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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2705, 7/16/2015
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US Senate Aging Committee Highlights Importance of Diabetes Funding and Research
CMS Posts Hospice Quality Updates Online
For Your Information: Major Players in Passing Medicare and Medicaid Legislation
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US Senate Aging Committee Highlights Importance of Diabetes Funding and Research

The US Senate Committee on Aging held a hearing on Wednesday, July 15, to discuss the importance of funding and research to combat diabetes. The hearing, “Diabetes Research: Improving Lives on the Path to a Cure,”included witnesses from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Missouri School of Medicine, as well as individuals with firsthand experience living with Type 1 diabetes.

Also in attendance at the hearing were 160 delegates from every state participating in the Children’s Congress of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The children travelled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for diabetes funding and research. Three of the children testified at the hearing about their experiences living with diabetes and the importance of continuous glucose monitoring technologies in managing their conditions. One of the witnesses was a teenager from Casco, Maine, who recently broke a 39-year-old national high school long-jump record by jumping 22 feet, 5 inches.

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who chairs the Senate Aging Committee and is the founder of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, emphasized the importance of diabetes funding and research. She highlighted both the costs associated with diabetes, including the financial burdens it puts on individuals, the health care system and Medicare. “I’ve learned a lot about the difficulties and heartaches that this diseases causes for so many American families as they await a cure,” she said. “Diabetes is a lifelong condition that does not discriminate. It affects people of every age, race and nationality. Moreover, diabetes costs the United States and estimated $245 billion a year, a cost that is projected to more than double by the year 2020. It also accounts for one out of three Medicare dollars. In fact, medical costs for Americans with diabetes are more than double those incurred by those without diabetes.”

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CMS Posts Hospice Quality Updates Online

This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted two updates on its Hospice Quality Reporting webpage. 

Following are the newly posted items:

Hospice Reconsideration Request Deadline (posted July 15, 2015)
CMS will continue to accept reconsideration requests for the FY 2016 reporting period through 5:00 pm EST, Friday, July 24, 2015.  All requests and supporting documentation must be received by this deadline.  Information regarding the reconsideration process can be found at http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Hospice-Quality-Reporting/Reconsideration-Requests.html, or click the "Reconsideration Requests" link in the Hospice Quality Reporting box in the left hand margin of this pagePlease note: Do not include Personal Health Information (PHI) or other HIPAA violations in the documentation being submitted to CMS for review.

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Major Players in Passing Medicare and Medicaid Legislation

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid legislation on July 30, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice is recognizing a different individual who played an important role in passing the legislation throughout July.

Edmund S. Muskie was a lawyer, governor, US Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter, and one of the greatest of those who served in the United States Senate. After serving two terms in the Maine state legislature, Muskie was elected as Maine’s first Democratic governor in 1954. Four years later he won a seat in the United States Senate, where he served for 21 years, until 1980. Senator Muskie served on the Committees on Aging, Budget, Banking and Currency, Government Operations, Foreign Relations, and Public Works. As a member of the Senate Aging Committee, he sponsored legislation to create Medicare in 1965 and in 1972 led the fight to liberalize the program’s home care benefits. He was among the strongest advocates for mental health care, leading the fight to ensure that no one was unnecessarily institutionalized. In 1981 President Jimmy Carter awarded Muskie the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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