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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

December 6, 2011

Consumer Voice's Jessica Brill Ortiz Speaks to GWU's Amnesty International Chapter

Consumer Voice Program Manager Jessica Brill Ortiz was the guest speaker at The George Washington University Amnesty International Chapter’s “Dinner with an Activist” last week. Student attendees were eager to learn about the Consumer Voice’s history, mission, structure and work. There was lively discussion about long-term services and supports issues and the importance of education, empowerment and advocacy to improve consumers’ quality of care and life as well as staff’s ability to provide quality, consumer-directed care.

The dinner was an excellent opportunity to teach students, many of whom are seeking careers at non-governmental organizations, about the challenges many long-term services and supports consumers and advocates face and the parallels between Residents’ Rights under the Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987 and the rights of all individuals in the U.S. as stated in the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted in 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations). We addressed the frustration that can occur when fighting for the same issues day after day and the importance of keeping the consumer/affected individuals at the forefront of advocacy work and discussed opportunities for innovation, engagement, empowerment, activism and improvement.

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Children also at Risk from Psychotropic Drugs

Last week, when the Senate Special Committee on Aging focused attention on the misuse of antipsychotic drugs in elderly people with dementia, another Senate hearing heard testimony about high rates of psychotropic drug use in foster children. The Government Accountability Office noted the potential health risks, saying “no evidence supports the concomitant use of five or more psychotropic drugs in adults or children, yet hundreds of both foster and nonfoster children in the five states (studied by the GAO) had such a drug regimen.” For more information, visit the GAO’s website.

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National Center on Senior Transportation Announces Online Dialogue

From November 28 to December 16, the National Center on Senior Transportation will host an online dialogue for individuals and organizations from the aging network and transportation industry. The dialogue, entitled NCST Talks – Planning the Transportation Needs of Older Adults, is an opportunity to share experiences, methods, strategies, and recommendations related to planning for the transportation needs of older adults. The dialogue will give the aging network, older adults, advocates, volunteers, policy makers, public and private transportation providers, federal, state, and local transportation agencies, human services agencies, and municipal planning organizations the chance to submit, comment on, and rate ideas related to planning for senior-friendly transportation services.

To join the dialogue, go to http://ncsttalks1.ideascale.com/

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National Council on Aging Holds Webinar on the Office of Financial Protection of Older Americans

The Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans, an office within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is tasked with improving the financial decision-making of seniors and preventing unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices targeted at seniors.

NCOA invites you to learn more about the Office in a webinar on December 7th from 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET entitled CFPB’s Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans: Partnering with the Aging Network to Safeguard Seniors. The webinar will discuss: financial challenges older adults face, the role of CFPB in protecting older consumers and resources you can share with consumers. Speakers include: Sandra Nathan, Senior Vice President, Economic Security, NCOA and Hubert H. ("Skip") Humphrey III, Assistant Director, Office of Older Americans, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

To register for the webinar, visit NCOA’s website.

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Friday Morning Collaborative Holds Webinar on Involvement of State Aging and Disability Advocates in Duals Integration

Approximately 9 million low-income seniors and younger persons with disabilities are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid (often referred to as “duals”).

Many states are pursuing efforts to better coordinate care and potentially lower cost for this population. Earlier this year, 15 states were awarded design contracts of up to $1 million each to develop service delivery and payment models that integrate care. More broadly, 37 states and the District of Columbia have submitted letters of intent to pursue opportunities for integration announced by CMS in July.

This webinar, on December 9th from 2:00pm-3:30pm ET, will provide a basic overview of the duals population, activity within states, opportunities and concerns, and stakeholder involvement. Speakers will include: Edo Banach (CMS Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office), Hilary Dalin (National Council on Aging), Kevin Prindiville (National Senior Citizens Law Center) and Mary Lou Breslin (Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund).

Space is limited, so register early and share lines when possible. The webinar will be recorded and posted online.

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Center for Medicare Advocacy Holds Webinar on Observation Status and its Impact on SNF Coverage

This webinar, on December 14 from 2:00pm-3:00pm ET, will provide updates on the nationwide problem of observation status in acute care hospitals. Medicare beneficiaries are placed in hospital beds and receive medical and nursing care, diagnostic tests, treatments, medications, and food for multiple days, but they are called outpatients, not inpatients. The result is a huge financial burden, particularly for beneficiaries who need post-hospital care in a skilled nursing facility and are told they did not have a qualifying three-day in-patient hospital stay. CMS' refusal to alter this policy has led advocates to litigate the issue, which will also be discussed. The webinar will be presented by Center for Medicare Advocacy Policy Attorney Toby Edelman, Attorney Terry Berthelot, and Litigation Director Gill Deford. Issues to be discussed include: a new Federal Class Action lawsuit filed to challenge this practice, the scope of the problem and its causes, how to pursue an administrative appeal, and strategies for legislative and administrative advocacy.

The webinar costs $99. Register here.

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About The Gazette

The Gazette is a weekly e-newsletter, published by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care and the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. If you do not wish to continue receiving this publication, please unsubscribe. Your contributions and comments are welcome and should be sent to swells@theconsumervoice.org. Copyright © 2011.

The Consumer Voice is the leading national voice representing consumers in issues related to long-term care, helping to ensure that consumers are empowered to advocate for themselves. We are a primary source of information and tools for consumers, families, caregivers, advocates and ombudsmen to help ensure quality care for the individual. The Consumer Voice's mission is to represent consumers at the national level for quality long-term care, services and supports.

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