The Buzz

News on transforming care for older adults

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    June1 st

    We partner with UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program (IRP) to elevate innovative programs for older adults. Two recent articles share local activities that help older adults connect to their communities and could be replicated across the nation.

    • An Atlanta-based collaborative is equipping Black churches with funding and support to make services more welcoming for people living with dementia and their families.
    • Intergenerational programs in Connecticut and Ohio are helping older adults care for and retain their pets.

    Review past articles in the IRP series.

    May17 th

    The majority of older adults want to remain in their own homes and communities as they age, and home- and community-based care tends to be more cost-effective than institutional alternatives. Estimates indicate that gradually shifting Medicaid spending from institutional services to home- and community-based care, a process known as rebalancing, can reduce state costs by about 15 percent over 10 years.

    The federal American Rescue Plan Act temporarily increased funding states could use to improve Medicaid home- and community-based services, known as HCBS. States have through March 31, 2025, to use the funding for a variety of HCBS services.

    Learn more from the National Conference of State Legislatures, and watch a related webinar.

    Image of older couple at home

    May3 rd

    The “forgotten middle” represents more than 11 million older adults who will need health care and housing in the next 10 years but won’t qualify for Medicaid to help alleviate increasing costs. We’re hosting a virtual briefing on May 11 to discuss the urgent need for action.

    Join Dr. Sarita A. Mohanty, President and CEO of The SCAN Foundation, and Caroline Pearson, Executive Director at the Peterson Center on Healthcare, to provide insights on how the intersections of housing insecurity, health care access and affordability, and available community services affect older adults.

    Register for the May 11 webinar today.

    Image of May 11 Forgotten Middle Virtual Briefing Promo Graphic
    April19 th

    The Aging and Disability Business Institute at USAging is now accepting nominations for The John A. Hartford Foundation 2023 Business Innovation Award. The deadline for nominations is May 5.

    The John A. Hartford Foundation 2023 Business Innovation Award recognizes aging and disability community-based organizations (CBOs) for their innovative approaches to reducing health care costs and improving the well-being of older adults and people with disabilities through contracts and strategic partnerships with health care entities. The goal is to scale these types of partnerships nationwide. Apply today.

    Image of trophy with announcement language about business innovation award
    April12 th
    A multisector plan for aging (MPA) is a state-led strategic planning resource that can help states transform the infrastructure and coordination of services for their rapidly aging population. In partnership with TSF, West Health, and the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is accepting applications for participation in the second cohort of a multistate learning collaborative to advance MPAs. Up to 10 states will be invited to participate in the 12‑month collaborative. Learn more and apply by May 1, at 2 pm PT.
    March29 th

    Earlier this year, Senior Services Coalition of Alameda County convened local stakeholders for a virtual conference, Making the Difference: Striving for Equity at the Intersection of Health, Housing and Aging in the Community. Event presentations, conference materials, and recordings of the sessions are now available on the Coalition’s website.

    Through community health needs assessments, hospitals work with the community to identify unmet needs and then implement a plan to prioritize and address them. Nonprofit hospitals often fund some or most of this work using community benefit dollars. Join USAging’s Aging and Disability Business Institute (ADBI) this Friday for an overview of this process, why it is important, and how community-based organizations can partner with hospitals to drive more equitable health outcomes.

    There is a lack of geriatric-prepared providers in rural areas where older adults live. A study of Pennsylvania’s largest federally qualified health center found that using the Project ECHO model to train rural providers on the 4Ms Age-Friendly Health Systems Framework demonstrated successful process outcomes.

    March23 rd

    Four years into implementation, nearly 40 percent of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are offering either expanded primarily health-related benefits (EPHRB) or Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI) to help beneficiaries meet goals for independence. The latest report produced by ATI Advisory and Long-Term Quality Alliance (LTQA) examines the growth of three specific benefits: in-home support services, caregiver supports, and social needs.

    Watch a recording complementing the report featuring opening remarks from TSF Vice President of Policy Narda Ipakchi.

    Image and anecdote from latest report

    Our partnership with UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program supports reporting on issues affecting the lives of older adults living at home and in community. A recent piece in The Sacramento Bee and affiliated publications explores reasons why nearly 1.5 million eligible older adults in California aren’t taking advantage of the state food stamp program.

    March8 th

    Last week, the Alliance for Health Policy held a webinar to discuss telehealth policy and other considerations for using the public health emergency (PHE) flexibilities to improve person-centered, equitable care for adults. Watch the recording, as well as access the transcript and presentation.

    The related PHE Flexibilities Roadmap for Policymakers resources supported by TSF and released earlier this year provide concrete and consensus-driven recommendations to federal and state policymakers on which temporary Medicare and Medicaid flexibilities should be made permanent.

    Everyone experiences aging differently. Our long-time project with Hollywood, Health & Society, part of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, has aimed to change the narrative around aging through entertainment by encouraging screenwriters to write more diverse and dynamic storylines for older actors.
    Check out our latest video featuring TSF President and CEO Sarita A. Mohanty, MD, MPH, MPA, and a number of beloved actors who note they’re “still in the game.”
    Image of actors starring in video
    February28 th

    Join Alliance for Health Policy this Friday for a webinar: Moving Beyond COVID-19: Considerations for Using PHE Flexibilities to Improve Person-Centered Care. The event will feature TSF leadership and a diverse panel of experts to discuss considerations for using the public health emergence (PHE) flexibilities to improve person-centered, equitable care for older adults.

    This webinar further unpacks the PHE Flexibilities Roadmap for Policymakers resources supported by TSF and released earlier this year. The Roadmap provides concrete and consensus-driven recommendations to federal and state policymakers on which temporary Medicare and Medicaid flexibilities should be made permanent. View the related media advisory.

    The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago conducted a 2022 survey on the health care needs and experiences of Californians age 55 and older. Our new fact sheets distill findings as they relate to care coordination, mental health, income disparities, and caregiving.

    Learn about our initiative to influence access and care delivery and coordinate medical and nonmedical services in support of community living.

    AP-NORC visualization showing that a quarter of Californians age 55 and older didn't get the care they needed with routine care needs

    How are Medicare Advantage (MA) plans structuring and delivering nonmedical supplemental benefits to meaningfully meet members’ needs? The Long-Term Quality Alliance (LTQA) and ATI Advisory conducted an analysis of three nonmedical benefits: in-home support services (IHSS), caregiver supports, and social needs. Join them for a webinar to learn about the findings.

    Image advertising March 13 webinar
    February15 th

    A Multisector Plan for Aging (MPA) is an umbrella term for a state-led, multiyear planning process that convenes cross-sector stakeholders to address the needs of older adults and people with disabilities.

    A Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) blog from Kim McCoy Wade – Senior Advisor on Aging, Disability and Alzheimer’s for the Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom – offers advice to states that are beginning the journey. Also, watch a recent Future Proof Live episode all about MPAs.

    Graphic of older adults and title of CHCS blog post


    The complex care evidence base is growing, yet meaningful patient involvement in the research is lacking. As a result, researchers often measure “success” as defined by health systems and plans, typically based on reduced utilization and costs.

    The Better Care Playbook engaged a social justice, community, and behavioral health advocate to discuss the value of involving people with lived experience in the research process.

    February1 st

    The latest chartbook from ATI Advisory provides insight on supplemental benefits offered by Medicare Advantage (MA) plans in 2023, including the recently expanded primarily health-related benefits (EPHRB) and the Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI).

    The chartbook offers an analysis of the benefit offerings, along with maps of where benefits are available, the number of plans offering these benefits, and the MA organizations with the most plans offering these benefits.
    January19 th

    By the end of the decade, all baby boomers will be age 65 and older. Recognizing this shift and the variety of factors that affect the aging experience, state policymakers have engaged numerous programs to help older adults thrive.

    The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) highlights progress across the country, including those states already implementing Multisector Plans for Aging (MPAs) or participating in the Multisector Plan for Aging Learning Collaborative.

    Logo of the National Conference of State Legislatures

    The American Society on Aging (ASA) is partnering with The John A. Hartford Foundation, West Health, and TSF on a blog series and programming to foster Multisector Plans for Aging (MPAs) across the country. The first post unpacks MPA components and how to get involved.

    Also, join the January 25 Future Proof Live webinar on MPAs, and how states can coordinate infrastructure and services through these statewide comprehensive plans to go beyond traditional health and community services.
    Map of Multisector Plan for Aging Activity Across States

    Watch a recent California Collaborative for Long Term Services and Supports (CCLTSS) webinar, which shares how regional coalitions are elevating local Multisector Plans for Aging (MPAs) in rural areas. Another helpful CCLTSS recording dives into the benefits of assessing regional strengths.

    December14 th

    An Investigative Reporting Program article, originally published in The Washington Post, highlights examples of a changing villages movement—one that is building upon diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) principles, and considering past and current barriers for people of color and diverse communities as it works to expand membership and help more people age in place.

    December7 th
    Commissioned by the Partnership to Align Social Care, Manatt Health has developed a playbook for state Medicaid agencies seeking to partner with Community Care Hubs (CCHs) in the design and implementation of social determinants of health (SDOH) initiatives. The playbook offers an introduction to the key functions of CCHs, and practical advice on how state Medicaid agencies can collaborate with them.
    A recent webinar shared key highlights from the playbook. Access the recording and materials.
    Image with title of report and pictures of report authors
    November30 th

    A new brief from ATI Advisory offers data insights on 2023 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans offering the five expanded primarily health-related benefits (EPHRB). The brief includes information on where plans are offering EPHRB and an overview across both MA special needs plans (SNPs) and non-SNP MA organizations. This is part of ATI’s broader effort to track nonmedical supplemental benefits and builds on their recent chartbook.

    Bringing awareness to issues affecting the lives of community-dwelling older adults, our partnership with UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program inspires unique reporting opportunities. A recent article published by climate justice site Grist elevated an intergenerational housing story in France as an example of how to protect older adults during heat waves.