th

Community health workers (CHWs) are health professionals who connect the communities they serve with needed health and social services. The Better Care Playbook curated this diverse set of recent resources for health care organizations interested in developing and expanding CHW programs.

August19 th

To help us navigate the challenges of a pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is encouraging states to allow for a family member to serve in a paid caregiver role. This blog is part of a series of posts in advance of the 2020 release of the next Long-Term Services and Supports State Scorecard.

 

August4 th

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought policy flexibilities that can array a better care roadmap for adults with complex needs. These resources highlight how Medicare and Medicaid changes are transforming care for older adults and people with disabilities.

  • NEW: Health Management Associates describes federal Medicare and Medicaid changes during the pandemic (co-funded with The Commonwealth Fund).
  • Manatt Health examines how states are using flexibilities to improve long-term services and supports (LTSS).
  • Our TSF brief unpacks how California is using these for person-centered care.

Finally, a new Better Care Playbook blog post shares how learnings can foster health care and LTSS renovation, “making lemonade from a very sour lemon.”

July22 nd

Learn about a complex care management program that lowered costs and improved outcomes for people with complex care needs by adding key members to individuals’ care teams.healthcare workers with masks

July14 th

On June 29, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California’s 2020-21 budget. The budget addresses the $54.3 billion deficit while maintaining funding for critical programs serving older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers. The risk of budget deficits in future years could still pose a threat to these critical programs. Read our fact sheet.Bar graph of the 2020-21 enacted budget

For years, there has been a push toward rebalancing, or moving long-term services and supports (LTSS) service delivery away from institutions and toward home- and community-based settings. AARP recently discussed states’ progress.

July8 th

Last year, we celebrated the power of communications to broaden awareness and impact change for older adults and families. Check out our 2019 Annual Report.

African American elderly couple smiling

The California Advocacy Network is a statewide movement involving nearly 1,000 organizations who serve more than 95 percent of California’s population. Explore our new map, and learn more about the Network members’ goals for 2020-21.

A new guide and worksheet from the Aging and Disability Business Institute and the National Council on Aging help community-based organizations (CBOs) develop value propositions to promote their services to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.

July1 st
June24 th

Our latest policy brief takes a closer look at how California has implemented federal flexibilities to ensure the state’s long-term services and supports (LTSS) system is responsive to the needs of older adults and people with disabilities during the pandemic. Earlier this month, Manatt Health reviewed how other states have responded to meet LTSS needs.

Bar graph depicting the percentage of U.S. COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by Age Group

In his latest Perspectives, Dr. Chernof discusses opportunities to drive change and meet person-centered needs during the coronavirus and beyond.

June10 th

The Long-Term Services and Supports Subcommittee for California’s Master Plan for Aging delivered its final report to Governor Newsom, outlining a vision and goals for aging with dignity and independence. TSF is honored to have participated in the process.

June4 th

Manatt Health highlights how states are using flexibilities available during the coronavirus pandemic, with an emphasis on continued access to long-term services and supports in the community.

Last week, the California Collaborative for Long Term Services and Supports wrapped up its webinar series on COVID-19. Access all the recordings and related resources.

May27 th

On May 14, 2020, California Governor Newsom released the May Revision of the 2020-21 proposed budget. The revision includes cuts to and elimination of critical home- and community-based services that impact the state’s most vulnerable older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers. Read the TSF fact sheet.

Bar graphs showing the change in the 2020-21 budget landscape from January to May

May12 th

New analysis from ATI Advisory and the Long-Term Quality Alliance shows how new non-medical supplemental benefits can play an important role in meeting the evolving and dynamic needs of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

A poll from NORC shows that a majority of U.S. adults age 70 and older have canceled or delayed medical care since social distancing began due to COVID-19. It also reveals that 20 percent of older adults have had a telehealth appointment, and almost half say the experience was about the same as their in-person visits. Access the chart pack for the full findings and visualizations.

May7 th

Every day, older adults contribute to the vitality of California as parents, grandparents, friends, employees, employers, mentors, volunteers, artists, advocates, and more.

Since 1963, our nation has recognized May as Older Americans Month. This year, the state is celebrating Older Californians Month through the Make Your Mark campaign. Join in to celebrate what older Californians are doing in your community to stay safe and healthy!

Symbols of hearts, world globe with hands, person with wheelchair

COVID-19 is shining a light on the lack of coordination between Medicare and Medicaid, and is uncovering new opportunities to better serve dually eligible populations. Read TSF Board Member Melanie Bella’s blog post in the Better Care Playbook.

Photo of Melanie Bella

Alongside the long-term care flexibilities created due to COVID-19, mobility managers connect older adults and people with disabilities to transportation services in their communities. A recent AARP blog unpacks the latest trends.

April28 th

A new poll from NORC, sponsored by The John A. Hartford Foundation and TSF, shows that a majority of U.S. adults age 70 and older have canceled or delayed medical care since social distancing began due to COVID-19, including one in six who have delayed essential medical treatments.

The nationally representative survey reveals that 20 percent of older adults have had a telehealth appointment, and almost half say the experience was about the same as their in-person visits. Read the full poll findings.

The Aging and Disability Business Institute annual survey unpacks how community-based organizations (CBOs) are adapting and expanding services to meet the health-related, social needs of older adults and people with disabilities. The deadline to contribute is May 1.

April23 rd

April 16 was National Healthcare Decisions Day, a time set aside to educate and empower everyone about the importance of advance care planning. To support health care professionals at the center of the pandemic, California State University (CSU) is offering free educational tools through June 30.

April15 th

A recent Health Affairs blog highlighted how the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) network is meeting the health and social care needs for aging populations. Also, learn about the Aging and Disability Institute’s support of partnerships between health care and community-based organizations.

Health care stakeholders are changing how they operate to confront coronavirus (COVID-19). As new policies emerge, the Better Care Playbook has created a resource center to curate federal guidance aimed at addressing COVID-19 for people with complex care needs.

Millennial family caregivers experience unique challenges. Read perspectives in this recent Washington Post piece. Within it, Aisha Adkins expresses hope that the current COVID-19 crisis exposes what needs to be fixed in the health care system.

April8 th

Health care stakeholders are changing how they operate to confront coronavirus (COVID-19). As new policies emerge, the Better Care Playbook has created a resource center to curate federal guidance aimed at addressing COVID-19 for people with complex care needs.

Also, ATI Advisory created a helpful slide deck to describe recent federal and state policy action.

Symbol of virus COVID-19.

April1 st

Case managers play an increasingly vital role in today’s hospital landscape. The Care Excellence case management training for hospitals contains three series of self-paced courses.

The Aging and Disability Business Institute annual survey unpacks how community-based organizations (CBOs) are adapting and expanding services to meet the health-related, social needs of older adults and people with disabilities.

March26 th

Today at 10 am, PT, tune into AARP’s Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall on caring for family, friends, and neighbors during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. They’ll talk about creating a care plan, coordinating backup care, staying connected to isolated loved ones, and accessing local resources.

In addition, check out the following:

  • We’re sharing ideas on ways to cope with the near and long-term effects of the pandemic—because we are all in this together.
  • Family Caregiver Alliance has compiled a list of resources and articles for caregivers and their loved ones.
  • An article from Recode shares how older adults can use technology to stay healthy and connected during this challenging time.
March16 th

The Long-Term Quality Alliance (LTQA) and ATI Advisory hosted a webinar discussing implementation of Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI) within Medicare Advantage. Check out the recording and slides.

March11 th

Every three years, based on results of the AARP Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) State Scorecard, we honor states making significant progress in improving LTSS for older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers.

In 2017, Wisconsin was awarded the Pacesetter Prize for Choice of Setting and Provider. The state exhibited more progress in this domain than any other state, moving up from No. 8 in the 2011 Scorecard to No. 6. The next Pacesetter Prize recipients will be announced in summer 2020.

Symbol of state of Wisconsin Pacesetter Prize Winner

March3 rd

Do you advise people who would like to learn more about their Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits? In a recent mini-documentary created by Univision and shared on My Care, My Choice, Ernesto Vazquez describes his experience with navigating Medicare and Medicaid.

Older blind man

Learn about a Northern California model’s three-pronged approach to help long-term care residents return to the community.

 

February26 th

New federal opportunities are prompting states to develop or enhance integrated care programs for individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. In this new brief from the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), early adopters of these care models share insights on the factors that drove their investment and led to successful implementation.

State Efforts to Integrate Care Brief

Dr. Chernof and the Administration for Community Living’s Lance Robertson published a Health Affairs blog on addressing social determinants of health through partnerships between health care and community-based organizations (CBOs).

February20 th

The Long-Term Quality Alliance (LTQA), in collaboration with ATI Advisory (formerly Anne Tumlinson Innovations), recently held a public briefing on implementing Medicare Advantage, non-medical flexibilities made possible through the CHRONIC Care Act. A recording of the event and related materials are now available.

February13 th

Every three years, based on results of the AARP Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) State Scorecard, we honor states making significant progress in improving LTSS for older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers.

In 2017, Vermont was awarded the Pacesetter Prize for Affordability and Access. The state moved up from No. 19 in the 2011 Scorecard to No. 3, exhibiting more improvement than any other state. The next Pacesetter Prize recipients will be announced in summer 2020.

Symbol of Vermont, 2017 Pacesetter Prize awardee

February4 th
Governor Gavin Newsom released his 2020-21 proposed budget on January 10. Read our fact sheet on how this proposal would impact the state’s older adults, people with disabilities, and the Master Plan for Aging.

The state’s website encourages Californians to share their vision for the Master Plan for Aging, as well as keep up to date on its progress. Learn more about TSF’s Master Plan initiative.

Together We Engage

January30 th

How can services that address social needs be integrated into clinical care? A new report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine identifies current approaches and recommendations to expand social care in health care delivery. Read the related blog post.

January23 rd

Our initiative page on partnerships between community-based organizations (CBOs) and the health care sector links to myriad resources including the Aging and Disability Business Institute, training modules for CBOs to build their business acumen, and last year’s Blueprint for Health Plans.

older woman driving

The Care Excellence training program helps prepare care management teams in health plans and hospitals to best serve diverse older adults with complex needs. Check out the latest course offerings.

The AgingToday article discusses how health systems are learning to integrate the 4Ms (What Matters, Medication, Mentation, Mobility) into their workflows to improve care for older adults.

January15 th

A TSF-authored AARP blog post discusses how the California Master Plan should engage public and private sectors in systems-based solutions that touch all aspects of life experience (e.g., health, human services, housing, and transportation, among others).

December22 nd

On Tuesday, January 7, the Long-Term Quality Alliance (LTQA) – in collaboration with Anne Tumlinson Innovations (ATI) and with support from TSF – will hold a public briefing on Medicare Advantage and the CHRONIC Care Act.  We invite anyone interested in Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits to hear from Senator Mark Warner and a policy panel of expert stakeholders. Register today!

December12 th

We honor caregivers of all generations, particularly younger adults who have unique needs and experiences. Check out this Vox video and story on how millennial caregivers can be recognized, get informed, and feel supported.

Young millennial people posing for the camera.

December4 th

The Aging and Disability Business Institute is accepting December applications for two new learning collaboratives supporting community-health care partnerships. Access the Medicare Advantage Learning Collaborative and the Network Operations Learning Collaborative applications.

November20 th

Medicare Advantage plans now have the flexibility to offer special non-medical benefits for members with complex care needs. Read guiding principles on how these benefits can best support consumers and be sustainable. Also, hear from the National MLTSS (Managed Long-Term Services and Supports) Health Plan Association, one group who helped to develop these principles.

Hands symbolizing love and care.

A report from the Bipartisan Policy Center shared recommendations on ways to expand Medicare benefits for those with complex care needs.

October30 th

The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) recently highlighted the Medicare-Medicaid integration efforts of leading states.

A related toolkit from Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc., shares strategies states can implement when reforming their Medicaid long-term services and supports.

Most Americans want to age in place in their homes and community and are largely supported by family, friends, and neighbors. Learn what Minnesota is doing to ensure their publicly funded long-term services and supports (LTSS) also support older adults’ needs and preferences.

October10 th
Today, we’re debuting a brand new www.TheSCANFoundation.org and e-blast platform titled The Buzz!

As part of our Cal MediConnect evaluation, the latest University of California slide deck unpacks the effects of home- and community-based services (HCBS) for California dual eligibles.

October2 nd

Just in time for Medicare’s open enrollment, My Care, My Choice resources are now available in Traditional and Simplified Chinese, along with English and Spanish. See how it can help Californians with Medicare and Medi-Cal better understand their care choices!

My Care, My Choice logo with Chinese tag.

A new My Care, My Choice Comparison Chart unpacks the basics of California’s health care coverage choices for dual eligibles.

Watch a video series on Mi Salud, Mi Decisión, the Spanish version of My Care, My Choice. Univision ambassadors helped more than 500 people get their results.

Women using iPad to access website

September26 th

Improving health means addressing upstream social factors, like access to stable housing. Read the latest report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).

Integrating social care into the delivery of health care

September18 th

Californians with Medicare and Medi-Cal have many choices to get the health coverage they need, but it varies by county. This policy brief outlines available choices across the state, and describes the My Care, My Choice web resource.

July25 th

Millions of older adults have chronic conditions and daily living needs. Starting in 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allows Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans unprecedented flexibility to offer special supplemental benefits for chronically ill (SSBCI) enrollees.

Anne Tumlinson Innovations and the Long-Term Quality Alliance, with funding from TSF, gathered 30 industry leaders to develop guiding principles on how these benefits can best meet consumer needs and be sustainable.

Turning point in medicare policy

Today, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) released a report with recommendations on ways to expand supplemental benefits in Medicare, such as home-delivered meals, for those with complex care needs. Check out the Associated Press article.

A recent analysis outlines opportunities to serve complex care populations in Medicare Advantage plans. Also, see our 2018 policy brief on how the CHRONIC Care Act is a key step toward advancing person-centered care.

July17 th

Read a Better Care Playbook blog post from Anne Tumlinson on the importance for health plans to cover non-medical services and coordinate resources to help individuals and families manage their care.

A new shift, focusing on non-medical needs for the whole person

July11 th

Reflecting on our 10th anniversary, Driving Change: The SCAN Foundation’s First 10 Years highlights successes during our first decade and recommits to transforming care for older adults, now and for the future.

Annual report cover with older man in front of magazine stand

June26 th

Transportation can be a major obstacle for those who want to age in place, but do not drive. This AARP report, part of the 2017 Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) State Scorecard, details the value of and access to mobility managers.

June19 th

The Care Excellence training program helps prepare care management teams in health plans and hospitals to best serve diverse older adults with complex needs.

Here are a few TSF-funded resources on care integration:

  • The Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation hosted a fall symposium on state duals demonstrations, which resulted in 10 recommendations.
  • The Center for Health Care Strategies and Manatt Health Strategies toolkit shares approaches for states seeking to reform their Medicaid long-term services and supports systems.
May30 th

With a focus on sharing skills and resources, the Aging and Disability Business Institute (ADBI) seeks to strengthen partnerships between health care systems and community-based organizations (CBOs) that serve older adults and people with disabilities.

Aging and Disability Business Institute

May23 rd

Want an easy way to share My Care, My Choice (MCMC) with key stakeholders, including Californians with Medicare + Medi-Cal? Head to the Advisor Tools page and download the Outreach Flyer today!

My Care My Choice

April24 th

New research from Health Affairs finds that more than 14 million older adults will lack the financial resources to afford housing and daily living needs.

Review supporting materials, and check out the webcast from this morning’s forum.

In the next 10 years, 67% of middle-income seniors will have 3+ chronic conditions.

April3 rd

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) published a new report with considerations for governors and state leaders as they design and implement strategies to meet the long-term care needs of older adults and people with disabilities.

My Care, My Choice has been updated to be streamlined and simpler! See how this decision-support tool can help Californians with Medicare and Medi-Cal better understand their care choices, including those who are new to Medicare.

My Care My Choice

April19 th

The Handbook of Geriatric Assessment, Fifth Edition, is a multidisciplinary text that takes a contemporary approach in line with person- and family-centered care.

Authored by Drs. Terry Fulmer, president of The John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF), and Bruce Chernof, president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation, and with contributions from other foremost experts in the field, it contains the latest information on geriatric assessment for older adults.

Completely updated and revised, the Fifth Edition includes several new chapters, including demographic trends, age-friendly health systems, payment reform and impact, the Veterans Affairs health system, self-care and management, impact on familial relations, vulnerable populations, building geriatric interdisciplinary teams, advance care planning, caregiver information, spiritual assessment, older adult hunger, and transitions of care.

Learn more

January31 st
Today, Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) released a report on strategies to remove federal policy barriers so adults with complex care needs can get high-quality, person-centered, coordinated care.
January10 th
Based on 10 states’ efforts to integrate care, this Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) resource and infographic describes effective programs and presents policy considerations that are driving state investments in this area.
December7 th

States have significant flexibility to transform their Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS) programs in ways that advance care quality and manage costs. This toolkit from the Center for Health Care Strategies and Manatt Health shares proven, replicable strategies for states to improve person-centered, community-based options. It identifies concrete policy strategies, operational steps, and federal and state authorities that states have used to advance their LTSS reforms. The toolkit, developed with support from The SCAN Foundation and the Milbank Memorial Fund, also highlights opportunities and challenges that states faced in designing and implementing reforms.

January24 th
Dr. Bruce Chernof wrote a blog for Health Affairs that appeared on January 23, 2013.  Here’s an excerpt…

“Great struggles sometimes result in unexpected opportunities. In the waning moments of 2012, Congress remained in session to bridge partisan divides to solve the fiscal cliff impasse with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA).

Signing the ATRA into law also achieved policy change on items far beyond the tax code. For example, the new law repealed the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) provision in the Affordable Care Act.” Read on…