Georgia is the statewide association of over 150 key not-for-profit and
other mission-focused organizations dedicated to providing quality
housing, health care, community-based and other related services for
older Georgians. The mission of LeadingAge Georgia is to represent and
promote the common interests of its members through leadership,
advocacy, education and other services in order to enhance each
member's ability to serve older Georgians.
Public Policy Report: The General Assembly is Underway
By Tom Bauer, LeadingAge Georgia Policy Advisor
The 2017 Georgia General Assembly began Monday January 9 and concluded its 40 day session on March 30. As noted in previous reports the legislature maintained a very slow pace (until the final few hectic days), perhaps as a reaction to a change in expectations that the session would deal with health care reform, Medicaid revisions, and discussion of continuation of the "bed tax" on hospital services to draw down additional federal Medicaid dollars. However, in light of the federal election results, only the bed tax was resolved (passed early in the session).
Despite the anxiety resulting from several pieces of legislation of interest to seniors and LeadingAge Georgia carrying into the final hours of the session, 2017 General Assembly was very successful for seniors, both in terms of the FY '18 State Budget and legislation passed.
The FY '18 state budget recommendations from Governor Deal contained good news for seniors, and the legislature approved those recommendations. In that regard, the budget included new funds to help older adults and those with disabilities remain in the community (first three items below) and other allocations as follows:*
- $2.755 million for Medicaid Community Care Services Program (CCSP) to reduce the waiting list by 1000 slots
- $4.2 million for non-Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS)
- $750,000 for congregate meals
- $1.06 million to increase SOURCE case management reimbursement fees by 3%
- $157,978 to increase reimbursement of emergency response providers (CCSP/ SOURCE)
- $3.15 million for home and community based services under the Georgia Alzheimer's Project
*NOTE: All funds are state share and federal match under Medicaid except the Non-Medicaid HCBS Program
Adult Day Services
As noted in past reports, LeadingAge Georgia intended to seek another 5% increase in 2017 in order to begin to bring ADH reimbursements up to a more appropriate level. However since Georgia is still awaiting federal approval of the 5% increase in Medicaid reimbursement for adult day health service rates passed in 2016, it was not feasible to do so.
A number of bills of interest to and supported by LeadingAge Georgia, including two CO-AGE priorities, were passed:
Proxy caregiver- HB 486 (Benton) was passed in response to extensive testimony from providers to the effect that the training required of proxy caregivers has become burdensome in as much as it is required with great frequency and specificity to each patient. The General Assembly passed the proxy caregiver law a few years ago to allow persons who are not licensed to provide healthcare services to be trained to assist persons with disabilities with certain "health maintenance activities" in order that such person could remain in the community rather than be institutionalized. LeadingAge Georgia President Walter Coffey was a member of the original task force which developed the proxy caregiver concept.
HB 486 provides for flexibility by stating that the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Community Health must pass rules: "for approval of training curricula specifically designed for the purpose of implementing the health maintenance activity of medication administration to be implemented by such proxy caregivers employed or contracted to providers of home and community based services, community residential alternative services, or community living services. With such rules, providers shall train proxy caregivers in accordance with the selected curriculum or otherwise provided for in rules, regulations, and policies." HB 486 designates January 1, 2018 as the deadline for such rules.
Power of Attorney- HB 221 (Efstracion) is a comprehensive overhaul of Georgia's law on power of attorney. It will enable prosecutors to more effectively protract seniors from financial abuse.
Oral Health Care- HB 154 (Cooper) allows for the expansion of the access of oral health care, including in nursing homes. It authorizes a dentist, without being on site, to supervise up to four licensed dental hygienists who provide screenings and prophylaxis to patients in nursing homes, volunteer community health settings, etc. This practice is known as general supervision.
Family Leave- SB 201 (Miller) - As stated by the Georgia Council on Aging: "The Family Care Act, another key bill for Georgia's seniors, allows employees with accrued sick leave to use up to five days to care for a parent, grandparent, or grandchild. The Family Care Act will help caregivers maintain their employment while still caring for their loved ones who are ill."
ARC Names Becky Kurtz Manager of Aging & Health Resources Division
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has named Becky Kurtz manager of the agency's Aging & Health Resources Division. Kurtz, who started April 3, will also serve as the Director of the Atlanta Area Agency on Aging (AAA).
At ARC, Kurtz will lead a team of 50 professionals who plan and provide comprehensive services to address the needs of the Atlanta region's rapidly growing population of older adults and individuals with disabilities. As the Atlanta AAA Director, Kurtz will manage the allocation of more than $22 million in federal, state and grant funds annually to community-based organizations and local governments that provide direct services to older adults, persons with disabilities, and their families.
Kurtz has been a leader in aging issues at both the federal and state levels. She comes to ARC from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, where she served as Director of the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. In this role, she worked to enhance the health, safety and welfare of long-term care facility residents and helped states carry out effective ombudsman programs.
Previously, she spent 16 years as Georgia's Long-Term Care Ombudsman and served on the leadership team of the Georgia Division of Aging Services. She also held leadership roles with the National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs, including a term as president.
"We are thrilled to have someone with Becky's expertise and leadership abilities join our team at ARC," said Emerson Bryan, ARC's Deputy Executive Director. "Many members of our staff have worked with Becky in the past and are familiar with her passion for serving older adults in our region and her deep knowledge of aging and health issues."
A native of western North Carolina, Becky is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law and Emory & Henry College in Virginia.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 72 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues. As the designated Area Agency on Aging, ARC's Aging & Health Resources Division is charged with both serving the current needs of current older adults and their families and planning and advocating for future needs and generations. In 2015, approximately 704,516 adults 60 or older lived in the region constituting 37.7 percent of Georgia's older residents.
2017 Annual Conference Highlights
A message from Mark Lowell, Chair of the LeadingAge Georgia Board of Directors:
“Congrats to all those who planned the LeadingAge Georgia and South Carolina annual conference at the Marriott on Hilton Head Island. A special thank you to the LeadingAge Georgia staff, Walter, Jacque and Susan for their efforts to provide all members, vendors and presenters an excellent experience! Thank you to all the sponsors and vendors who supported our annual solutions center expo. Our membership is very appreciative of your support, particularly in light of the parking garage fire at the hotel we all had to endure. Thank you to all the presenters for the education sessions that were of a national conference quality experience.”
The Annual LeadingAge Georgia | South Carolina Conference on Aging speaker information and resources can be accessed by downloading the Conference App.
Here is our event App landing page: http://event.confplusapp.com/gasc17/ or follow the instructions below:
The App download page
(this page will automatically redirect to App store download page if access from corresponding smart phone)
App User Guide
Thanks to the following list of exhibitors and sponsors for sharing their expertise with us this year:
Sodexo Quality of Life Services
The Compliance Store
BB&T Capital Markets
||Modern Systems Inc.
||Morrison Community Living
||Neil Medical Pharmacy
|Aon Risk Solutions
|Apollo Corporation & Adjust-A-Sink
|Arthur J. Gallagher & Co
||Parker Young Construction & Firestar
|Atlanta Roofing Resources
|BB&T Capital Markets
|Bluespire Senior Living
||Qbix Accounting Solutions
|Brasfield & Gorrie
||Red Coat Services
|Cardinal Kinetics, LLC
|Carolina Senior Care, Inc.
||Select Rehabilitation Inc.
|Combined Worksite Solutions
|Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP
||Southeastern Paper Group
|Elliott Davis Decosimo
|Edwards Construction Services
||Stewart & Conners Architects
|Forbo Flooring Systems
||Summer Classics Contract
|Genesis Rehabilitation Services
|Gordon Food Service
||The Compliance Store
||The Eden Alternative
|Hamlin Capital Advisors
||The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.
|Healthpro - Healthcare
||TIS Insurance Services, Inc.
||UBS Institutional Consulting
||Visiting Nurse Health System
|McMillan Pazdan Smith Architects
||Winyah Pharmacy Solutions
||Zeigler Capital Markets
|Metz Culinary Management
Click HERE to view the 2017 photo gallery.
LeadingAge Georgia 2015-2016 Public Policy Issues
Position and Involvement:
- Achieve implementation (including regulatory) Quality Continuum of Care for Seniors
- Home & Community-Based Services
- Adult Day Centers
- CMS rules on HCBS
- Community Care Services Program (CCSP)
- Service Options Using Resources in Community Environments (SOURCE) and Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
- Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation (NET)
- Oral Health Care: General supervision of dental hygienists
- Multi-State Guardianship Law
Position and Monitor:
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs); Department of Insurance
- CCRC At Home
- Implementation of Adult Day Center Licensure
- Personal Care Homes (PCH) & Assisted Living Communities (ALC)
- Use of the Term "Assisted Living"
- Implementation of ALC rules and policies
- Medicaid Redesign
- Property Tax Issues concerning Not-for-Profit Organizations
- Proxy Caregiver Delivery of Care (Health Maintenance Activities)
Position and Involvement:
- Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid (CCSP) and Non-Medicaid
- Access to services
- Reimbursement rates (especially adult day centers)
Position and Monitor:
- Nursing Home Provider Tax
- Use of Civil Monetary Penalty Funds (Support the Culture Change Movement in Georgia)
PURCHASING POWER ON PURPOSE -
Janitorial and Housekeeping Supplies
How much does your community spend on janitorial and housekeeping supplies? Do you know if you are getting the best prices?
A cost study is an excellent management tool for determining whether you are—or not. From paper towels to cleaning chemicals, let Value First group purchasing organization compare their vendor contracts to what you are currently paying.
Does your community already use a different group purchasing organization?
Even if you are purchasing through a group purchasing organization other than Value First, Value First can do a cost study for you. Value First's primary goal is to work with LeadingAge members to make sure they are getting the best pricing—with Value First or through other sources.
Not sure if you want to change GPOs?
The choice is yours. You can continue with your current arrangement. Or, if the cost study results indicate potential savings, you can consider purchasing through Value First. Many of the companies you already do business with are Value First vendors!
How do you request a cost study for your community?
Contact Value First representative Vanessa Ceasar at firstname.lastname@example.org. Call (404) 421-3956 or click here https://form.jotform.com/61243365476155.
Value First is a group purchasing organization owned by LeadingAge national and twenty five state associations, including LeadingAge Georgia. Value First is designed to leverage the buying power of thousands of senior service providers across the country to get the best pricing on a comprehensive array of products and services.
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Dorothy C. Benson Adult Day Program
6500 Vernon Woods Dr NE
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
Helene S. Mills Adult Day Program
515 John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30312
HJC Bowden Adult Day Program
2885 Church St
East Point, GA 30344
Lotus Adult Day Center
4525 Towne Lake Pkwy, Bldg 400, Suite 100
Woodstock, GA 30189
Villa Rica Housing Authority
P.O. Box 1505
Villa Rica, GA 30180
Qbix Accounting Solutions
500A Northside Crossing
Macon, GA 31210
Accounting & Financial Services
1450 E. Ridge Road
Rochester, NY 14621
assist with planning, we are sharing information on special
holidays and observances for each month 2 months early.
This month we are sending you information for June
June 2 National Doughnut Day
June 14 Flag Day
June 18 Father's Day
June 21 Summer Solstice
June 23 Take Your Dog to Work Day
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