The Buzz

News on transforming care for older adults


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    January20 th

    A new analysis by ATI Advisory shows that more Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are offering Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI) in 2022. Learn more about which plans are offering which benefits.

    More states are interested in developing Master Plans for Aging (MPAs). Read New York’s announcement, and a recent blog highlighting a podcast on lessons learned in Colorado and Texas.

    To advance MPA activities, the Center for Health Care Strategies seeks Letters of Intent for states to participate in a learning collaborative. The deadline for submission is Monday, January 31.

    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

    An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (AP-NORC) poll finds that preferences for telehealth vary based on age, race and ethnicity, education, and income. Appointment availability and avoiding COVID-19 are top reasons respondents chose telehealth, but many older adults, especially people of color, have concerns related to access and quality.

    “The expanded use of telehealth provides a tremendous opportunity to rethink how we provide health care through the lens of equity and inclusion,” said Dr. Sarita A. Mohanty, President & CEO of The SCAN Foundation. “Older adults see telehealth as a faster, more convenient, and in some cases more affordable way to access care. Addressing their concerns about access to technology and quality of care could go a long way to expanding its use even further.”

    Read the related Associated Press coverage.

    Graphs depicting most nonwhite adults concerns about using telehealth

    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.

    California’s Master Plan for Aging calls for the modernization of the state’s Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP). Recommendations focus on ways to reach more Medicare beneficiaries and prioritize equity in their service offerings. Learn more.

    December8 th

    Learn the who, what, where, and how of home and community-based services (HCBS) in a new fact sheet from AARP as part of a series on transforming long-term services and supports (LTSS) as part of the LTSS State Scorecard.

    More states are considering their own Master Plan for Aging (MPA). Read about state activity, see what New York state is doing, and get started with this toolkit and related webinar.

    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. 

    November10 th

    The Support and Services at Home (SASH) model meets people where they are, integrating housing with community-based services and health care to coordinate services. An article in Generations Today explores how SASH is being used in different states.

    October26 th

    Journalists from the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley are sharing the experiences of older adults living in community through an equity lens. Recent coverage includes:

    • ‘It Makes a Humongous Difference’: Lack of Wi-Fi in City Single-Room Occupancy Hotels Deepens Residents’ Isolation (San Francisco Chronicle)
    • Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland (The New York Times)
    • ‘How Am I Going to Keep This Up?’ COVID Intensifies Plight of Family Caregivers (CalMatters)

    Also, summer polling from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (AP-NORC) showed Americans generally think their communities offer the services needed to age at home. Yet, people of color and people with lower incomes are less likely to report their area does a good job providing health care, transportation, and in-home supports, among other services.

    September29 th

    An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (AP-NORC) poll finds that many older adults continue to worry about COVID-19 infection and are more likely to practice social distancing. To cope with increased isolation, older adults are using video chat, social media, and telehealth when needed.

    Read the press release and related Associated Press coverage.

     

    The Better Care Playbook aims to share the best in promising approaches to improve care for people with complex health and social needs. Take this brief survey to provide feedback.

    September16 th

    A wide range of Americans rely on long-term care (LTC) for help with daily living. Nearly half of all adults aged 65 today will need LTC at some point in their lives. Learn about current proposals for LTC that expand access to home- and community-based services (HCBS).

    • Watch this week’s webinar addressing LTC affordability and current proposals to expand Medicaid HCBS.
    • Read a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center on how LTC can be made more affordable for people who do not qualify for Medicaid.

    September1 st

    Join us with the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) on Tuesday, September 14, for a virtual discussion of proposals to expand the availability of Medicaid home- and community-based services (HCBS). BPC will also release a new report on making long-term care more affordable for people who do not qualify for Medicaid.

    Related: Read a new blog from the National Conference of State Legislatures highlighting opportunities for states to improve access to HCBS through several options, including the Medicaid HCBS funding in the American Rescue Plan Act.

    How can community-based organizations (CBOs) improve their business acumen?

    Read a recent Generations Today article sharing insights from the Aging and Disability Business Institute (ADBI) learning collaborative.

    See also ADBI’s new Health Care Outreach Toolkit for CBOs.

    August25 th

    The nation’s long-term care system must become more accessible and affordable if it’s to meet the needs of older adults and people with disabilities.

    To accelerate progress, AARP Public Policy Institute has launched LTSS Choices: A Series on Advancing Transformation in Long-Term Services and Supports.

    Related: Watch a video on supporting family caregivers, and read a Health Affairs blog about current policy options.

    August4 th

    We partner with UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program to build awareness on aging in America and elevate how myriad sectors affect the lives of older adults. See the latest coverage below.

    Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S) at USC informs the entertainment industry’s depictions of aging and family caregiving. This new resource page compiles data on aging and health-related storylines along with viewer perceptions and actions.

    July28 th

    The latest Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (AP-NORC) poll shows Americans generally think their communities offer the services needed to age at home. Yet, people of color and people with lower incomes are less likely to report their area does a good job providing health care, transportation, and in-home supports, among other services.

    “Americans want to age at home, but not all populations have the ability to do so—particularly communities of color and those of lower socioeconomic status,” said Dr. Sarita A. Mohanty, President & CEO of The SCAN Foundation. “Through the thoughtful use of the American Rescue Plan funds, states and localities can make a huge difference by creating more equitable access to key community services that make living well and safely at home a reality.”

    Read the related Associated Press coverage.

    AARP Public Policy Institute shares how some states are addressing the needs of older adults and people with disabilities by linking affordable housing to long-term services and supports (LTSS).

    June30 th

    New research from the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation shares Medicare-Medicaid beneficiary perspectives on integrated care and offers recommendations to improve enrollment.

    A Better Care Playbook blog highlights how older adults and people with disabilities who are homebound have lower rates of COVID-19 vaccine than the general population. Learn about steps being taken to consider the needs of homebound individuals and increase vaccination rates.