The Lead May 18, 2023
From the Desk of Angela Schnepf, President and CEO
We need your advocacy assistance at the federal level on HUD funding. Please tell your members of U.S. Congress to protect and expand affordable housing funding in fiscal year 2024 by voting against cuts to programs (including opposing proposals to fund programs at fiscal year 2022 levels) and by voting for needed funding for affordable senior housing. See the alert and take action here.
Three LeadingAge Illinois Legislative Priorities Pass Unanimously and Head to the Governor
Last week, three pieces of legislation that are a part of LeadingAge Illinois’ legislative priorites passed the Illinois General Assembly with all yes votes and now head to the Governor.
HB3060 passed the Senate today 56-0. LeadingAge Illinois testified on this bill in a legislative hearing to present the intent and take questions. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) was neutral on this bill, which requires the Department to adopt rules to create and allow life plan communities to also provide a Continuing Care at Home (CCaH) program.
HB3172, passed the Senate today 56-0. It has now officially passed the full Illinois General Assembly with all yes votes after passing the House 110-0. The bill now moves to the Governor. He has 60 days to sign it or it automatically becomes law. LeadingAge Illinois testified on this legislation in front of a legislative committee in a hearing and outlined the bill’s intent and requested passage. It passed with all YES votes. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) was neutral on the bill and it was supported by the American Diabetes Association. The legislation deletes language in the Assisted Living and Shared Housing Act, stating that a resident cannot live in an assisted living if they require sliding scale insulin administered by a licensed healthcare professional (the Act does not allow assisted living establishments to use their own nurses for this).
SB1814 also passed both chambers with all yes votes. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) was neutral on the bill, which would establish an Assisted Living and Shared Housing Advisory Board. The Board, which is to be appointed by the Governor and include provider representatives and stakeholders, would meet to discuss assisted living issues and review and advise the IDPH director on assisted living rules before they go out for public comment.
Thank you to all members who responded to our alerts as these bills moved through the legislative process and urged legislators to vote in support.
Call Your Legislators – Pass an Adult Day Rate Increase
The clock is ticking and the 2023 legislative session is coming to a close Friday and a state budget will be decided. LeadingAge Illinois, in partnership with the Illinois Adult Day Services Association (IADSA) and AARP are still pushing hard for an adult day services rate increase.
Please join your fellow HCBS members in contacting your legislators and urging their support of a rate increase. It will take two minutes to make a big difference.
CMS Releases FAQ on Medicaid Unwinding and the End of the PHE
In this FAQ, CMS clarifies a number of provisions relating to states’ required actions and treatment of different populations through Medicaid Unwinding. These clarifications outline a number of requirements, including (in Q18) when states (with 1634 agreements) can use State Data Exchanges to complete ex parte renewals for Medicaid Enrollees receiving social security income (SSI). Ex parte renewals allow states to use available data from a variety of sources including the Social Security Administration (SSA) to confirm that a current enrollee has not had a change in income and would remain eligible for Medicaid. Review the FAQ here.
Benefit Category Determination and National Coverage Determination for Seat Elevation Equipment
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a national coverage decision that – for the first time – establishes power seat elevation for power wheelchairs as durable medical equipment, eligible for coverage by the Medicare program. People with Medicare who perform transfers from power wheelchairs, or reach from their chair for mobility related activities of daily living such as dressing, grooming, toileting, feeding and bathing, can receive Medicare covered seat elevation equipment effective immediately.
National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Webinar Registration Flyer
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) have entered in a data use agreement (DUA) to increase the data available to IDPH. Learn what this means on a June 8 webinar at 1:30 p.m. CST.
Medicaid Ready to Renew Toolkit
The Ready to Renew messaging toolkit be found at the Ready to Renew Toolkit Webpage. You can use these materials through your communication channels to help people who use Medicaid get ready to renew their coverage.
This week, Governor Pritzker held a press conference to reaffirm Illinois’ commitment to protect coverage for eligible Medicaid customers, as annual eligibility verifications resume. Medicaid customers haven’t been through a redetermination in over three years, which is why it’s so important that they’re ready when their renewal date comes up. We are firmly committed to offering as much assistance as customers need to get through this process because the State wants everyone who is eligible for Medicaid to continue to be covered, without any disruption. Click here for the full press release.
Each week, we will keep you abreast of important deadlines.
- June 1: Nursing Homes due date for Q2 Census Staffing Ratio Data to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
LeadingAge Assisted Living Member Network Meeting
Please join Assisted Living members at the LeadingAge May monthly meeting on May 30 from 1-2 pm CST. Jenna Kellerman, Director of Workforce Strategy & Development, will join the meeting and present on retention and recruitment. To join, please contact Janine Finck-Boye.
CMS Guidance for Nursing Homes on End of Public Health Emergency
CMS released new guidance on May 1 about the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. For nursing homes, this guidance includes termination of the staff vaccination mandate, enforcement discretion for COVID notifications to residents and families, and termination of the actual emergency exemption for emergency preparedness exercise requirements. Read here for more information on these changes and what nursing homes need to remember related to these changes.
The memo QSO-23-13-ALL notes that nursing homes’ requirement to educate staff/residents on COVID-19 vaccination and offer or assist with accessing vaccination will not end. CMS also announced that while nursing homes must continue requirements to report COVID data to NHSN through December 31, 2024, they will exercise enforcement discretion of requirements (i.e., not expect providers to meet requirements) at Section 483.80(g)(3) for nursing homes to notify residents/families of new COVID cases or symptom clusters by 5pm the next calendar day and provide weekly cumulative updates. Read more updates, including requirements for Emergency Preparedness and other provider types here.
New NTIA Broadband Funding Guide From HUD
Affordable housing leaders may soon be able to tap substantial amounts of funding for broadband infrastructure and digital equity, and a new guide describes how affordable housing stakeholders may benefit from the funding. “ConnectHomeUSA Guide to New Broadband Funding for HUD-Assisted Communities” is a new resource for states and organizations from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). More information can be found on the LeadingAge website.