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New Jersey’s Nursing Home Deaths Reveal Our Problem With Elder Discrimination

By | IN THE NEWS, Newsroom, Nursing Homes

Refinery 29: New Jersey’s Nursing Home Deaths Reveal our Problem with Elder Discrimination, (April 16, 2020)

This article about the high number of deaths in nursing facilities from COVID-19 shines a light on the systemic ageism that devalues seniors’ lives in health care settings. The article goes on to talk about states, such as Massachusetts, that have issued discriminatory policies that prioritize ventilators and life-saving procedures for younger patients. The article mentions our letter to the state’s governor and quotes from it, saying, the state’s policy, “violates the antidiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act” related to age discrimination. The guidance includes a framework requiring assessments for life-saving resources be made to prioritize “maximizing life years saved” by taking a patient’s long-term prognosis into consideration, as well as “life-cycle considerations,” which prioritize younger patients.

Medicare Patients Placed Under “Observation Status” Win Right to Appeal, Federal Court Orders

By | IN THE NEWS, LITIGATION, NEWS, Newsroom, PRESS RELEASE

Media Contact: Vanessa Barrington 510-256-1200 vbarrington@justiceinaging.org

March 24, 2020—Medicare beneficiaries who have been denied coverage for nursing facility services after transferring from hospitals because the hospital changed their status from “in patient” to “observation status” now have a right to appeal their classification and a chance to receive reimbursement from Medicare for the uncovered nursing facility charges. Read More

Why the New “Public Charge” Rule Could Hit Immigrants Hard

By | IN THE NEWS, Newsroom

Next Avenue: Why the New “Public Charge” Rule Could Hit Immigrants Hard (February 24, 2020)

Since 1999, federal immigration law has had a public charge test in place to deny people admission to the United States if the government identifies them as ones who may be “primarily dependent” on the government for support, either through cash assistance programs or long-term institutional care. The Trump administration altered the definition of public charge in ways that unfairly target older adult immigrants. “This will have a ripple effect on their families who are here in the United States, as well as our communities in general,” said Justice in Aging attorney Natalie Kean. Denny Chan was also interviewed for this article.

Nursing Care Crunch Puts the Onus on Patients to Expose Problems

By | IN THE NEWS, Long Term Care, Newsroom, Nursing Homes

KALW: Nursing Care Crunch Puts the Onus on Patients to Expose Problems (September 18, 2019)

Not only is there a shortage of facilities that offer nursing care, but there is insufficient oversight by state and federal regulators. While cases of extreme abuse make headlines, unsafe conditions, inadequate staffing levels, poor training, and wrongful discharges are common problems. With lack of oversight from regulators, the task of raising these issues often falls on the nursing facility residents themselves. Justice in Aging attorney, Eric Carlson, was quoted extensively in this story. Eric recommends that residents do speak out, but also believes oversight bodies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and state regulators need to put patients, not operators, first.

Medicare Races to Fix Flaw in New Tool that Lets Millions of Seniors find Cheap Drug Plans

By | IN THE NEWS, Medicare, NEWS, Newsroom

Boston Globe: Medicare Races to Fix Flaw in New Tool that Let’s Millions of Seniors Find Cheap Drug Plans (September 10, 2019)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its new Medicare Plan Finder on August 27. The Plan Finder is an important tool for 45 million Medicare beneficiaries during the annual enrollment period. Advocates are concerned that the Plan Finder makes it more difficult for users to evaluate the costs of their drugs and other services in relation to the costs of their overall plans, among other problems with the plan, and could lead to users choosing a plan that is not the best one for them. Justice in Aging is mentioned in this story as one of the four advocacy groups who sent a letter to Medicare Administrator, Seema Verna, expressing concern about the Plan Finder.

Beneficiary Advocates Raise Alarms Concerning Roll-Out of New Medicare Plan Finder and Revision of Medicare Marketing Rules

By | News Releases, Newsroom, PRESS RELEASE
Washington, DC ─ Justice in Aging, Medicare Rights Center, Center for Medicare Advocacy, and the National Council on Aging sent a joint letter to Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), on August 27, 2019, urging the agency to address concerns regarding changes to the Medicare Plan Finder (MPF) tool and the 2020 Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidance (MCMG).

The four organizations expressed appreciation for CMS’s efforts to update these resources to better support beneficiary decision-making, while raising concerns that the revisions may instead have the opposite effect. The groups urged CMS to mitigate adverse consequences by closely monitoring the roll out and functionality of the new MPF tool, providing enrollment relief as needed, and by rescinding the updated MCMG in its entirety. Read More

Denny Chan, Public Interest Lawyer

By | DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Newsroom

ETTV America: Denny Chan, Public Interest Lawyer (May 29, 2019)

Even when faced with questionable or improper behavior, many AAPI older adults may decide not to speak up.  In a mini-series highlighting individuals for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, ETTV – a Chinese-language television station – interviewed Justice in Aging Senior Staff Attorney Denny Chan.  In addition to sharing his personal story of why he advocates for low-income seniors, Denny discusses reasons why AAPI older adults might stay quiet, even if they are improperly billed for medical services, and encourages them to be involved in their healthcare.  “Many older adults in our community feel an immense sense of gratitude after immigrating from their home countries.  Their benefits may be better here than where they came from.  Of course, this is something to appreciate, but older adults should speak up if they are mistreated by the government.” This interview is in Chinese.

Americans Can’t Afford Retirement. Here are 8 Ways to Fix it.

By | IN THE NEWS, Newsroom, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security

Fast Company: Americans Can’t Afford Retirement. Here are 8 Ways to Fix it.  (May 8, 2019)

Around half of Americans approaching retirement have no retirement savings. This is due to declining wages and pensions, high housing and health care costs, longevity, and myriad other reasons. There is no single solution, but there are actions businesses and policy makers can take that would help. One is to pay people more. “The fact that wages have been so stagnant for the middle class has really impacted the ability of people to save,” said Kevin Prindiville, Justice in Aging’s Executive Director, who was interviewed for the article. Creating more ways for people to saved, expanding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and creating more affordable housing are other solutions Justice in Aging proposes in the article.

Health Care for Elders with Limited English (in Chinese)

By | DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Newsroom

AARP TV: Health Care for Elders with Limited English (May 1, 2019)

There are currently about five million older adults with limited English proficiency in the United States, and the numbers are growing. It is important that LEP older adults know their rights in health care settings, and feel comfortable speaking up and asking for materials to be translated into their language or for translation services, if needed. This interview with Justice in Aging Senior Staff Attorney, Denny Chan talks to AARP about how LEP seniors can learn about and exercise their rights. This interview is subtitled in Chinese.

Health Care for Elders with Limited English (in English)

By | DUAL ELIGIBLES, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Newsroom

AARP TV: Health Care for Elders with Limited English (May 1, 2019)

There are currently about five million older adults with limited English proficiency in the United States, and the numbers are growing. It is important that LEP older adults know their rights in health care settings, and feel comfortable speaking up and asking for materials to be translated into their language or for translation services, if needed. This interview with Justice in Aging Senior Staff Attorney, Denny Chan talks to AARP about how LEP seniors can learn about and exercise their rights. This interview is in English.