Elder Law Task Force

Elder Law Task Force content posted in order of most recent to oldest.

HHS Releases Enhanced Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services standards

From the National Health Law Program:

Today, HHS released the Enhanced Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards. The Enhanced CLAS Standards update and expand the original CLAS Standards from 2000. The guiding principle for the 15 standards is to Provide effective, equitable, understandable, and respectful quality care and services that are responsive to diverse cultural health beliefs and practices, preferred languages, health literacy, and other communication needs.

The Standards and other infomration on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services are available on the Office of Minority Healths website Think Cultural Health. A Blueprint accompanies the new standards, offering additional information and resources.

HHS press release is available here.

iConnect Generations Expo

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:00am - 6:00pm

iConnect Generations Expo at Stadium Place is being organized by GEDCO (Govans Ecumenical DevelopmentCorporation) and the Y of Central Maryland, in partnershipwith the Baltimore City Health Department, Office of Aging and CARE Services, to expand the resources available for older adults and their families.
Friday, May 10, 2013
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Stadium Place Community
Entrances at Ednor Rd. & E. 33rd St.

Proceeds support GEDCO’s Senior Services and Y programs for vulnerable youth.
Activities include:
• inter-generational sports
and exercise programs like Tai Chi
• seminars
• wellness and health screenings
• financial management seminars
• dance and musical entertainment
• support sessions for care partners
• healthy cooking demonstrations
• volunteering opportunities
• job fair

FREE GIFT!  Free to public!  Sponsors and exhibitors welcome!
For details visit gedco.org/iConnect.

Waxter Wisdom: Alzheimer's Disease

Wed, 05/08/2013 - 9:00am - 3:30pm

May 8, 2013
Alzheimer’s Disease
9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Waxter Senior Center
1000 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Workshop Objectives:
Overview of Alzheimer’s Care by Christopher Marano, M.D.: Participants will become informed about the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, including research and drug study news, PET scans, and blood tests.
Caregiver 101: Practical Solutions to Common Behavior Problems by Laura Gitlin, Ph.D.: Learn problem solving strategies to manage common behavior problems experienced by patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.
Voices of Experiences: Panels Discussion with Patients and Families Impacted by Memory Loss by Crystal Evans, MS: Caregivers discuss milestones in the caregiving process, such as getting a diagnosis, finding support services, making decisions about treatment, and handling caregivers stress.
Resources for Patients, Families and Professionals by Junnell Sample: Participants will learn about resources offered by the Alzheimer’s Association.
Keeping Your Mind Sharp through Cognitive Stimulation by Miriam Mintzer, Ph.D.: Learn how mental exercise can keep your mind sharp and lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
The Link Between Hearing Loss and Memory by Frank Lin, M.D, Ph.D.: Learn how older adults experiencing hearing loss are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and how patients with hearing loss can lower their risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
For questions or further information, please contact (410) 396-4932

Baltimore City Office of Aging and CARE Services
Waxter Wisdom_Alzheimer's_022013.pdf532.32 KB

US Hospitals Send Hundreds Of Immigrant Patients Back To Home Countries To Curb Cost Of Care

The Associated Press/Washington Post: US Hospitals Send Hundreds Of Immigrant Patients Back To Home Countries To Curb Cost Of Care
In interviews with immigrants, their families, attorneys and advocates, The Associated Press reviewed the obscure process known formally as "medical repatriation," which allows hospitals to put patients on chartered international flights, often while they are still unconscious. Hospitals typically pay for the flights (4/23).


Tax-Related Identity Theft: An Epidemic Facing Older Taxpayers

From the Administration for Community Living:

Identity thieves claiming other people’s refunds rose more than 650% between 2008 and 2012, and older adults are among the most frequent targets.  Last week, the US Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing to discuss this scam’s impact on seniors and federal legislation has been filed to increase penalties to act as a deterrent.

Older adults are particularly at risk because one of the sources that thieves use to obtain social security numbers are records kept by nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and companies servicing Medicaid programs. Information can be stolen by unscrupulous employees or found by prying eyes. Elderly individuals are also specifically targeted by tax thieves because many of them are not required to file a tax return.  As a result, they are often unaware that fraudulent returns have been filed under their name.  Similarly, the Internal Revenue Service usually doesn’t realize a fraudulent return has been filed unless a return from the legitimate taxpayer is filed, resulting in a duplicate filing.

These resources can help your clients avoid becoming a victim of tax-related identify theft.

NCLC’s tips for older consumers to avoid identity theft

IRS identity protection tips

Federal Trade Commission’s steps for repairing tax-related identify theft

Free case consultation for elder advocates is provided by the National Senior Citizens Law Center and NCLC through the National Legal Resource Center

The Most Important Conversation: Tools and Techniques for Advance Health Care Planning

Thu, 04/11/2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Title: The Most Important Conversation: Tools and Techniques for Advance Health Care Planning Date: Thursday, April 11, 2013 Time: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT Space is limited.Reserve your Webinar seat now at:https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/644880384   A shift in focus has taken place in advance health care planning from a focus on forms and paperwork, to a focus on meaningful conversations about wishes, beliefs and values.  This webinar will discuss the focus on the care planning conversation and how to document the wishes using tools such as living wills, do not resuscitate orders, multi-state durable power of attorney for health care, and physicians orders for life sustaining care.  This session will discuss many online handbooks and tools available to empower the advance care planning process and to guide health care decision makers.   Presenter is David Godfrey, Senior Attorney, American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living .  This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center. There is no charge for this webinar. All time listings are in Eastern Standard Time. If you have any questions email trainings@nclc.org                            
National Legal Resource Center

Senior Identity Theft: A Problem in this Day and Age

Tue, 05/07/2013 - 3:30am - 4:30pm

The FTC will bring together experts from government, private industry, and public interest groups to discuss the unique challenges facing victims of senior identity theft.  The forum will include panels on different types of senior identity theft – tax and government benefits, medical, and long-term care – and will also explore the best consumer education and outreach techniques for reaching seniors.

May 7, 2013

9:00 am – 4:30 pm

601 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington DC 20001

This forum is FREE and open to the PUBLIC.  It will be also be available via webcast.

 For more information about the forum and the webcast, please visit the forum website:  http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/senior-identity-theft/

 Pre-registration is not required to attend the forum but is encouraged so that we may better plan this event. 

To pre-register, please send your name and affiliation to seniorIDtheft@ftc.gov



Federal Trade Commission

Consumer Seminar: How The Internet Can Benefit Older Americans

Wed, 04/24/2013 - 9:30am - 12:30pm

The Federal Communications Commission will be hosting an event on April 24 beginning at 9:30 a.m (EDT) focusing on seniors and digital literacy.  Seniors, and those who work with and/or care for them, are invited to attend. Panelists, including representatives from the FCC, communications companies and non-profit organizations will focus on the many ways the Internet can benefit seniors, with emphasis on its safe and secure use. The seminar will include interactive demonstrations of electronic devices and user-friendly computer programs that can benefit Seniors.

 This seminar is free and open to the public, and will be streamed live at www.fcc.gov/live.

 More information, and a detailed agenda, is available at http://www.fcc.gov/events/consumer-seminar-how-internet-can-benefit-older-americans.  Please contact Keyla Hernandez-Ulloa at Keyla.Hernandez-Ulloa@fcc.gov if you have any questions.

Federal Communications Commission

Elder Abuse and Its Prevention

Wed, 04/17/2013 (All day) - Thu, 04/18/2013 (All day)

Elder Abuse and Its Prevention

Hosted by the Institute of Medicine

April 17-18, 2013

 Live Two-Day Program in Washington DC with a

Live-Streaming Webcast of the Entire Program

A detailed agenda is available on the right hand side of the program website at www.iom.edu/ElderAbusePrevention

 The workshop is free and open to the public. Please register online for in person and/or webcast attendance. The webcast will be provided with closed captioning.

Online registration is available at www.iom.edu/ElderAbusePrevention

 The Keck Center of the National Academies

500 Fifth St, NW, Room 100 Washington, DC

April 17-18, 2013

Violence and related forms of abuse against elders is a global public health and human rights problem with far-reaching consequences, resulting in increased death, disability, and exploitation with collateral effects on well-being. Data suggest that at least 10 percent of elders in the United States are victims of elder abuse every year. In low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of violence is the greatest, the figure is likely even higher. In addition, elders experiencing risk factors such as diminishing cognitive function, caregiver dependence, and social isolation are more vulnerable to maltreatment and underreporting. As the world population of adults aged 65 and older continues to grow, the implications of elder abuse for health care, social welfare, justice, and financial systems are great. However, despite the magnitude of global elder maltreatment, it has been an underappreciated public health problem.

 The Institute of Medicine will hold a two-day workshop, illuminating the burden of elder abuse around the world and the evidence base for its detection and prevention. Occurrences and co-occurrences of different types of abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional violence; neglect; and financial exploitation, will be addressed. Promising innovative approaches to intervention and prevention will be explored, as well as opportunities for scalability and cross-sectorial collaboration.

 Excellent Agenda and World Class Speakers

No CLE or CEU credits are available for this program.

Location Name: 
The Keck Center of the National Academies
500 Fifth St, NW, Room 100
Institute of Medicine

Protect the Elderly from Dangerous Bed Rails

From the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care:

Protect the Elderly from Dangerous Bed Rails

As you may know, bed rails - metal or plastic bars positioned along the side of a bed - are frequently used at home or in long-term care facilities because they are believed to keep elders or persons with disabilities safe. However, bed rails can pose extreme safety risks and have been responsible for numerous incidents of death and injury among long-term care consumers.

We have created a new issue brief and a webpage detailing the risks associated with bed rails and what can be done to address this important consumer safety issue.

Resource for Elder Law Advocates in all 24 Counties

Apologies if this is duplicative.  This list contains all 24 counties' Department of Aging, or Area Agency on Aging local office address, contact person's name, phone number, fax and email address.







MAP Info & Assistance.pdf466.13 KB

What Our Clients Really Need is Money! Helping Clients Make the Most of Their Pension

Tue, 03/05/2013 - 10:00am - 2:00pm

Free Training on Pension Rights!  Learn from the experts at the National Pension Rights Center how to advise clients so they can get the most out of their pensions.  We all know that many legal problems stem from the fact that our clients simply don't have enough money to pay their bills.  By helping clients understand their pension rights, you could be helping them increase their income every month!  From helping clients understand pension statements to finding lost pensions, some basic advice can go a long way.  This training is appropriate for many types of advocates: including folks who handle intake, consumer law, elder law, family law, and more.  Legal Aid staff, other legal services advocates, and pro bono or volunteer attorneys are all welcome!

So, join us on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 10:00 am- 2:00 pm, for What Our Clients Really Need is Money! Helping Clients Make the Most of their Pension. The training will be held at the Charles Ecker Business Training Center located at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046. Lunch and materials will be provided.

To sign up for this free training opportunity, go to http://understandingpensions.eventbrite.com 

 Topics include: 

- overview of basic features of employer sponsored retirement savings plan

-basic rules and terminology

-issue spotting pension problems

As with all Legal Aid trainings, if you are a Maryland Legal Aid staff member please consult with your supervisor and obtain approval to attend prior to registering for the training. If you have any questions please contact Yoanna at ymoisides@mdlab.org  .



What:       What Our Clients Really Need is Money! Helping Clients Make the Most of Their Pension

When:      Tuesday, March 5, 2013 10:00 -2:00 p.m.

Where:     Charles Ecker Business Training Center located at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046

Location Name: 
Charles Ecker Business Training Center
6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
Yoanna Moisides
Maryland Legal Aid

Final Rule on Essential Health Benefits and New Report on Mental Health Parity

From the Department of Health and Human Services:

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a final rule that will make purchasing health coverage easier for consumers.  The policies outlined today will give consumers a consistent way to compare and enroll in health coverage in the individual and small group markets, while giving states and insurers more flexibility and freedom to implement the Affordable Care Act.

 Today’s rule outlines health insurance issuer standards for a core package of benefits, called essential health benefits, that health insurance issuers must cover both inside and outside the Health Insurance Marketplace. Through its standards for essential health benefits, the final rule released today also expands coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment, for millions of Americans.

 A new report by HHS, also released today, details how these provisions will expand mental health and substance use disorder benefits and federal parity protections for 62 million more Americans.

 In the past, nearly 20 percent of individuals purchasing insurance didn’t have access to mental health services, and nearly one third had no coverage for substance use disorder services.  The rule seeks to fix that gap in coverage by expanding coverage of these benefits in three distinct ways:

 1. By including mental health and substance use disorder benefits as Essential Health Benefits

2. By applying federal parity protections to mental health and substance use disorder benefits in the individual and small group markets

3. By providing more Americans with access to quality health care that includes coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services

 To give states the flexibility to define essential health benefits in a way that would best meet the needs of their residents, this rule also finalizes a benchmark-based approach. This approach allows states to select a benchmark plan from options offered in the market, which are equal in scope to a typical employer plan.  Twenty-six states selected a benchmark plan for their state, and the largest small business plan in each state will be the benchmark for the rest.

 The rule additionally outlines actuarial value levels in the individual and small group markets, which helps to distinguish health plans offering different levels of coverage.  Beginning in 2014, plans that cover essential health benefits must cover a certain percentage of costs, known as actuarial value or “metal levels.”  These levels are 60 percent for a bronze plan, 70 percent for a silver plan, 80 percent for a gold plan, and 90 percent for a platinum plan. Metal levels will allow consumers to compare insurance plans with similar levels of coverage and cost-sharing based on premiums, provider networks, and other factors.  In addition, the health care law limits the annual amount of cost sharing that individuals will pay across all health plans – preventing insured Americans from facing catastrophic costs associated with an illness or injury.

 Policies in today’s rule also provide more information on accreditation standards for qualified health plans (QHPs) that will be offered through the Health Insurance Marketplaces (also known as Exchanges), one-stop shops that will provide access to quality, affordable private health insurance choices.

Together, these provisions will help consumers compare and select health plans in the individual and small group markets based on what is important to them and their families. People can make these choices knowing these health plans will cover a core set of critical benefits and can more easily compare the level of coverage based on a uniform standard.  Further, these provisions help expand choices and competition on the Marketplaces.

For more information on today’s rule, visit: http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/factsheets/ehb-2-20-2013.html.

 To view the rule, visit: http://www.ofr.gov/inspection.aspx.

 For more information on how today’s rule helps those in need of mental health and substance use disorder services, visit: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/mental/rb_mental.cfm.

 Please direct questions to HHSIEA@hhs.gov.


2012 Maryland Health Disparities Chartbook

From DHMH:

Dear Health Disparities Partner:

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and its Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities have placed priority on the elimination of health disparities among the State’s population.   We are pleased to provide you with a copy of the third “Maryland Chartbook of Minority Health Disparities Data”.  The attached Chartbook provides essential information for identifying and measuring disparities, determining the causes of disparities, planning interventions that work, and tracking progress.  This document is also accessible on our website at http://dhmh.maryland.gov/mhhd/SitePages/Home.aspx 

 Use this Chartbook like a dictionary, search for diseases, population groups, and local communities to answer your questions.  There is some information on most disparities data-related subjects as well as recent website references that lead to other sources and further information. 

Having done all that, let us know how this document helps you, what questions remain to be answered, and suggestions for future publications.  Send comments to:     



Maryland Health Disparities Data Chartbook 2012 021413.pdf3.62 MB

New Website for the Administration for Community Living

From the National Legal Resource Center:

Be among the first to see it:

www.ACL.gov is live.

This is the new website of the Administration For Community Living



Webinar: Managed Long-Term Services and Supports: Measuring Outcomes

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Managed Long-Term Services and Supports: Measuring Outcomes  


Tuesday, February 26, 3:00-4:30 PM Eastern
Outcomes measurement is critical to the implementation of state managed long-term services and supports systems to ensure that the needs of older adults and individuals with disabilities are being met. This webinar sponsored by the Administration for Community Living will examine core principles and criteria for selecting measures, possible data sources, and methods for building infrastructure capacity to monitor the quality of managed long-term services and supports.

Mary Lou Breslin, Senior Policy Advisor, Disability Rights, Education and Defense Fund
Eric Carlson, Directing Attorney, National Senior Citizens Law Center
H. Stephen Kaye, Director, Center for Personal Assistance Services, University of California San Francisco
To register for the online event
1. Go to https://aoa-events.webex.com/aoa-events/onstage/g.php?d=667837564&t=a
2. Click "Register".
3. On the registration form, enter your information and then click "Submit".

Once your registration is approved, you will receive a confirmation email message with instructions on how to join the event.
Please note: Space is limited, so please register as early as possible. This webinar will also be recorded and posted on our web site (http://www.aoa.gov/Aging_Statistics/Health_care_reform.aspx#webinar ) soon after the webinar.

Administration for Community Living

Webinar: What's in Store for Older Adults (50-64) Under Health Care Reform

Wed, 03/13/2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Title: What's in Store for Older Adults (50-64) Under Health Care Reform

Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
2014 marks a new era for health insurance in the United States. The establishment of health insurance exchanges, or marketplaces, and the expansion of Medicaid eligibility in many states will enable millions of people to access affordable insurance. Prior to health reform, older adults, between 50 and 64, faced significant challenges accessing insurance, including limited coverage in Medicaid, unaffordable premiums on the private insurance market, and policies on pre-existing conditions that render many effectively "uninsurable." This webinar will focus on how key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as "Obamacare," can help older adults access the insurance and benefits they need, such as:

- Expanded Medicaid eligibility to 138% Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) for adults under 65;
- Access to federal subsidies to help pay for insurance premiums for individuals and families up to 400% FPL;
- Required Essential Health Benefits, including no cost sharing preventive screening and annual wellness visits;
- Limitations on how much extra a plan can charge for premiums based on the beneficiary's age;
- Guaranteed issue insurance that forbids health plans from denying coverage or charging extra for pre-existing conditions;
- Delivery system innovations, including initiatives to coordinate care like the health homes

Presenters are: David Machledt, Ph.D., policy analyst at NHeLP; and Leonardo Cuello, J.D., Director of Health Reform at NHeLP

Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living . This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center.

There is no charge for this webinar.
All time listings are in Eastern Standard Time.
If you have any questions email trainings@nclc.org

National Legal Resource Center

PJC's Guide to Judgment Enforcement

PJC recently published a guide to collecting on judgments in Maryland. It is helpful not only after you have a judgment, but may also help you decide to litigate a case where you might have thought suing someone would result in a mere paper judgment. The guide focuses on judgments for unpaid wages and related damages, but is also useful for judgments in other cases.

The three fundamental components of this manual are: (1) pre- and post-judgment defendant investigation and asset research; (2) prejudgment tools to proactively prevent employers and other potential judgment debtors from hiding or selling off assets; and (3) judgment enforcement, including enforcement for unpaid wages.

Check it out here:


Webinar: Understanding Property Tax Sales and What Advocates Can Do to Help Clients Avoid Tax Lien Foreclosures

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

 Understanding Property Tax Sales and What Advocates Can Do to Help Clients Avoid Tax Lien Foreclosures
 Wednesday, February 13, 2013
 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST

Join us for a Webinar on February 13
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
All states permit local governments to sell property through a tax lien foreclosure process if the owner falls behind on property taxes or other municipal charges.  The complicated procedure and inadequate notice in most states leave many homeowners in the dark about steps they can take to avoid a home loss.  This webinar will help advocates understand the tax sale process and cover strategies to help homeowners avoid a tax lien foreclosure.

Presenter is John Rao, staff attorney, National Consumer Law Center

Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living .  This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center.

There is no charge for this webinar.
All time listings are in Eastern Standard Time.
If you have any questions email trainings@nclc.org


HHS Releases Proposed Rule on Medicaid, CHIP and Health Insurance Marketplaces

See below for the HHS announcement of the proposed Rule on Medicaid, CHIP, and Health Insurance Marketplace.  The fact sheet can be found at http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/press/factsheet.asp?Counter=4504&intNumPerPage=10&checkDate=&checkKey=&srchType=1&numDays=3500&srchOpt=0&srchData=&keywordType=All&chkNewsType=6&intPage=&showAll=&pYear=&year=&desc=&cboOrder=date along with a link to the proposed rule.

HHS Intergovernmental and External Affairs Notification

January 14, 2012

From:  Paul Dioguardi

Director, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

RE:     HHS Releases Proposed Rule on Medicaid, CHIP and Health Insurance Marketplaces

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule implementing key Affordable Care Act provisions relating to Medicaid and the Exchanges. This proposed rule codifies statutory eligibility provisions, lays out a structure and options for coordinating Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Exchange eligibility notices and appeals. It also proposes to modify existing benchmark benefits regulations for low-income adults, and codify several of the provisions included in the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA).

This proposed rule includes information on how consumers will receive coordinated communications on eligibility determinations and can appeal eligibility determinations.  It gives states flexibility in designing benefits and determining cost sharing in the Medicaid program.  The proposed rule also provides flexibility to state-based Exchanges by allowing them to opt to rely on HHS for verifying whether an individual has employer-sponsored coverage and conducting some types of appeals.

The NPRM is available on display at the Federal Register here: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2013-00659_PI.pdf

A fact sheet with additional information regarding the changes made through this proposed rule will be available on Medicaid.gov and http://cciio.cms.gov/ later today.

Please direct questions to HHSIEA@hhs.gov.

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