2013 Home District Week

LeadingAge California’s 2013 Home District Week, held during the week of December 9-13, 2013, was an effective success. The purpose of this annual event is to connect federal and state representatives with LeadingAge California member constituents to discuss policies affecting the ability to care for residents in their communities, and to assist in aging with dignity.

Over twenty LeadingAge California members signed up to participate in this year’s event with fifteen scheduled meetings, and participants were free to choose their level of involvement. Some members provide a community tour, as did Air Force Village West, to meet with their community’s Board and Resident’s Council. Gold Country Retirement Center in Placerville invited representatives to a “Holiday Tea” with legislators, community staff, and residents. The LeadingAge California Los Padres *Region members hosted representatives at their regularly scheduled meeting held at Vista del Monte in Santa Barbara. Many others chose to visit the district offices of their local legislative representatives for a more individual regulatory discussion. Continue reading

501(c)(6) Bylaws Changes to Go to a Vote in February

The LeadingAge California Board of Directors has approved a plan to amend the association’s bylaws to add a 501(c)(6) organization to the existing 501(c)(3) charitable designation. This change will remove some of the current barriers that affect our advocacy efforts as a 501(c)(3). By adding a 501(c)(6), LeadingAge California will align itself with the overwhelming majority of LeadingAge state affiliates with this same IRS designation. It will also put the organization on the same footing as other statewide trade associations representing aging services and housing providers. Continue reading

Assemblymember Paul Fong to Open AgeTech West Conference, November 14-15

rsz_paul_fong1AgeTech West and LeadingAge California are honored to have Assemblymember Paul Fong welcome health and technology experts from across California, Oregon, and Washington at the AgeTech West Technology Conference and Exposition, November 14-15.  Mr. Fong will open the general session on the first day of the event, held at the Marriott Hotel in San Jose, Calif.

Paul Fong has been a leader in the community for over 30 years. Prior to being elected to the State Assembly, he was a political science professor at Evergreen Valley College. He represents California’s 28th Assembly District in the heart of Silicon Valley. The district includes the cities of Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, and a majority of the city of San Jose.

He has authored key legislation including ACR 42, offering California’s formal apology for racist laws, and AB 2302, creating an efficient, student-centered transfer process for community college students. He is Chair of the Select Committee on High Technology and member of the select committee on Government Efficiency, Technology and Innovation. Mr. Fong will touch on the importance of keeping the aging community engaged with new technology to help improve care and quality of life.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Master of Public Administration degree, both from San Jose State University. He also holds a Master of Arts in Education from the University of San Francisco.

To learn more about the AgeTech West Technology Conference and Exposition, visit www.agetechwest.com. To learn more about Paul Fong, click here to visit his website.

Health and Life Sciences Innovation Summit – Joanne Handy on Clinical Mobility Panel

intelJoanne Handy, president and CEO of LeadingAge California, participated in a panel discussion on clinical mobility as part of Intel’s 2013 Health & Life Sciences Innovation Summit. This unique webcast series aired on October 23, but if you missed it, you’re in luck – all panel discussions are still available to view online.

The panel, “Care Anywhere – Mobility: Creating a Great Clinical Mobility Experience” delved into the topic of mobile devices like smart phones, tablets, 2 in 1 devices and wearable devices and sensors – used not just by doctors and nurses to allow for more efficient workflows within the hospital and clinic, but increasingly by citizens using them to better communicate and improve their health care.

Speakers also included Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Martin Harris and Dr. William Morris; Dr. Patricia Abbott, currently Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and past Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins Schools of Nursing and Medicine; and Dr. Mark Blatt, Worldwide Medical Director at Intel Corporation.

In its 3rd consecutive year,  the Summit is a virtual webcast event featuring panel discussions that focus on how a specific area of information technology is impacting healthcare and life sciences and spurring innovation. This panel discussion was held at the Cleveland Clinic Lyndhurst campus on September 24th and broadcast online on October 23.

Registration (complimentary) is required – click here to register, then you will receive a confirmation email with an event login link.

Affordable Care Act Series

LeadingAge California recognizes the complexity of understanding and implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and we are presenting an ongoing series in which we will attempt to simplify various important components included in the Act in an effort to provide some clarity.

The first installment for the series includes the following information employers should be aware of regarding the ACA compliance implementation timeline.

Effective 2010
Insurance standards for health plans:

  • No lifetime limits on essential health benefits (EHB), and annual coverage limits are restricted.
  • Coverage may only be rescinded in cases of fraud and abuse.
  • Preventive services must be 100 percent covered (no cost-sharing).
  • Coverage must extend to dependents up to age 26.
  • Coverage may not be conditional to an employee’s wages or salary.
  • Internal claims appeals and external review processes must be implemented.
  • No pre-existing conditions for withholding coverage to children under age 19.

Other important requirements:

  • Employers must adhere to a 60-day notice of plan changes to employees.
  • Employers must provide a notice of patient protections and provider selection options.

Effective 2012
Insurance standards for health plans:

  • Additional preventative services for women.

Effective 2013:

  • Large employers must provide a written notice to all employees about the state health insurance exchange called “Covered California.”
  • $2500 limit for employee contribution to Health Flexible Spending Accounts.
  • W-2 reporting required for 2012 pay year.

Effective 2014
Insurance standards for health plans:

  • Required coverage with no annual limits on EHBs.
  • No pre-existing conditions for withholding coverage to all populations.
  • No waiting periods for coverage exceeding 90 days for all employees, and all employees must be offered identical waiting periods without exceptions.
  • Deductible and out-of-pocket limits on health plans.
  •  Required clinical trial coverage.
  • Non-discrimination for fully insured plans, including wellness programs.
  • Elimination of Risk Adjustment Factors (RAF).

Other important requirements:

  • Play-or-Pay: Requires “Applicable Large Employers” to offer full-time employees and their dependents affordable health plan coverage. Large employers are defined as companies with an average of 50 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, which is calculated using the average number of full-time employees during the previous calendar year. Large employers face steep fines for non-compliance.

*The penalty provision for failure to offer dependent coverage has been extended to 2015 provided the employer takes steps to comply with the requirement during 2014.

  •  Tax Reporting: Large employers must file a return for tax year 2014 which includes the terms and conditions of coverage provided to full-time employees, and written statements must be provided to all employees with the IRS information filed. The filings (completed in 2015 for tax year 2014) will be used to determine penalties for large employers.

Effective 2016:

  • “Applicable Large Employers” redefined as companies with an average of 100 or more FTE employees.

Effective 2016:

  • 40 percent excise tax imposed on high-cost health plans.

Please be aware that this is not a complete list of all ACA regulations and requirements. This summary includes some of the important information necessary for all non-grandfathered plans, with some information that also applies to grandfathered plans. Future installments in our series will explore other components of implementing the requirements included in the ACA, and we will investigate many of them in-depth.

 Information gathered from the California Healthcare Foundation, Blue Shield o f California, Ascension Insurance, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Invitation to Participate in a National Survey of Employee Wellness Programs

Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging is partnering with LeadingAge and American Seniors Housing Association to conduct an in-depth national survey of the seniors housing sector to understand the scope, nature, and impact of employee wellness programs across the continuum of healthcare service organizations.

Workplace wellness programs appear to be on the rise in our sector, yet there is little evidence about the impact of these initiatives on employee health, employee productivity, or costs of healthcare. In addition to providing cost savings for both the organization and employees, effective employee wellness programs encourage healthy behaviors and better prepare staff to deliver excellent services and care. The outcomes of the survey may prove instructional for senior living communities on how better to position themselves to promote employee wellness – a particularly important topic now in the age of health care reform.

The survey should be completed by a Human Resources director, manager, or other administrator who has direct knowledge of the community’s employee wellness initiatives, participation, health plans, incentives, and outcomes.  The deadline is October 25, 2013.

As a “thank you” participants will receive a copy of the final aggregate report and will be entered into a raffle to win one of three Zip Wireless Activity Trackers, the latest fitness device from fitbit to track steps, distance, and calories on your computer to set personal wellness goals.

Please click here to begin the survey.

 

Hearings on Assisted Living Oversight Planned for February

Responding to a series of articles in the San Diego Union Tribune that were highly critical of assisted living providers and the oversight provided by the Department of Social Services, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) recently stated that he plans to hold an oversight hearing in February examining the issues of assisted living. Senator Yee is chair of the Senate Human Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division. Yee is also running for Secretary of State.

LeadingAge California has met with legislative staff and leadership regarding the issue and is working with the California Assisted Living Association to craft meaningful legislation to improve licensing in California. Contact Eric Dowdy, Vice President of Policy at (916) 469-3376 if you have any questions.