Aging and Disabilities

Legislators from across the country and other key stakeholders attended the Health Policy Academy on Aging and Alzheimer’s disease, held on October 19, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the CSG National Conference & North American Summit in Bellevue, Washington. Speakers outlined the growing burden of Alzheimer’s disease, the state of the science around prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease and states’ policy responses to the issues of aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

Manny Najera had seen the effects of Alzheimer’s firsthand when he was caring for his aging mother, who suffered from the disease.

When he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year at age 75, Najera wasn’t surprised.

 “I was at a different plateau than your usual person who was told you have Alzheimer’s,” he said.

As a former Texas state legislator, he knew from whence he spoke to those attending an all-day Health Policy Academy on Alzheimer’s disease Wednesday. He believes it’s important for policymakers...

The Council of State Governments invites you to attend Aging and Alzheimer's Disease: Emerging Issues and Policy Solutions, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue in Bellevue, Wash. The session will immediately precede the CSG National Conference and North American Summit, scheduled for Oct. 19-23. 

Relief for seniors buying prescription drug coverage under Medicare who fall into the so-called donut hole has reached more than $460 million so far this year. The Affordable Care Act has provided almost 900,000 Americans an average benefit of $513.

States like California and New York saw a real boost to their economies as $45 million and $35 million was available to cover prescription drug costs for seniors on Medicare. Presumably, this supplemental coverage freed up millions of dollars for seniors to pay other bills.

Three out of four people with Alzheimer's disease will end up in a nursing home unless better systems of community care and support are built in states. Even without robust systems, today, nearly 15 million caregivers provide care valued at $202 billion. 

The nation’s top advocacy group for older Americans, AARP, along with the Commonwealth Fund and the Scan Foundation released a state scorecard on long-term services and supports available for older adults, people with physical disabilities and their family caregivers.

The new report, Raising Expectations, looks at services in states across four dimensions, affordability and access, choice of setting and provider, quality of life and quality of care, and support of family caregivers, and ranks them in quartiles.

The federal government has launched a new initiative designed to change how states deliver services in one of the most costly areas of Medicaid: long-term care.

One in four Medicare dollars goes to care for individuals in the last year of their life. The Dartmouth Atlas Project has just released a new study looking at end-of-life medical care. The study found that there are lessons to be learned by looking at geographical differences.

In 2003, 32.2 percent of patients died in a hospital but by 2007, the rate had dropped to 28.1 percent. The rates vary greatly by geography: In 2007, the highest rates of death in a hospital were in regions in and around New York City, including...

This Act provides a mechanism to enable patients with the ability to acquire lower cost drugs through the Veterans‘ Administration to access those drugs if those patients reside in a different long-term care facility. This means permitting the pharmacy within the long-term care facility or which has a contract with the long-term care facility to receive the lower cost drugs directly from the Veterans‘ Administration Drug Benefit Program in the patient's name and repackage and re-label those drugs so they may be dispensed in unit doses to the patient.

All but two states maintained or improved eligibility rules for their Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program, commonly known as CHIP, in 2010.These programs continued to be critical to providing insurance coverage for children and families that otherwise would be uninsured. The median state income limit for children’s coverage is now above 200 percent of the FPL, and pregnant women are eligible up to a median of 185% FPL. However, the median income limit for adult coverage is significantly below the higher eligibility level of 133% FPL that will be implemented under health reform in 2014.

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