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‘News Magazine’

Significant Increase to Medicaid Caseload Volume

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Carson City, NV – Mike Willden, Nevada Health and Human Services Director, announced today caseload activity after the October 1, 2013 launch of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is higher than initially projected. Medicaid caseload has increased by 10,483 cases from 330,623 at the end of September to 341,106 at the end of December 2013. Original estimates placed Medicaid caseload at 336,195 by end of 2013.

The increase is due in large part to the individual mandate of ACA which requires all US Citizens to have health insurance coverage in 2014. This requirement has spurred low income Nevadans, who may have always qualified but never applied, to seek coverage from Medicaid. “The significant aspect of this increase is that it does not include the newly eligible individuals, those low-income adults aged 19 to 64 who do not qualify for either TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) or Medicare, whose eligibility for Nevada Medicaid began January 1, 2014,” Willden said. “We will not see the numbers that include the newly eligible population until the January statistics are compiled.”

In anticipation of the increased caseload volume and workload associated with ACA, the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services (DWSS) requested and received approval from the 2013 Legislature to hire 248 additional staff by the end of February 2014, and an additional 162 by December 2014. To date, DWSS has hired 244 new staff and continues to fill vacancies to process and manage the increased volume of Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications.

“Although we anticipated increased growth, the activity has been more vigorous than we initially projected,” said Willden. “The effective communication campaign by Nevada Health Link encouraged Nevadans to take action and seek health insurance coverage.”

Historically, DWSS processes approximately 12,000 applications each month for both Medicaid and the state’s children’s health insurance, Nevada Check Up. However, in December the number of applications tripled and there are now over 38,000 applications in the queue for staff to process.

“It’s true we have a high workload but we also have planned to ramp up for increasing volume by hiring additional staff and streamlining processes to have all hands on deck focused on this priority,” Willden said. Medicaid/Check Up applications generally take 30 to 45 business days to process but the increased volume has caused some to take longer. However, the increased staff and streamlined processes are making a difference. For instance, in September 2013 only 30 percent of Medicaid applications were processed within 15 days, compared to November 2013, when nearly 50 percent of Medicaid applications were processed within 15 days.

Many delays are due to incomplete applications. “We’ve learned many people thought their applications were complete, when in reality, they still needed to enter more information,” Willden said. It is important people complete their applications. “We are appreciative of the assistance provided by several community partners to help individuals apply for Medicaid. This really is a community wide effort to make sure Nevadans are insured,” Willden said.

Prior to the launch of ACA, there were approximately 600,000 Nevadans without health insurance coverage. Nevada had the second highest rate of uninsured at 22 percent of its population compared to a National average of 16 percent. Implementing the ACA, and the decision to expand Medicaid coverage for the first time in Nevada to include low-income adults 19 to 65 with no dependent children, is expected to decrease the uninsured population in Nevada to 10 percent by the end of 2015.

CES Seeks Product Reviews from Boomer Panel


The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an internationally renowned technology tradeshow that brings innovation and tourists flooding into Las Vegas each year. The latest in electronics—from high definition TVs to the smallest microcomputers—are on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center, giving convention goers an exclusive glimpse into the products of tomorrow.

Beyond the flash and glimmer of luxury goods, several companies exhibiting at CES have developed products specifically for consumers over the age of 55. These companies were highlightedat this years convention as a part of the 2014 Silvers Summit—a series of panels dedicating to informing the Baby Boomer generation about new technologies.


“The 50+ IT List,” a panel at this year’s Silvers Summit, brought together local members of AARP and tech innovators for an opportunity to educate the public. In a fun “showdown” style format moderated by Jeff Makowka, Senior Strategic Advisor for AARP, the ten delegates heard presentations from four companies offering new products for both healthcare professionals and the older consumer. The delegates, who earlier in the day walked the convention floor for a hands-on experience with new products, asked questions of the company representatives before voting on which products they liked most.

Local members of AARP review the latest technology.

Local members of AARP review the latest technology.

AARP delegates heard presentations from the following companies

Kindoma – An iOS app that allows grandparents to read storybooks with grandchildren via video chat.

Panasonic – Offering a new app that allows caretakers and relatives to communicate with a loved one as well as displaying important information like a daily schedule.

GreatCall, Inc. – Jitterbug, a cellphone and monitoring system for older people. The phone sends notifications to a caretaker or relative for greater connectivity.

Breezie – A new tablet device for older people that simplifies the visual experience and device operation.

The panel asked several questions of the company representatives, ranging from which platforms the products were available on to security concerns. Of the four companies, Kindoma and Breezie received the most votes from the panel as well as receiving the most applause from the audience.

The votes are in!

The votes are in!

For this local, it was heartwarming to see the openness with which CES, AARP, and the technology companies received the aging community. We hope to see more Boomer/Senior-related events like “The 50+ IT List” not only at CES, but at all similar tradeshows. These products, as well as many more coming in the future, benefit from the advice and criticism of mature, experienced consumers.

HealthSouth Acute Rehabilitation Hospitals help keep people Independent


Rehabilitation may be right for you or a loved one.

“We make house calls.”
An SDLV Health Report

Your grandfather would not recognize today’s hospital system. That is because health care delivery has come a long way in the past 25 years.  Consider that in 1987 the term “continuity of care” was mostly just a concept. Today it is nexus around which health care is provided.

Health care planners now understand that long hospital stays are not good patient care. There was a time when patients stayed in the hospital because the support needed to be discharged back home did not exist. Now a comprehensive array of health services give patients levels of independence that past generations could only hope for.

Rehabilitation hospitals, home health care, palliative care and other community-based services are commonplace today.

Over the years medical professionals have come to understand that optimum health can best be achieved through shorter hospital stays and more support outside the traditional hospital setting.

To meet that goal, HealthSouth’s home evaluation program provides a no-cost in-home consultation by an experienced rehabilitation liaison, helping individuals determine whether they would benefit from rehabilitation therapy.

Rehabilitation may be right for you. Do you or a loved one answer yes to any of the following?

  • Weakness or a difficult recovery following a stroke, injury, surgery or other illness or hospitalization
  • Shortness of breath
  • Problems with walking, dressing, bathing or swallowing
  • Lack of energy
  • Family unable to meet the demands of in-home care

HealthSouth Desert Canyon Rehabilitation Hospital is located at 9175 W Oquendo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89148.


“We often receive phone calls from various Home Health companies requesting that we come out and perform an in-home assessment,” explained Florisa Pascual-Garcia, Desert Canyon’s Senior Rehab Liaison. “They notice one of their patients has a decline in function and not getting better.”  That is when the Healthsouth rehab teams get into gear by sending a liaison to do an evaluation on the patient to determine if acute rehabilitation will help.

The main referral sources are from physician offices, urgent care clinics, home health, assisted living facilities and group homes.

Once the liaison has completed an in-home assessment, patients are assessed by the hospital medical director, a case manager and a team of rehabilitation specialists.  If accepted, Medicare patients are admitted right away, however patients with commercial insurance must get prior insurance authorization.

When the team determines that a rehabilitation admission is necessary, therapies can be scheduled right away. “We can usually get someone started on therapies the next day,” noted Jovy Campbell, a Desert Canyon rehab liaison.

“We provide no-cost transportation,” added Bernice Padua, also a member of the HealthSouth Las Vegas rehab liaison team.

“HealthSouth’s home evaluation program is unique,” says Dijana Sudarevic, HealthSouth’s Marketing Community Liaison.  As the program continues to succeed in helping patients reach maximum functional independence, this model may become common practice.

For further information or questions please contact any of the three HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospitals.

HealthSouth Desert Canyon – Phone: 702-795-5820
HealthSouth Henderson – Phone: 702-939-9422
HealthSouth Las Vegas – Phone: 702-259-3590

Top Innovators to Pitch Tech-Savvy Boomers at CES


Nevada AARP members to judge “The 50+ IT List” product showdown, explore latest technologies at the world’s top consumer tech trade show

Las Vegas, Nevada – What’s on the horizon for tech-savvy baby boomers? A group of Nevada AARP members will explore that question at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Tuesday, January 7 as they embark on special tours of the convention floor and serve as judges for “The 50+ IT list” – a fun, interactive competition between developers pitching their tech innovations in front of a live audience.

Technology is shaping the way that baby boomers connect, conduct business and experience life.  Boomers are also spending more on technology than any other age group – exploring health and fitness innovations, home security and road safety applications, home entertainment and more.   Nevada is currently home to more than one million residents age 50 and over.

Dozens of technology companies exhibiting at CES – including Ford Motor Company, Microsoft, ADT, BMW Group Designworks USA, Qualcomm Life, Lively, GreatCall and Independa – will take part in the event’s Silvers Summit,  showcasing ways they are meeting the challenges to create products and services for the 50+ audience.   An associated product competition – “The 50+ IT List” – a live “showdown” challenging innovators to present their best pitches of hot new products – will be judged by a panel of local AARP members.  “The “50+ IT List” will take place at 1:55 p.m. on Tuesday, January 7 in the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall 2.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity for a great group of Nevadans to not only get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest technologies – but also to evaluate and share feedback on what’s going to be interesting – and most useful – to them,” said Carla Sloan, state director for AARP Nevada.  “The 50+ age group represents a tremendous market for tech innovators – and those innovators should be prepared to hear our members tell it like it is.”

New Adult Day Care Center Opens on West Sahara

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A new adult day care center opened its doors this week. Ray of Sunshine Adult Day Care Center’s objective is to produce a life-enhancing environment where folks can “enjoy each other’s company while (they) have fun and learn,” explained Carole Frye, the day care center’s director.

Located at 7720 West Sahara Suite 104, Ray of Sunshine can accommodate 20 seniors. “We provide support for families and their senior loved ones,” Carole Frye stated. “We aim to provide programs and activities to help edify and motivate our guests.”

Ray of Sunshine provides discussion groups, gentle exercise and arts and crafts, among their activities. “Our goal is to give seniors a chance to get out of the house and experience both mental and social stimulation,” the director noted.

Families will find an amazing group of caregivers who provide loving care and exciting learning activities.

Good candidates for adult day care are seniors who can benefit from the friendship and functional assistance the center offers. “We cater to folks who may be physically or cognitively challenged but do not require 24-hour supervision,” she said. Guests need to be mobile and continent.

If your family has a loved one who could use Ray of Sunshine, Carole asks that you call her at 702-357-7796. You may also click on

Reverse Mortgage Tidbits #2



Clues to help identify Adult Children who have Senior Parents who would benefit from a Reverse Mortgage.


  1. Adult Children who mention they help supplement their parents’ income each month.


  1. Adult Children making monthly transferring funds to their parents’ accounts.


  1. Adult Children who mention they will be tapping their own personal home equity to help support their parents.


  1. Seniors addressing an overdraft cost because they had to cover unexpected expenses due to their needs.


  1. Adult Children asking for information about refinancing their parents home equity to cover expenses for them.


  1. Adult Children cashing in their Cd’s for Senior parents expenses.


  1. Adult Children looking for a loan because their Senior parents are moving in with them.


Reverse Mortgage basics:

62 years or older
No Income qualification
No credit score qualification
Owner Occupied Property
Borrower stays on Title
No monthly mortgage payment to the Bank

George Bus Pix2

George Lagarde
Reverse Mortgage Consultant
NMLS ID# 18581
702-845-4632  Cell

November 9: Living Better Expo


State of Nevada offers FREE Assistance for Health Concerns


It comes as no surprise that the landscape of health care is changing both nationally and at the state and local level . It now seems certain  that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will affect the delivery of health care for everyone.

In these uncertain times, it’s good to know that the State of Nevada can help. The Governor’s Office for Consumer Health (GovCHA) has been a trusted partner since its inception in 1999. When Nevadans need help researching or resolving issues with their health plan, GovCHA is there. Concerns may be in many areas, such as eligibility (for benefits), billing, grievances, or claim denials. “We assist the Consumer by helping them understand their rights and responsibilities regarding health insurance” explained Janise Holmes, LSW MPA, Interim Governor’s Consumer Health Advocate.

“We provide information to Nevadans seeking health care, insurance coverage or prescription drug assistance,” Ms. Holmes added. One example of GovCHA assistance is helping to explain complicated hospital bills. “We also help people understand the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and how the law may (or may not) benefit them.

The Governor’s Office vision is to be Nevada’s premier resource for Consumer Advocacy and health care information, Holmes explained.

You can contact GovCHA for more information by calling 702-486-3587 or by using their toll-free number 1-888-333-1957.

A spot of British ‘Afternoon Tea’ in Las Vegas.

Join the new wave of British pub dining at this wonderful restaurant in the Town Centre. If you want a bargain go to their 3 hour daily Happy Hour. You won’t regret it. Check out their menu and location at 


As a re-rooted Brit in Las Vegas I am always on the look out for good British food in Las Vegas and I recently discovered a real gem with English’s Pub Restaurant in Town Centre. The food there is several notches better than you think it is going to be! Every item is made from scratch from the highest quality ingredients. Their menu represents the more sophisticated kind of food that is now being served in the better British Pubs. In addition to a great selection of British beers they also serve a delicious English Cream Tea, which is something you rarely see in the average American/British Pub. You can find more details of the establishment at their web site 

The restaurant is beautifully designed and warm and friendly with excellent service. The menu contains many British favorites with an emphasis on the slightly more sophisticated fare that has appeared since England joined the European Union. The restaurant is situated in a nice location in the heart of the always enjoyable Town Centre Square situated at 6599 Las Vegas Blvd. South in Las Vegas. Once you have found it I think you will be visiting it on a fairly regular basis. It has an absolutely fabulous Happy Hour from 3.30-6.30 during the week. We enjoyed four pints of premium British beer (that is the stuff that actually has an alcohol content, four mouth-watering and large appetizers and shared a scrumptious desert. The cost was a very modest $40 dollars for everything. The appetizers consisted of a world class cheese plate with all the trimmings, two chip curries (ah, the delicious Indian Tikka sauce,) and a truly superb chip poutine. The desert was a stunningly good sticky toffee pudding served with hand churned ice cream.

Very often a visit to dine in a British pub involves second hand smoke and a noisy game of football on an oversized TV. There is a simple elegance at English’s that offers a quiet simplicity that leaves you free to discover how good the new wave of British pub restaurants really are. The environment, service, beer and food are all exemplary and the Happy Hour prices unbeatable, go check it out.

Re-live a curious element of Las Vegas history at the National Atomic Testing Museum.

Situated at 755 East Flamingo Road in Las Vegas, the National Atomic Testing Museum represents a fascinating trip down memory lane back to a time when not everything that happened in Las Vegas stayed in Las Vegas, They offer an $11 admission for seniors and a variety of other discounts which are listed on their web site at


For any history buffs this museum, which is presented in association with the Smithsonian Institute, is a really interesting excursion into a fascinating era in Las Vegas history. You will see, hear and experience much to inform you within it’s four walls. It won’t take to long to visit and travel through the exhibits but the impact of what you see might stick around in your mind for longer than you expect. It is not only interesting but rather creepy in a low key manner. I was quite intrigued by much of what I learned and saw there. While I had always been aware of Nevada’s role in the testing of Atomic weapons, it was quite another thing to see the details laid out in front of me.

IMG_7131Next time you have guests visiting with you in Las Vegas, think about showing them something a little more historic than just the local Station Buffet. They may well thank you for helping put the Vegas tradition into a little more perspective. While the museum is extremely compact it is also jam packed with fascinating relics from a past era. I had never seen a nuclear bomb casing (I hope it was just a casing!) and it was an disquieting feeling to try and reconcile the size of the unit with the photos and film footage of the devastation that it could create.

We can learn a great deal about our States past history, and I think it is both fascinating and rather troubling to take an hour or so out of of ‘Sin City’ experience to explore our past contribution to the countries security. You will certainly acquire a slightly new perspective on what happened back in those earlier years before Cirque du Soleil were the biggest game in town!

There are a wide range of discounted admissions to the museum and it was a very modest outlay for a highly evocative presentation of Nevada’s contribution to the history of modern warfare. You can get full details of the exhibits and pricing via their web site at