Category Archives: Uncategorized

“What would nursing homes do with more money?” – Journalist’s Resource

nursing home

by Chloe Reichel

“As Medicaid reimbursement rates increase, nursing homes add more licensed staff per resident, improving quality of care, a new model suggests.

“he issue: As baby boomers age, they are bound to put more strain on nursing homes. A report to Congress prepared by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that over 91 percent of nursing homes are staffed below the level that is minimally necessary to provide all needed care.

“The challenge of staffing is linked to economic and regulatory barriers. Nursing care is a costly national expense–in 2016, total expenditures stood at $163 billion, with Medicaid contributing $50 billion to this sum, according to data from CMS. States determine their own rates for nursing home reimbursements under Medicaid, balancing desires to achieve particular outcomes related to quality of and access to care with the need to meet budgetary requirements. New research produced by Martin Hackmann, an economist at UCLA, looks at how small changes in Medicaid reimbursements might improve quality of care.

“An academic study worth reading:Incentivizing Better Quality of Care: The Role of Medicaid and Competition in the Nursing Home Industry.”

This study found “Combining detailed industry data from Pennsylvania with a model of demand and supply, … that low Medicaid reimbursement rates are a key contributor to quality shortfalls in this industry.”

“Take The ACE Quiz — And Learn What It Does And Doesn’t Mean” – NPR


by Laura Starecheski 

“An ACE score is a tally of different types of abuse, neglect, and other hallmarks of a rough childhood. According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, the rougher your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be and the higher your risk for later health problems.

Click here to continue reading this article and you can take the test by clicking here.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, an important time to spread the word about this sight stealing disease. – Vision Resource Center of Berks County

Glaucoma… The Leading Cause of Preventable Blindness”

glaucoma eye

“Currently, more than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, a 58 percent increase.Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight” since there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it’s permanent.

“As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing.Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. Moreover, among African American and Latino populations, glaucoma is more prevalent. Glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians.Over 3 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma.

“Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.5 million people worldwide are blind due to glaucoma.”

Click here to continue reading this important article at the Vision Resource Center of Berks County Website.

Six new agencies added to Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources for Service Area 13

jan new partners

We’re proud to announce these recently added partner agencies to the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources | Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area.

Click on the links below to see the complete listing of partner resources in each of the counties of Service Area 13.

Berks County partners’ network

Lancaster County partners’ network

Lebanon County partners’ network

To align with the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area as a partner entity costs nothing. The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources is part of the national Aging and Disability Resources Center [ADRC) network.

For more information about how your agency, entity or organization can become a partner, text or call the Lead Link coordinator at 717.380.9714 or email

PA link logo 2

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) are the first place to go to get accurate, unbiased information on all aspects of life related to aging or living with a disability.

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) are a nationwide effort to take a seamless approach in the way we assist seniors and adults with disabilities who need help with activities of daily living. The ADRC in Pennsylvania is known as the Link.


  • Easily connect you to local services/supports through any Link partner agency
  • Explore existing options to ensure a secure plan for independence
  • Assist consumers with applications to determine funding eligibility
  • Help consumers remain or return to their community because of a disability, an illness or accident, or to transition from an institution back to the community
There is no charge for information and assistance provided by any Link or Link partner agency.



Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program

A few days ago, a caller left a voice message asking for clarification on medical marijuana. Here is the information about Pennsylvania’s program according to the Website:

“The Pennsylvania Department of Health is in the process of implementing the state’s Medical Marijuana Program, signed into law on April 17, 2016. When fully implemented, the Medical Marijuana Program will provide access to medical marijuana for patients with a serious medical condition through a safe and effective method of delivery that balances patient need for access to the latest treatments with patient care and safety. This guide will connect you with medical marijuana resources and information for patients and caregivers, growers and processors, dispensaries, physicians, and laboratories.”

Register now for these important FREE trainings: QPR and MHFA

WellSpan Philhaven is offering two very important training programs … with multiple training dates in 2018. And the programs are FREE.qprTo register for any of the above QPR trainings, click here: www.

mhfaTo register for any of the above Mental Health First Aid trainings, click here: www.

“You may feel lonely, but you’re not alone” – next avenue

“Although making friends later in life is difficult, perseverance is worth it”

Lonely-Youre-Not-Aloneby Barbara Rady Kazdan

“‘I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; can give and receive without judgment and derive sustenance and strength from the relationship,’ Brené Brown, the author and speaker of one of the most famous TED Talks once said.

“I was reminded of this quote when today’s mail brought a survey from my congregation for ‘households with only one adult member.’ They’d found that 25 percent of members fit that description. How, the letter asked, could these households be better served?

“I wondered, who are those single members?  Never married, not yet, not interested; divorced; widowed like me…. The survey never asked the jackpot questions: Are you lonely? How can we help?”

Continue reading this article at next avenue, click here.

Online training opportunities for Community Health Choices.

Though the implementation of Community Health Choices (CHC) is just over two years away for Berks, Lancaster and Lebanon Counties, on January 1, 2018, CHC begins in Southwestern Pennsylvania.chc article

Community HealthChoices will deliver long-term services and supports and physical health benefits through capitated Medicaid managed care organizations (MCO). The CHC-MCOs will coordinate with Medicare and existing behavioral health HealthChoices MCOs to provide a holistic approach to services and supports. In order to transition to CHC, providers will enter into an agreement with a CHC-MCO and will be included in that CHC-MCO’s provider network. For a minimum of the first six months of the implementation of CHC, CHC-MCOs will be required to include all willing long-term services and supports providers in their network to ensure continuity of care for participants.

Prior to implementation and during the six-month period, CHC-MCOs will contract with willing and qualified providers of all types to make up their provider networks. CHC-MCOs are required to create a provider network that meets the needs of their participants and allows participants to have choice in providers.

Providers will also receive direct communications to inform them of actions that they need to take in order to continue providing services under this new model.


CHC Overview Training

Provider Online Course

Service Coordinators

  • For the general public – Service Coordination Online Course 
  • For service coordinators only, visit the following website for instructions on how to complete the training which includes a test to verify competency.

Nursing Facilities

Additionally, there is helpful information at the Third Thursday Webinar series

“How Social Isolation Is Killing Us” – The New York Times

isolationSocial isolation is a growing epidemic, one that’s increasingly recognized as having dire physical, mental and emotional consequences. | Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times”


“My patient and I both knew he was dying.

“Not the long kind of dying that stretches on for months or years. He would die today. Maybe tomorrow. And if not tomorrow, the next day. Was there someone I should call? Someone he wanted to see?

“Not a one, he told me. No immediate family. No close friends. He had a niece down South, maybe, but they hadn’t spoken in years.

“For me, the sadness of his death was surpassed only by the sadness of his solitude. I wondered whether his isolation was a driving force of his premature death, not just an unhappy circumstance.

“Every day I see variations at both the beginning and end of life: a young man abandoned by friends as he struggles with opioid addiction; an older woman getting by on tea and toast, living in filth, no longer able to clean her cluttered apartment. In these moments, it seems the only thing worse than suffering a serious illness is suffering it alone.”

Click here to read this New York Times article in its entirety.

“How uninsured adults access health care” – Journalist’s Resource


by Chloe Reichel

“Uninsured adults use emergency rooms at similar rates to those with insurance, new research finds. Scholars at Harvard, the University of Chicago and MIT present this finding to correct what they call a ‘common misperception that the uninsured use the ED [Emergency Department] more than the insured.’

“In fact, they found that adults insured through Medicaid — public insurance for the poor — use the emergency room more than those without insurance. Looking at survey data from 2013, the researchers found that 12.2 percent of uninsured adults had visits to the emergency room compared with 13.7 percent of insured adults. Of those who had insurance, 29.3 percent of adults on Medicaid made emergency room visits. Fewer privately insured adults — 11.1 percent — went to the emergency room.

“The researchers also looked at data to categorize these emergency room visits. They found that insured and uninsured adults used the emergency room in similar ways.”

Continue reading this report at Journalist’s Resource, click here.