Members of LeadingAge NJ delegation descended on Washington DC on March 17th to meet with Congressman and Senators and discuss the issues and legislation facing senior citizen nationally and locally here in New Jersey.
Topics that were highlighted were Long Term Support and Services (LTSS), “Americans must have information and awareness about LTSS and how to plan for those needs” said President and CEO of LeadingAge Larry Minnix. We also stressed Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement such as repealing the Medicare therapy caps which will impose financial hardship on seniors who need therapy and will only find reimbursement for a minimal amount. The problem of hospital observation days was also on our agenda which does not allow those who are in the hospital under “observation” to utilize Medicare A reimbursement. A rehabilitation stay is important to help seniors get back to their prior quality of life.
Locally, as the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Negotiations begin. concerns are mounting about the lack of specifics in the $45 million in federal and state funds that are proposed to increase the reimbursement rates for certain primary and specialty care services offered through the New Jersey Family Care, New Jerseys publicly funded health insurance program that includes CHIP, Medicaid and Medicaid expansion populations.
“It is important for me as the leader of Green Hill to represent both my community of elders and the elders of the state of New Jersey to advocate for their well-being including access to the best services and healthcare,” said President/Executive Director of Green Hill Toni Lynn Davis. “ Participating in the process of how the success of nursing and assisted living facilities are qualified and quantified to provide the most accurate data to the consumer is one primary example advocacy for that purpose.
A full report of activities at the summit can be found at http://leadingagenj.org/