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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

May 15, 2012

New Program Effectiveness Tool and Webinar Available

NORC is pleased to announce two new program effectiveness resources available on the NORC website.

A webinar titled “Program Effectiveness: Self-Evaluation Tools for Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs” provides an overview of the self-evaluation tool, demonstrates how to use the tool, features presentations from Ombudsmen (state and local) that have used the tool and introduces the new mini-tool. The webinar features Robyn Grant, Director, Advocacy and Outreach (Consumer Voice) and the author of the Self-Evaluation and Continuous Quality Improvement Tools for state and local programs; Victor Orija, Delaware State Ombudsman; and Shannon Gimbel, Ombudsman Program Manager (LLTCO), Denver Regional Council of Governments (CO).

NORC has also created the “Mini-Tool,” which is a condensed version of the original Self-Evaluation Tool that allows for a quick, initial assessment of a state or local program to identify areas for improvement and areas of strength. Once those program areas are identified, the user can move on to the comprehensive evaluation tool for an in-depth assessment of each component. The “mini-tool” is available on the NORC website and the webinar mentioned above introduces the mini-tool.

Completing the Self-Evaluation Tool can help Ombudsmen:

•             Develop an action plan tailored to address the particular needs of his/her program

•             Set goals/priorities for his/her program

•             Establish benchmarks for his/her program

•             Meet the requirements of the Older Americans Act

•             Identify ombudsman program best practices

•             Identify training needs

•             Gain a greater understanding of the ombudsman program if the Ombudsman is new

•             Prepare for a program audit or evaluation

To access the recorded webinar, the new mini-tools, the original Self-Evaluation Tools, an Instructional Brief and additional program effectiveness information, click here.

Please let us know if you use these tools as we would like to hear about your experience with them and if you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Amity Overall-Laib at aoveralllaib@theconsumervoice.org.

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New Case Studies Ranking LTSS Performance Now Available

Last year, the AARP Public Policy Institute, the Commonwealth Fund, and the SCAN Foundation released State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS). This report ranked states’ LTSS systems. New case studies from AARP that reveal what factors distinguished states that performed well from lower-ranked states are now available.

Download case studies and the full Scorecard report and state-specific data at www.longtermscorecard.org.

Read a post highlighting findings from the case studies on the Commonwealth Fund blog.

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Former Consumer Voice Board Member Tess Canja Honored with Award

Nursing home advocate and former Consumer Voice board member Esther “Tess” Canja was presented with the 2011 C. Colburn Hardy Older Advocate Award. After a successful career working on behalf of seniors in Michigan, Tess Canja became a volunteer advocate in 1985 in Florida where she continued to focus her efforts. She was appointed by Governor Chiles, along with C. Colburn Hardy, to assist in the establishment of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and has continued to advocate for seniors through leadership positions at AARP. Currently, she is working as a charter member of TEAM Port Charlotte to call attention to the importance of livable communities, in particular for aging in place

“Tess Canja embodies the spirit of the C. Colburn Hardy Older Advocate Award. Her genuine commitment and boundless energy reflect my father’s vision for volunteer advocacy. She is an inspiration to us all,” said Dorcas R. Hardy, C. Colburn Hardy’s daughter.

For more information, read the press release.

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Consumer Voice Honoree Has Article on FDA Request for Invacare Consent Decree Involving Bed Rails

Gloria Black, honored with the Consumer Voice’s 2011 Public Service Award for her advocacy to prevent bed rail deaths, recently published an article on the FDA’s request for Invacare to negotiate a consent decree over alleged failure to respond to reports of entrapment in its beds “sometimes resulting in death.” The FDA’s investigation alleged eight specific deaths or entrapments related to the manufacturer’s bed rails, but Black said her search of the FDA’s MAUDE database brought up approximately 70 deaths allegedly associated with entrapment or asphyxiation on Invacare bed rails since 1999.

Among 10 observations resulting from its investigations, the FDA said Invacare had not taken adequate corrective action in response to reports of entrapment and deaths and had not reported devices or malfunctions in devices that may have caused death or contributed to a death or serious injury.

Black’s article appears in the May 1 issue of Biomedical Safety & Standards.

Access the article.

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Legislation in California Could Deregulate Nursing Homes

The California Department of Public Health (DPH) presented a legislative proposal that would destroy California’s supervision of nursing home care and abolish reforms created by the Legislature over the last 30 years. The plan would eliminate all State timelines for investigating nursing home complaints and revoke a California law that required DPH to perform licensing inspections of nursing homes.

Most alarming, the provision would repeal a requirement that DPH start investigating nursing home complaints that present an imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm to a resident within 24 hours. In addition to this, the provision would repeal the requirement that DPH begin investigating other complaints against nursing homes within 10 working days.

For more information about this legislative proposal in California, read the report on CANHR’s website.

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Omnicare to Pay $50 Million Settlement

 Omnicare, a Kentucky-based drug company, will pay $50 million to settle allegations that it incorrectly distributed drugs for nursing home patients without a doctor’s signed prescription since 2007. This settlement will be the second largest nationally in the history of the Controlled Substances Act regulating drugs.   The civil penalty resolves an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration asserting that Omnicare improperly dispensed addictive painkillers and other drugs (sometimes without prescriptions) to patients at nursing homes and other health-care facilities.

“Doctors need to be involved in the key care decisions regarding patients involving providing these controlled substances,” said US Attorney Steven Dettelbach.

For more information, read the article in Bloomberg Businessweek.

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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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