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⭒ News & Notes Archive

April 2016

In this Issue

SB 33 Hernandez – Medi-Cal Recovery Reform Act Now

Funding for SB 33 – which would reform the Medi-Cal recovery program – will be heard on May 12 in the Senate Budget & fiscal Review Subcommittee #3

Please send letters of support to:
Senator Holly Mitchell and Senator Bill Monning
State Capitol, Room 5019
Sacramento, CA 95814
SB 33 would limit Medi-Cal recovery for those who are 55+ years of age to only what is required by federal law, and eliminate optional recovery for other services; eliminate recovery on surviving spouses’ estates; allow hardship exemptions for homesteads of modest value; and limit the amount of interest the state can charge.

And please let the Governor Brown know that you want him to sign this bill. There is still hope that his administration can be persuaded that forcing low-income citizens to sell their family homes or pay back Medi-Cal claims at 7% interest destabilizes low-income communities and is simply poor public policy.
Click Here For Information

Sacramento Bee Reports Shifting Population in California Nursing Homes Creates Dangerous Mix

A new investigation and report by the Sacramento Bee describes dangerous conditions inside California nursing homes related to changing admission practices at many nursing homes. Nursing homes are increasingly admitting younger persons with chronic or mental illnesses, those suffering from addictions and individuals who lack housing. The Bee reports that the population of California nursing home residents under age 65 grew by nearly 40 percent over the last 20 years, while the number over 65 shrank by 11 percent. The “quality of care appears to be a casualty in the changing patient mix,” the Bee found because many nursing homes are not prepared to meet the divergent needs of residents.
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Updated 2016 Aged & Disabled Medi-Cal Threshold and APPR

The Department has updated the threshold limits for Aged and Disabled FPL Medi-Cal, effective retroactively to 4/1/16. The new limit is $1220 for individuals, and $1645 for couples. (ACWDL 16-06) The Department has also updated the APPR for 2016, effective retroactively to 1/1/2016. The new APPR is $8,189. (ACWDL 16-11).

Justice in Aging has Produced Two New Fact Sheets for Advocates and Consumers that Outline the Basics of Durable Medical Equipment

Justice in Aging, with the support from The San Francisco Foundation, has produced two new fact sheets that cover the ins and outs of accessing Durable Medical Equipment (DME) for those covered under Medicare and Medi-Cal. The fact sheets are aimed towards Advocates and Consumers to learn more about certain types of DME, the coverage levels by insurance type, and steps advocates can take to help clients access DME depending on their insurance coverage. For consumers, there is a section for troubleshooting tips for common difficulties encountered when accessing DME and more information on the different types of DME that exist.

Support Needed for AB 1655 (Dodd): Medi-Cal Personal Needs Allowance

Please join CANHR in supporting AB 1655 (Dodd), which would increase the personal needs allowance (PNA) for nursing home residents on Medi-Cal from $35 to $80 per month. The current PNA was established in 1984 and has not received a cost of living adjustment for over three decades. Right now, nursing home residents on Medi-Cal must rely on just $35 per month to pay for all of their personal needs, including clothing, haircuts and personal care items. Please help restore dignity and personal agency to California’s nursing home residents by sending a letter of support to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Click here for more details and a sample support letter

Troubling Legislation by Nursing Home Industry Moves Forward

Two alarming bills sponsored by the nursing home industry are speeding through the California Legislature. CANHR is opposing both bills.

AB 2014 (Dababneh) would make low-cost financing and loan guarantees available to for-profit operators and chains to acquire, construct or remodel nursing homes. The money would come from the California Health Facilities Financing Authority Fund and the Health Facility Construction Loan Insurance Fund, which were originally established to provide affordable financing for nonprofit and public health facilities. AB 2104 would betray this mission and help fund the expansion of for-profit nursing home chains that are providing poor quality of care to their residents. Sponsored by the California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF), which represents mostly for-profit nursing homes, AB 2104 passed the Assembly Health Committee by an 18-0 vote on April 19.

AB 2341 (Lackey) is a bill sponsored by LeadingAge California (a trade association representing non-profit care providers) to allow skilled nursing facilities to deliver unregulated “special services” to residents and outpatients. The bill has been amended to specify that dialysis, peritoneal and infusion services could be provided by skilled nursing facilities. CANHR is concerned that AB 2341 would allow nursing homes to deliver these services to outpatients and would not appropriately set standards for or regulate their delivery. The bill is before the full Assembly after passing the Assembly Health and Assembly Appropriations Committees by 18-0 and 20-0 votes. 

The Older Americans Act Finally Clears Congress

Congress has finally passed bipartisan legislation renewing the Older Americans Act for three years, sending it to President Obama for his signature. In essence, the bill will allow older adults to remain at home and in the community by providing them with necessary services to maintain their independence. The Older Americans Act also saves Medicaid and Medicare untold millions each year.
Read More…

Upcoming Events

Webinar Series for Social Workers, Discharge Planners, and Other Professionals Working With Elders in the Community

All sessions are scheduled from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and are certified for 1.0 hour of CEU credits. Tuition: $20 per training or $50 for the series of three. For SWAP Members: $15 per training or $40 for the series of three.

  • Wednesday, May 4, 2016: Capacity & Conservatorships
  • Wednesday, May 11, 2016: Hospital & SNF Discharge Rights
  • Wednesday, May 18, 2016: Navigating the Medi-Cal Maze

CANHR will be hosting an information booth at the following events

Please Join us to Learn More About Long Term Care Advocacy and Elder Abuse Prevention!

“Celebrate Healthy Aging”, the Human Services Department’s Information Fair Celebrating Older Americans Month

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 from 10:00AM- 2:00PM
Location: City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, CA 94612

Kenneth C. Aitken Senior Center’s 10th Annual Senior Health and Wellness Resource Fair
Thursday, May 5th, 2016 from 9:00AM – 1:00PM
Location: 17800 Redwood Rd. Castro Valley, CA 94546

34th Annual Senior Health & Information Faire
Wednesday, May 11th , 2016 9:00 AM-12:00PM
Location: Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plz, Richmond, CA 94804