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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

January 10, 2011

Iowa Law School Offers Class on Alzheimer's Disease and the Law

The University of Iowa College of Law is holding a colloquium this spring to examine the challenges posed by America’s rapidly aging population and the increase in those affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.  

"Americans over the age of 65 now make up nearly 13 percent of the total population, and their number is expected to more than double by 2050," says Josephine Gittler, professor of Law at UI. "And Iowa has one of the largest percentages of elderly residents in the country."
The colloquium will feature some of the country’s top experts and will be available to the public via the internet.

For more information, read the full article.

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United States Files Suit Against National Chain of Hospice Providers

The United States government has filed a whistleblower suit against AseraCare Hospice.  AseraCare Hospice is a for-profit business with approximately 65 hospice providers in 19 states.  In its complaint, the government alleges that AseraCare violated the False Claims Act when it misspent millions of taxpayer dollars intended for Medicare recipients who have a prognosis of six months or less to live and need hospice care.

While elderly patients may qualify for a variety of other medical services paid by Medicare, for-profit hospice companies like AseraCare are entitled to receive Medicare dollars only for Medicare recipients who are terminally ill. “Medicare benefits, including the hospice benefits, are intended only for those individuals who are appropriately qualified,” said Joyce White Vance, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.

The Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, Daniel R. Levinson, commented “We must protect the public welfare and tax-funded benefits programs.” “Congress intended that the hospice care benefit be used during the last several months of an individual’s life.  We will continue to recover misspent Medicare funds from companies that abuse the hospice benefit."

For more information, read the full article.

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Read AOA's FY 2010 Report

The Administration on Aging shared its FY 2010 report to Congress in late December.  Read the full report on the Consumer Voice website.  The section concerning the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program begins on page 39.

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New Online Handbook Helps Courts with Guardianship Oversight

The ABA Commission on Law and Aging has announced a new online resource to help courts train and supervise volunteers who go out into the community, visit individuals under guardianship, determine whether guardians need assistance and report back to the judge. 

Updating a 20 year old groundbreaking manual by Legal Counsel for the Elderly, Inc. of AARP, the Commission has produced a four-part electronic Handbook.  The manual guides court staff step by step in developing a volunteer guardianship monitoring and assistance program, recruiting and training volunteers, and compiling community information volunteers and guardians will need.

View the guide on the
Consumer Voice’s website.

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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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