PARCR - Posts Tagged with "Medicare"

President's Message: Dr. Linda Rhodes

11/11/2013 - PARCR Admin

If I could make one recommendation to each senior citizen residing in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), I would suggest that they become acquainted with the writing of Dr. Linda Rhodes, whose column appears in the Harrisburg Patriot News each Sunday. Dr. Rhodes is a former Secretary of Ageing of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the author of a book entitled, "The Essential Guide to Caring for Ageing Parents".

Several articles have appeared in the Patriot News that are important to Seniors and should be read. Dr. Rhodes writes on October 27, 2013 that "Seniors Should Sort Through Their Options for Flu Shots". She explains in detail that there are four (4) options available. You are advised to consult with your physician as to which option is best for you.

On November 3, 2013 she warns us about "Hospitalization: What to Know if You are on Medicare". She outlines the difference of being classified as "inpatient" or "under observation" when admitted to the hospital. Should you remain under observation, then sent to a skilled nursing or rehabilitation unit for additional care, Medicare would not cover your expenses. This information is essential for every Senior as the financial implications could be catastrophic.

On November 10, 2013 Dr. Rhodes writes, "As We Age, Nutritional Choices are More Vital". She describes the impact that improper diet has on the elderly and how to deal with it. The risk of dehydration, the importance of good dental health, the problems of multiple prescription drugs, and the effects of eating alone are also discussed. Each are important to the well being of the individual.

These articles and other materials written by Dr. Rhodes can be accessed by clicking here, or access and search Dr. Linda Rhodes.

Keeping you informed, George A. Tjiattas, President


Legislative Alert: Observation Stays

7/1/2015 - PARCR Admin

LeadingAge PA has asked members to contact their U.S. Senator about changes to the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2015. This bill would ensure that when older Americans are transferred from a hospital to a skilled nursing facility for further care, they are able to focus on their recovery instead of on technicalities that could lead to forgone care or high medical bills. Urge your Senator to support moving the bill forward.


Springing into Summer, May 2014

5/1/2014 - PARCR Admin

Regional Public Policy Forums!

LeadingAge PA held three Regional Policy Forums to discuss the 2014 Public Policy Objectives and Planning for the second-half of 2014. These Forums were open to all LeadingAge PA members as an opportunity to share policy ideas, discuss advocacy efforts and offer suggestions for outreach to fellow members, legislators and administration officials. Contact Joan Bradbury for results of these meetings.

Webinar: "Emergency Preparedness - Get Ready, Get Involved"

LeadingAge PA offered an important webinar on Emergency Preparedness, featuring Melissa Robbins, Healthcare and Coalition Coordinator with the DOH Office of Public Health Preparedness, and Tom Grace, Vice President of Emergency Preparedness at HAP. This presentation provide a detailed overview of the regional healthcare coalitions in PA and their role in emergency preparedness and response to disasters that affect long term care facilities across the Commonwealth. Contact Joan Bradbury to get contact information.

NorthStar 2.0 - Members are Financially Viable: Consider New and Improved Revenue Streams through a Short Term Rehab Unit

LeadingAge PA is committed to providing members with education and resources to optimize performance, and to identify challenges, shifts and future trends. Our NorthStar 2.0 encourages members to remain financially viable through the continual evaluation of new and improved revenue streams.

SGR Patch Bill Becomes Law

The Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 is now law. This legislation addresses the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that is used to determine Medicare reimbursement rates. In the past, Congress passed short-term "patches" to address policy concerns over the SGR formula.

The Act prevents SGR for an additional year; delays ICD-10; extends Medicare therapy cap exceptions; and addresses other funding issues. Contact Joan Bradbury for additional details or questions. 4/3/2014

LeadingAge PA's Annual Conference & Exposition happening June 18-20 in Hershey

LeadingAge PA will host it's Annual Conference & Exposition June 18-20 at the Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA.

This year's conference, 'GO!', features outstanding general session speakers (check out our Blog for highlights!); an Exposition Hall featuring over 190 businesses; and a special LeadingAge PA/HAP Symposium on Tuesday, June 17. Visit our conference website at for details.


Transitioning into June, June 2014

6/1/2014 - Laura Paist

CMP Funds to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Facilities

This week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a grant solicitation for the reinvestment of federal civil money penalty (cmp) funds to support and further expand the national partnership to improve dementia care in nursing facilities. (legislative update 4 />22/2014)

CMS Proposes FY 2015 SNF Rates & Other Changes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register today related to the prospective payment system and consolidated billing for skilled nursing facilities (snf) for fiscal year (fy) 2015. a full summary of the proposed rule can be found here…this would result in 5 counties in the commonwealth—columbia, montour, franklin, monroe and adams—becoming urban counties beginning october 1, 2014. cms has proposed a 1-year transition period for all snfs during which a blended wage index will be applied to assist providers adapting to a new designation. leadingage pa is continuing to analyze this proposed rule and work with our partners at leadingage (national) to formulate our comments on these changes. (revenue update 5 />6/2014)

CMS Proposes Changes for Hospice Providers in FY 2015

Thank you to our partners at LeadingAge (national) for sharing their summary and analysis of the rule. (regulatory update 5 />7/2014)

State Revenue Shortfall Grows

In a press release, Pennsylvania's Department of Revenue announced that state revenue shortfalls are much higher than anticipated. This equates to a two-year difference of $1.35 billion, notwithstanding the statutory changes included in the proposed budget. LeadingAge PA continues to track this year's budget process in Harrisburg and will continue to provide updates to members as they become available. You can also visit the IFO online for additional information and revenue estimates. Please contact Joan Bradbury with questions. (Legislative Update 5/8/2014)

2014 Public Policy Objectives: Creating LTC Navigators for Consumers

LeadingAge PA's 2014 public policy objectives checklist has been propelling our advocacy efforts this year as we meet with the legislature and state agencies to discuss issues that affect our members and propose innovative solutions. today, we will be visiting legislative leaders and the governor's office to distribute the newest policy objective card on creating long-term care (ltc) navigators for consumers. you can follow along on our website as each objective is checked off the list!

NorthStar 2.0 - Members are Strategically Positioned: Types of Research to Support Your Strategic Planning Initiatives

Market Study vs. Community Needs Assessment

LeadingAge PA‘s NorthStar 2.0 encourages members to align their core competencies with the needs of the community they serve and to develop key partnerships throughout the continuum of services. To do that, they must have a thorough understanding of their market and the information that is relevant to healthcare providers in their community.

Still no Definitive Answers as to What is in the Budget

Stay tuned for more information! If you have any questions about the Commonwealth's budget, please contact Joan Bradbury.

LeadingAge PA’s Annual Conference & Exposition in Hershey June 18-20, 2014

Stop In to see (or be part of) PARCR’s Exhibition Table


Catching Up with News from LeadingAge PA - February 2015

2/28/2015 - PARCR Admin

Act 31 Reminder

Reminder of Act 31 Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting Continuing Education for Licensed Professionals Effective January 1, 2015. Act 31 requires all health related licensees and who are mandatory reporters to complete 3 hours of Department of Human Services (formerly DPW) approved training on initial application for a license. Additionally, all health related licensees applying for a license renewal are required to complete 2 hours of Board approved continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements

Senate Bill 4

A notice was sent out at the request of LeadingAge PA to ask your Senator to vote YES on Senate Bill 4: Legislation to Amend the PA Constitution to allow the General Assembly to Establish Criteria for Purely Public Charity. A report was sent out that SB 4 passed the Senate on February 17, 2015. It is planned that more information will be sent as the bill moves on. Thanks to those who reached out to their Senators. Since the bill passed the full Senate and is now headed to the House. LeadingAge PA will be asking for you to call your Representatives in the near future on this critical issue.

Governor Wolf Announces Cabinet Members

Ted Dallas has been chosen as the Secretary for the Department of Human Services. Most recently, Dallas served as the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources. Prior to his work in Maryland, Acting Secretary Dallas served in Pennsylvania’s Rendell Administration for five years as the Executive Deputy Secretary of the Department of Human Services, formerly the Department of Public Welfare.

Teresa Osborne has received the nod to serve as the Secretary for the Department of Aging. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Luzerne/Wyoming Counties Area Agency on Aging. Previously she served as the Executive Director of the Lackawanna Area Agency on Aging.

Dr. Karen Murphy has been appointed as Secretary for the Department of Health. Dr. Murphy has extensive knowledge of the healthcare industry and has demonstrated her ability to lead complex organizations and initiatives in both the public and private sector. Formerly, Dr. Murphy served as the Director of the State Innovation Models Initiative at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

Highmark Partnership

Highmark has contracted with naviHealth, a post-acute care management company that contracts with risk-bearing healthcare organizations, resulting in naviHealth coming into facilities and denying services. PARCR members who have Highmark coverage and have questions should feel free to contact Anne Henry, Vice President of Government Affairs at <> or 717-790-3949.

Legislative Breakfast

The LeadingAge PA Government Affairs team hosted a successful legislative staff breakfast on January 29, 2015 at the State Capitol. In attendance were staff members from committees critical to assuring that our members’ best interests are taken into consideration as bills are introduced and moved through the legislative process. More…

LeadingAge Leadership Conference

PEAK! The 2015 LeadingAge (national) PEAK leadership conference in Washington, D.C. will take place on March 16-18. LeadingAge PA's Government Affairs staff will participate with members in meetings on Capitol Hill with Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation. The meetings are designed to allow LeadingAge PA members to discuss the effect of federal issues on their communities. Register

CMS Describes Changes to Five-Star Rating System for Providers

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) described some major changes/adjustments to Nursing Home Compare, and the scoring methodology for the Nursing Home Five-Star Rating System. It appears that there will be an impact to nursing homes’ overall rating based on these changes. CMS is advising that many facilities will see a reduction of 1 -2 stars in their overall rating based on the revised scoring methodology. For LeadingAge (national)’s brief overview of the changes, please click here.

LeadingAge PA Legislative Breakfasts happening April-May!

Join LeadingAge PA’s Government Affairs team for one of our upcoming Legislative Breakfasts at a location near you! Come meet your elected officials to discuss the importance of the services your facility provides and how it benefits the seniors in your community. This is an excellent opportunity for members to connect with their representatives in an informal, social setting in order to build and foster these important relationships. PARCR members are invited to attend. See dates and locations/learn more…


Spring and Summer Legislative Tidbits 2015

8/20/2015 - PARCR Admin

Budget Stalemate – Will it End in The Near Future?

On Wednesday, August 19, after weeks of talks between Governor Wolf and Republican majority leaders, budget negotiations took a new twist when Republican leaders made a one-time budget proposal offer on education funding and pension reform to the Governor. On the education front, the Republican proposal would increase basic education to $400 million for public schools. This is the same amount that Governor Wolf requested during his budget address this past March. In exchange for the Wolf education plan, the Republicans have asked for a pension reform proposal which would move the state’s retirement system to a private sector-like 401(K) plan affecting future state government workers and public school employees. This pension plan is very similar to the one vetoed by the Governor on July 9, 2015. The House sessions resume August 25, and the Senate is in recess until September 21 unless sooner recalled by their respective leaders.
A response from Governor Wolf is expected at any time.
Even though there is a budget impasse, the commonwealth must continue operations for all critical functions that impact the health, safety and/or welfare of the citizens of Pennsylvania. This means Medical Assistance payments to LeadingAge PA members will continue.
The LeadingAge PA Government Affairs team will continue to monitor the budget process and provide updates to members as new information becomes available.

Senators request GAO assessment of 5-star rating system

On August 6, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting an assessment of the general accuracy and reliability of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 5-Star Quality Rating System for nursing homes and its usefulness as a consumer tool.

Budget Adjustment Factor (BAF)

On June 19, 2016 a Member Alert was sent out to PARCR members requesting sharing information with their residents to make contacts with State Legislators about the action of the Department of Human Services’ Budget Adjustment Factor (BAF). The BAF formula changes would harm nursing facilities that use state taxpayer money the appropriate way. These facilities spend money to provide better quality care. The DHS’ actions would reward large companies headquartered outside of the Commonwealth. The contacts from non-profit facilities, LeadingAge PA, and PARCR members were heard and the DHS has postponed any action at this time.

Observation Stays

In May a Member Alert was sent out to PARCR members requesting action to urge US Senators to support moving forward on: “Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2015” which has the opportunity to fix the Observation Stay problem. On August 6, 2015, President Obama signed into law H.R. 876, the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act. The new law requires hospitals to provide written and oral notification to Medicare beneficiaries receiving observation status for more than 24 hours, rather than admitted as inpatients. Last year on October 22, 2014 Pennsylvania’s Governor signed into effect Act 169. This act brought transparency in Pennsylvania to the hospital/patient by requiring the hospital to provide notice to the patients of their outpatient status after they have spent a full day in the hospital outside the emergency department.

Legislative Breakfasts successful

The last week in May, the LeadingAge PA Government Affairs team attended the last of nine Legislative Breakfasts held throughout the state in April and May. Dozens of elected officials from each region met member organizations' staff and residents and heard stories about the services they provide and how they benefit communities. Thanks to facilities that hosted the events.

Senior Care and the PA Budget with Anne Henry

On May 20, 2015 Anne Henry, Vice President at LeadingAge PA, was interviewed on PCN. The video which highlights that Anne Henry is watching how state government will spend its funds to take care of Pennsylvania’s senior population can be viewed on and searching for Anne Henry.

Department of Transportation proposed rule on license criteria for persons with cognitive impairments

In May The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation issued a proposed rule regarding criteria to obtain or retain a driver's license for those with cognitive impairments, including dementia, by adding a section to disqualify individuals that have a moderately severe cognitive impairment. Responses to the proposed rule will be reviewed before any movement on the proposal will occur.


Observation Stays

10/19/2015 - PARCR Admin

At the last Quarterly PARCR Meeting at Messiah Pathways on October 14, 2015 a concern was expressed about Observation Stay Status. Here is some information

10-19-2015: From Anne Henry, LeadingAge PA’s Senior Vice President & Chief Government Affairs Officer: “The Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2015 – H.R. 1571 was introduced March 24, 2015 but has not had any activity so it has a long way to go. If nothing happens before we go to D.C. in March to do Congressional visits we will push it.”

Here is some background information:

Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2015 amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to deem an individual receiving outpatient observation services in a hospital to be an inpatient with respect to satisfying the three-day inpatient hospital requirement in order to entitle the individual to Medicare coverage of post-hospital extended care services in a skilled nursing facility.

On March 23rd, alongside Center for Medicare Advocacy Executive Director, Judith Stein, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT) announced the reintroduction of the Improve Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2015 (H.R. 1571.) As the Congressman stated, “My bill would fix this problem by counting all days spent in the hospital—whether admitted or on ‘observation’—toward the three-day requirement to qualify for Medicare coverage. This is a bipartisan effort that has been gaining momentum as more seniors and their families learn about this problem firsthand.” See Rep. Courtney’s press release.

The following day, Senators Brown, Collins, Nelson and Capito reintroduced the companion Senate bill, Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act (S. 843) See Sen. Brown’s press release.

This bill was assigned to a congressional committee on March 24, 2015, which will consider it before possibly sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole.


Spring Tidbits April, 2016

4/4/2016 - PARCR Admin

Anne Henry, Senior Vice President and Chief Government Affairs Officer, attended the 2016 LeadingAge PEAK Leadership Conference in Washington, DC in March.

On March 15, LeadingAge PA advocated for the following items when meeting on Capitol Hill with Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation:

  1. Quality

The basis of the current nursing facility oversight process was enacted nearly 30 years ago when the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA ’87) became law. LeadingAge PA asked Congress to enact legislation to direct the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to reexamine the effectiveness of the present nursing facility oversight process in ensuring excellence.

  1. Hospital Observation Days

Changes to Medicare policy for hospitals regarding short inpatient stays have encouraged hospitals to keep people in “observation” rather than admitting them as inpatients.

LeadingAge PA asked Congress to legislatively correct this problem so that all overnight stays in hospitals count toward the three-day stay requirement so that seniors can once again have their qualifying nursing facility stay paid for by Medicare. The Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2015 (H.R. 1571/S. 843) would create a full and enduring solution by requiring all overnight stays that Medicare beneficiaries spend in the hospital to count towards meeting the three-day prior inpatient stay.

  1. Medicare Value Based Purchasing

In 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act was passed into law which provides an incentive to nursing facilities who provide the quality care needed to reduce re-hospitalization is already in place. This Value Based Payment incentive will reduce SNF reimbursement by 2% but then allow for some of the funding to be regained if they produce the required quality outcomes.

LeadingAge PA asked Congress to oppose H.R. 3298 as written.

  1. Home and Community Based Services

LeadingAge PA supports S. 192, sponsored by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), already passed by the Senate, which would reauthorize the Older Americans Act. It is currently in the House Committee on Education and Workforce.

LeadingAge PA asked for support of S 192, which would reauthorize the Older Americans Act and to ask the House to bring it to a vote. Fund the OAA program at levels sufficient to meet the needs of our growing senior population.

  1. Senior Housing under Section 202 and Section 8

Affordable housing must be preserved, funded and expanded sufficiently in order to maintain safe residences where seniors can live and age successfully in the place they call home.

Request from LeadingAge PA–Support at least the $505 million the Department of Housing and Urban Development requested for Section 202 for fiscal 2017.This amount will fully fund 12-month renewals of all project rental assistance contracts; so that we do not lose the housing we have in place. It also includes $75 million to renew all service coordinator/congregate housing services grants.

Governor Wolf raises minimum wage for state employees

On Monday, March 7, Governor Wolf signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for Pennsylvania state workers under his jurisdiction and employees working on future state contracts from $7.25 to $10.15 an hour. The governor said the effect will be limited and the order will raise the wages of about 450 out of approximately 79,000 state workers under his jurisdiction. At the press conference the governor said the executive order does not affect human service providers at this time.

Housing Aging Hearing on Assisted Living Residences

Anne Henry, LeadingAge PA’s senior vice president and chief government affairs officer, testified before the House Aging Committee on February 10, 2016 regarding barriers to the development of Assisted Living Residences (ALRs) in the commonwealth. Henry emphasized barriers such as physical plant requirements and the high licensing fees that have so far limited the development of a significant number of assisted living residences as well as barriers that limit individuals residing in ALRs to truly age in place.

LeadingAge PA Updates on Budget, Community HealthChoices and Advocacy

On March 9, 2016 Anne Henry, Senior Vice President and Chief Government Affairs Officer and Ana Puig, Director of Legislative Affairs presented a Regional Member Interchange at Granite Farms Estate on Budget Status FY 2015-2016 & 2016-2017, Community HealthChoices Update and Advocacy and You! It is being planned to have this Power Point presentation put on the PARCR website.

LeadingAge PA Thanks Governor Wolf on his 2016-2017 Budget for Long Term Care

On February 18, 2016 Ron Barth, President /CEO of LeadingAge PA sent a letter to Governor Wolf, thanking him on behalf of the members of LeadingAge PA for the support that the state fiscal year 2016-2017 Executive Budget shows for older Pennsylvanians

Governor Allows Balance of 2015-2016 Budget to Become Law without his Signature

On Wednesday, March 23, Governor Wolf held a press conference to announce that he will let the remainder of the Pennsylvania budget sent to him by the General Assembly become law without his signature. He will, however, veto the fiscal code that includes some funding wishes of the General Assembly. The final 2015-2016 budget did not include the expansion of sales tax on long-term services and supports as proposed by the governor. All eyes are on how negotiations will progress on the 2016- 2017 budget.


June Tidbits

7/11/2016 - PARCR Admin

Budget Negotiations

LeadingAge PA is requesting PARCR's advocacy now.

It is crunch time in Harrisburg for the 2016/2017 state budget, and we need your help to ask for increased Medical Assistance (MA) funding for nursing facilities. Gov. Wolf had originally proposed a 1% rate increase for nursing facility MA funding in his executive budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year; however, due to cuts to the Department of Human Services (DHS) budget, this increase was removed.

While LeadingAge PA realizes that Pennsylvania has a serious fiscal problem and that lawmakers are struggling to pass a balanced budget, we are concerned that over the past five years, nursing facilities have seen increases in funding only twice. Meanwhile, the cost of salaries, benefits and food has continued to rise.

LeadingAge PA is working collaboratively with the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) to request a 3.5% increase in Medical Assistance long-term care funding in the 2016-2017 FY budget. In addition, we are collectively requesting $16 million to fund the Non-Public Medical Assistance Day-One Incentive Payment, created by state legislators three years ago to preserve access to care. This funding is included in the Human Services Code.

Make calls to legislators in Harrisburg asking them to support our budget. Find your legislators and their contact information at [].

These talking points will help you communicate your message. This graph shows the difference between the increases in health care inflation and MA nursing facility rates. Please share it with your legislators. Please keep the LeadingAge PA team aware of your efforts both with your legislators and their staff by contacting Ana Puig, Director of Legislative Affairs, at, (717)790-3948. June 30 is the deadline for an on time state budget for FY 2016-17. The LeadingAge PA Government Affairs team will monitor the budget process closely and will provide updates.

Community Health, Choices (CHC)

On June 9, 2016 the Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Ted Dallas announced that the commonwealth will lengthen the transition time for implementation of Community Health, Choices (CHC), the commonwealth’s proposed managed long-term services and supports program. Dallas said that as part of the ongoing commitment to ensure that everyone impacted by the CHC understands and is comfortable with the program prior to it going live, the first phase will now begin July 1, 2017 (rather than January 1, 2017) in the southwest.

LeadingAge PA and many other stakeholders requested that DHS defer the start of the program until all is ready. Learn more about the CHC program on the DHS website.

LeadingAge PA Annual Conference and Exposition

LeadingAge PA is holding its 2016 Annual Conference and Expostion, Be Bold! At the Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA June 14 to June 17. The 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition is designed to inspire with strategies to explore change and innovation, grow and evolve as aging services leaders, and stay competitive in the provision of long-term services and supports to Pennsylvania seniors. PARCR will have a display table at the conference.

The pre-conference symposium, The Future of Managed Care and Medical Assistance, provides attendees with the opportunity to learn about Community HealthChoices and how it will impact care delivery systems and payment models and how Medicaid consumers will receive services in the future. The symposium is Tuesday, June 14, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Hershey Lodge, Hershey. This video has details.

Annual Legislative Staff Breakfast

The LeadingAge PA Government Affairs team held its annual legislative staff breakfast at the Capitol on April 28. The intent of the breakfast was to continue developing relationships and have one on one interaction with key staff members that work for leadership and key committees that have significant impact on issues that affect LeadingAge PA and the seniors they serve. Ron Barth, CEO, and Anne Henry, senior vice president and chief government affairs officer, spoke about our priorities for the 2016-17 FY including the budget, Community HealthChoices, and the importance of allowing people to receive assisted living services under the Medical Assistance program. It was a great opportunity to answer questions and to share with the legislative staff that LeadingAge PA is the association of solutions.

The Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization of 2015

President Barack Obama signed into law the Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization of 2015, after it passed both chambers of Congress with unanimous support. LeadingAge commends the President for signing the OAA, which was 5 years overdue for reauthorization. Check for information on the importance of this Act More...

Five-Star Quality Measures

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) enhanced Nursing Home Compare (NHC) in April 2016 to include six new quality measures related to publicly reported readmission. They stated that a preview of the new measures would be available on April 7; however, the preview is still not available at this time. We will be releasing the new 5 Star Analysis Report from LeadingAge Quality Metrics this month once the new measures are available and we can include them in your report. Five of the six new measures will be used in the calculation of the Five-Star Quality Measures (QM) ratings beginning in July 2016. More...


Tidbits for Medicare Open Enrollment and Voting Information

10/28/2016 - PARCR Admin

Medicare Open Enrollment Reminder

Medicare's annual open enrollment period began Saturday, October 15th and continues until Wednesday, December 7th. Any new coverage selected takes effect January 1st, 2017. To assist beneficiaries, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging APPRISE program offers educational events and counseling. Pennsylvania's APPRISE counselors are trained to help Pennsylvanians understand their Medicare benefits, sort through their options to find the best one for them, and successfully complete the enrollment process. Upcoming events

Voting Information

You may still request an absentee ballot and also get further information on how to vote via absentee ballot. In Pennsylvania, the absentee ballot application must be requested by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1st, and received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 4th.

Pennsylvanians will be voting or U.S. president/vice-president, one of two U.S. Senate seats, U.S. House of Representatives, half of the state Senate and the entire state House of Representatives. Pennsylvanians will also be voting for state-wide offices: attorney general, auditor general and state treasurer.

Here's what you need to know about casting ballots in the upcoming election:

  • Polling times: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Polling loctions: Search your voting location on the state voting website.
  • Voter identification: Needed only if voting in a precinct for the first time.

If you have any questions, please contact Ana Meyers at (717) 790-3948 or


January Quarterly Meeting

1/26/2017 - PARCR Admin

The January PARCR Meeting happened on January 11th at Cross Keys Village in New Oxford.

Jennifer Holcomb presented on Memory Support. You can view her presentation here (PDF). Please find her contact information below.

Jennifer Holcomb M.S., NHA, CDP, CDCM, CADDCT
Director of Memory Support
Cross Keys Village - The Brethren Home Community
2990 Carlisle Pike
New Oxford, PA 17350
Phone: (717) 624-5474

Scott and Steve Dardick from AIA Benefits Resource Group also gave a presentation titled Understanding Medicare. You can view the presentation here (PowerPoint).

For more information, please see the minutes from the meeting.


Legislative Tidbits in Preparation for Fall 2017

9/12/2017 - PARCR Admin

On August 30, 2017 LeadingAge (National) announced it has established a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. LeadingAge members and friends can help by donating to the LeadingAge Hurricane Harvey relief fund to benefit LeadingAge member organizations and their staff: Click here to donate 100% of the funds go to the relief effort.

LeadingAge PA announced that recently there have been a number of changes in high-ranking positions at both the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Human Services (DHS). At DHS, Governor Wolf has moved Insurance Commission Teresa Miller to the position of Acting Secretary. Jessica Altman will serve as Acting Insurance Commissioner. At DOH, Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s Physician General, assumed the role of Acting Secretary of Health after Karen Murphy’s departure. Additionally, the Deputy Secretary for Quality Assurance, which oversees licensing of all health care entities, is currently held by Shannon Baker.

LeadingAge PA Participates in Medicare Red Tape Project

The U.S. House Ways & Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Health recently requested recommendations on how to reduce the “red tape” that hampers Medicare providers. LeadingAge PA identified 12 issues and provided suggestions for improvement, beginning with the recommendation to change the nursing facility survey process so that they are judged on overall outcomes of care, and also included recommendations about the Five-Star Quality Rating System and the Value Based Purchasing requirements.


Message from LeadingAge PA

12/3/2017 - PARCR Admin

The Current Tax Reform Bill Will Hurt Seniors and Nonprofit Providers

Congress is considering major tax reform legislation, H.R. 1, that has serious implications for older adults and aging services providers. We, along with LeadingAge (national), have been monitoring both House and Senate versions and due to potentially dangerous provisions in the bill.

The House has already passed a bill that will eliminate the medical tax deduction, eliminate private activity bonds and advance refunding, and end the 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. More importantly, this bill will have long-term impacts on Medicare and Medicaid resulting from the $1.5 trillion cost of the bill. It is almost certain that these provisions will in fact hurt seniors.

The Senate began debate Nov. 27 in preparation for a vote. Now is the time to act. Let your senators and representative know that the H.R. 1 will hurt the health and wellness of older adults. This legislation is moving fast so please take action today.

How You Can Help

Call or email Senator Toomey ((202) 224-4254) and Senator Casey ((202) 224-6324) TODAY!

Share this information with the residents in your community and suggest that they call as well. The proposed changes will directly impact them.

tax reform Medicare Medicaid


Tidbits for March 2018 Wrap Up

4/3/2018 - PARCR Admin

Important dates for primary election day May 15

The primary election will be held May 15, 2018. If you will be absent and want to vote in the primary, you can apply for a civilian absentee ballot between March 26 and May 8. The last day to register to vote is April 16.

PA Medicare beneficiaries among first to receive new Medicare cards in April

CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards to beneficiaries in PA. Providers can use either MBI or HICN through the transition period (4-1-18 to 12-31-19). Click here for an overview and here for the mailing strategy and phase-in schedule.

PA-18 Special Election won by Conor Lamb

Democrat Conor Lamb, an attorney who was a U.S. Prosecutor was elected to fill the 18th Congressional seat of Tim Murphy who resigned from office. Rick Saccone was the Republican on the ballot. The election was too close to immediately call and was decided by only a few hundred votes.

Priority Report

On March 12, 2018 at the PARCR Executive Meeting, Anne Henry, LeadingAge PA Senior VP & Chief Government Affairs Officer, reported on the four priorities set by LeadingAge PA for the upcoming months.

  1. Advocate for an increase in Medicaid reimbursement to Skilled Nursing Facilities.
  2. Advocate for decreased monetary fines to Skilled Nursing Facilities by the Department of Health.
  3. Advocate for Medicaid reimbursement for Assisted Living Facilities.
  4. Don’t allow the Department of Human Services to violate the privacy of residents of independent living in CCRC’s/Life Plan Communities by demanding that they move to a higher level of care if they have “care needs”.

Details will be presented at the April 11, 2018 Quarterly Meeting at Brethren Village, Lititz, PA.