This week we’re reading about new Medicaid initiatives to fund supportive housing; pay and benefits for home care workers; the results of a new fall-prevention initiative; state efforts to pay for (and rebalance) LTSS; and a trio of new reports on employment and disability, affordable housing and Medicaid BIP.
- Kaiser Health News is taking a closer look at a new approach under consideration in California to use Medicaid money to support housing for individuals with chronic conditions, including mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
- The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline blog is reporting on the dialogue on pay and benefits for home care workers in advance of an expected U.S. District Court decision. The forthcoming decision will determine the future of a 2013 U.S. Department of Labor regulation applying minimum wage and overtime rules to home care workers, who have long been exempt.
- Health Affairs is sharing the results of the Living Independently and Falls-free Together Wellness Program, which reduced the risk of falling by 11 percent and the risk of injurious falls by 18 percent.
- With approximately 7 percent of the State’s aging population receiving Medicaid long-term services and supports, a strategy to pay for these services is now part of broader New Hampshire budget negotiations, reports the Chicago Tribune.
- The Las Vegas Review-Journal is covering news that Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law provisions allowing the privatization of Medicaid services for older adults and individuals with disabilities.
For that extended coffee break, a few new reports:
- The Kessler Foundation’s 2015 National Employment and Disability Survey is suggesting that Americans with disabilities “are working, actively preparing for employment, searching for jobs, seeking more hours, and successfully overcoming barriers in the workplace.”
- The Technical Assistance Collaborative’s annual report, Priced Out in 2014, is finding that older adults with disabilities who rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are burdened most by the shortage of affordable and accessible housing—often because SS payments are 23 percent shy of the national poverty line and the average benefit has declined by 7 percent in recent years.
- Kaiser Family Foundation is releasing a survey of the 18 states participating in the Medicaid Balancing Incentive Program (BIP). Key finding: BIP is helping states achieve their goal of rebalancing LTSS in favor of home and community-based services.