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Look for the Helpers: Providing Support to Older Adults

Findings from the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging demonstrate the importance of providing support to caregivers. More than half of people age 50 to 80 say they helped at least one person over 65 with their health or personal care needs, meals, finances, or home maintenance/improvement in the past two years, according to new findings. While nearly all helpers (96%) reported positive aspects of supporting others, a quarter said it was more difficult than they expected, especially for those helping with more care tasks or helping someone with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease/other dementia.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74199

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Rising Food Prices Hit Less-Healthy Older Adults Hardest

A new Poll Extra from the National Poll on Healthy Aging takes a look at the impact of rising food costs on older adults, their overall diet, and food security. In all, three-quarters of people age 50–80 in the United States say the rising cost of groceries has affected them somewhat or a lot, and nearly a third of older adults say they are eating less healthily as a result.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/74130

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Black Beneficiaries Generated Lower Medicaid Spending, Utilization

JAMA researchers found lower service use and lower Medicaid spending among the Black population for both during a review of health care spending statistics between White and Black Medicaid enrollees. Medicaid beneficiaries make up a diverse population, yet existing disparities persist. To explore differences in Medicaid spending between Black and White populations, researchers conducted a cross-sectional study using data from three states in 2016. Researchers used data from 1,966,689 enrollees in the study, including both adults and children. Of this population, 867,183 identified as non-Hispanic Black, and 1,099,506 identified as non-Hispanic White.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73993

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Older Adults’ Preparedness to Age in Place

“Aging in place" refers to living independently, safely, and comfortably in one’s home for as long as possible. In order to do so, home modifications and additional support are often needed to ensure that older adults are safe and have their needs met over the course of their aging. During January and February 2022, the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging asked a national sample of adults age 50–80 about their perspectives on aging in place and how they feel about home modifications and available social supports.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73828

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Nursing Facility Staffing Shortages During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The impact of COVID-19 on nursing facility residents and staff has brought increased attention to existing workforce issues that affect care quality and safety, including staffing shortages and high turnover rates. This analysis presents the most recent national and state-level data on nursing facility-reported staff shortages and describes the Biden Administration’s new policy initiatives to address issues in nursing facilities. National staff shortage trend data spans from May 2020, the first month when nursing facilities were required to report COVID-19 facility data to the CDC, through March 20, 2022, the most recent week of data available.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73789

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2022 Beneficiaries Dually Eligible for Medicare and Medicaid Data Book

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) have released an updated data book, Beneficiaries Dually Eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. This is the sixth edition of the book and describes the dually eligible population’s composition, service use, and spending in 2019. The book compares subgroups of dually eligible beneficiaries, such as those with full and partial benefits as well as those under age 65 and those ages 65 and older.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73566

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Informational Bulletin: Opportunities to Increase Enrollment in Medicare Savings Programs

On Monday, CMS published an Informational Bulletin describing ways for states to help eligible individuals enroll in the Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs), making health care more accessible and affordable. The MSPs cover Medicare Part A and B premiums and cost sharing for individuals with low income. In 2021, over 10 million individuals were enrolled in an MSP.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73237

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New Medicare.gov Tool to Compares Nursing Home Vaccination Rates

CMS has made vaccination data available in a user-friendly format to help people make informed decisions when choosing a nursing home for themselves or a loved one. CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are using this data to monitor vaccine uptake among residents and staff to identify facilities that may need additional resources or assistance.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73141

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Direct Care Workers in the United States: Key Facts

This PHI report provides a new annual snapshot on the direct care workforce, including its demographics, occupational roles, job quality challenges, and projected job openings. The report includes detailed overviews of home care workers, residential care aides, and nursing assistants in nursing homes, as well as analyzes how the pandemic has affected the workforce.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73115

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