Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Addressing Disparities in Medicare – A Six-point Plan
CMS released a six-point plan (“The CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare”) for addressing health equity in Medicare at a conference that noted both the 50th anniversary of Medicare and the 30th anniversary of the Heckler Report on minority health. Priorities include making sure the health care work force can meet the needs of vulnerable populations, and increasing physical accessibility of health care facilities.
U.S. Department of Labor: Notice; 30-Day FLSA Non-Enforcement Period
The Department of Labor published a notice in the Federal Register indicating the agency will not begin enforcing its final rule applying the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)’s minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers for 30 days after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issues its mandate to move forward with FLSA implementation. The agency clarified that for 30 days after the Court’s mandate (expected in mid-October), it will not take enforcement actions. After this grace period, it intends to exercise prosecutorial discretion until December 31, contingent on states making good faith efforts to come into compliance with the rule. They will begin full enforcement next year.
Settlement Calls For Cuts To Sheltered Workshops
The U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday that the state of Oregon has agreed to cut the number of adults working in sheltered workshops by nearly 400 and reduce hours worked in such settings by almost a third in the next two years. Meanwhile, the state will provide 1,115 adults with developmental disabilities who are currently employed in sheltered workshops as well as 4,900 individuals with disabilities ages 14 to 24 with supported employment services so that they can obtain competitive employment over the next seven years. — Shaun Heasley (Sep. 9)
Kaiser Health News
Texas Strives To Lure Mental Health Providers To Rural Communities
Hereford is one of many areas in Texas lacking adequate access to mental health care. Of the 254 counties in Texas, 185 have no psychiatrist, according to Travis Singleton, who tracks physician shortages for Merritt Hawkins, a Texas-based consulting firm. “That’s almost 3.2 million [people],” he says. The shortage goes beyond Texas. — Lauren Silverman (Sep. 3)
Kaiser Health News
When Prisons Need To Be More Like Nursing Homes
Caring for elderly inmates can often cost up to twice as much as caring for younger ones. In North Carolina, however, it costs an estimated four times as much. During the fiscal year 2006-2007 — its most recent figures — the state’s corrections department spent $33,824,060 on health care for inmates over 50, a 35 percent increase from just two years earlier. Despite these runaway costs, there is no national oversight to determine how prisons handle the challenges of an aging population, says Marc Stern, a consultant in correctional health care. — Maura Ewing, The Marshall Project (Aug. 27)
OPINION: Medicare Should Not Reverse Standard of Care for Amputees
Medicare officials have before them a draft rule that would increase the suffering of hundreds of thousands of men and women who are working hard to make their way in the world as amputees. It is not an exaggeration to say that research into advanced prosthetics will not only cease but the standard of care will regress back to the good old days in 1969 when I was first fit with a wooden leg. — Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb., Sep. 1)
The Wall Street Journal
Grandparent Power: Bonds With Seniors Held Stabilize Teens
Teens who form close, loving relationships with a grandparent are more likely to have fewer behavioral and emotional problems than less-attached teens, says a study published online in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. The benefits to the teens were even greater when they were also close to the parent who was the offspring of the grandparent. — Ann Lukits (Aug. 31)
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