The Buzz

News on transforming care for older adults


Topics in: `Medicare & Medicaid`

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.

Amid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) began a series of interviews with Area Agency on Aging directors who are working across the United States.

April15 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.

April8 th

In his latest Perspectives, Dr. Chernof discusses how person-centered care is fundamental when confronting the challenges of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Also, read Dr. Chernof’s additional contributions to the Better Care Playbook and Next Avenue.

Older man watching video on laptop.

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.

In California’s COVID-19 Response Toolkit, find videos and social media content about state and local resources to support the health, safety, and well-being of all Californians during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Symbol of a home letting people know to stay home and save lives.

April1 st

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has compiled a variety of information and resources for those working in the health care sector. Also, read the World Health Organization publication on the rights and responsibilities of health workers, including considerations for occupational safety and health.

California is preparing for an increase in the number of people who need health care in our communities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The state is opening additional sites to treat people affected by COVID-19 and to relieve pressure on our health care system by providing care for non-COVID-19 cases. Learn about the California Health Corps.

Earlier this week was National Doctors’ Day. To commemorate their heroic efforts, Forbes shared first-person stories from the front lines.

Symbol of a house with a person staying home.

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.

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.

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).

A webinar on the Better Care Playbook unpacks how two health care innovators are successfully engaging their communities and using consumer insights to rethink service delivery.

February20 th
TSF will be at South by Southwest (SXSW) next month. Follow all the conversation on Twitter, and join our two sessions if you’re attending.
  • Old People Are Cool, Design for Them Sucks: High-quality design has thankfully made its way into just about every category of products and services…except for things made to serve Americans age 65 and older. Learn what TSF is doing to improve design efforts with older adults.
  • Treating the Other 1% – Americans with Unmet Needs: One percent of people with complex care needs account for 20 percent of U.S. health care expenditures, and they often experience multiple medical and long-term care challenges. Join Dr. Chernof for a discussion on delivering better care to these individuals.

Older Hispanic couple laughing.

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.

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.
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

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.

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!

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.

A new model in Memphis, Tenn., reduced emergency department visits nearly 70 percent and saved the health system more than $7 million by fostering secure and genuine connections between patients and providers.

Symbol of patient and nurse.

October10 th

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

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.

September12 th

New findings, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and supported by the Six Foundations, explore mechanisms and motivations used by high-performing accountable care organizations (ACOs) to improve complex care.

August21 st

What are special needs plans (SNPs)? Who do they help? A new primer on the Better Care Playbook explores the three different types of SNPs and the populations each serve.

Learn about 3 types of special needs plans

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

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.
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

May16 th

Do you know the four fundamental components of helping people with complex care needs? One complex care hospitalist program highlighted in the Better Care Playbook aims to address these and more.

People with complex health and social needs deserve #BetterCare

May9 th

A new video series from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement/Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation explores the transformation of care for people with involved disabilities.

Transforming care for people with disabilities

Researchers at University of California, San Francisco released a new report about the experiences of California’s Medicare-Medicaid enrollees between 2015-18. Cal MediConnect beneficiaries reported higher levels of confidence and continuity of care, but key differences remain by county, race, language, and disability levels.

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

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.

July28 th
The Commonwealth Fund, The John A. Hartford Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Peterson Center on Healthcare, and The SCAN Foundation Co-Author Piece in the New England Journal of Medicine to Announce Innovative New Collaboration