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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

March 6, 2012

ALCA Will Hold Webinar on March 9th About National Survey of Residential Care Facilities

The Assisted Living Consumer Alliance (ALCA) is holding a webinar, National Survey of Residential Care Facilities: Recent Findings and Plans for the Future, on Friday, March 9th. The webinar will focus on two topics: the federal government’s groundbreaking study of assisted living/residential care and plans to reconfigure ongoing surveys of long term care providers. The speakers will present findings of the “2010 National Survey of Residential Care Facilities,” the first nationally representative study of assisted living residents and facilities.  They will also discuss a planned national survey of assisted living and residential care communities.

National Survey of Residential Care Facilities: Recent Findings and Plans for the Future
Friday, March 9, 2012
2:00-3:00pm EST

For more information, visit ALCA’s website.

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Register Now for Consumer Voice's Guardianship Webinar Series

The Consumer Voice is hosting a two-part webinar series designed to give advocates, ombudsmen, consumers, families, providers and others a deeper understanding of guardianships, financial powers of attorney and advance care planning. Participants will gain a basic understanding of these three important legal protections and how best to work with and support an individual who has a guardian or agent. Suggestions and approaches for handling challenging situations will also be covered.

The series is designed for both beginners and those with advanced knowledge! 

Register Now!

Series Topics and Dates:

•             Guardianship, Financial Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Planning: What You Need to Know (Beginner/Refresher) - March 13, 2012; 3:00 - 4:30pm ET

Presenters: Erica Wood, Lori Stiegel and Charles Sabatino from the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, and Beverley Laubert, Ohio State Long-Term Care Ombudsman

These experts will provide an overview of guardianship, financial powers of attorney, and advance care planning. For each of these topics, speakers will present the fundamentals, explain the individual’s rights, and discuss the roles and responsibilities of guardians, agents, nursing home or assisted living providers and staff, ombudsmen, and consumer advocates.

•             Guardianship, Financial Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Planning: Taking it to the Next Level (Advanced) - April 4, 2012; 3:00 - 4:30pm ET

What do you do when a nursing home resident with unclear decision-making capacity disagrees with her daughter who is the agent? What happens when a guardian wants to make a decision that the resident adamantly opposes? Members of a panel representing the legal community, advocacy and providers will discuss how to approach and resolve these and other difficult situations.

Consumer Advocates: $35 per session or $65 for the series
Providers: $99 per session or $175 for the series
Recording (mp3 by e-mail): $15 per session or $25 for the series

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Archived Version of Webinar About The Transformation of Long-Term Services and Supports Now Available

The archived version of a webinar conducted live on February 14 is now available. In this webinar, experts from the AARP Public Policy Institute, Health Management Associates, and the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities discussed findings from their new report, On the Verge: The Transformation of Long-Term Services and Supports. Specifically, they discuss:

LTSS Transformations in the States: An Overview – Wendy Fox-Grage, AARP Public Policy Institute

Medicaid LTSS Transformations – Jenna Walls, Health Management Associates

State Aging and Disability Agency Budgets and Reforms – Martha Roherty, National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities

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New Beers List of Inappropriate Drugs for the Elderly Is Published

The American Geriatrics Society has updated the Beers Criteria, a list of medications considered by experts to be potentially inappropriate and high-risk for the elderly in nursing homes and other care settings. Studies have shown that drugs on the Beers list have a strong association with problems such as delirium, gastrointestinal bleeding, falls, and fractures, as well as death, and that many have limited effectiveness in older adults. The criteria are intended as a guideline to use in deciding whether a drug’s benefits outweigh its risks and whether non-drug therapies would be better. The AGS says that in spite of more than 500 studies showing the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use in long-term care and other settings, “many PIMs continue to be prescribed and used as first-time treatment for the most vulnerable older adults.”

See the list.

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CMS Should Improve Efforts to Monitor Implementation of the Quality Indicator Survey

CMS has commissioned three studies to evaluate the QIS-based survey process but does not routinely monitor the extent to which the objectives established for the QIS are being met. CMS does not have the means to routinely monitor the extent to which the QIS is helping improve the survey process as intended. Such routine, ongoing monitoring would be consistent with federal internal control standards and could include the use of performance goals and measures. CMS does have access to some data, such as the amount of time surveyors have spent inspecting facilities that could be used to help develop performance goals and measures.

CMS has taken some steps to monitor and facilitate states’ implementation of the QIS-based routine survey, but CMS’s efforts are not systematic. As part of the agency’s efforts to monitor states’ implementation, CMS primarily uses quarterly teleconferences with state survey agency officials to obtain information on the extent to which each state has completed training all its surveyors to use the QIS. However, states may not always participate in the teleconferences, and those that do may not provide complete information on their progress. As a result, the information CMS obtains through its monitoring of states’ progress may be incomplete. Although CMS reported it plans to develop a more systematic process for monitoring states’ implementation progress, it has not established a time line for doing this.

For more information, read the Government Accountability Office’s full report.

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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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