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California Raises the Bar on Quality in Long-Term Care
A commitment to quality has been the cornerstone of the not-for-profit long-term care community for years.  It’s now time to translate that commitment into tangible evidence the public can understand and appreciate.That evidence is Quality First – a nationwide initiative designed to focus on quality improvement.  All of AAHSA’s state association partners across the country have endorsed Quality First.

California became the first state in the nation to pass a Legislative Resolution commending the AAHSA Quality First Initiative in August.  That Resolution was officially presented to CAHSA October 6 by author Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas before a crowd of residents, staff and CAHSA members.

The CAHSA Board has set a goal of 80 percent member participation in the Quality First Initiative by May 2005.  You’ll be hearing a lot about Quality First in the coming months.  Stay tuned! For more information, contact Debbie Pate-Newberry at the CAHSA office, dpatenew@aging.org.

Seniors Urged To Relax About Flu Vaccine Shortage
In mid-October, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson urged seniors not to panic, saying that enough flu vaccine will be available for most seniors and those at high risk of contracting the flu, despite a national shortage of vaccine this season. Options for residents include contacting your doctor, checking with your community to see if a clinic is planned and going online to check for other resources. Go to the CDC website at www.cdc.gov as well as the CAHSA website at www.aging.org.

CAHSA Focusing on Affordable Housing
Tax Exemption Rules Next year CAHSA’s legislative agenda will again focus on helping members provide the best possible care and services to California’s seniors. One focus area directly affecting Residents is protecting the property tax exemption rules for affordable housing that have been routine practice for the last 20 years. CAHSA and a coalition of affordable housing providers are working to stop exemption rules limitations being suggested by the Board of Equalization. If we are unsuccessful in stopping these rule changes, CAHSA will have legislation introduced to put the current exemption rules into statute. Without the tax exemption rules, many affordable housing providers would have to close their housing units, potentially displacing thousands of seniors. If legislation is needed, Residents will be able to assist by contacting their legislators. CAHSA will alert Residents if/when that need arises. For more information, contact Jack Christy in the CAHSA office, jchristy@aging.org.

 

Governor Signs Provider Tax Bill
In late September, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed AB 1629, the Medi-Cal reimbursement reform and provider bed tax (quality assessment fee) legislation. The “battle” now goes to CMS at the Federal level, which must give its approval of the waiver of uniformity, which exempts CCRCs and MLRCs from paying the tax. It will take several months for California’s proposal to work its way through the CMS system. In the meantime, CAHSA will do whatever we can to lobby for CMS approval and will give members updates as available.

For more information, contact CAHSA at (916) 392-5111.

 

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