Friday, December 30, 2011

AALS Aging and the Law Listserv for December 30, 2011

Two New Year treats – a few extra entries this week, and a great rendition of Auld Lang Syne (Scotland – meaning roughly for the sake of old times):

 1. Bifocal, Journal of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, November – December 2011:

 2. Elder Abuse Acute During Holidays:

 3. Discharge Summaries Play Key Role in Keeping Nursing Home Patients Safe:

 4. Why Senior Citizens Should Believe in Santa:

 5. For the Parents, Simple Pleasures:

 6. Video - Three House Republicans Ask IRS to Investigate AARP's Tax-Exempt Status:

 7. Special Learning Inc. Announces the iPad Version of The Communicating Basic Needs App:

 8. Reversal On Health Mandate Came Late For Gingrich And Romney:

 9. Lack Of Autopsies After Elderly Die Conceals Health Flaws:

 10. Video - Trial and Heirs - The $13 Million Cat: Plus, Bob Marley, MLK Jr. and More:$13-million-cat-20111214

 11.    World Giving Index – 2011 - A Global View of Giving Trends (large file):

 12.   The High Cost of Failing Artificial Hips:

 13.   Alzheimer’s – Seth Rogan – Hilarity for Charity – Los Angeles, January 13, 2012:

 14.  The Future of Retirement – Radio Program:

Ann Murphy


Gonzaga University School of Law

(509) 313-3735<>





December 30, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

AALS Aging and the Law Listserv for December 22, 2011

  1. Canada Seeks A Way To Limit Health-Spending Increases:
  2. Plain Speaking At The End of Life:

 3. Still Active, With A Little Help:

 4. 91-Year-Old Yoga Teacher Asks, 'Why Should I Quit?':

 5. Ballet Keeps Polish Seniors on Their Toes:

6. NAELA Files Amicus Curiae Brief in the matter of Lewis v. Alexander (which involves special needs trusts and pooled trusts in particular):

 7. Life Goes On, and On ...

 8. For Medicare, We Must Cut Costs, Not Shift Them:

 9. Chorus Gives Voice to Those With Alzheimer's:

10. Retiring Baby Boomers Give Florida a Cold Shoulder:

 11.  Caregivers (Primarily Women) Long to Have a Voice to Say They Are as Mad as Hell:

Ann Murphy


Gonzaga University School of Law

(509) 313-3735<>




December 22, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

AALS Aging and the Law Listserv for December 21, 2011

Professor Susan Evans Cancelosi of Wayne State is compiling our AALS Aging and the Law Newsletter. Please let her know prior to the AALS meeting in January of any professional activities, job changes, or publications if you'd like them included in the newsletter. Her email is

 1.            A Terrible Choice To Ponder:,0,7448973.column


 2.            Polish Seniors Flock to Spain For Sun, Subsidies:


3.            Playing Politics With Social Security:


4.            Graying Town Builds a Life Beyond Bingo:


5.            Medicare Will Cover Obesity Screening and Treatment:


6.            HSBC Hit With Record Fine For Ripping Off Elderly:


 7.            Lawmakers Seek Passenger Advocate At Airports Following Elderly Women's Claims of Strip Search:


8.            Eleven Retirement Benefit Changes Coming in 2012:


9.            Five States That Are Bad For Retirees:


 10.   A Slow Exodus From Nursing Homes:

Ann Murphy


Gonzaga University School of Law

(509) 313-3735<>



December 22, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 16, 2011

GAO report addresses issues of access to vaccinations for Part D beneficiaries

Here's a summary:

Many of the almost 22 million Medicare beneficiaries age 65 and older who were enrolled in Medicare Part D in 2009 did not receive the routinely recommended vaccinations covered by Part D. CDC national survey data for 2009 show that 11 percent of Medicare beneficiaries age 65 and older had received a shingles vaccination and 53 percent had received a Td (tetanus and diphtheria) vaccination—the routinely recommended vaccinations covered under Part D. Medicare data for 2007 through 2009 show that relatively few Part D beneficiaries received these vaccinations under Part D—5 percent for shingles and less than 1 percent for Td or Tdap (which includes protection against pertussis). These data suggest that beneficiaries either received vaccinations prior to enrolling in Medicare or, once enrolled, used other health coverage or paid out of pocket for these vaccinations.

A multitude of factors affect beneficiaries’ access to routinely recommended Part D-covered vaccinations, particularly the low percentage of physicians and pharmacies that stock the relatively new shingles vaccine. Most physicians do not stock the shingles vaccine due to factors such as the cost of purchasing a supply and Part D billing challenges. More than half of physicians refer beneficiaries to pharmacies to purchase the vaccine—which may require beneficiaries to transport the vaccine back to the physician to be administered. Physicians recommend shingles vaccinations less often than other vaccinations, and even when they recommend them, beneficiaries often decline them. At the same time, due in part to a limited supply of the shingles vaccine, only about one-third of pharmacies nationwide stock it. Beneficiaries’ cost sharing—which averaged $57 for a shingles vaccination in 2009—and challenges with obtaining reimbursement from Part D plans were other reported deterrents to beneficiaries’ obtaining Part D vaccinations.

Many stakeholders—government agencies, advisory bodies, and professional organizations—have raised concerns about the administrative challenges associated with Part D and have recommended actions to improve access to Part D vaccinations. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued guidance on a number of approaches to help address administrative challenges, but stakeholders report that additional steps are needed, including broader use of web-based systems, that could provide real-time access to allow physicians to verify beneficiary coverage and bill Part D plans.

Recommendation: To help improve the ability of Medicare beneficiaries to obtain routinely recommended vaccinations, the Administrator of CMS should explore options and take appropriate steps to address administrative challenges, such as physicians’ difficulty in verifying beneficiaries’ coverage and billing for Part D-covered vaccinations.

Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Access this report.

December 16, 2011 in Medicare | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

AALS Aging and the Law Listserv for December 11, 2011

One of my favorite former students recently lost his grandmother. He posted a picture of her (with him) on Facebook and wrote the following: Rest peacefully, grandma. I'm glad you're not hurting any more. I'll miss you dearly. It just touched me so much, so I wanted to share the picture (with his permission). Thanks, Ben!

1. A Contract to Stop Driving:

2. Surprise: Jobless Rate Falls to 8.6 Percent:

3. The Social Security Spousal Benefit:

4. Elderly Patients Over-Prescribed Anti-Psychotic Drugs, Concerns About Overuse On Nursing Home Patients:

5.  Key Money Issues for Seniors in 2012:

6. New Zealand Court Sentences Assisted Suicide Scientist:

7. Insurance Brokers' Fees Won't Count As A Health Care Expense:

8. 93-Year Old Great-Grandmother Who Sold 1,300 Suicide Kits Pleads Guilty to Tax Charges:

9. Not Ready To Die, But Prepared:,0,3841288.column

10. Geriatric Doctor Doesn't Shy From Tough Talk:,0,7445637.column

11. Joining The Dementia Network, And Finding Gratitude:

12. The Biggest Challenge to Alzheimer's Disease Research:

Ann Murphy


Gonzaga University School of Law

(509) 313-3735

Ben and grandma


December 11, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

AALS Aging and the Law Listserv for December 6, 2011

Member News: Professor Kenney F. Hegland, the James E. Rogers Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Arizona has (with Paul Bennett – Clinical Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Child and Family Law Clinic) just completed a book entitled “A Short and Happy Guide to Being a Lawyer.” He and Arizona attorney Robert Fleming are considering writing a “Short and Happy” book on Elder Law. He is interested in which schools offer an Elder Law course and if members might be interested in such a book. It would be short and reasonably priced ($15). Please let Kenney know if your school offers an Elder Law course and whether you might be interested a book of this type. He is available at:

  1. NJ Guardianship Lawyer and Former Law Office Paralegal Indicted in Alleged $800K Theft from Wards:

 2. Talking Turkey About Aging and Retirement:

 3. The Holiday Reality Check:

 4. Year-End Tax Planning Tips for Seniors:

 5. The Life Reports II:

 6. A Conversation Many Doctors Won’t Have:

7. UK Elderly's Human Rights 'Being Breached' - Study:

 8. No New Homes for Poorest Older Adults:

 9. Video - Growing Old Openly Gay:

 10. Video - Man Learns To Read At 96, Writes Book:\

 11. The Boomers Are Coming: Older People are a Larger Portion of U.S. Population:

Ann Murphy

Professor, Gonzaga University School of Law

December 6, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)