Announcements

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Report Examines the Role of Medicare and the Indian Health Service for American Indians and Alaska Natives
12-19-2014

A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation examines the role of both Medicare and the Indian Health Service (IHS) in providing access to health care for about 650,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives who are age 65 and older or who have permanent disabilities. While Medicare provides important health care coverage for most in this group, its relatively high cost-sharing and gaps in benefits can be problematic for American Indians and Alaska Native Medicare beneficiaries who do not have additional supplemental coverage or who cannot access IHS providers.
Using the most recent data available, this report shows that elderly American Indians and Alaska Natives face persistent disparities in health status, access to health care, and other socioeconomic disadvantages relative to the overall U.S. population age 65 and older.  The report explains the intersection of Medicare and the IHS in health service reimbursement, patient cost sharing, and access to care, and then discusses the implications of potential barriers to enrollment in federal or state programs that could assist American Indians and Alaska Natives with out-of-pocket expenses for health care.  It concludes with a discussion of some of the future challenges and opportunities for improving access to care for American Indians and Alaska Natives through Medicare and the IHS.
A previous brief provides an overview of health coverage and care for American Indians and Alaska Natives in 2013, as well as an examination of the potential implications of the ACA coverage expansion.  The new report, as well as more information on Medicare and disparities between populations in health and access to care, can be found at kff.org.
 

NCOA Newsletter
12-19-2014

Click here to read articles titled "The New Report on CDSME Grantee Process," the "Congressional Support Continues for CDSME and Falls," and many more in  the December 2014 issue of NCOA's Newsletter.


2014 Tribal Consultation Summary
12-16-2014

Click here to read the 2014 Tribal Consultation 


The 7th Annual Green House Annual Meeting and Celebration, Smashing Success!
12-16-2014

The Green House Project recently joined 250 of our closest friends from around the  country at the 7th Annual Green House Meeting and Celebration in Memphis, Tennessee! Together, with Green House model adopters, we brushed up on our Elvis impersonation, moved to some funky blues music and chowed down on some of the country's best BBQ! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation welcomed the attendees to the meeting.  As their generous grant funding nears its end, it was a powerful time to reflect with gratitude at all that has been accomplished, and our future momentum.  The theme of the conference was Leading with Heart and Soul, and with the passion and energy in the room, it was a befitting frame for our time together.

This year's conference took place at the historic and beautiful Peabody Memphis hotel, with a true Memphis welcome from elder, and owner of the Peabody, Jack Belz.

Continue reading.


2015 Aging in America Conference
12-16-2014

Next March 23-27Aging in America, the annual conference of the American Society on Aging, will take place in Chicago and will offer five days of intensive learning, networking, and community-building. Aging in America is the nation's largest multidisciplinary conference for professionals who work with older adults, including aging service providers, policymakers, social workers, senior center professionals, healthcare providers, caregivers, and anyone with a passion for improving the lives of older adults.  


Conference attendees, exhibitors, and presenters will: 

  • Learn about new and innovative ideas that will help you in your work with older adults;
  • Discover practical solutions to the challenges you face on a day-to-day basis;
  • Connect with peers and leaders who will transform the way you think about aging;
  • Reach a community of professionals who collectively influence the lives of hundreds of thousands of older people through their everyday work.

House Passes FY2015 Appropriations
12-16-2014

Late Thursday night, the House approved a $1.1 trillion spending package by a vote of 219-to-206. The Senate passed a two-day extension of current funding to buy time to pass the bill and avoid a government shutdown. Due to the limits on discretionary spending, many of the programs that serve senior citizens received level funding or slight decreases from FY2014. Highlights include:

  • Senior Community Service Employment Program was level-funded at $434 million;
  • Aging Network Support Activities received an increase of $2.5 million-- to be used on services for aging Holocaust survivors-- for a total of nearly $10 million in funding;
  • Funding for Elder Rights Support Activities increased by $4 million-- to be used to create an Elder Justice Initiative that will provide competitive grants to states for projects testing elder abuse prevention methods-- for a total of $7.84 million;
  • Aging and Disability Resource Center funds were level-funded at $6.1 million; however, the total funding for ADRCs will decrease substantially due to the expiration of $10 million in mandatory funding provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Click here to view a chart that compares FY14 and FY15 funding levels for key programs that serve senior citizens. 


Native Times: Why the Affordable Care Act is important to the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee people
12-16-2014

Helping improve health care for the Cherokee people is something I’ve made the cornerstone of my administration. Since being elected Principal Chief in 2011, we’ve allocated more casino profits to fund contract health. We’re also using an additional $100 million of those casino profits to build new health clinics and expansion of W.W. Hastings Hospital.

As I’ve said many times, if you don’t have your health care, you have nothing.

As you may know, American Indian basic health care is a federal trust responsibility that is guaranteed forever through treaty agreements. Enrolled tribal citizens are provided with health care coverage administered by the Indian Health Service (IHS). Unfortunately, the IHS budget is underfunded year after year. The Cherokee Nation receives less than half our actual health care needs, so we supplement that and stretch our health care dollars to help as many patients as possible.

But there will always be some limitations. That’s exactly why enrolling in a plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is vitally important for Cherokee Nation citizens and our tribal health care system.

Read the full article here. 


Webinar: Find New Volunteers in the New Year: Ideas on How to Reach More People
12-16-2014

Join us Thursday, January 8th, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET to learn about resources to help grow your volunteer base. The "Got an Hour?" Campaign is designed to help local agencies attract volunteers to programs that work with seniors. The webinar will review the "Got an Hour?" Campaign's downloadable materials, webinars, and a search tool (powered by VolunteerMatch.org) to help connect prospective volunteers with opportunities and programs in their own neighborhood. 

The "Got an Hour?" Campaign was developed to help local agencies throughout the country attract volunteers to programs that work with seniors. 

Click here to join the visual component of the webinar.

To listen you must call 888-346-3659, Passcode: 33688


Indian Health Service Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program Website Launch
12-16-2014

The Indian Health Service, Division of Behavioral Health is pleased to announce the launch of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) website.  The Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program’s  objective is to reduce the incidence and prevalence of alcohol and substance abuse among the American Indian and Alaska Native population.  ASAP strives to meet the goal through implementation of alcohol and substance abuse programs within tribal communities, including emergency, inpatient and outpatient treatment, and rehabilitation services in rural and urban settings.  Please view the site at: http://www.ihs.gov/asap/


North Dakota Program for Individuals with Disabilities
12-16-2014

Partners in Policymaking is a leadership training course for individuals with disabilities and family members of individuals with disabilities. They are currently in the process of recruiting a group of participants for their 2015 session. The program is offered statewide, so anyone with a North Dakota address is welcome to apply. A major goal of the program is to have an equal number of self-advocates and parents of individuals with disabilities. Read the full details here. 


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