Policy alerts, briefs, letters & papers

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The Biden Administration Announces At-Home, Rapid COVID-⁠19 Tests are Available forFree

On Friday, January 14, 2022 the White House announced that free at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests are now available for order online. Those who do not have internet access or who need additional assistance with ordering can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to place their orders. The Eldercare Locator and the Disability Information and Assistance Line (DIAL) also can assist older adults and people with disabilities with placing orders, and connect people to accessible instructions.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73408

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Benefit Access and Enrollment Since the Onset of COVID-19

COVID-19 is a long-lasting and complex disaster situation involving a public health emergency and an economic crisis, with particularly acute impacts for older adults, people with disabilities, and others with certain health conditions. States are responding with changes in policies and procedures to ensure individuals have access to public benefit programs (e.g. Medicare Savings Programs, LIS/Extra Help, SNAP, and LIHEAP). ADvancing States has a new brief highlighting where states are with benefit access and enrollment since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results in the brief comes from the 2021 ADvancing States Membership Survey: COVID-19 Benefits Access and Enrollment, a follow-up to the 2020 survey.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73270

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#CareCantWait: How Do Inadequate Home- and Community-Based Services Affect Community Living and Health Outcomes?

The NIDILRR-funded Community Living Policy Center published a research brief discussing the results of a recent study of the long-term services and supports needs of people with disabilities and older adults in the US. The study explores how many people need more services than they currently receive and the connection between unmet HCBS needs and community living and health outcomes. The brief describes study findings and potential next steps for researchers and service providers to address gaps in services and supports.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73258

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Two strategies for states to increase enrollment in Medicare Savings Programs

In a November 1 informational bulletin, CMS encourages states to adopt two strategies to help more people enroll in Medicare Savings Programs and State Health Insurance Assistance Programs. In addition to informing the advocacy work of the aging and disability networks, the bulletin also includes information that can help our networks identify older adults and people with disabilities who likely would be eligible for the programs.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73255

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Cross-Agency Partnerships for Health Equity: Understanding Opportunities Across Medicaid and Public Health Agencies

This brief outlines key recommendations to further Medicaid and public health opportunities and cross-agency partnerships that advance health equity. These cross-agency efforts can use three broad strategies to promote health equity: (1) advance internal-facing health equity work; (2) leverage data to drive health equity efforts; and (3) engage community members authentically.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73232

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CMS Guidance on Vaccinations, Testing, and Habilitation Services for Remote Learning

On Monday, August 30th, CMS released two State Health Official (SHO) letters and a PowerPoint document that provide guidance regarding a variety of issues, including increases to state FMAP for several activities, opportunities to improve vaccine uptake among providers and beneficiaries, and habilitation services for children with disabilities.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73012

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New CMS Vaccination Guidance for ICFs/IID

In May 2021, CMS released a final rule regarding vaccination education, access, and reporting for residents and staff of nursing and care facilities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Recently, CMS sent detailed implementation guidelines to the state agencies responsible for overseeing ICFs/IID. This memo details the responsibilities of ICFS/IID within the new guidelines.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73006

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Supplemental Security Income: Continuity and Change since 1974

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides financial support to low income individuals, including children, adults with severe disabilities, and adults ages 65 and older. This brief describes the SSI program and the demographic and economic characteristics of SSI beneficiaries. Additionally, it discusses state programs that supplement federal SSI, reasons some eligible people do not participate in SSI, and some current changes to the program.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/73000

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A Call for Action to Achieve Health Equity

This blog post by Edmondo J. Robinson, M.D., M.B.A., Peter J. Embí, M.D., M.S., Ramanathan Raju, M.D., M.B.A., and Yanling Yu, Ph.D. explores how social determinants of health have led to health inequity during the pandemic. Read the blog post to learn how health literacy and access to technology play a role in bridging the gap in health outcomes.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/72978

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How Employers and States Can Support the Essential Workforce of Family Caregivers

This editorial, by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) and The John A. Hartford Foundation explores how employers and states can support employees with caregiving responsibilities through flexible workplace policies, tools, and resources. The editorial highlights resources from two states participating in CHCS’ Helping States Support Families Caring for an Aging America initiative.

Short URL: http://www.advancingstates.org/node/72976

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