Spread the word » Facebook Twitter

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

June 5, 2012

State Medicaid Integration Tracker Now Available from NASUAD

A new tool called the State Medicaid Integration Tracker is now available from the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD). The State Medicaid Integration Tracker focuses primarily on state actions in managed care for people who receive Medicaid-funded LTSS and on state initiatives relating to services and costs of services for people who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. The Tracker also includes updates on states participating in the Balancing Incentives Payment Program (BIPP), states developing or implementing Medicaid State Plan amendments under 1915(i), and states pursuing the Communities First Choice Option under 1915(k).

For more information on the Tracker, visit NASUAD’s website.

Back to top

HHS Announces Funding to Help People Access LTSS

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new $25 million grant, through the Affordable Care Act, to help states strengthen and develop their ability to help seniors and people with disabilities access home and community-based long-term services and supports. This funding will support Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) in almost every state for the next one to three years.

“We are pleased to make it easier for Americans to get the care and support they need where they need it. This opportunity, supported by the new health care law, will help states continue to improve their long-term service and support systems,” said Secretary Sebelius.

For more information, read the news release on HHS’s website.

Back to top

CMS Announces Partnership to Improve Dementia Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care, an initiative to ensure appropriate care and use of antipsychotic medications for nursing home patients. This partnership – among federal and state partners, nursing homes and other providers, advocacy groups and caregivers – has set a national goal of reducing use of antipsychotic drug in nursing home residents by 15 percent by the end of 2012. CMS and industry advocacy partners plan to achieve this goal of improved care by enhanced training, increased transparency and alternatives to antipsychotic medication.

CMS discussed the new initiative in a press conference last week. Advocate Emily Chewning spoke at the press conference, telling a personal story about her father who suffered from Alzheimer’s for 15 years and was treated with antipsychotic drugs. Advocate Claire Curry also spoke at the press conference, praising CMS’ efforts in reducing the use of antipsychotics.

Read Emily Chewning’s comments made at the press conference.
Read Claire Curry’s comments made at the press conference.

For more information, read the press release from CMS and read the article about the initiative and press conference in the Boston Globe.

Back to top

HHS Live Streaming Senior's Health Townhall on June 11th

The US Department of Health and Human Services is holding a Senior’s Health Townhall event on June 11th at the White House. This interactive, open dialogue with stakeholder groups and members of the media will highlight what the Affordable Care Act means for seniors and caregivers. Participants include White House officials Kathleen Sebelius, Kathy Greenlee and Jonathan Blum. The event will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov/live and www.hhs.gov/live. HHS will also be live tweeting the event using hashtag #Seniorshealth.

Senior’s Health Townhall
Monday, June 11, 2012
10:00am – 11:30am EST

Back to top

WV Resident Council Confronts Corporate and Makes Changes in Facility

Consumer Voice recently received this story from West Virginia State LTC Ombudsman Suzanne Messenger:

About a month ago, a West Virginia local long-term care ombudsman received a complaint from a nursing home that is part of a multi-state chain. Residents and families were upset because they had received a letter from management telling them they had to remove all items that sat directly on the floor, take everything off of their walls and doors and in the future, items could only be displayed on a bulletin board provided by the facility.   The LLTCO went to the facility and spoke with the administrator. She said as much as she did not want to send that letter, her hands were tied, as these changes were coming down from corporate and were supposedly based on the Life Safety Code (what the fire marshals use to inspect facilities). We had not seen similar changes in other facilities around the state so we did some digging. The local ombudsman program director spoke with the state fire marshal’s office, who explained some of the applicable provisions of the Life Safety Code but said he did not think the LSC could be blamed for the draconian changes proposed by the facility. He also was not aware of any facility ever being cited because of resident decorations. Also, looking at federal and state regulations, we found several violations we felt the facility could be cited for if the changes were instituted, particularly in the area of “Quality of Life” and “Self-Determination and Participation.” 

We received word that a corporate representative wished to speak with us about the changes. The LLTCO was unavailable the day he was at the facility, so the local ombudsman program director travelled to meet him in person and the program attorney participated in the meeting over the phone. The corporate representative explained his stance and made it clear in so many words that he did not intend to back down. He said these changes were being instituted in all thirty states where the corporation owns facilities. With that information, the program attorney contacted the National Ombudsman Resource Center and asked the staff to contact other state ombudsmen to see if they were encountering similar changes, and if so, what were they doing about it? Interestingly, not a single other state was aware of these changes. 

The local ombudsman program director met with members of the Resident Council and they were up in arms. The Council had several very well-spoken members so local ombudsman program director encouraged them to meet with the corporate representative themselves. We did some research and the LLTCO provided them with copies of pertinent state and federal regulations. Armed with this information, the Resident Council met with the corporate representative on their own.

A few days later, we received word that he had in fact backed down! He rescinded all of the proposed changes except one rule that storage bins could not be directly placed on the floor. The residents were elated! They had identified a problem and went all the way to corporate to get it fixed. We were elated! We do a lot of direct advocacy work for residents, but it’s our goal to empower as many residents as possible to advocate for themselves. And in this situation they sure did!

Back to top

Are you attending the Turning Point 2012 Conference in Chicago, IL?

If you are attending Turning Point 2012 (National Conference on Volunteering and Service) in Chicago, June 18-20, please contact Teresa Teeple, Ombudsman Specialist/ Volunteer Coordinator, Area Agency on Aging, Region One (AZ), as she would like to connect with other Ombudsmen responsible for volunteer management during the conference. Her contact information is teresa.teeple@aaaphx.org or (602) 241-6132.

Back to top

How are you recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) June 15th?

The 7th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is Friday, June 15, 2012 and organizations and individuals are encouraged to raise awareness about elder abuse by wearing purple and hosting elder abuse awareness activities. The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) established WEAAD to raise awareness about elder abuse across the world and encourage collaboration among agencies, organizations and communities to prevent elder abuse. To help your organization raise awareness about elder abuse the INPEA created a free, downloadable Elder Abuse Awareness Community Guide Tool Kit and other resources available here.

The Ohio Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman plans to recognize WEAAD by hosting a two-part Facebook chat with Kathy Greenlee, Administrator of the Administration for Community Living and Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To join the conversation about efforts in Ohio and nationally to increase public awareness and reporting of elder abuse click here.

The NORC website has several resources regarding elder abuse, neglect and exploitation available including a link to the video and training resources created by the Connecticut Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program titled “Voices Speak Out Against Retaliation,” examples of LTCOP activities related to addressing abuse, neglect and exploitation in long-term care facilities and a new National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) fact sheet titled "Abuse of Residents of Long Term Care Facilities." New materials are posted periodically, please click here to access this information.

If your program plans to host an event or activity to recognize WEAAD, please let us know by emailing aoveralllaib@theconsumervoice.org.

Back to top

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.

You have received this e-mail through your subscription to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care's e-mail list.

Recipients of this e-mail include all state long-term care ombudsmen, Consumer Voice members and other individuals who have subscribed to our e-mail list.

If you did not subscribe, or would no longer like to receive e-mail updates, unsubscribe here.

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