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CANHR News & Notes is a monthly e-newsletter published by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR).


New Year Brings New Laws on Elder Abuse and Long Term Care


Hundreds of new California laws took effect on January 1, including some of interest to elders. Two of them are CANHR sponsored bills: AB 140 (Dickinson) defines undue influence and SB 272 (Corbett) prohibits nongovernmental entities from using seals, emblems, insignias or symbols to imply connections with federal or state military, veteran or veterans service organizations, without approval, for purposes of financial gain. AB 261 (Chesbro) sets strict limits on any charges a RCFE may impose after the death of a resident. Under AB 937 (Wieckowski), conservatees continue to keep their personal rights, such as receiving visitors and telephone calls, unless specifically limited by a court order. AB 663 (Gomez) requires administrators of RCFEs and adult residential care facilities to receive training in cultural competency and sensitivity in issues relating to the aging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. CANHR's 2013 Legislative Update has a more complete list of laws of interest that were passed in 2013.
 

2014 Cost of Living Adjustments


The Social Security Administration, the Department of Veteran's Affairs, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announces cost of living adjustments each year based on a government measure of inflation. Monthly government benefits including Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and those receiving Veterans disability compensation and pension benefits will receive a 1.5 percent increase beginning January 1, 2014. The 2014 Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act Spousal Impoverishment Caps increase is effective January 1, 2014 increasing the the community spouse resource allowance to $117,240 and the maximum spousal income allocation/minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance to $2,931 per month. For a complete chart of the increases please see CANHR's 2014 Cost of Living Adjustment Chart http://www.canhr.org/medcal/PDFs/RateCOLA.pdf
 
 

CMS Updates Medicare Manual regarding the “Improvement Standard”


Pursuant to a settlement in the Jimmo v. Sebelius case, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) agreed to update the Medicare manual and take other steps to ensure that claims are not denied based on an "improvement standard" where beneficiaries would only receive Medicare coverage for skilled care that would improve their conditions.  CMS has now revised the Medicare Benefit Policy manual to clarify that coverage of skilled nursing and skilled therapy services "...does not turn on the presence or absence of a beneficiary's potential for improvement, but rather on the beneficiary's need for skilled care." Skilled care may be necessary to improve a patient's current condition, to maintain the patient's current condition, or to prevent or slow further deterioration of the patient's condition.  Click here to access the revisions - http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Transmittals/Downloads/R176BP.pdf.



Upcoming Events


Dementia Care Symposium - Sign up Now!


Relationships: Moving Away from Drugs to Comfort-Focused Dementia Care. The Symposium is designed to teach non-pharmacologic interventions for the treatment of people with dementia and why such options are superior to psychotropic drugs. Speakers will include, Jonathan Evans, American Medical Directors Association president and Tena Alonzo, co-director of palliative care at the Beatitudes campus in Phoenix, AZ. The Event is sponsored by, CANHR, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, Alliance on Aging, Advocacy Inc, and The Alzheimer's Association. FREE CEUs credit available.
To register for the symposium, go to http://www.eventbrite.com/e/relationships-the-new-medicine-for-dementia-registration-7583585709

Our Lady of Peace
2800 Mission College Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Thursday, February 6, 2014
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
$40.00 (lunch & materials included)




CANHR wishes you a happy and peaceful New Year!

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