From the CEO...
Important Changes to the Aging Waiver Program
For the past 18 years, your Area Agency on Aging has been administering the Aging Waiver Program in the service area with diligence and professionalism and has been witness to the success of this Department of Human Services funded program in providing services for individuals in their homes, rather than in nursing facilities. Several years ago, the Department of Human Services Office of Long Term Living made clear the intent of the commonwealth to transition these Medicaid funded services to managed care organizations. Community Health Choices (CHC) is Pennsylvania’s mandatory managed care program for dually eligible individuals and individuals with physical disabilities, which will replace the Aging Waiver Program. Each Aging Waiver participant will receive information in the very near future, informing them that they have a choice of three different Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) from which to choose to coordinate their long term services and supports, as the AAA will no longer be providing the coordination of services for Aging Waiver consumers. The three MCOs to choose from are: Amerihealth Caritas, PA Health and Wellness, or UPMC. The MCOs will begin to coordinate these services effective January 1, 2020. The Aging Waiver Care Management staff will assist individuals as needed in enrolling in the MCO of their choosing over the next several months. On behalf of the agency and staff, it has been our sincere pleasure in coordinating these services for our frail elders across the program service area and we will remain available and committed in assisting when needed in the future.
Since the Aging Waiver is being transitioned to Community Health Choices and the MCOs will be responsible for coordinating services, including transportation, home modifications and personal assistance services, the decision has been made to forego any new waiver consumers at this time and also to waive our participation in service coordination, effective December 31, 2019. Our staff will remain available to help with any issues related to transitioning to CHC. Additional information on CHC can be found at www.healthchoices.pa.gov.
This summer the new 211 service will be launched in Clearfield County. Thanks to the contributions of the Clearfield Area United Way, the DuBois United Way and the PA Link for the financial resources allocated to make 211 a reality in our county. 211 is the number to call for any individual in need of social, human services, including, food, clothing, shelter, counseling, etc., regardless of age. There will be a formal launch in June 2019, with additional training for service providers. Those entities that provide services for individuals in need will need to get their contact information in and updated in the 211 system so that the referral data base is accurate and up to date. Additional information on 211 can be found at www.211.org.
Kathleen Gillespie, CEO
On March 5, Sandra Turner began employment as a Registered Nurse Assessor. In this position, Sandy coordinates medical evaluations, performs home and/or facility visits to conduct comprehensive assessments and determines level of care and services needed. Sandy earned her diploma in nursing from the Pennsylvania State University and completed an advanced track of study at the Altoona Hospital School of Nursing. Sandy has over two decades of experience in the nursing field and with elderly consumers. She previously served as Director of Nursing for the Transitional Care Unit at the Philipsburg Area Hospital. After the hospital closed, Ms. Turner worked at Ridgeview Eldercare & Rehabilitation Center as a Registered Nurse Assessment Coordinator and was subsequently promoted to Director of Nursing. Sandy also worked as RN Hospice Case Manager for Home Nursing Agency. Her most recent employment has been as RN Health Services Administrator for Correct Care Solutions/Wellpath, where she managed medical services for Houtzdale Prison and Quehanna Boot Camp.
On Wednesday, March 13, Marley Sarra joined our staff as Administrative Assistant. Ms. Sarra received an Administrative Medical Assistant Associate’s degree from DuBois Business College. Marley served as Administrative Assistant for the Child, Adult, and Family Psychological Center in State College, where she performed insurance billing and verification, patient billing, data entry, basic accounting functions, and answered telephones. She also served in a similar role at Nulton Diagnostic & Treatment Center in Altoona. Marley’s most recent employment has been as Administrative Assistant with Huntingdon Area School District.
Tom Young began his journey with the CCAAA on February 19, 2019. Tom is a regular, part-time “Meals on Wheels & More” driver. Mr. Young is a recent retiree. In December 2018, after 28 years of service, he retired from his position as a corrections officer for the Clearfield County Jail. Now, Tom works weekdays delivering meals and brightening the faces of customers on one of our Clearfield area routes.
We’re also pleased to congratulate Kim Robbins on her promotion to Fleet Dispatcher at our meal production facility in Curwensville. Kim worked for many years as Administrative Assistant behind the scenes with the database and lists that manage our “Meals on Wheels & More” program. Kim continues to work with the database, but now also dispatches delivery workers for our various meal delivery routes and schedules maintenance of our delivery vehicles. A few positions Kim held prior to joining the CCAAA in 2006 include: Driver Coordinator for Walmart Transportation through Manpower; Books Clerk at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, which included scheduling and supervising employees, and Clerk I for PennDot where she performed radio room dispatching, customer service, maintaining logs of activities & equipment and coordinating road closure information and weather updates.
Older Americans Month 2019: Connect, Create, Contribute
On April 23rd, the Clearfield County Commissioners signed a proclamation declaring May 2019 as Older Americans Month.
Each year, more and more older adults are making a positive impact in and around Clearfield County. As volunteers, employees, employers, educators, mentors, advocates and more, they offer insight and experience that benefit the entire community. That’s why Older Americans Month (OAM) has been recognizing the contributions of this growing population for 56 years.
Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) each May, OAM provides resources to help older Americans stay healthy and independent, and resources to help communities support and celebrate their diversity.
This year’s OAM theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, encourages older adults and their communities to:
Connect with friends, family, and local services and resources.
Create through activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.
Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc. will celebrate OAM by promoting ways that community members of all ages can take part in helping Clearfield County thrive. We encourage you to: Connect, Create and Contribute.
Communities that support and recognize older adults are stronger! Join us in strengthening our community – in May and throughout the year.
Nationwide Brace Scam
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about a fraud scheme involving orthotic braces and other medical equipment.
Scammers are offering Medicare beneficiaries orthotic braces that are supposedly free to them and covered by Medicare. Fraudsters (1) may call beneficiaries directly to offer braces or (2) use television or radio advertisements to encourage beneficiaries to order free braces by calling the phone number provided.
If a beneficiary provides or verifies personal or Medicare information, a brace is sent even if it is not requested by the beneficiary or medically necessary. Often, a beneficiary receives multiple braces. Medicare is then billed for each brace using the beneficiary's information.
If a beneficiary has received unwanted or unneeded braces, and that equipment is billed to Medicare, then Medicare may deny a brace that the beneficiary needs in the future.
If you receive a call from someone offering you a free brace that will be billed to Medicare, hang up immediately.
If medical equipment is delivered to you, don't accept it unless it was ordered by your physician. Refuse the delivery or return it to the sender. Keep a record of the sender's name and the date you returned the items.
Be suspicious of anyone who offers you free medical equipment and then requests your Medicare number. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
A physician that you know and trust should approve any requests for equipment to address your medical needs.
Medicare beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare numbers. If anyone other than your physician's office requests your Medicare information, do not provide it.
If you suspect Medicare fraud, contact the HHS OIG Hotline:
Phone: 1-800-447-8477 (1-800-HHS-TIPS) TTY: 1-800-377-4950
Funded in whole or part by grant through the Administrative for Community Living