CLASS Act changes in the works

As part of the federal government’s push to better coordinate community-based care for seniors and the disabled, it has consolidated three departmental agencies involved with long-term care, officials announced Monday.

Kathy Greenlee — currently the assistant secretary for aging in the Department of Health and Human Services — will head the new Administration for Community Living. This entity consolidates HHS’s Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability, and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.The director of the Office on Disability, Henry Claypool, will become principal deputy administrator of the ACL.

The Administration for Community Living will collaborate with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services “to develop, refine, and strengthen policies that promote independent living among all populations, especially those served by Medicaid,” according to HHS.

Currently, Medicaid pays for roughly 40% of the care provided in skilled nursing facilities. The agency also will work with CMS to promote home and community-based services and supports.