expanding the world of possibilities
for aging in Oregon

               NEWS IN BRIEF




January 23, 2014

In This Issue...                                                           

  1. Of Special Note
  2. State News
  3. National News
  4. LeadingAge Oregon News
  5. AgeTech West

Of Special Note

Cedar Sinai Park celebrates senior affordable housing in downtown Portland
We were delighted to join Cedar Sinai Park in downtown Portland on Friday to celebrate the rehab and preservation of three of their senior affordable housing properties and the completion of the space for the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Health and Social Services Clinic. An exciting example of a collaborative effort to expand the possibilities for aging in Oregon! Congratulations to David Fuks and his amazing team.

Check out a couple of photos from the event on the LeadingAge Oregon Facebook page, and don’t forget to “like” our page while you’re there!

State News

Health Division to offer webinars, resources to implement new transfer rule
If you missed the LeadingAge Oregon webinar Tuesday on the new transfer rule impacting nursing homes, assisted living and residential care facilities as well as other health care providers, there will be two more opportunities to learn about the rule. The Oregon Public Health Authority has scheduled informational webinars to inform healthcare organizations about the new expectations, on Feb. 11 and Feb. 14. Read more or register. In addition, we have posted a sample form provided by infection control consultant Pat Preston on the LeadingAge Oregon website. The rule requires facilities to provide written notification when transferring an individual infected or colonized with a multi-drug resistant organism (MDRO) or other illness that warrants special precautions.

OLRO hosts Nursing Facility News Hour
On Wednesday, the Office of Licensing and Regulatory Oversight held the first of four nursing facility news hours scheduled for 2014.  Other news hours have been scheduled for April 23, July 23 and October 22, 2014 from 10 to 11.  Agendas will be sent out ahead of time via Administrator Alerts.  Providers were encouraged to identify topics they would like covered at upcoming news hours (Contact Keith Ramey at keith.r.ramey@state.or.us). Access a summary of this week’s news hour.

Controlling Norovirus Outbreaks in Long Term Care Facilities final report released
This week the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released a final report containing the deliberations of the Controlling Norovirus in Long Term Care Facilities Workgroup. In September 2013, OHA (Oregon Health Authority) convened a multi-sector group of experts on Norovirus outbreaks in long term care facilities to prepare for the 2013–2014 Norovirus season. The objectives of the meeting included highlighting best practices, creating an action plan and developing informed recommendations for collaboration between OHA, local public health authorities, long term care facilities and others to reduce the number and impact of Norovirus outbreaks. The new transfer rule discussed below is one outcome of this on-going work.

A Public Guardian for Oregon?
Advocates for vulnerable Oregonians are cautiously optimistic that 2014 will be the year that the state Legislature establishes a Statewide Public Guardianship program.  According to information shared at the Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardian Stakeholders (WINGS) meeting Wednesday morning, the Public Guardian would be housed in the Long-term Care Ombudsman’s Office. The hope is that, after appointment of a Public Guardian by the Governor, staff would slowly ramp up so public guardian services are available around the state. Although a few counties have public guardians, Oregon is “way behind other states” in offering guardianship services for those who are unable to pay privately, according to Long-term Care Ombudsman Mary Jaeger. 

National News

CMS clarifies Medicare eligibility requirements for skilled nursing and therapy services
As the result of a recent court settlement, CMS has updated its Medicare Benefit Policy Manual to clarify that coverage of skilled nursing and skilled therapy services “does not turn on the presence or absence of a beneficiary’s potential for improvement, but rather on the beneficiary’s need for skilled care.” The manual states that skilled care may be necessary to improve an individual’s current condition, maintain a current condition, or to prevent or slow further deterioration. Read more.

HUD releases new Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan forms
Last week HUD released new versions of the Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan forms. The new forms replace all previous versions. Access HUD Form 935-2A, the marketing plan form for multifamily housing, at the following link:

Skilled Nursing Facility Open Door Forum summarized by LeadingAge

Evvie Munley provided a summary of the January 16 Skilled Nursing Facility Open Door Forum to the states.  Topic covered included the CMS initiative to reduce avoidable hospitalizations among nursing facilities, Medicare Advantage plans, therapy maintenance programs and other questions posed by participants.  Access the summary.

Does your community provide information, resources on safe sex?
Common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have increased by 30 to 50 percent among older adults over the last few years, and experts say one major factor is the number of seniors congregating in assisted living and retirement communities, where similarly aged people do what comes naturally – not unlike college campuses. Combine that with longer, healthier lives, Viagra, and a population that is not accustomed to safe sex practices, and the result is an STD epidemic. Read more about this issue.

LeadingAge Oregon News

Wendy Lustbader to keynote LeadingAge Oregon Annual Conference
We are excited that Wendy Lustbader, the author of several books on aging including “Life Gets Better: The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing Older,” will keynote the LeadingAge Oregon Annual Conference May 18-21 at Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond. A medical social worker who lectures nationally on aging issues, Wendy also blogs for the Huffington Post and is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work. Be sure to mark your calendar and plan to join us as we celebrate under the theme “RE-Defining Age.”

AgeTech West

AgeTech West is a collaborative founded by LeadingAge California, LeadingAge Oregon and LeadingAge Washington to advance the delivery of tech-enabled aging services toward a new standard of care. www.agetechwest.org

Check out the AgeTech West "Pitch for Pilots" companies
At the first-ever live "Pitch-for Pilots" (P4P) held at the 2013 AgeTech West Conference in partnership with Aging2.0, ten start-up technology companies in the aging space “pitched” their technology solutions for the aging service sector. The companies were paired with 11 aging service organizations in attendance (including LeadingAge Oregon member Concepts in Community Living) to conduct free pilot projects to explore the usability and benefits of the technology with their residents/customers and employees. AgeTech looks forward to great things from the pilot projects, and plans to feature highlights at next year’s conference – including feedback from senior participants themselves. A 2014 conference Save-the-Date is coming soon.

AgeTech West also congratulates Independa, one of AgeTech’s Technology Partners for being recognized as “Top Tech for Senior Care” at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas! Read the full article.