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MPLP Advocate Library - Elder Law

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Attorney General Raises Concerns about Criminal Background of Some Staff in Residential Care Facilities
Attorney General Mike Cox announced recently that his office conducted two studies that revealed almost 10% of the employees caring for approximately 100,000 Michigan seniors and vulnerable adults have criminal backgrounds.

Both House and Senate Recommend Cutting MiChoice Funding
Both the Michigan House and Senate have recommended further cuts in funding to the MiChoice Home and Community Based Waiver Program for FY '06. These cuts are aimed at reducing administrative costs, a controversial issue in the waiver program.

CMS Launches "Hospital Compare" Website
Following the introduction several years ago of the popular "Nursing Home Compare" website and the more recent home health agency site, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has now launched a new website to allow consumers to compare data on hospitals in their area.

CMS’s Medicare and You 2006 Contains Significant Error that Affects Low Income Beneficiaries Enrolling in Part D Plans
The Medicare and You 2006 handbook sent to more than 40 million Medicare beneficiaries contains a significant error that may be detrimental to beneficiaries with income below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

Department of Community Health Issues Policy on MiChoice Waiting Lists and Transition Services
Effective May 1, 2005, DCH is implementing new procedures for establishing waiting lists for the MiChoice Home and Community Based Waiver Program and for providing limited payments to assist residents who wish to return to the community from nursing homes. These changes were mandated by the settlement agreement in Eager, et al. v. Engler, et al., a suit that challenged the virtual closure of the MiChoice Program to new applicants in 2001.

Department of Community Health Issues Proposed Policy on Annuities
Recently, the Michigan Department of Community Health (DCH) issued a proposed policy governing the treatment of annuities for the purpose of qualifying for Medicaid... According to the summary, the policy was sparked by an increase in the use of annuities to "artificially impoverish a person in order to qualify for Medicaid long-term care."

Elder Law Links
Substantive Elder Law links for Michigan Advocates.

Final 2006 Michigan Department of Community Health Budget More Generous Than Advocates Feared
After months of political wrangling and draconian proposed cuts to the 2006 Medicaid budget, the final MDCH budget is far more generous than lobbyists and advocates expected.

Governor Appoints Elder Abuse Task Force
In May, Governor Granholm created the Michigan Task Force on Elder Abuse to make recommendations on ways to ensure that Michigan's senior citizens are protected from abuse, fraud, neglect, and financial exploitation.

Governor Proposed Michigan First Healthcare Plan to Provide Health Insurance to Half the State's Uninsured Population
Governor Granholm recently announced her administration is developing a proposal to provide health insurance to approximately 550,000 Michiganians, about half of the state's uninsured population. The program will be targeted at uninsured individuals at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

Governor Signs Executive Order Implementing First Three Recommendations of the Governor's Medicaid Long Term Care Task Force
On June 9, several hundred consumers, policymakers, advocates, and others interested in long term care gathered at the Capitol to celebrate the official release of the recommendations of the Governor's Medicaid Long Term Care Task Force and to oppose cuts under consideration by the House and Senate to the MiChoice Home and Community Based Waiver program.

Governor's Medicaid Long Term Care Task Force Nears Completion of its Final Report
The Governor's Medicaid Long Term Care Task Force is putting the finishing touches on its Final Report and Recommendations. The detailed and sweeping recommendations concern creating regional single points of entry for all long term care consumers...

Governor’s FY ‘07 Budget Proposal Contains No Harmful Medicaid Cuts
On February 9, Governor Granholm released her budget proposal for FY ‘07. Although there are numerous small adjustments to the Department of Community Health’s $11 billion budget, the proposal contains no harmful cuts for Medicaid beneficiaries. Moreover, the Governor proposes to increase payments to Home Help workers by $20 million...

Governor’s Task Force Considers Ways to Reduce the Incidence of Elder Abuse
Governor Granholm issued an Executive Order in May that established the Elder Abuse Task Force. The diverse 17 member body is charged with identifying resources and changes in law that will assist in the prevention of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

MDCH delays implementation
Section 1903(x) of the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 (Pub. L. No. 109-171) requires states to obtain documentation of citizenship and identity for all citizens or nationals of the United States who apply for Medicaid or seek redetermination of Medicaid eligibility effective July 1, 2006. Despite the effective date in the law, Michigan, like many states, is unprepared to comply with this burdensome and harmful provision and will not begin implementing it until September 1st or later.

MDCH Promotes Transitions from Nursing Homes to the MiChoice Program
In an effort to expand access to the MiChoice program for residents of nursing homes, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has provided the potential for additional funding to waiver agents who transition residents. Under the new plan, MDCH will pay reasonable, directly-related transition costs for Medicaid beneficiaries who transition out of facilities and will provide funding for a new "slot" for individuals leaving nursing homes...

MPLP and Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service Consider Litigation to Address the Lack of Adequate Mental Health Care in Nursing Homes
MPAS and MPLP are interested in learning about clients who have experienced inadequate mental health care in nursing homes as well as facilities and programs that do a good job caring for mental health consumers.

Know the primary sources of law concerning nursing homes.

Seniors and Other Low Income Consumers Face High Utility Bills This Winter
The media is full of predictions of exceedingly high heating costs this winter which will create a particular hardship for seniors and other low income consumers.

State and Legislature Move Forward in Creation of Single Points of Entry for Medicaid Funded Long Term Care
Both the Granholm administration and the legislature are moving forward in efforts to create single points of entry (SPES) for Medicaid funded long term care. The Governor’s Task Force on Medicaid Long Term Care recommended last year that the state develop regional single points of entry in three areas of the state by this summer and across the whole state within three years.

State Pursues Efforts to Implement Estate Recovery
State Medicaid Director Paul Reinhart recently announced that a bill to enact an estate recovery program will be introduced in the legislature shortly. Michigan is the only state that has not yet implemented an estate recovery program as mandated in federal law and the state is eager to pursue it now...

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and Medicaid Eligibility for Long Term Care
Following extremely close votes in both the U.S. House and Senate, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (the "DRA") became law February 8, 2006. The DRA makes significant changes to some of the rules that apply when people seek Medicaid assistance in the nursing home and through the Home and Community Based Waiver Program.