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The federal department tasked with overseeing nursing homes throughout the country recently announced it is revising its policy and will now publicly post details online about all fines received by care facilities regardless of payment status.

This new policy’s announcements occur during a period of increased criticism due to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) Care Compare website. The agency describes its website as existing to provide American citizens with details regarding matters of the level of care at nursing homes. 

Changes to Nursing Home Fines

As 2022 begins, one court case highlights the role of the Elder Abuse Act as well as the prevalent nature of elder abuse cases litigation involving trusts and estates. In the Ring case, an appellate court considered a loan scheme utilized to empty equity from a house retained as part of an estate proceeding through probate. 

Even though a loan was withdrawn by a person acting in the role of the estate’s personal representative, the court held that the representative could pursue a claim of elder abuse connected to the loss of the representative’s interest in relation to the estate. 

The Basis of the Case

New variants of COVID-19 including Omnicron and most recently IHU have led many people to prolong social distancing. Understandably, this extended isolation has had a detrimental impact on the mental health of many elderly adults. While you understandably want the best for your loved one, it’s critical to approach discussions about care with the utmost respect for your elderly loved one’s independence. This avoids not overstepping your elderly loved one’s boundaries. 

Decide If Your Family Member Needs Assistance

One of the best places to start is to create a mental checklist of what you should examine about how your elderly loved one lives. Some of the most important details you might decide to examine include:

At the beginning of January 2022, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services revised the organization’s “Frequently Asked Questions” sections. This FAQ addresses the agency’s Nursing Home Visitation Guidance. 

The revised FAQ emphasizes that visitation must be allowed at all times and states that visitation is essential for all residents. The FAQ also acknowledges that previous limitations on visits led to a decline in the physical as well as psychosocial health of residents. 

The Primary Updates

Approximately, 26.9 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plans as of January 2022. While many people are content with their plans, not everyone is. Individuals have between January 1, 2022, to the end of March 2022 to make revisions to their Advantage Plan. During this period, a person can also drop a Medicare Advantage Plan and opt for a basic Medicare plan, which includes Part A and B. 

Individuals should be aware of some important details before switching Medicare plans, though. For one, people can change plans early in the year. For example, a person might discover that their Medicare plan no longer covers important medication.

The Narrow Window to Change Plans

As the new year begins, new opportunities are created for people to make the most out of their finances. Currently, the country is proceeding through the “Great Reshuffle”, which is seeing a large number of workers leave their jobs and make new ones. While many workers want to do their best to save as much as they can, some people are finding it hard to save and reach financial goals. This article reviews some of the important things that you can do to make the most of your finances in 2022 and beyond. 

# 1 – Examine Existing Retirement Plan Contributions

This year, 2022 workers can contribute as much as $20,500 to a 401(k) or make similar contributions to 403(b) plans and many 457 plans. This is $1,000 greater than the limit established in 2021. If you’re at least 50 years old, you can also add another $6,500 in “catch-up” contributions. 

Nursing homes have been substantially impacted by the COVID-19 due to its outbreaks leading to high mortality rates among the elderly. Understandably, aggressive attempts were made to restrict the risk of Covid-19 exposure as much as possible. 

In March 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a memorandum guiding restricting visitation of all visitors and non-essential healthcare workers. Several months later, in May 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its reopening recommendation for nursing homes which provided additional guidance in dealing with Covid-19 and reopening. 

The Center notes that physical separation from loved ones has taken a substantial physical and emotional toll on nursing home residents as well as their loved ones. The Center for Medicaid Services appreciates that nursing home residents find value in the support they receive from visitations by their loved ones. Consequently, the Center recently revised its guidance addressing visitation in nursing homes during the pandemic. 

A possible palliative care demonstration care model recently got substantial support from the House Ways and Mean Committee. Ten members of the committee wrote a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service Administrator requesting either a new community-based palliative care demonstration model or building on the Medicare Care Choices Model, which permits beneficiaries who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid to receive supportive care services that are often utilized hospice in the midst of receiving curative services. 

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization President who had been fighting to secure a demonstration model for years expressed encouragement from the committee’s support. 

The President also commented that through continued advocacy, the organization is starting to see Members of Congress coalesce around the need for a community-based palliative care model to make care access fairer, lower prices, deliver better services, and improve life quality for patients. 

A Los Angeles judge recently ruled that Britney Spears’ father should have his position as her conservator suspended. This change will set Britney Spears on the road to freedom. Spears’ father filed to end his position after Spears filed to replace him with a professional conservator. 

The famous singer has described the conservatorship as abusive and stated that it prevented her from achieving many of her life objectives including getting married and having children.

The Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge who heard the case had several options including terminating the conservatorship, keeping the conservatorship in place and replacing the conservator, changing nothing, or delaying a ruling and requesting more evidence.

Frustration is growing for medical professionals including those who work at hospices as they wait for President Biden to reveal details about how federal regulations for COVID-19 will be enforced.

This frustration is in part driven by uncertainty about aspects like permissible exemptions, testing costs, and the number of worker counts that will be utilized. Until the regulation is published, the country will not be certain about the exact impact on home care organizations by COVID-19 regulations. 

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization President and CEO have reported that there is widespread concern and that the country continues to collect input about COVID-19 to inform its discussions with the administration to make sure that the requirement is executed in the best possible manner.

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