Category

Health Care

Some Nursing Homes Escaped COVID-19-Here’s What they Did Right

By | Health Care, Health Equity, Home & Community Based Services, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing Homes, Person-Centered Care Planning

Wired: Some Nursing Homes Escaped COVID-19-Here’s What they Did Right (May 29, 2020)

Cmiel’s staff stocked up on personal protective equipment and masks for workers and residents; screened everyone who walked in the door for symptoms; hired more staff to clean bathrooms and common areas; and started educating everyone on best practices for containing the virus. And while nursing homes account for nearly half of California’s coronavirus fatalities, at the SFCJL not a single resident has tested positive for the virus. Not all facilities were so lucky. A better approach to keep older people safe from Covid-19 would be to care for them in their homes, keeping them out of long-term residential settings. “There should be a continuum of care, and institutional care should really be reserved for people who need it, who can’t be successful and safe in their own homes,” said Claire Ramsey, Senior Staff Attorney at Justice in Aging.

Free Webinar: Health Care Rights for Older Adults During COVID-19

By | CA Health Network Alert, Health Care, Medicare, WEBINAR

Older adults and people with disabilities are one of the populations most susceptible to both COVID-19 and the effects of related physical distancing mandates. Many advocates and other service providers working with older adults may have questions about the rights of older adults and the impact of COVID-19 and related relief measures on healthcare.

This free webinar, co-organized by Justice in Aging and California Health Advocates Senior Medicare Patrol, will discuss health care rights under Medicare and Medi-Cal for older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased flexibilities and requirements for Medicare Advantage, Part D and Cal MediConnect plans, the moratorium on Medi-Cal negative actions, special enrollment periods under Medicare, the impact of relief efforts on Medi-Cal benefits, guaranteed issue events for Medigap, and more.

Who should participate:
Legal services attorneys and aging and disability service providers, including HICAP staff and volunteers.

Presenters:
Denny Chan, Justice in Aging
Bonnie Burns, California Health Advocates

The webinar took place on Thursday, May 28, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. PT.

Closed captioning will be available during this webinar. A link with access to the captions will be shared through GoToWebinar’s chat box shortly before the webinar start time.

WATCH THE WEBINAR
DOWNLOAD THE POWERPOINT

Rethinking How America Cares for its Elderly

By | Health Disparities, Health Equity, Home & Community Based Services, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Medicare

Street Roots: Rethinking How America Cares for its Elderly (May 26, 2020)

Before COVID-19 sent the United States hurdling toward a devastating economic recession, 37 million adults aged 50 and older were already living in poverty — with another 10 million on the brink. Like it has with so many other social issues in the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic has illuminated the economic hardship and isolation facing many of our nation’s senior citizens, and the lack of value placed on the people who care for them. Executive Director Kevin Prindiville was interviewed for this article. “We’ve underinvested in our Medicaid programs and long-term care programs that help people stay home and in their community, which leaves many families with the only option to move an older family member into an institution,” Prindiville said.

Op-Ed: Revised Budget Puts Older Californians, Communities at Risk

By | Health Disparities, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicare

Cal Matters: Op-Ed: Revised Budget Puts Older Californians, Communities at Risk (May 26, 2020)

During a public health crisis like this, few things are more important than making sure people can access health care. But somehow in the budget revision, it’s health care that gets the biggest cut; and not just health care for anyone – it cuts health programs that older adults with low incomes rely on. Older Californians are not expendable. They are vital members of our families and communities who built a state strong enough to weather this storm. The governor and the Legislature need to come up with a final budget that respects and protects them. This op-ed was co-authored by Claire Ramsey, Senior Staff Attorney at Justice in Aging, and Linda Nguy, Health Policy Advocate at Western Center on Law & Poverty

California Seniors are Worried About These Cuts in Gavin Newsom’s New Budget. Here’s Why

By | Health Disparities, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Newsroom

Sacramento Bee: California Seniors are Worried About These Cuts in Gavin Newsom’s New Budget. Here’s Why (May 26, 2020)

Newsom’s revised budget plan, announced earlier this month, seeks to close a projected $54.3 billion budget deficit brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. It includes about $646 million in proposed cuts that worry seniors and their advocates because they would reduce health care options and access to programs that allow elderly residents to stay at home and out of nursing homes, which have been hotbeds for COVID-19 outbreaks. Claire Ramsey, senior staff attorney at Justice in Aging, said the May budget plan in all “proposes severe and devastating cuts to the very programs that keep older adults and people with disabilities living safely in their home.”

“Just” Old People Are Dying: Ageism and the Coronavirus Response

By | Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Long Term Care, Medicaid, Newsroom, Uncategorized

KQED Forum: “Just” Old People Are Dying: Ageism and the Coronavirus Response (May 21, 2020)

Nearly 80% of those who have died from COVID-19 in California were over the age of 65, yet health care for seniors was slashed in the Governor’s proposed state budget. Advocates for the elderly say its just another example of ageism, which has been exacerbated during the pandemic. From suggestions that old peoples lives be sacrificed for the sake of the economy to the struggle to get PPE and tests in nursing homes, guests on the show discussed the role ageism is playing in the coronavirus response. Justice in Aging Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville was a guest on the show.

California Budget Analysis

By | Economic Security, Health Care, IN THE NEWS

Major Cuts to the Programs that Serve Older Adults Must Be Rejected

On May 14, 2020, Governor Newsom released the May Revision of the 2020-21 budget. Despite the increased need for services and supports for older adults during the COVID-19 crisis, the May Revision contains numerous and devastating cuts to the programs that older adults need and use to stay safe and healthy in their communities. Older Californians of color are at most risk of serious disease and death due to COVID-19 and these cuts will only act to widen already unacceptable disparities in access to care and health outcomes.

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How Newsom Budget Yanks Back Medi-Cal Health Care Gains for Low-Income Residents

By | Health Disparities, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Newsroom

Cal Matters: How Newsom Budget Yanks Back Medi-Cal Health Care Gains for Low-Income Residents (May 18, 2020)

The state’s revised budget released last week shows that the Golden State’s new economic reality will almost certainly hit the Medi-Cal program with cuts in services and provider rates, as well as rescinded expansions. The list of proposed changes is sweeping, from canceling coverage expansion to more older Californians – including undocumented seniors – to cuts in some adult dental services.

“I think there will be a huge effort within the next few weeks to see whether we can push back on this,” Ramsey said. “If we don’t get to go forward now, it will likely take years.”

As COVID-19 lurks, California families are locked out of nursing homes. Is it safe inside?

By | IN THE NEWS, Nursing Homes, Person-Centered Care Planning

East Bay Times: As COVID-19 lurks, California families are locked out of nursing homes. Is it safe inside? (May 10, 2020)

This article discusses the difficulties families face in knowing whether their loved ones residing in nursing homes are doing alright and receiving proper care during the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter in place orders, and offers advocacy tips for families. One of the tips is to ask for a care plan meeting. “Whenever there’s a change in someone’s condition, there’s a requirement that a care plan meeting be convened, and that remains in effect,” said Justice in Aging attorney, Eric Carlson, who was interviewed for the article.

Justice in Aging Statement on Opening Too Soon

By | Health Care, Health Disparities, PRESS RELEASE
Justice in Aging is calling on state and local governments to retain strong social distancing measures to protect the health and safety of older adults in our communities. Relaxing these measures now, even as new models are projecting a near doubling of daily deaths by June 1, is irresponsible and will cost the lives of tens of thousands of older adults. Though the curve is flattening in some places, it is spiking in others. The most critical fact is that the virus remains deadly all across America in every type of community and for every age group, but most especially for seniors, people with disabilities, and people of color. Read More