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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

May 29, 2012

Webinar on LTSS in a Managed Care Environment

The University of California, San Francisco’s Center for Personal Assistance Services with the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) is holding a webinar for advocates interested in influencing the future of long-term services and supports as states increasingly look to the managed care model. This free webinar will feature experts from the NSCLC and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.

Long-Term Services and Supports in a Managed Care Environment: Advocacy Strategies for Increasing Independence
Monday, June 11, 2012
2:00pm - 3:00pm EST

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AoA Announces Intent to Promulgate Regulations on the Ombudsman Program

The Administration (AoA) has announced that it intends to promulgate rules implementing title VII, chapter 2 of the Older Americans Act (OAA), as amended, i.e., the Ombudsman Program. Since 1992, the functions of this program have been defined in 42 U.S.C. 3058g, but regulations have not been promulgated for any title VII program. In the absence of regulatory guidance, there has been significant variation in the interpretation and implementation of these provisions among states. Recent inquiries from states and an AoA compliance review in one state have highlighted the difficulty of determining state compliance in carrying out the program functions.

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Consumer Voice Members Support Amendment to FDA Safety and Innovation Act

The Consumer Voice would like to extend a special thank you to its members for reaching out to their elected officials last week in support of the Kohl-Grassley-Blumenthal amendment to S. 3187, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.

This crucial amendment would have required informed consent to administer antipsychotic drugs to elderly patients with dementia, who are placed at an increased risk of death and medical complications (such as strokes, heart attacks and falls) when placed on these medications. Although the FDA has issued warnings expressing these serious risks, antipsychotics continue to be administered frequently to nursing home residents diagnosed with cognitive impairments and behavioral symptoms.

Despite the tremendous outreach efforts of advocates across the country and the commendable leadership of Senators Grassley (R-Iowa), Blumenthal (D- Conn.) and Kohl (D-Wis.), the amendment was unable to achieve the unanimous consent required for consideration, failing by merely one vote. Nonetheless, it greatly succeeded in raising public awareness about the risks of placing dementia patients on antipsychotic medications.

Read the official press release from Senator Grassley’s office concerning the proposed amendment.

The Consumer Voice is committed to ending the misuse of antipsychotics drugs as chemical restraints. For more information, please visit the Consumer Voice website.

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Advocates in NC Push to Stop Improper Use of Antipsychotic Drugs

Consumer Voice Board Member Bill Lamb, along with other advocates, was mentioned in an article in The News & Observer in North Carolina about stopping improper use of antipsychotic drugs for seniors. Lamb with state nursing home ombudsman Carmelita Karhoff and Bob Konrad are pushing a statewide effort to deal with improper prescriptions for people in long-term care. They are encouraging “person-centered care” which puts primary attention on the needs of the residents, rather than focusing on the staff getting their tasks done.

The Consumer Voice has put medication issues with older people at the top of the policy agenda this year.

For more information, read the full article in The News & Observer.

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Department of Housing and Urban Development Re-Issues Bed Bug Guidelines

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has re-issued a revised version of its bed bug guidelines for assisted living facilities. The guidelines, entitled “Guidelines on Addressing Infestations in HUD-Insured and Assisted Multifamily Housing” (Notice H 2012-5) recommend that the facility develop a Pest Management Plan to prevent bed bug infestations, encourage residents to take an active role in detecting and preventing bed bugs and train its staff to spot bed bugs during routine inspections.

For more information, read the complete guidelines on HUD’s website. (Click the link, and then scroll down to Notice #12-05.)

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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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National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care - 1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 425 - Washington, DC 20036 - telephone: (202) 332-2275 - fax: (202) 332-2949 - info@theconsumervoice.org