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OAA Reauthorization Summary, FAQs, and More

June 13, 2016

Information regarding the recent reauthorization of the Older Americans Act is now available on the ACL website. Click here to find the official compilation, frequently asked questions, summary of changes, and more.

Highlights of changes related to the LTCOP, elder abuse, and the funding formula for Titles III B, C & D are below.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

  • Authorizes Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman programs to serve all LTC facility residents, regardless of their age. 711(6)
  • Clarifies that the state LTC Ombudsman is responsible for the fiscal management of the Office of the State LTC Ombudsman. 712(a)(2)
  • Clarifies that LTC Ombudsman programs may work to resolve complaints on behalf of residents unable to communicate their wishes, including those lacking an authorized representative. 712(a)(3)(A)(i)& (a)(5)(vi)
  • Requires state LTC Ombudsmen to ensure that residents have private, unimpeded access to the program. 712(a)(3)(D)
  • Requires LTC Ombudsman programs to actively encourage, and assist in the development of, resident and family councils in long-term care facilities. 712(a)(3)(H)(iii) & (a)(5)(vii)
  • Authorizes LTC Ombudsman programs to serve residents transitioning from a LTC facility to a home-care setting, when feasible. 712(a)(3)(I)
  • Clarifies that the LTC Ombudsman program is considered a “health oversight agency” for purposes of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 712(b)(3)
  • Applies OAA disclosure provisions to all LTC Ombudsman program information (rather than only “files and records”) and clarifies exceptions for disclosure of information relating to residents unable to communicate their wishes, including those lacking an authorized representative. 712(d)(2)(c)
  • Provides specific examples of individual and organizational conflicts of interest, requiring remediation or removal of such conflicts. 712(f)
  • Requires that each state LTC Ombudsman or his/her designee participate in training provided by the National Ombudsman Resource Center. 712(h)(4)
  • Requires the Director of the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs to collect and analyze promising practices related to responding to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation in long-term care facilities. 201(d)(3)(M)

Elder Abuse

  • Updates definitions of “adult protective services,” “abuse,” “exploitation and financial exploitation,” and “elder justice” to be consistent with the Elder Justice Act. 102(1),(3), (17)&(18)
  • Promotes best practices for responding to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation in long-term care facilities through the Administration on Aging. 201(d)(3)(M)
  • Promotes states’ submission of data concerning elder abuse. 102(3)(A); 721(b)(5)
  • Directs the Administration on Aging to include, as appropriate, training on elder justice, including abuse prevention and screening, for states, area agencies on aging, and service providers. 202(d)(4)(g)
  • Requires area plans to include efforts to increase public awareness of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. 306(a)(6)(H)

Funding Formula for Titles III B, C & D

  • No state shall be allotted less than: 99% of the allotment for the previous year for each of FY2017-FY2019, or 100% of the FY2019 allotment for FY2020 and each subsequent fiscal year. 304(a)(3)(D)

Click here to read more about the reauthorization of OAA and click here to read more information about how the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provisions in the Older Americans Act will better protect residents of long-term care facilities.

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