Wednesday, March 12, 2014

February Bifocal Now Available On-Line

The February issue of Bifocal, e-Journal of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging is now available for pdf download.  The issue is also available online on the Bifocal homepage.

What's inside this issue?

Cover Article
Aging in the 21st Century
by Marcos Acle Mautone
The world is facing an unprecedented demographic shift.

The Dual Eligible Demonstration
by Fay Gordon
If everything goes as planned, by January 1, 2015, hundreds of thousands of individuals could be enrolled in new delivery systems where combined Medicare and Medicaid services are provided through managed care plans. Of course, nothing ever happens exactly as planned. However, nine states are on tap to implement a dual eligible demonstration within the next year, making this a critical time in both planning and implementation of the new systems.

Defining Undue Influence
by Mary Joy Quinn
Understanding undue influence, dissecting it, defining it, and understanding the term, has proven elusive in social service and legal settings.

Using Mediation to Find Solutions
by Erica Wood
In North Carolina, a Medicaid appeal request goes to the Office of Administrative Hearings, where it is heard by an administrative law judge. This Office does not hear Medicaid eligibility cases, only appeals. Even so, the Office processed close to 13,000 recipient appeals last year. But North Carolina has found a unique approach to appeals that is timely and allows beneficiaries to state their case directly to the Department of Medical Assistance Services: mediation.

The Work of a Volunteer Fiduciary
by Randy Feliciano and Barbara K. Green
Although there are a number of public guardianship programs in the state of Virginia that are authorized to serve a specific number of clients, the beauty of Arlington’s program is that it makes a tremendous impact in meeting the needs of incapacitated individuals through the power of volunteerism.

The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Legislative Guide
The American Bar Association's Commission on Law and Aging collaborated with the National POLST Paradigm Task Force (NPPTF) and a team of legal experts to produce the POLST Legislative Guide, a free publication released in February 2014, for states engaged in the development of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) programs.

Book Excerpt: Ethics in the Practice of Elder Law
by Roberta K. Flowers and Rebecca C. Morgan
This book features a useful and practical approach to guiding an attorney new to elder law through potential ethical issues. With the inclusion of practitioner checklists, the book provides a framework for analyzing the day-to-day issues that elder law attorneys encounter.

Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging 2014-2015 Fellowship in Law & Aging
The Borchard Fellowship in Law & Aging affords three law school graduates interested in a career in law and aging the opportunity to pursue their research and professional interests for one year.

World Congress on Adult Guardianship
Anyone who is involved with guardianship regularly faces challenges at some point. The World Congresses present shared problems from new perspectives and offer ideas and solutions from multiple viewpoints, cultures and guardianship systems.

Inside the Commission
Commission Interns
The Commission's robust internship program hosts students year-round in Washington, DC. Here, we profile our two Fall interns.

Engage Your Community!
Don't forget to plan for: National Health Decisions Day (April 16), Law Day (May 1), and Older Americans Month (May)

Commission Publication: Checklist for an Elder-Friendly Law Office
By complying with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines and making the other practical design decisions highlighted in this 22-page publication, you can improve an older client's experience in your office.

Event and CLE Update
Upcoming CLE

New National Aging and Law Conference
This October 16-17, the Commission on Law and Aging will sponsor the New National Aging and Law Conference in Washington, DC. This year's conference theme will be: 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty: Progress & Challenges for the Future.

Upcoming CLE: Health Care Decision-Making and the “F” Word—Futility
Recent cases involving brain dead patients and resulting disputes over continuing organ-sustaining treatments have reignited debate over the appropriate use of medical technologies. The family of Jahi McMath in Oakland, CA, fought to keep their daughter connected to a ventilator, while a hospital in Fort Worth, TX, sought to keep Marlise Muñoz, fourteen weeks pregnant, on a ventilator over the objection of her husband and family. For terminally ill patients who are not brain dead, a family's desire to "do everything possible" sometimes leads to insisting on medical interventions that medical professionals may deem inappropriate or "futile."

To subscribe to Bifocal or to submit news items or a manuscript for consideration, contact editor Andrea Amato.

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