The Catalyst

Senior Services News
Tuesday, November 16, 2021



A Future Reimagined

At CEO Summit 2022: A Future Reimagined, we will address one of the biggest issues facing our sector: the ongoing workforce shortage. Labor economist Ron Hetrick and PHI president Jodi Sturgeon will join us as keynote speakers in Tampa to help us think strategically about the practical application for the direct care workforce and offer real-world solutions to help address current workforce trends. We’ll also have a panel discussion with your colleagues who will share innovative ways they’re confronting the workforce shortage.

Don’t forget: the deadline to register and save with our discounted rate for CEO Summit 2022 is this Friday, November 19. Register now for CEO Summit 2022 and book your room at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel.



CMS Updates

Funding Opportunity

  • Wells Fargo Community Giving Grants
    Funding for nonprofit organizations in the areas of housing affordability, financial health, small business growth, and the environment. Application Deadline:  On-going opportunity Sponsor: Wells Fargo


Advocacy Update

Build Back Better Act Awaits Official Cost Estimate, Final Votes

The timeline for passing the Build Back Better Act remains uncertain. It is unlikely the House will be able to advance the legislation until a full cost analysis from the Congressional Budget Office is released, likely after Thanksgiving.  Because there will likely be changes made as the bill then advances through the Senate, Lutheran Services in America will continue to advocate to keep key provisions that would help address the acute workforce shortage and expand access to home and community-based services including:

  • $150 billion to incentivize states to deliver or improve home- and community-based service programs, including through increasing wages and benefits for direct care workers;
  • $1 billion for a grant program funding strategies to recruit and retain direct care workers; and
  • the provisions of the WORK NOW Act to create a $50 billion grant program supporting nonprofits in paying wages and benefits.

Please join us in this effort through our advocacy alert.

Biden Administration Issues Vaccine Mandates for Workers

Following the release on November 5 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of vaccine mandates with a final compliance deadline of January 4, 2022, for facilities governed by the Medicare and Medicaid Conditions of Participation (CoPs) and employers with 100 or more employees, respectively, Lutheran Services in America has published detailed summaries of the mandates and what they mean for members of our network. We encourage you to review both our CMS and OSHA summaries.

It is important to note that the CMS mandate takes precedence over the OSHA mandate: if a given facility meets the eligibility requirements for both, it should follow the CMS mandate.  Also, subsequent to the filing of multiple lawsuits objecting to the OSHA mandate, that rule is under an emergency stay, with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ordering that OSHA “take no steps to implement or enforce” the mandate “until further court order.”  Nevertheless, OSHA has urged providers subject to that mandate to plan as though it will take full effect and be prepared to meet the first compliance deadline of December 5.  While multiple lawsuits have also been filed against the CMS mandate, no emergency stay or injunction has yet been issued on that rule.  Lutheran Services in America will be submitting official comments on both mandates and we encourage you to share your questions or concerns with us to inform those comments by emailing Sarah Dobson, Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, at



The purpose of this digest is to provide current news and resources to Lutheran Senior Services organizations. The Catalyst is disseminated every other week and includes relevant reports, educational opportunities, policy updates and other announcements. Ashley Washington is currently out on maternity leave, and will return in early 2022. Until then, the Catalyst will be distributed by Alesia Frerichs. To add colleagues to the distribution list or to unsubscribe from the Catalyst, send an email to