Winning Strategies to Protect Consumers from Surprise Medical Bills

    This post originally appeared on the Community Catalyst blog.

    by Amber Ma

    Even consumers who do their best to get care from providers in their networks may still be charged unexpectedly for out-of-network care – an issue otherwise known as surprise medical bills or balance billing.

    Currently, no federal standards on surprise medical bills exist, but the recently updated NAIC network adequacy model act and CMS’ proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) for 2017 can bolster both federal and state action to protect consumers. However, because both the model act and the NBPP set a minimum floor even if implemented, state-driven protections are still the most effective way to shield consumers from unexpected.... Read More


    LGBT Older Adults Town Hall, or the First Time I Visited Florida

    This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.

    I have a confession. Until last week, I had never been to Florida. As a West Coaster for much of my life, Florida was simply too far. My inaugural visit was to Fort Lauderdale and included: eating lots of tacos; having everyone apologize to me because it was 80 degrees and overcast; attending the largest weekly gathering of LGBT older adults in the US; visiting with folks from our oldest affiliate, SAGE of South Florida and our newest, SAGE Tampa Bay; and, the main reason for my visit, serving on a panel at Town Hall meeting focused on LGBT older adults. I was proud to join a.... Read More


    By 2020, 70% of Those Living With HIV Will be 50 or Older

    This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog and continues our weeklong commemoration of World AIDS Day.


    Did you know that 50% of those living with HIV are age 50 or older? By 2020, that number will grow to70%. The latest national data show that adults 50 and older account for 17% of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses and 29% of all persons living with AIDS. Research also finds that over 50% of adults age 65-74 and 26% of age 75-85 are sexually active with more than one partner. But ageist misconceptions, combined with poor sexual health education, contribute to the growing epidemic of HIV/AIDS.... Read More


    Transgender Awareness Week: Looking at Sexual Violence in the Community

    This post originally appeared on the SAGE Blog.

    In recognition of Transgender Awareness Week and the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), SAGE and the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging are highlighting resources for the transgender and gender variant communities. TDOR honors the memory of those murdered because of anti-transgender prejudice and is observed in late November in recognition of the 1998 murder of Rita Hester. Rita was a highly visible member of the transgender community in Boston, where she worked locally on education around transgender issues. On Saturday, November 28, 1998, Rita was murdered in her apartment. TDOR was started as a vigil in her honor and has since become an international event for communities to come together and remember.... Read More


    What Should We Hope To Achieve Through Health System Transformation?

    This is the first in a blog series outlining Community Catalyst’s policy priorities for Health System Transformation. Each subsequent blog will take a deeper dive into one of the six areas we believe must be addressed to achieve better care, better value and better health.

    Although much work remains to fully realize the coverage vision embodied in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), another aspect of the ACA—how we deliver and pay for health care—is receiving increasing attention. To date, the bulk of this attention has come from providers and public and private payers. But consumer advocates are coming to the table, increasingly recognizing that critical decisions about access, quality and affordability are being made.

    With.... Read More


    How Can We Help our LGBT Community Age Successfully?

    This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.

    How can we help our LGBT community age successfully? It’s a difficult question, but one that SAGE is determined to answer with our many resources and programs–including our innovative “Successful Aging” program. A quick check-in with Jerry Chasen, Director of Legacy Planning at SAGE and head of the program, shares the necessity of planning and being aware of our aging future. We asked Jerry a few questions before the TV premiere of “Gen Silent,” a powerful documentary that follows six LGBT elders as they navigate the hardships facing LGBT older adults. The film premieres today: Monday, November 9, at 9pm ET on Logo. Watch the Read More


    New Mexico Tribes meet with U.S. Administrator Greenlee to advance Aging in Indian Country


    New Mexico Tribes meet with U.S. Administrator Greenlee to advance Aging in Indian Country

    October 21, 2015 was a remarkable day for the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA). Despite the cold and rainy weather, NICOA hosted a very important meeting to discuss New Mexico Aging in Indian country. Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging and Cynthia LaCounte, Director of the Office of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Programs, representing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Administration on Community Living, listened to several testimonials presented by Tribal leaders as well as Tribal and State aging services program administrators.

    J. Michael Chavarria, Governor of Santo Domingo Pueblo spoke of his concerns that ongoing.... Read More


    20th Annual SAGE Awards and Gala

    This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.

    On Monday, October 19, 2015, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders) held its 20th Anniversary Awards & Gala at Gotham Hall in New York. The event raised over $750,000 – a SAGE record – and served to recognize SAGE’s achievements throughout the country, as well as honoring five leaders committed to improving life among diverse LGBT aging populations. The honorees included Jim Obergefell, who was presented with the LGBT Pioneer Award by SAGE board member emerita Edie Windsor. This was Mr. Obergefell’s first award from a national organization.

    sageRead More


    Getting The Word Out: Obamacare Is For Native Americans Too

    As we approach another round of ACA open enrollment, and in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we’re re-posting this article from Kaiser Health News about accessing Obamacare in Native communities. 

    By Anna Gorman, September 8, 2015

    Landscape en route to Gallup, New Mexico, on Highway 491 (Photo by Heidi de Marco/KHN).
    Landscape en route to Gallup, N.M., on Highway 491. (Photo by Heidi de Marco/KHN)

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As a member of the Navajo tribe, Rochelle Jake has received free care through the Indian Health Service (IHS) her entire life. The clinics took care of her asthma, allergies and eczema – chronic problems, nothing urgent.

    Recently, though, she felt.... Read More


    Southeast Asia Resource Action Center Expands Leadership Team with New California Director

    This post originally appeared on the SEARAC blog.

    Washington, DC – The Board of Directors and staff of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) are pleased to announce that Ron Muriera has been named director of SEARAC’s California office, based in Sacramento. Muriera brings more than 20 years of experience as a passionate community advocate, seasoned organizational leader, skillful communicator, and strategic thinker.

    “What excites us most about Ron is his extensive experience as a bridge builder who transcends racial and ethnic lines,” said Quyen Dinh, executive director, SEARAC. “We are impressed with his extensive track record as a strong ambassador for diverse communities of color, who trust in him and are proud to have.... Read More


    The “Graying” of HIV/AIDS

    Today is National HIV and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD), celebrated each year on September 18th to mark the unique challenges of being an elder with HIV. The following is a speech given by Herbie Taylor at our May 7th WHCOA Town Hall in Los Angeles, CA. For more information on NHAAAD, visit our HIV and Aging webpage, or join us for a free webinar on Monday, September 21st from 2-3pm EDT with Grantmakers in Aging.


    HERBIEreunion080910_003 (1)By Guest Contributor, Herbie Taylor. Herbie is a 63-year-old Gay man of color who is retired, disabled, sober for 18+ years, a.... Read More


    Stories of Older Adults with HIV/AIDS

    large_aids_day_GenLogo_RGB300-150x150This piece originally appeared on the NHCOA blog.

    HIV can infect anyone, at any age, if given the chance. However, it does disproportionately impact certain populations. HIV/AIDS is a serious health concern for older adults; today adults 50 years of age and older account for 32.7% of HIV diagnoses in the U.S. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that this number will increase to 50% by 2015. The numbers don’t lie: HIV can, and often disproportionately, affects older adults, parents and grandparents.

    Contrary to popular myths and stereotypes, some seniors engage in behaviors that put them at.... Read More

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