The Blog to Transform Advanced Care
Advancing Care through Innovation, Observation and Collaboration.
Each week, C-TAC compiles the latest legislative and regulatory updates affecting the serious illness care field, combined with insider analysis from our policy experts. Here’s what you need to know for the week ahead:
- Money Follows the Person Program Extended for Three Years
- FEMA Funeral Program Inundated By 1 Million Calls at Launch
- HHS Releases New Legal Guidance and Resources Aimed at Expanding Access to COVID-19 Vaccines for People with Disabilities and Older Adults
- Medicare Sequestration Moratorium Officially Extended
Money Follows the Person Program Extended for Three Years
The Money Follows the Person (MFP) program, which aims to help states expand community living opportunities for people with disabilities and older adults, has been extended for three years under the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021. The program, which has become even more important amid the COVID-19 pandemic, provides enhanced federal funding for services to help transition individuals who wish to leave a nursing home or other institution and move to the community. The CAA of 2021 also made two major change to the program, including reducing the minimum length of time in an inpatient facility before an individual can qualify for MFP from 90 days to 60 days. Secondly, the days a person receives skilled nursing services or skilled rehabilitative services in a certified skilled nursing facility now can be counted toward the length-of-stay requirement. For more information about these updates, please click here.
FEMA Funeral Program Inundated By 1 Million Calls at Launch
The federal government program designed to help cover funeral costs for people who have died of COVID-19 was inundated with more than 1 million calls on its launch day. The program, which was announced earlier this year by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), invites Americans to apply for up to $9,000 per funeral and up to $35,500 per applicant to help with expenses related to coronavirus deaths occurring after Jan. 20, 2020. The program aims to assist with costs related to the burial plot, casket, clergy services, cremation, transfer of remains and headstones. For more information about the program, please click here.
HHS Releases New Legal Guidance and Resources Aimed at Expanding Access to COVID-19 Vaccines for People with Disabilities and Older Adults
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published several new resources to help states, vaccination providers and others leading COVID-19 response activities improve access to vaccines for people with disabilities and older adults. The new resources clarify legal requirements, illustrate some of the barriers to vaccine access faced by people with disabilities and older people and provide strategies to ensure accessibility, including examples of how the aging an disability network can provide support. The resources, available here, reflect insight from the Office for Civil Rights, the Administration for Community Living and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
Medicare Sequestration Moratorium Officially Extended
On April 14, President Biden signed legislation extending the moratorium on Medicare sequestration. That occurred after the U.S. House of Representatives late Tuesday passed the Medicare Sequester Relief Act, which extended mandated 2% Medicare cuts to healthcare providers until the end of the year. Sequestration was part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. The cut is imposed on the 80% allowed charge that healthcare providers received directly from Medicare. Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) paused claim payments in anticipation of the moratorium being extended again. For more information, please click here.