Announcement/Press release

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Public Health Emergency Extended

On Friday, November 11, 2022 HHS announced that it will again extend the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). Based on commitments to provide at least 60 days’ notice prior to allowing the PHE to lapse, HHS had until Saturday, November 12, to provide states with notice that the PHE would either be extended or end in January. This means that unwinding protocol will not yet begin, and that the PHE policies such as Medicaid FMAP increases; continuous eligibility; and the 1135, Appendix K, and Emergency SPAs will remain in effect.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74233

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Implementing Certain Provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and other Revisions to Medicare Enrollment and Eligibility Rules (CMS-4199-F)

On Friday, October 28, 2022, CMS issued a final rule that simplifies Medicare enrollment and eligibility rules, extends coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for certain beneficiaries, and finalizes changes to improve state payment of Medicare premiums. Beginning January 1, 2023, individuals applying for Medicare premium Part A and Part B during the last three months of their Initial Enrollment Period or during the General Enrollment Period will have their coverage start the month after they enroll, reducing delays in coverage. The rule also allows certain Medicare special enrollment periods (SEPs) to permit Medicare Part B coverage without a late enrollment penalty.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74202

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Calendar Year (CY) 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule

This week CMS issued a final rule for the Calendar Year 2023 Physician Fee Schedule which includes updates and policy changes for Medicare payments and other Part B issues. Some of the changes include expanding access to behavioral health services by allowing certain health practitioners to provide and manage a beneficiary’s behavioral health needs; extending several telehealth services that are temporarily available for the COVID-19 public health emergency at least through calendar year 2023; and clarifying payment for dental examinations and treatments in more circumstances, such as prior to organ transplants and certain cardiac procedures beginning in calendar year 2023.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74200

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ACL Launches National Center to Strengthen the Direct Care Workforce

ACL has awarded a five-year grant totaling over $6 million to establish a national center to expand and strengthen the direct care workforce across the country. In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to strengthening the care economy, this initiative will provide technical assistance to states and service providers and facilitate collaboration with stakeholders to improve recruitment, retention, training, and professional development of the direct care workers who provide the critical services that make it possible for people with disabilities and older adults to live in their own homes and communities.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74189

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Social Security Announces 8.7 Percent Benefit Increase for 2023

On October 13, 2022 the Social Security Administration announced an 8.7 percent cost-of-living increase in 2023 Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits – the largest in over 40 years. Approximately 70 million people will see an increase in their Social Security benefits next year.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74167

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ACL Releases Older Americans Act Program Highlights

ACL released its first comprehensive report on the accomplishments of Older Americans Act (OAA) Title III, VI, and VII programs. Enacted in 1965, the OAA created the foundation for a comprehensive system of services and supports that enables millions of older adults in this country to continue to live independently as they age. Today, programs funded by the OAA provide essential services to older adults, targeting those with the greatest economic or social need, particularly low-income and minority persons, older individuals with limited English proficiency, and older persons living in rural areas. The programs play a vital role in helping to maintain the health and well-being of millions of older adults and their caregivers.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74163

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Call for Sessions for the 2023 Self-Direction Conference: Virtual Series

Applied Self-Direction is accepting session proposals for the 2023 Self-Direction Conference: Virtual Series happening this spring. Sessions should focus on best practices and innovations related to self-direction and include a range of perspectives including state program staff, people and families who self-direct, Financial Management Services providers, support brokers, and policymakers.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74160

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VA launches second phase of Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers

VA has expanded the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) to include caregivers of eligible Veterans of all service eras. Previously, PCAFC was only available to eligible Veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001. This expansion opens the program to eligible Veterans of all eras, including those who served after May 7, 1975, and before September 11, 2001. Over the past two years, PCAFC has added approximately 20,000 active Veteran and Family Caregiver participants. This final phase of PCAFC expansion will enhance the health and well-being of thousands more Veterans by supporting their caregivers.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74159

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New Interactive Maps Help Inform Disability-Inclusive Disaster Planning

People with disabilities are especially vulnerable to the impacts of disasters. To help policymakers understand the need to include people with disabilities in emergency disaster plans, Mathematica researchers created interactive disability natural disaster maps that show how many people with disabilities are living in areas at higher risk of natural disasters.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74155

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