Vol. 17, No. 2
February 22, 2017

ACA Repeal: Sources of Information  

As the debate about repealing the ACA heats up in Congress, a number of organizations have developed information and analyses on the impact of proposed policy changes for patients and family caregivers. We have selected eight organizations that you may want to sign up to receive updated information and to use to inform consumers. We hope that anyone who works with patients or family caregivers will also be educating consumers about these proposed changes.

  • AARP Public Policy Institute — source of information about specific impacts of ACA repeal including Medicaid HCBS.
  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities — the Center is a leading source of analyses of federal budgeting developments affecting all sectors of the economy including health care. Just launched: Sabotage Watch: Tracking Efforts to Undermine the ACA. Depressing title — good information.
  • CLASP (formerly the Center for Law and Social Policy) — the Center is a long time provider of material regarding policies affecting low-income citizens
  • Commonwealth Fund — the foundation publishes in-depth materials regarding federal health programs.
  • Families USA — the organization is a long time advocate for health care reform and universal health care coverage.
  • Health Affairs Blog —  the leading health policy journal offers an open source blog site that contains frequent ACA-related posts.
  • Justice in Aging — the organization publishes detailed analyses of developments affecting low income seniors, with particular emphasis on Medicaid proposals.
  • Kaiser Family Foundation — the foundation issues daily bulletins and frequent analyses concerning health policy developments; it has recently added an interactive web page tracking all current ACA legislative activity.

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 (S. Con. Res. 3) 

  • This resolution establishes the congressional budget for the fiscal year of 2017 to set forth changes for the budget in the fiscal years of 2018 through 2026. This will allow reduction legislation to occur in the Senate Budget Committee to establish fund reserves for healthcare legislation by January 27, 2017 to start the repeal for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

National Clinical Care Commission Act (H.R. 309)

  • This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to create a National Clinical Care Commission within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  This commission intends to improve and support clinical care for individuals with diabetes, autoimmune disease or complex metabolic, or complications related to such disease.

Building Support Networks for Women Veterans Act (H.R. 91)

  • This bill establishes a permanent program within the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide counseling and reintegration services to women veterans. Currently, this program is being practiced through the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010.

Expand Hospital Care and Medical Services (S. 24)

  • This bill amends section 101 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to authorize the eligibility of hospital care for veterans that are 75 years of age or older. This bill will expand the medical services and care for veterans under the Veterans Choice Program.

Caregiving Services Provided by MO HealthNet (H.B. 455)

  • This bill authorizes “structured family caregiving” to be a covered service by Missouri's HealthNet program. This would allow family members to be the provider of choice for in-home care.

Income Tax Credits for Caregivers (L.B. 65)

  • This bill amends section 77-2715.07 of the Revised Statues Cumulative Supplement, 2016 to provide caregivers income tax credits of up to $300 per year.

Caregiver Support (S. 507)

  • This bill creates a caregiver support program for grandparents and other older adult relative caregivers who are providing primary care for children aged 18 and under either formally or informally to provide technical assistance, counseling, and other resources.

(H.J. 680)

  • This bill proposes to establish a joint subcommittee to focus on issues related to family caregiving and support services for long-term care.

Cost Effective Caregiving

  • A new study finds that the bundle payment method used for Medicare patients who undergo joint replacements can help hospitals save up to billions of dollars. The bundle payment method is designed to have Medicare cover the cost of joint related surgeries and patient care for up to 30 days. The results showed hospital savings and a reduction in emergency department visits. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced to expand the bundle payments to further treatments such as heart attacks and bypass surgeries.

Growing Demand for Caregivers

  • This research examines the demand for caregivers in the State of Minnesota as the population ages.  According to the Minnesota State Demographic Center, by the year 2040 individuals 65 and older in Minnesota will increase to 21.3 percent of its population. It is also estimated that 31. 6 percent of the populations 65 and older have disabilities. This study shows a demographic trend that is aiming towards the demand for caregivers and ways of managing this profession.

Light Therapy for Alzheimer’s

  • Research  shows new findings for a light therapy that can help Alzheimer patients fight off the disease. Based on an experiment conducted by neuroscientists demonstrated the exposure of precise light frequencies on mice stimulate certain immune cells to clear brain activity causing disorders such as Alzheimer disease. This finding has led to a deeper understanding of cognitive activity and ways to approach treatments for Alzheimer patients.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Peer Review Opportunity

  • The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is seeking patients, caregivers, clinicians, researchers, and other healthcare stakeholders to become Peer Reviewers to ensure that PCORI-funded research studies are held to the highest standards of scientific integrity, credibility, and relevance. You can complete a brief application and once reports are submitted that relate to your expertise, you may be contacted to review. To apply, please visit the website.

Family Caregivers & Managed Long-term Services

  • The AARP Public Policy Institute released a webinar based on Family Caregivers and Managed Long-term Services and Support. The authors in this webinar discuss new findings and advice for practices in this field to address long-term care services and support family needs.

Repeal on ACA threatens California Seniors

  • Justice in Aging recently released a webinar discussing the consequences that repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may have on seniors.  This webinar offers an overview of the legislative process that will occur to repeal the (ACA) and how that will take effect on healthcare services for seniors.

What Primary Care Doctors think about Obamacare

  • A new poll administered to primary care doctors revealed that only 15% of doctors in our nation favor the repeal of Obamacare. This article discusses the results of this poll and primary doctors opinions behind the repeal of Obamacare.

5 Ways Tech Products Will Help Us Age Well

  • This article examines tech products and medical devices that can aide in aging.  The technological innovations of voice recognition, self-driving cars, and robotics serve aging individuals the luxury of living their lives more independently and comfortably.

Fight Isolation with Technology

  • Millions of individuals over the age of 50 have suffered from isolation, which has increased rates of mortality. This article discusses the potential tech products have to prevent seniors from facing the risks of isolation.

Join FCA at AiA17 in March

FCA will be participating in the following events at the upcoming Aging in America (AiA17) conference in Chicago, March 20–24:

  • National Forum on Family Caregiving
    When: Monday, March 20, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m
    Co-editors Kathleen Kelly, MPA, (FCA Executive Director) and Jennifer Wolff, PhD will join other contributors to the winter 2015–16 issue of ASA Generations on Family Caregiving will discuss trends, programs, and policies.

  • Care Compass: Online Services for Family Caregivers
    When: Wednesday, March 22, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
    This session will offer an overview and experience to date of our new program, now titled, FCA CareJourney. The program provides an online, mobile-ready application that enables family caregivers to tailor information and training to their current needs and links them into an always-on service system of tested interventions, care consultation, and peer support. Limited data from multiple pilot sites with partner organization, LA Caregiver Resource Center, University of Southern California, will also be provided.

  • Reception for Awardees of the 2016 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in
    Alzheimer Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards
    When: Wednesday, March 22, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (all are welcome)
    Where: Hyatt Regency Chicago, Crystal C Room
    Please join FCA and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation to honor a wonderful panel of awardees this year, each representing community innovation in support of family caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease. All are welcome!
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Send your feedback and/or questions to Angel Venegas ,
FCA/NCC Program and Policy Specialist.

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