Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging is committed to staying engaged in, and sharing, the latest public policy news affecting older adults, caregivers and the professionals who care for them.
Check out current policy news below!
Congress passed a continuing resolution, or temporary funding bill, on September 30 to keep the government and its programs at current levels until November 17. Congress has until November 17 to pass either another continuing resolution or all the appropriations bills, or the government will enter a shutdown.
The House Labor Health and Human Services Subcommittee released their funding levels for individual programs for Fiscal Year 2024. Most programs for older adults including the Older Americans Act nutrition programs were held at Fiscal Year 2023 funding levels.
On October 18, both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released their annual elder justice reports to Congress. During this reporting period from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, the DOJ pursued nearly 300 criminal and civil actions against more than 650 defendants who collectively stole more than $1.5 billion from over 2.4 million elder abuse victims. The FTC’s report noted that adults aged 60 and older reported losses of $1.6 billion in 2022 to scams, with investment scams being the top reported by dollars lost.
On October 24, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the HCBS Relief Act of 2023 (S.3118) that provides for an emergency increase in funding to State Medicaid programs for expenditures on home and community-based services. The bill currently has 20 cosponsors.
Minimum Staffing Requirements for Nursing Homes
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking comments on a proposed rule that would establish minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes. Research consistently shows a link between resident safety, care quality, and stable staffing in nursing homes; understaffing contributes to inadequate and unsafe care.
A comprehensive fact sheet about the proposed nursing home rule can be found on the White House website.
Comments are due by November 6, 2023.
CMS Finalizes Rule on Training Caregivers
On Friday, November 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid finalized its 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule to pay healthcare providers to train caregivers.
The PFS establishes rules for how physicians and other healthcare providers can bill for services under Medicare. The new rule allows payment for healthcare professionals who provide training to family or friend caregivers as part of the patients’ individualized treatment plan.
The Washington Update is produced monthly with our partners at Matz, Blancato & Associates to share the latest information about policy issues impacting older adults and their families. Subscribe here.