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Author Archives: mshepard

Center for Medicare Advocacy Submits Comments to Proposed Rule re: Medicare Advantage and Part D

On November 28, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule entitled Contract Year 2019 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost Plan, Medicare Fee-for-Service, the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs, and the PACE Program  (82 FR 56336). On January 16, 2018, Center attorneys submitted comments to … Read more

January 16, 2018 Via Electronic Submission to www.regulations.gov Seema Verma, Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Department of Health and Human Services Attention: CMS-4182-P P.O. Box 8013 Baltimore, MD 21244-8013 Re: CMS-4182-P – Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs for Contract Year 2019 Dear Administrator … Read more

Josephine Kalipeni is the Director of Policy and Partnerships at Caring Across Generations. Ms. Kalipeni’s expertise includes asset-based grassroots and faith organizing, public speaking, and policy development for issues-based campaigns in health, education, and international affairs, with a focus on racial and economic equity. She initially worked in family case management and social work, assisting … Read more

Remembering Martin Luther King in 2018

On Monday, January 15, we will pause to reflect on the incredible legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In a time such as ours, when faith in institutions is shaken, new generations feel the sting of bigotry and common decency often seems passé, Dr. King’s dream has never been more relevant. Dr. King had … Read more

2018 CT Medicare Savings Programs

If you have Medicare, Social Security deducts money from your check each month to pay for your Medicare Part B premium.  If you qualify for one of Connecticut’s three Medicare Savings Programs (MSP), the State of Connecticut will pay this monthly Part B premium on your behalf.  Your Social Security check will then increase each month. In … Read more

New LTCCC Issue Alert: Nursing Home Staffing Requirements

The Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC), in partnership with the Center for Medicare Advocacy, publishes monthly issue alerts on the rights of nursing home residents. These issue alerts focus on specific standards of care that nursing homes must follow as a requirement of participating in Medicare and Medicaid. The goal of this project is … Read more

CMA Alert – Home Health News; More SNF Enforcement News

Beneficiary Protections Expanded in Revised Home Health Conditions of Participation Nursing Home Residents Are At Risk Elder Justice: What “No Harm” Really Means for Residents, December Issue Available Now Beneficiary Protections Expanded in Revised Home Health Conditions of Participation Don't Miss It! 5th Annual National Voices of Medicare Summit & Sen. Jay Rockefeller Lecture This … Read more

Beneficiary Protections Expanded in Revised Home Health Conditions of Participation

This is Part Six of a ten-part CMA Issue Brief Series examining the growing crisis in access to Medicare home health coverage and necessary care – and outlining the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s work to address these issues. We invite you to follow this Issue Brief Series and submit Medicare home health stories to the … Read more

Are Nursing Home Residents at Risk? New York Times and Los Angeles Times Report on SNF Deregulation Special Issue Alert: Enforcement in Kansas Are Nursing Home Residents at Risk? The New York Times and Los Angeles Times Report on SNF Deregulation Don't Miss It! 5th Annual National Voices of Medicare Summit & Sen. Jay Rockefeller … Read more

CMA Alert – Tax Cuts will Hurt, Not Help; Sherman Fairness Hearing Set; “Homebound” Settlement Objections Due; More

Words Matter. Tax Cuts Will Hurt, Not Help America Final Week in Health Care Sabotage – 2017 ACA Open Enrollment Over in Most States Social Isolation Among Older Medicare Beneficiaries Reminder: Objections to "Homebound" Settlement Due December 28, 2017 Settlement on Lower-Level Home Health Appeals Preliminarily Approved – Fairness Hearing Set for February 26, 2018 … Read more

Statement on Passage of Devastating Tax Bill

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 20, 2017 Contact: Center for Medicare Advocacy – Matt Shepard: 860-456-7790, mshepard@MedicareAdvocacy.org Medicare Rights Center – Mitchell Clark: 212-204-6286, mclark@medicarerights.org Statement from The Center for Medicare Advocacy and The Medicare Rights Center On Passage of Devastating Tax Bill Washington, DC – Today’s passage of the Tax Cut bill puts the 57 million … Read more

Advocacy Organizations Opposed to Congressional Tax Plan

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 15, 2017 Contact: Center for Medicare Advocacy – Matt Shepard: 860-456-7790, mshepard@MedicareAdvocacy.org Justice In Aging – Vanessa Barrington: 510-256-1200, vbarrington@justiceinaging.org Medicare Rights Center – Mitchell Clark: 212-204-6286, mclark@medicarerights.org   Over 50 Advocacy Organizations Opposed to Congressional Tax Plan Flawed Plan Will Put Health Care for Older Adults & People with Disabilities at … Read more

Center Executive Director Judith Stein with the 2017 Sen. Jay Rockefeller Lecturer, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Don't Miss It! The Center for Medicare Advocacy’s 5th annual National Voices of Medicare Summit & Senator Jay Rockefeller Lecture will connect leading experts and advocates to discuss best practices, challenges and successes in efforts to improve access … Read more

ARE YOU ENROLLED IN MEDICARE? DID YOU GET A NOTICE FROM DSS SAYING YOU ARE LOSING YOUR MEDICARE SAVINGS PROGRAM BENEFITS (QMB, SLMB, ALMB) IN JANUARY 2018 DUE TO THE BUDGET CUT? ______________ If so, you should know this is happening because of a drastic cut that was included in the state budget that was … Read more

CMA Alert – SNF Enforcement Halted; Know Your Medicare Appeals; Ultimate Health Care Sabotage; More

This Week In Health Care Sabotage New Fact Sheet – Expedited v. Standard Medicare Appeals: Not Knowing the Difference Could Cost You Your Appeal Rights CMS Halts Enforcement, as Requested by the Nursing Home Industry This Week In Health Care Sabotage Medicare Enrollment Periods Medicare Open Enrollment Ends Tomorrow, December 7. There is only one day left … Read more

In October of 2016, the Obama Administration issued a Final Rule regarding the Requirements of Participation (RoP) for nursing homes. The Final Rule was issued, in part, because the regulations had “not been comprehensively reviewed and updated since 1991.”[1] Under the Final Rule, the revisions to the RoP were to be implemented over three phases: … Read more

The Plan: Pass a Devastating Tax Bill, Balloon the Deficit, then Gut the Social Programs We Rely On Jimmo Update: Court Orders CMS to Modify Special Jimmo Webpage ACA and Medicare Enrollment Periods End Soon Changes to Notice of Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Status The Plan: Pass a Devastating Tax Bill, Balloon the Deficit, then … Read more

Reports indicate that state surveyors cite nursing home deficiencies at a “no harm” scope and severity level 95 percent of the time. Unfortunately, this has a profound impact on a nursing home resident’s quality of care and quality of life. CMS data provide clear evidence that residents are actually being harmed by such deficiencies, despite the … Read more

Help Stop the Devastating Tax Bills. Call Congress Now!

When most of the country was asleep this Saturday, the Senate passed its version of a so-called tax “reform” bill. The senate bill undermines the Affordable Care Act and provides massive tax cuts for large corporations and wealthy people. It would explode the federal deficit, setting the stage for an immediate Medicare cut and future … Read more

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 28, 2017 Contact: Center for Medicare Advocacy – Matt Shepard: 860-456-7790, mshepard@MedicareAdvocacy.org Justice In Aging – Vanessa Barrington: 510-256-1200, vbarrington@justiceinaging.org Medicare Rights Center – Mitchell Clark: 212-204-6286, mclark@medicarerights.org More than 40 Organizations Join Together in Opposition to  Senate’s Tax Cuts & Jobs Act Advocates Oppose Tax Cuts That Will Jeopardize Health Care for … Read more

Nursing Home Enforcement: Center Submits Comments on CMS’s Draft Guidance Regarding the Immediate Imposition of Remedies Comments Submitted on Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Center Submits Comments on HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019 Nursing Home Enforcement: Center Submits Comments on CMS’s Draft Guidance Regarding the Immediate Imposition of Remedies … Read more

November 27, 2017 Submitted Electronically to www.regulations.gov Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Department of Health and Human Services Room 445-G Hubert H. Humphrey Building 200 Independence Avenue SW Washington, D.C. 20201 Attn:   CMS-9930-P             NPRM Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019 Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed HHS … Read more

November 20, 2017 Via Electronic Submission CMMI_NewDirection@cms.hhs.gov Seema Verma, Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, DC 20201 RE: Request for Information on Innovation Center New Direction Dear Administrator Verma: The Center for Medicare Advocacy (Center) is pleased to provide the Centers for … Read more

November 22, 2017 Division of Nursing Homes Survey and Certification Group Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21244 Re: Revised Policies regarding the Immediate Imposition of Federal Remedies-FOR ACTION (S&C: 18-01-NH) Submitted electronically: dnh_triageteam@cms.hhs.gov. Dear David, Karen, Evan, Lisa, and CMS colleagues,    The Center for Medicare Advocacy (Center) is … Read more

Home for the Holidays: Leaving the Nursing Home During a Medicare-Covered Stay 2018 Medicare Cost Sharing REMINDER: Medicare Enrollment Continues through December 7th Tax Bill Facing Vote in the Senate Next Week – Time to Talk Turkey! Home for the Holidays: Leaving the Nursing Home During a Medicare-Covered Stay Late November begins a time for … Read more

November 21, 2017 Late November begins a time for gatherings with family and friends – Thanksgiving, soon followed by the December holidays. Nursing home residents often want to participate in these gatherings but may worry that they will lose Medicare coverage if they leave the facility to do so. Residents and their families and friends … Read more

ENROLLMENT IN MEDICARE CMS Steering to Medicare Advantage? The Medicare Annual Coordinated Election Period (ACEP), from October 15th through December 7th, allows Medicare beneficiaries to make certain changes to their Medicare coverage, effective the following January 1st.  Official Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Open Enrollment materials for 2018 tip the scales to … Read more

As families around the country prepare to gather with loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday, the House passed a tax bill that would threaten the health and economic security of many low-income and middle-class families. This Thanksgiving, talk turkey about taxes! It’s not too late to protect our health care and our families. Here's what … Read more

– Joint statement from the Center for Medicare Advocacy and the Medicare Rights Center – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 16, 2017 Contact: Center for Medicare Advocacy – Matt Shepard: 860-456-7790, mshepard@MedicareAdvocacy.org Medicare Rights Center – Mitchell Clark: 212-204-6286, mclark@medicarerights.org Washington, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed a catastrophic, rushed and partisan tax bill with no public input, no hearings, and … Read more

Tax Cut Bill Just Got Worse. Health Care at Risk. This Week in Sabotage CMS Steering to Medicare Advantage Administration And Nursing Home Industry: Lockstep in Deregulating Nursing Facilities & Reducing Resident Protections Tax Cut Bill Just Got Worse.  Health Care at Risk. Free Webinar Series Next Webinar: Hospital Observation Status Update January 24, 2018 … Read more

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 15, 2017 Contact: Center for Medicare Advocacy – Matt Shepard: 860-456-7790, mshepard@MedicareAdvocacy.org Medicare Rights Center – Mitchell Clark: 212-204-6286, mclark@medicarerights.org Tax Cut Bill Just Got Worse.  Health Care at Risk. As the House and Senate rush to make changes to their versions of the bill, it keeps getting worse and worse, … Read more

Alert – Spotlight on Medicare Home Health Care; Tax Cuts Set Stage for Medicare/Medicaid Cuts; ACA News

Medicare Home Health Coverage is Not a Short-Term, Acute Care Benefit ─ Congress Acted in 1980 to Provide for Longer-Term Coverage Final Home Health Rules and Interpretive Guidance: Proposed Payment Model Rescinded Advocates Oppose House Tax Cuts Bill that Would Set the Stage for Deep Cuts to Medicare & Other Programs This Week in Sabotage … Read more

Below is a joint statement from Judith Stein, executive director, Center for Medicare Advocacy, and Joe Baker, president, Medicare Rights Center, regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. As organizations that share a commitment to promoting access to affordable, high-quality health care for older adults, people with disabilities, and their families, we have significant concerns with … Read more

CMA Alert – It’s Enrollment Season; CMS Reissues HH Booklet; “Homebound” Case Settlement; More

It's Health Care Enrollment Season NEW! CMS Again Reissues Improved Medicare Home Health Booklet THIS Week In ACA Sabotage… Happy Anniversary SSI Medicare "Homebound" Class Action Settled – Fairness Hearing Set for January 11, 2018 It's Health Care Enrollment Season Free Webinar Series Next Webinar: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Part 2 – Overview of Benefits for … Read more

Federal Judge Fails to Protect Affordable Care Act Subsidies

October 26, 2017 – At least for now, a federal court failed to protect the Affordable Care Act subsidies ended by the president’s executive order.   The Judge denied a request from 18 states and Washington, DC to stop the administration from scrapping the cost-sharing reduction subsidies that are paid to insurance companies to help … Read more

CMA Alert – Remember You CAN Choose Original Medicare; Equitable Relief; This Week’s Sabotage News

You Can Choose Original Medicare: CMS Over-Emphasizes Private Medicare Advantage Plans in Open Enrollment Roll-Out CMS Extends Equitable Relief  CMA Joins 30 Organizations in Amicus Brief in Support of Court Challenge to Trump ACA Sabotage And THIS Week in ACA Sabotage… Auto-Enrollment… And No Time to Switch More Repeal Disguised as Reform You Can Choose Original … Read more

CMA Alert, October 18, 2017 – Nursing Home Rights Roundup; ACA Stabilization; More

This Week in ACA Sabotage Bipartisan Agreement on ACA Stabilization Package Nursing Home Rights Roundup CMS Signals End of Campaign to Reduce Unnecessary Use of Antipsychotic Drugs In Nursing Homes; Claim of Success is Grossly Overstated OIG Report about Nursing Home Complaints Leaves Questions Unanswered Congressional Letter Asks for Revision and Delay of Nursing Home … Read more

October 13, 2017 – WASHINGTON, DC Like others who care about the well-being and health care of all Americans, the Center for Medicare Advocacy is dismayed by the Trump Administration’s actions to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Following a pattern of sabotaging the ACA – including reducing the ACA enrollment period and gutting funding … Read more

CMA Alert – Open Enrollment Tips; ACA Sabotage; More

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period Begins October 15: Look Before You Leap This Week in ACA Sabotage  Breast Cancer Awareness Month International Day of Older Persons Medicare Annual Enrollment Period Begins October 15: Look Before You Leap Free Webinar Series Next Webinar: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Part 1 – History/Myths/Who is Served October 18, 2017 … Read more

CMA Alert – Changes to Help QMBs; Home Health Updates; ACA Sabotage

CMS Changes Will Help Ensure Low Income Beneficiaries Are Not Illegally Billed CMS Reissues Improved Medicare Home Health Booklet Dispelling a Myth: Medicare Home Health Coverage is NOT a Short Term, Post-Acute Care Benefit The ACA Sabotage Continues CMS Changes Will Help Ensure Low Income Beneficiaries Are Not Illegally Billed The Centers for Medicare and … Read more

Posted in Uncategorized

Sabotage of ACA Must Stop Action Needed The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released its draft FY 2018- 2022 Strategic Plan. While one of HHS’ stated objectives is to “Improve American’s access to health care and expand choices of care and service options,” we are instead seeing a systematic effort to … Read more

Proposed Home Health Rules Harm the Most Vulnerable Beneficiaries We Called It: Continued Sabotage of the ACA “Equitable Relief” Ends this Week – Sign Up for Medicare Part B Proposed Home Health Rules Harm the Most Vulnerable Beneficiaries In July, CMS proposed new payment, case-mix adjustment and quality reporting rules that will make it harder … Read more

Statement from Center for Medicare Advocacy on Latest ACA Repeal Effort 

Yesterday, in a significant victory for millions of Americans, Senate leadership cancelled plans for a vote on the latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The Graham-Cassidy bill, if passed, would have led to millions of people becoming uninsured, gutted Medicaid, and eroded crucial consumer protections. The bill faced overwhelming opposition from virtually … Read more

Senate Holds Single Hearing on Bill to Strip Coverage from Millions – Act Now

Graham-Cassidy is Still A Threat Senate Holds Single Hearing on Bill to Strip Health Coverage from Millions Action Still Needed! Today the Senate Finance Committee is holding the only Senate "hearing" on the Graham-Cassidy bill. The bill would, among other things, cause tens of millions of people to become uninsured, eliminate the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid, … Read more

September 25, 2017 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Department of Health and Human Services Attention: CMS-1672-P P.O. Box 8016 Baltimore, Maryland  21244-8016 Submitted electronically to: http://www.regulations.gov Re:      Federal Register Volume 82 No. 144 Medicare and Medicaid Programs: CY 2018 Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate Update and Proposed CY 2019 Case-Mix Adjustment Methodology … Read more

World Alzheimer’s Day 2017 – September 21

The Center for Medicare Advocacy joins Alzheimer’s organizations, caregivers, people with Alzheimer’s and their families, on World Alzheimer’s Day, to raise awareness about this devastating disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.  It devastates families and communities, and is one of the costliest chronic conditions to manage. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there … Read more

CMA Alert – Graham Cassidy is Just Worse; SNF Disaster Requirements; More

Graham-Cassidy: It’s Just Worse Center for Medicare Advocacy and Medicare Rights Center Send Joint Letter to Congress Opposing Graham-Cassidy Center Submits Statement On SNF Requirements for Senate Aging Committee Hearing Graham-Cassidy: It’s Just Worse Despite an enormous public outcry that eventually doomed this summer’s attempt at repealing the Affordable Care Act and decimating Medicaid, legislators … Read more

Despite an enormous public outcry that eventually doomed this summer’s attempt at repealing the Affordable Care Act and decimating Medicaid, legislators seem to be lining up behind yet another bad bill. In fact, the Graham-Cassidy bill is even worse than earlier rejected bills. The Graham Cassidy bill[1]: Permits states to waive rules on premium ratings … Read more

The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing on "Disaster Preparedness and Response: The Special Needs of Older Americans" today. The hearing came on the heels of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which resulted in the deaths of at least nine nursing home residents in Florida. Chairman Collins began the hearing by acknowledging the … Read more

United States Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing September 20, 2017 Statement Submitted by the Center for Medicare Advocacy The Center for Medicare Advocacy (Center) thanks the Senate Special Committee on Aging for holding the September 20th hearing examining “policies and procedures for sheltering in place, evacuating, and relocating our most vulnerable citizens before disaster … Read more