Request for Information – Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) Application and Enrollment Services

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is seeking input from vendors and other stakeholders on the specific measures it may undertake to improve the quality, consistency and effectiveness of the Office of Long-Term Living‘s (OLTL’s) Independent Enrollment Broker’s (IEB’s) services.

On June 28, 2019, DHS released a Request for Information (RFI) to gather input and information concerning the application and enrollment services and support services for the beneficiaries of two Medical Assistance (MA) managed care programs, one 1915(c) MA home and community-based services (HCBS) waiver program and a state-funded program, all administered by the DHS OLTL. You can view the RFI by clicking here.

Through these programs, eligible beneficiaries receive long-term services and supports (LTSS) and other benefits, depending on the particular program.

Specifically, the DHS issues this RFI to solicit input on its potential strategies and solutions to improve the LTSS application and enrollment services and beneficiary support services provided by the OLTL’s IEB to individuals who apply for and enroll in the Community HealthChoices (CHC) Program, the Pennsylvania Living Independence for the Elderly Program (LIFE), the OBRA Waiver and the state-funded Act 150 Attendant Care Program.

DHS is requesting that all responses to the RFI be submitted by 12:00 p.m. on July 29, 2019. Responses must be submitted electronically to the following email account with “OLTL Application and Enrollment Services RFI” in the email subject line: RA-PWRFICOMMENTS@PA.GOV<mailto:RA-PWRFICOMMENTS@PA.GOV>.

DHS does not intend to respond to questions or clarifications during the RFI response period; however, respondents may submit questions related to the RFI electronically to: RA-PWRFICOMMENTS@PA.GOV<mailto:RA-PWRFICOMMENTS@PA.GOV> using “OLTL Application and Enrollment Services RFI question” in the email subject line. DHS may or may not respond based on the nature of the question.

If you have any questions regarding this email please contact Michael Hale, Bureau Director, Fee for Service Programs at mhale@pa.gov<mailto:mhale@pa.gov>.

“10 Medical Myths We Should Stop Believing. Doctors, Too.” – The New York Times

“Researchers identified nearly 400 common medical practices and theories that were contradicted by rigorous studies. Here are some of the most notable findings.”

medical myths

Ingo Fast

by Gina Kolata

“You might assume that standard medical advice was supported by mounds of scientific research. But researchers recently discovered that nearly 400 routine practices were flatly contradicted by studies published in leading journals.

“Of more than 3,000 studies published from 2003 through 2017 in JAMA and the Lancet, and from 2011 through 2017 in the New England Journal of Medicine, more than one of 10 amounted to a “medical reversal”: a conclusion opposite of what had been conventional wisdom among doctors.

“‘You come away with a sense of humility,’ said Dr. Vinay Prasad of Oregon Health and Science University, who conceived of the study. ‘Very smart and well-intentioned people came to practice these things for many, many years. But they were wrong.’”

Continue reading this article in its entirety at The New York Times.

HHS’s Proposed Changes to Non-Discrimination Regulations Under ACA Section 1557 – Kaiser Family Foundation

Removing gender identity and sex stereotyping from the definition of prohibited sex-based discrimination could allow health care providers to refuse to serve individuals who are transgender or who do not conform to traditional sex stereotypes.”

On June 14, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed what it describes as “substantial revisions” to its regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in health programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. Notably, it is the first federal civil rights law to prohibit discrimination in health care based on sex. The 60-day public comment period on the proposed changes closes on August 13, 2019. The proposal cannot change Section 1557’s protections in the law enacted by Congress but would significantly narrow the scope of the existing HHS implementing regulations, if finalized, by:

  • Eliminating the general prohibition on discrimination based on gender identity, as well as specific health insurance coverage protections for transgender individuals;
  • Adopting blanket abortion and religious freedom exemptions for health care providers;
  • Eliminating the provision preventing health insurers from varying benefits in ways that discriminate against certain groups, such as people with HIV or LGBTQ people;
  • Weakening protections that provide access to interpretation and translation services for individuals with limited English proficiency;
  • Eliminating provisions affirming the right of private individuals to challenge alleged violations of § 1557 in court and to obtain money damages, as well as requirements for covered entities to provide non-discrimination notices and grievance procedures;
  • Narrowing the reach of the regulations by only covering specific activities that receive federal funding, but not other operations, of health insurers that are not “principally engaged in the business of providing health care,” and no longer applying the regulations to all HHS-administered programs;

HHS also requests comment on whether to change certain provisions intended to ensure equal access for people with disabilities. It also proposes eliminating prohibitions on discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in 10 other Medicaid, private insurance, and education program regulations outside Section 1557. If finalized, HHS’s proposed changes would substantially narrow, and in many cases entirely eliminate, the regulations’ existing protections against discrimination in meaningful ways.

Continue reading this article at the Kaiser Family Foundation, click here.

 

October 03 – Financial Empowerment Conference for Individuals with Disabilities

financial empowerment

Learn more and register – click here.

October 3, 2019
Forest Room, Keystone Building
Harrisburg, PA
Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) is holding its first financial empowerment conference for people with disabilities on October 3, 2019 in Harrisburg and you’re invited! 
“Vision for the Future: Financial Empowerment Conference for Individuals with Disabilities” will bring together individuals with disabilities, family members, service providers, nonprofit organizations, and policy makers to discuss, collaborate, and learn about financial education.

The conference is a one-day, free, accessible event open to the public. Registration is required. A limited number of scholarships are available to people with disabilities and their families to help defray the cost of travel and lodging.

Low-wage living stories

low wage living

Click here to read each of the eight articles above.

“Updates on Community HealthChoices”

health law PA news

Read the latest information on Community HealthChoices and more at the PA Helath Law Project’s monthly update; click on the above graphic or here to view the file.

 

“This score indicates risk of death, suicide, memory loss” – futurity

POSTED BY multimorbidity_score_1600

“A new tool ‘scores’ patients with multiple chronic conditions. Those with higher multimorbidity scores have faster memory loss, a higher suicide risk, and a higher overall risk of death, researchers report.”

“Assessing the effect of chronic disease on a person’s health is important because 45 percent of all adults have more than one condition—and that figure jumps to 80 percent after age 65, says researcher Melissa Wei, a primary care physician at Michigan Medicine, who led development of the new scoring system, called the multimorbidity-weighted index, or MWI.

PROGNOSIS TOOL

“‘Multimorbidity scores’ can help doctors understand a patient’s overall prognosis—and can help identify special risks that people with multiple chronic illnesses face, researchers say.

“As reported in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, people with higher scores had a much faster decline in thinking and memory abilities than those with lower scores, even though most of the chronic conditions included in the index had no direct relationship with brain health.”

Click here to continue reading this article at futurity.org.

“The need is great and growing for accessible, affordable housing” | maybe this is one step toward satisfying that need?

malls to residencesShuttered stores dominate the interior of the Schuylkill Mall which has closed and been demolished in Frackville, Pennsylvania.

This article at Pennlive today, “Dead and dying malls of Pennsylvania, updated: More shopping centers are bleeding retailers.” prompted a revisited look at an idea that’s being floated across the nation.

What will become of these once-popular retail centers? Demolish them? Re-store them? Re-purpose them?

“The retail apocalypse has not been kind to malls. Credit Suisse recently studied the state of mall-based retail and predicted that that about one-fourth of the nation’s 1,100 shopping malls — or roughly 220 to 275 shopping centers — will close by 2022.”

The  above is the lead paragraph from this Forbes Magazine article: “Why Malls Should Add Residential To Their Repurposing Plans.”

Te idea that malls offer ideal solutions for affordable, accessible residences is one that has to be considered. Many malls already are on public transportation routes; they already have plenty of parking and they’re “walkable.”

This white paper by New York State Assemblyman Stephen Englebright points out other benefits for older adults and people with disabilities:

  • Mixed-use development that includes housing, shopping, amenities, and
    access to transportation and professional offices provides easy, often
    walkable, access to necessities for daily living and substantially reduces or eliminates use of personal cars—thereby, (1) helping non-driving older people and people with disabilities to remain independent for much longer periods of time, (2) keeping these individuals integrated with others in the community, and (3)  significantly supporting the caregiving efforts of family members.
  • Subsidized housing in place of distressed or vacant strip malls, or developed above prosperous malls, helps address the State’s significant need for additional affordable housing, thereby helping to keep seniors and people with disabilities living in their own communities instead of relocating.
  • Small numbers of affordable units above a box store or strip mall, or incorporated as a component of a mixed-income larger redevelopment of a shopping center furthers the integration of low- and moderate-income families and individuals into the wider community.

Another Forbes Magazine shares the thought: “4 Models Of The Shopping Mall Of The Future.”

In Providence, RI, “You Can Now Live Inside America’s First Shopping Mall for $550 a Month: But there’s already a waiting list for these new micro apartments.”

“Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think: Here’s how to make the most of it.” – The Atlantic

“The data are shockingly clear that for most people, in most fields, professional decline starts earlier than almost anyone thinks.”

 

 

Luci Gutiérrez

by Arthur C. Brooks

“‘It’s not true that no one needs you anymore.’

“These words came from an elderly woman sitting behind me on a late-night flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. The plane was dark and quiet. A man I assumed to be her husband murmured almost inaudibly in response, something to the effect of ‘I wish I was dead.’

“Again, the woman: ‘Oh, stop saying that.’

“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but couldn’t help it. I listened with morbid fascination, forming an image of the man in my head as they talked. I imagined someone who had worked hard all his life in relative obscurity, someone with unfulfilled dreams—perhaps of the degree he never attained, the career he never pursued, the company he never started.

“At the end of the flight, as the lights switched on, I finally got a look at the desolate man. I was shocked. I recognized him—he was, and still is, world-famous. Then in his mid‑80s, he was beloved as a hero for his courage, patriotism, and accomplishments many decades ago.”

professional decline2

This a “long read” — but maybe just right for a Sunday (or any other) morning. Click here to read this article at The Atlantic.

 

Explore the 2018 Profile of Older Americans

Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the profile illustrates the shifting demographics of Americans age 65 and older on key topic areas such as income, living arrangements, education, health, and caregiving. 

2018 oilder profile

Click on the graphic to view the entire report.