Accessibility

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Case Study: AgeSpan and Partners Bring Housing and Services Together

As an Area Agency on Aging (AAA), AgeSpan engages in innovative partnerships with housing providers through the Massachusetts Supportive Housing Program. In northeastern Massachusetts, AgeSpan pursues solutions that bring together housing and supportive services. Why? Many older adults and people with disabilities not only need afordable and accessible housing, but also supportive services that enable them to be as independent as possible. Assistance with nutrition, transportation, personal care, medication management, and chore services are just a few examples of these critical services.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74120

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Survey on Accessible Transportation for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center, a program of the Federal Transit Administration administered by Easterseals and USAging with guidance from ACL, is lookig for survey participants to share challenges and promising practices in providing accessible transportation to older adults and people with disabilities. Survey responses will help guide NADTC's work over the next year.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74111

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Federal Programs Provide Support for Preventing Falls

In this report, GAO explores the four agencies that oversee federal falls prevention programs, including the Administration on Community Living (ACL), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. GAO found that these programs serve limited numbers of individuals at risk of falls, including adults with disabilities under age 60. GAO's analysis of national data on self-reported falls from 2020 found that adults with disabilities aged 45 to 59 reported rates of falls and fall-related injuries that were higher than those reported by individuals 60 and over.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74051

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July 2022 Data Book on Medicare Spending

On July 19, 2022 MedPAC released its July 2022 Data Book on Health Care Spending and the Medicare Program. This publication provides data on Medicare spending, demographics of the Medicare population, beneficiaries’ access to care, and Medicare program quality. Section 4 (pages 31-38) covers dually eligible individuals and includes information on the percentage of Medicare spending for this population, demographic data, health status, and service use. Within this section, states may be specifically interested in Chart 4-4: Demographic differences between dual-eligible beneficiaries and non-dual-eligible beneficiaries, 2019.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74047

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New Updates to the BenefitsCheckUp Tool

NCOA's free BenefitsCheckUp tool, used to connect aging professionals and their community to benefits programs, has been updated to be more accessible. The new version of the tool includes details on 2,000 benefits in English and Spanish, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicare Savings Programs, Affordable Connectivity Program; free, confidential eligibility checks by program or category; and Personalized support via a call center, chat, email, and connections to local centers.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73995

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Barriers to Access and Utilization of Care Persist for Individuals with Disabilities in Rural and Urban Settings

Experts at The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the state of Tennessee say families in poverty with disabilities in Tennessee and nationwide face difficulty both accessing and utilizing long term services and supports (LTSS) in both rural and urban areas. This article breaks down issues of accessibility across the country by discussing how affordable housing, transportation, and social determinants of health affect individuals differently based on their ability and region.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73954

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CMS Announces User-Friendly Medicare Website

On May 18, 2022 CMS announced several updates to the Medicare.gov website that make it easier for millions of people to access information to compare and select health and drug coverage and find providers. The updated website features timely initiatives and messages on the homepage and highlights key tasks and information most frequently sought by people with Medicare, people nearing Medicare eligibility, and their families.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73933

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Reducing Costs for Families and States by Increasing Access to Home and Community-Based Services

The majority of individuals who need long-term services and supports (LTSS) in the United States rely on unpaid assistance from family and friends. The economic value of the unpaid care they provide is estimated to be over $470 billion annually. Unmet needs and waiting lists for Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) place significant strain on individuals with disabilities and their families. This report explores how increasing access to HCBS services can reduce out-of-pocket costs for families and strengthen employment and financial wellbeing of family caregivers.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73790

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Biden-Harris Administration Announces a New Way for Medicare Beneficiaries to Get Free Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Tests

The Biden-Harris Administration has announced that more than 59 million Americans with Medicare Part B, including those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, now have access to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, authorized, or cleared over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at no cost. People with Medicare can get up to eight tests per month from participating pharmacies and health care providers for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73787

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The Doctor Will Hear You Now: Audio-Only Telehealth and the Promise of Access, Equity, and Engagement in Medicaid

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many providers to transition to telehealth when it became the only way patients could access health services. Medicaid agencies now have an opportunity to support phone-based telemedicine in primary care beyond the pandemic, and many are already doing so. This blog post explores strategies that Medicaid agencies can use to suport audio-only telehealth moving forward, including extending payment parity for telehealth visits and using value-based payment models.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73781

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