Archive for the ‘US Senate Special Committee on Aging’ Category

Senate Special Committee on Aging Addresses National Alzheimer’s Plan Progress

April 30, 2013

Advocates at the 25th annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum paused during a day of visits with members of Congress to attend a Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.

The National Plan, released in May 2012, is the country’s first comprehensive approach to the Alzheimer’s epidemic and includes a goal to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.The hearing, “Are We on Track for 2025?,” examined the plan one year after its creation and the resources needed to accomplish its goals. It featured testimonies from expert witnesses, including Ashley Campbell, who spoke on behalf of her father, country music legend Glen Campbell. Glen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011.

Senate Aging Committee Ranking Member Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) welcomed a room filled with advocates, sharing her personal experience with Alzheimer’s and her concerns about the disease’s estimated trajectory.

“As someone whose family has experienced the pain of Alzheimer’s time and time again, I know there is no more helpless feeling then to watch the progression of this devastating disease,” Collins said. “An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, more than double the number in 1980. Based on the current trajectory, more than 16 million Americans over the age of 65 will have Alzheimer’s disease by the year 2050.”

Collins also outlined her vision for the National Alzheimer’s Plan.

“If we fail to change the current trajectory of Alzheimer’s disease, our country will face not only a mounting national health care crisis, but an economic one as well,” she said. “The National Alzheimer’s Plan, which will be updated annually, will help us to focus our efforts and accelerate our progress toward better treatments, a means of prevention and ultimately, even a cure.”

Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), chairman of the committee, shared his thoughts on the Alzheimer’s epidemic and his appreciation for advocates’ efforts on Capitol Hill.

“It is shocking that today 1 in 3 seniors will die with Alzheimer’s,” said Nelson. “And as the baby boomers age, this fact is going to confront us all the more. We are very grateful for your tireless efforts on behalf of this issue and for the Alzheimer’s Association.”

Ashley Campbell was the first to testify, re-accounting Glen’s diagnosis and their decision to launch a Glen Campbell goodbye tour, giving her father a chance to connect with family, friends and fans through music.

“Dad thought it was important for people to know you can keep doing what you love — that life doesn’t end right away when you get Alzheimer’s,” she said. “It was also so important for my dad to take action and help spread the word about the need to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.”

Full Article and Source:
Senate Hearing Addresses National Alzheimer’s Plan Progress

Glen Campbell to Appear at Senate Hearing on Alzheimer’s

April 24, 2013

Glen Campbell will visit the U.S. Special Committee on Aging on Wednesday (April 24) for a hearing about Alzheimer’s. His daughter Ashley Campbell will accompany him to Washington to testify at the hearing on behalf of the family. Campbell went public with his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2011.


Meet the New Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging!

February 2, 2013

It is a real privilege to serve as Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

I represent Florida, a state where more than 17% of the population is over the age of 65. I’m fully aware of the issues and challenges facing seniors. And, I look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats on this committee to protect Social Security and Medicare.

signature of Chairman

Chairman Bill Nelson (FL)

United States Senate Special Committee on Aging

CFPB Testifies on Elder Financial Abuse Initiatives

November 25, 2012

The CFPB’s initiatives to address elder financial abuse were the focus of testimony last week by Hubert H. “Skip” Humphrey III, the CFPB’s Assistant Director for the Office of Older Americans, to the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging.

Highlights of Mr. Humphrey’s testimony include the following:
• The CFPB has been participating in a working group with the Financial Services Roundtable that addresses issues such as enhancing the capacity of financial institutions to report suspected elder financial abuse.
• The CFPB is a member of the Elder Justice Coordinating Council, an 11-agency body convened by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in partnership with the Attorney General. The Council held its inaugural meeting in October of this year, at which national experts from law enforcement, social services, academia, medicine, law, the judiciary, and financial institutions spoke about various themes that included the (1) need to develop strategies to deal with the myriad of perpetrators who victimize older Americans, (2) need for collaboration on the federal, state and local levels, as well as public-private partnerships, (3) challenge presented by diminished capacity’s impact on an older adult’s ability to detect a fraud or scam, and (4) need for a broad-scale public education campaign to raise awareness of elder financial abuse and what to do about it in light of the aging population.
• The CFPB has various initiatives underway that address the themes discussed at the Council meeting. Those initiatives include
(1) development of generic and state-specific “how-to” guides (expected to be published in 2013) for family members who serve as “lay fiduciaries” and often have no experience handling someone else’s money, (2) production of a national guide to help operators of senior housing, assisted living, and skilled nursing facilities identify and intervene in exploitation cases, (3) development in collaboration with the FDIC of a “Money Smart for Older Adults” community education and awareness program that will focus on preventing, recognizing, and reporting elder financial exploitation, and (4) working with stakeholders on the state and local levels to help create and sustain “Older American Protection Networks” that will develop multi-disciplinary teams to provide community education, raise public awareness, enhance response to reports of abuse, and increase prosecution.
• In addition, to address concerns of financial institutions as to whether it is permissible under federal law for them to share personal account holder information when reporting elder financial exploitation, the CFPB is developing strategies (including in cooperation with other federal agencies) for communicating to financial institutions that the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act generally does not prohibit them from reporting suspected abuse to, or respond to requests for personal information from, law enforcement, Adult Protective Services agencies, and other relevant entities.

Full Article and Source:
CFPB Testifies on Elder Financial Abuse Initiatives

Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing

June 25, 2012

“Empowering Patients and Honoring Individual’s Choices: Lessons in Improving Care for Individuals with Advanced Illness”

June 13, 2012

Watch the Hearing

Professor Testifies That Hospitals and Nursing Homes Should Act as Partners

June 25, 2012

Dying patients would get better care if hospitals and nursing homes act as partners, a Brown University medical professor told a Senate panel.

Dr. Vince Mor, a professor of community health at Brown University in Rhode Island, testified before the Senate Aging Committee that patient choices could be better carried out if “a single health-care provider, or health-care system, is accountable for an episode of care.” Mor said, “Hospitals and nursing homes must become partners in order to decrease inappropriate health care transitions, particularly in the last months of life.”

Full Article and Source:
Brown Professor Testifies at U.S. Senate Hearing on Care for Patients With Advanced Illness

GAO Says Veterans Targeted by Pension Poachers

June 17, 2012

Veterans at senior centers, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities are being approached by companies or agents looking to take advantage of their pension benefits.

Terry Schow, executive director of the Utah Department of Veteran Affairs, collected the stories of seven exploited veterans and submitted them at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging.

“There are some people who have taken the business of helping veterans into profit-making,” he said before the hearing.

Certain low-income veterans are entitled to pensions, and more than 200 agencies across the United States are “marketing financial products and services” to help veterans qualify for the benefits, according to a recently released report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The yearlong GAO investigation found that veterans who do not meet pension requirements are qualifying for and receiving the funding, often because they were encouraged to do so by private companies.

One veteran transferred $1 million just months before applying, and was approved to receive the monthly payments, the GAO found.

Full Article and Source:
US Veterans Targeted by Pension Poachers, GAO Says

National Emergency Leadership Summit for Healthcare Administrators in Aging Services This Week

June 9, 2012

The third annual National Emerging Leadership Summit for Healthcare Administrators in Aging Services (NELS) will take place Tuesday through Thursday at George Washington University in Washington. A highlight will be a hearing Wednesday before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, which will feature leaders of major nursing home associations and other key stakeholders stating their cases for building the leadership workforce.

The summit targets administrators who have been in the field for fewer than 10 years and/or are younger than 40 years old. Generation X and Y leaders will be able to learn from and help educate more veteran practitioners in the field. Strategies for attracting and retaining peers will be a major focus of the summit, as well as discussions of best practices and learning about the legislative process.

Full Article and Source:
Senate Aging Comittee to Host Major Long Term Care Leaders, Highlight Young Leadership Summit

Nursing Home Antipsychotic Legislation Set Aside

June 5, 2012

The U.S. Senate did not approve legislation that would strengthen regulations for antipsychotic use in nursing homes, despite overwhelmingly passing a bill it was attached to on Thursday.

Last week, Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI), Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) proposed a regulation that would have standardized protocols for obtaining informed consent before administering antipsychotics for off-label use. The legislation was proposed as an amendment to an existing Food and Drug Administration reauthorization bill (S. 3187), which was passed by the Senate in a 96-1 vote Thursday.

However, a spokesman for the Special Senate Committee on Aging told McKnight’s that the nursing home regulation was not voted on and wasn’t included in the manager’s amendment.

He added that “the amendment was filed to help bring some needed attention to the widespread problem of the misuse of the antipsychotics among frail elders.” Going forward, he said Kohl and Grassley will “look at other legislative vehicles or stand-alone legislation.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had urged quick passage of the bill, without many amendments. Senators agreed to consider just 17 of them.

Nursing Home Antipsychotic Legislation Set Aside

Senators Want Antipsychotic Drug Use Better Controlled in Nursing Homes

May 29, 2012

Senators from both parties joined with the Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., to propose legislation to combat the costly and inappropriate – yet widespread – use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes.

Joining with Sen. Kohl, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., offered the amendment to S. 3187, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.

It will require the Health and Human Services Secretary to issue standardized protocols for obtaining informed consent, or authorization from patients or their designated health care agents or legal representatives, acknowledging possible risks and side effects associated with the antipsychotic, as well as alternative treatment options, before administering the drug for off-label use.

“The overuse of antipsychotics is a common and well-recognized problem that puts frail elders at risk and costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year,” Kohl said.

“We need a new policy that helps to ensure that these drugs are being appropriately used to treat people with mental illnesses, not used to curb behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s or other dementias.”

Full Article and Source:
Senators Want Antipsychotic Drug Use Better Controlled in Nursing Homes