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⭒ News & Notes Archive

April 2014

In this Issue

Changing California’s Medi-Cal Recovery System:  SB 1124 (Hernandez) – Your Support is Needed!

SB 1124 (Hernandez) was introduced on Thursday, March 27, 2014 – no bells and whistles rang out, but they should have.  SB 1124, co-sponsored by CANHR and Western Center on Law and Poverty, includes the most important Medi-Cal Recovery changes since 1993, when the current law was passed via Governor Wilson’s budget proposal. The new language is now in print:

Many poor Californians are afraid to enroll in the Medi-Cal Expansion for fear of losing their homes to the Medi-Cal Recovery Program.  SB 1124 would address this barrier to enrollment by eliminating most of the optional recovery provisions and allow thousands of older, low-income Medi-Cal beneficiaries to be relieved of the worry about losing their family homes.

The first hearing on SB 1124 is tentatively set for April 9 in the Senate Health Committee – send letters of support by Wednesday April 2nd, to Senator Ed Hernandez, Chair, Senate Health Committee via FAX: (916) 324-0384.  Please email or fax me a copy of your letter to  or  FAX: (415) 777-2904.

We’ll keep you up to date on the status, or go to to follow the status of this important bill.

OIG Finds One-in-Three Nursing Home Residents Suffer Adverse Events

A February 27, 2014 report by the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) concluded that 32 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who went to skilled nursing facilities in August 2011 suffered adverse events or other harm. The report, Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries, attributes “much of the preventable harm to substandard treatment, inadequate monitoring, and failure or delay of necessary care.”

Physician reviewers working with OIG found that 59 percent of the adverse events and incidents of harm, including falls, pressure ulcers and medication errors, were preventable. The Inspector General calculated that 1,538 residents died, 10,742 residents experienced harm and Medicare paid $208 million for hospitalizations of nursing home residents, just in the month of August 2011.

The terribly high occurrence of neglect, harm and death are remarkable because the OIG study examined records of Medicare beneficiaries whose stays averaged 15.5 days; the residents of nursing homes who usually get the very best of care. Had the OIG performed the same review for long stay residents on Medicaid, there is no doubt that the findings would have been even more alarming.

Beware of the Unintended Consequence

Marketers of reverse mortgages have been erroneously telling seniors that borrowers never have to worry about leaving their homes. This is not true. There can be much to worry about.  In a recent New York Times article, two surviving adult children of reverse mortgage borrowers are suffering the repercussions of their parents not fully understanding the consequence of getting involved with reverse mortgages. To read the full article visit:


Upcoming Events

Educational Healthcare Forum on the Coordinated Care Initiative

Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) at Sourcewise (previously Council on Aging Silicon Valley) welcomes all who are interested to an educational healthcare forum on the Coordinated Care Initiative. Inform and prepare yourself as experts explain the options and changes that will affect you. See below for details on the topics that will be covered. Seating is limited.

Santa Clara Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A
5001 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Training for Social Workers, Discharge Planners, Geriatric Case Managers, and Other Professionals: Changes to Healthcare Under the Affordable Care Act and Medi-Cal Recovery

There are many healthcare changes taking place in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, including the expansion of the Medi-Cal program, Covered California, and changes to the delivery of Medi-Cal and Medicare under the Coordinated Care Initiative. This presentation will give an overview of the Affordable Care Act and Medi-Cal Recovery with a focus on helping nursing facility residents evaluate their health plan options under the Coordinated Care Initiative.
Presenters: Amber Cutler, National Senior Citizens Law Center, and Patricia McGinnis, CANHR, Executive Director

Magnolia Place Family Center
1910 Magnolia Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Friday, May 9th, 2014
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
3 Hours of CEU Credits
Price – $30

Attorney Training: ACA Implementation in California and Long Term Care Issues in 2014

This course will include recent legislative and regulatory changes; the impact of the Affordable Care Act Implementation in California on seniors and persons with disabilities; the use of care contracts in long term care planning; rights and remedies pertaining to long term care insurance; and a “review” of frequently asked questions regarding Medi-Cal, Medicare and Long Term Care.

Tuition is $225 for private bar attorneys and other estate planning professionals. Tuition includes materials, continental breakfast and lunch.

Pickwick Gardens Conference Center
1001 Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91506
Saturday, May 10th, 2014
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
6.5 Hours of MCLE Credits