The Buzz

News on transforming care for older adults

    Tagged in: `covid19`

    August9 th

    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


    April19 th
    Logo of the Central Coast Center for Independent Living

    During the pandemic, the Central Coast Center for Independent Living (CCCIL) evolved their strategies to maximize programs’ impact on community members. Learn how the Regional Coalition is thinking about the future.

    CCCIL 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.

    Check out other Regional Coalition feature stories.
    January11 th

    Supported by TSF, a group of expert stakeholders with diverse perspectives met over several months to assess COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) flexibilities. Resources on the webpage PHE Flexibilities Roadmap for Policymakers provide concrete and consensus-driven recommendations to federal and state policymakers on which temporary Medicare and Medicaid flexibilities should be made permanent to increase access to equitable, person-centered care for older adults. View the Roadmap and media advisory.

    Among the flexibilities that experts found should be made permanent are those that:

    • Expand telehealth benefits to ensure equitable access to remote care;
    • Maximize clinician scope of practice to expand the workforce available to care for older adults; and
    • Ease Medicare and Medicaid program requirements to enable more individuals to qualify to get the care they need.

    Symbols of computer, clinicians, and clipboard.

    Throughout the pandemic, research showed the potential for PHE flexibilities to minimize administrative, clinical, and financial barriers while significantly advancing person-centered, equitable care.

    The Roadmap was developed following formative efforts. This included a 2022 issue brief and policymaker playbook that examined the benefits and risks of PHE flexibilities, described a person-centered assessment framework, and offered recommendations for flexibilities that could be considered for permanence.

    November17 th

    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.

    July7 th

    Few Americans say their lives have returned to what they were pre-pandemic, according to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (AP-NORC). Groups that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic – such as Black and Hispanic Americans – express more reservations about returning to public life and cite the availability of effective COVID-19 treatments as essential for doing so.

    “It’s critical to consider the needs of Hispanic and Black American communities beyond masking and testing, but also through the continuation of pandemic-era services like telehealth, curbside pickup, and virtual options for social activities that help those concerned about the virus to still engage with public life,” said Dr. Sarita A. Mohanty, president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation.

    See the related Associated Press article.

    April28 th

    In a recent blog, we teamed with Milbank Memorial Fund to discuss how states can overcome challenges and make the most of American Rescue Plan Act funding for home- and community-based services (HCBS).


    March30 th

    Medicare and Medicaid flexibilities enacted during the pandemic created opportunities to advance person-centered care. Join our President and CEO Sarita A. Mohanty TODAY, March 30, for a discussion hosted by Alliance for Health Policy on how to strengthen these flexibilities for future generations.

    Image of Dr. Mohanty next to her quote from March 2022 press release

    March23 rd

    A new issue brief and policymaker playbook from Health Management Associates and Manatt Health provide a framework to help policymakers assess which COVID-19 Medicare and Medicaid regulatory flexibilities advance person-centered care and should be made permanent.

    Join our President and CEO Sarita A. Mohanty on March 30 for a discussion hosted by Alliance for Health Policy on how to maintain and strengthen these flexibilities for future generations.

    March9 th

    There is a clear need to assess the impact of Medicare and Medicaid flexibilities enacted during the pandemic. Join an Alliance for Health Policy event on March 30 for a discussion on how to maintain and strengthen these flexibilities for future generations. In the meantime, watch a related session from TSF’s 2021 Forum. 

    COVID-19 disproportionately affected older adults, those with complex health conditions, and family caregivers. Manatt Health’s updated resource guide assesses which COVID-19-related policies should be made a permanent part of broader long-term services and supports (LTSS) system reform.

    Our Sustaining Flexibilities in Medicare and Medicaid initiative engages partners to expand the knowledge base through reporting on the implementation and outcomes of the Medicare-Medicaid flexibilities. Watch a Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy video that discusses leveraging reforms to expand home-based care. 

    February10 th

    Dr. Mohanty recently reflected on 2021 and looked ahead to efforts TSF is advancing. Read her Perspectives and watch the related clip.

    January27 th

    Governor Newsom’s recently released 2022-23 proposed budget includes several changes that impact services for older adults and people with disabilities. See how the proposed budget addresses Master Plan for Aging priorities like health care access and the care economy workforce.

    January5 th

    Through our partnerships with the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (AP-NORC), reporters are sharing the experiences of older adults living in community. The following coverage rounded out 2021:

    • An article in The Washington Post explained how family caregivers are using monitoring technology to keep older loved ones with cognitive decline safe. The piece looked at related issues of affordability, access, and quality of care as well as ethical questions about privacy.
    • How are older adults dealing with ongoing COVID-19 isolation? A Travel + Leisure article recounted one retiree’s experiences and train travels. A Next Avenue piece shared how an intergenerational program in San Francisco expanded its purpose to support older and younger people during the pandemic.
    • Polling explored people’s opinions of telehealth and The Associated Press unpacked how preferences vary based on age, race and ethnicity, education, and income.

    December16 th

    Older adults can age well in their community of choice with proper supports and services. This can take the form of family, friends, neighbors, and even community centers where older adults can connect with people their own age. Watch as three older adults share their stories.

    Older woman and daughter in nursery.

    December1 st

    Since COVID-19 emerged, Americans have had a lot of time to think about what they want their life to be like, including what it means to age well and equitably. Watch three older adults who are thriving at home in community with the support of loved ones.

    This work is one example of how our communication partners give voice to issues of aging and support enhanced storytelling. Learn more.

    Building on lessons during COVID-19, a new National Academy of Medicine paper outlines priority actions and policy considerations for centering patients, families, and communities in health care delivery. Read a related report examining the care system’s pandemic response. 

    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many inefficiencies in the nation’s long-term care (LTC) system. A recent Health Affairs blog looks at the impact of payment policies on nursing facilities. Another discusses state approaches for stabilizing the direct care work force through American Rescue Plan Act funds.

    November17 th

    Our monthlong series explored aging and engaging with our health care and long-term care systems. We highlighted personal experiences of older Californians, consulted with experts, and captured visual summaries.

    The Forum culminated with a poem written in real time bringing us back to the heart of the matter: What do we mean by “aging well” and “aging equitably”? View all the Forum recordings and resources.

    Illustration created by graphic recorder Christopher Fuller of Griot's Eye Inc. This illustration summarizes the major themes and ideas that were discussed during The SCAN Foundation's 2021 Forum: Amplifying All Voices in Aging. The graphic is divided into four quadrants. The top left quadrant represents week 1: "Amplifying All Voices in Long-Term Services and Supports Systems Transformation: California State of the State" and some of the selected highlights are: 1) a simple icon representing the COVID-19 shape with white text that says, "COVID-19 has been challenging, but let's not waste the opportunity it gives us!" 2) Next to the COVID-19 drawing is a drawing of a pie with the word "equity" carved into it. Surrounding the pie is the text, "budget planning: Bake equity in!" 3) a drawing of a megaphone that announces, "bring in more voices!" Then in the top right quadrant, the artist has summarized week 2 "From Theory to Practice: Delivering Care for People with Complex Needs" with the following highlights: 1) a drawing of an open toolbox that is labeled "The complex care toolkit." The toolkit's features are listed as: "building blocks for training; guidelines for hiring and attitudes; and case studies." 2) A drawing of a woman's face with an accompanying word balloon that says, "I know, because I've been there." This drawing is headlined by the words, "empathy" and "value the lived experience." 3) a drawing of three people that represents a well-trained interdisciplinary, diverse, care team. The bottom left quadrant features illustrated highlights from week 3 "Transforming Medicare and Medicaid Beyond COVID-19 for a Person-Centered Future." Some of its highlights are: 1) A drawing showing a barn versus a city skyline with the header, "let's expand remote services beyond rural!" 2) A drawing of a nurse practitioner administering an IV with the header "Stabilize the workforce with people working above their license." 3) A drawing of a daughter and her older father having a video visit with a doctor. The header for this illustration is "Telehealth benefits all!" The bottom right quadrant is week 4 "A Future Vision for Aging Well and Equitably Beyond COVID: Reflections from Public Health, Media, and Technology Leaders." The artist has captured two main highlights from that session that both show the importance of storytelling. The first graphic shows a grandmother having a video visit on her computer with her grandchildren. This image is juxtaposed with an older homeless man holding a sign that says, "no food, no home, no water, no power, no wifi." Above their graphic is the header, "make stories personable!" And below the drawing is the words, "make broadband accessible!" The second graphic captured by the artist is a quote from the poem, "Ode to Aging Well and Equitably" by Brian Sonia-Wallace that was created for the 2021 Forum. The quote is: "hidden inequalities cry for storytellers." Tying the four quadrants together is a centerpiece illustration featuring a diverse group of adults, including one man in a wheelchair, family, health care workers, and community members that jointly hold a large sign featuring the name of the event: "2021 Forum: Amplifying All Voices In Aging."