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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

July 31, 2012

Join Friday Morning Collaborative for Webinar on Balancing Incentive Program and Community First Choice Option

Join Friday Morning Collaborative for a webinar entitled “State Progress on Balancing Incentive Program and Community First Choice Option” on August 3rd. The webinar will bring together state Medicaid officials and advocates to highlight progress and offer insights about two opportunities as a part of the Affordable Care Act – the Balancing Incentive Program and the Community First Choice Option. Space is limited so register for this webinar early.

State Progress on Balancing Incentive Program and Community First Choice Option
Friday, August 3, 2012
2:00pm EST

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Diverse Elders Coalition Holds Briefing on New Report "Securing Our Future: Advancing Economic Security for Diverse Elders"

On July 25th, the Diverse Elders Coalition held a briefing to talk about their new report, titled “Securing Our Future: Advancing Economic Security for Diverse Elders.” Their report explores the various obstacles diverse elders face. For example, diverse elders suffer from a lifetime of discrimination which puts them in a more vulnerable position regarding their economic securities. The Coalition discussed how cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security have disproportionate impacts on diverse elders. Going forward, these are some of the most important changes the Coalition identified to improve Social Security for diverse communities in the long run: 1) broadening the concept of “family” from the nuclear version of husband, wife, and children to account for broader types of households – specifically same-sex couples and heterosexual couples who are not married; 2) provide an enhanced minimum benefit for low-wage workers; 3) finalize the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly and use it to calculate Social Security’s cost of living adjustment; 4) improve enforcement of employee versus independent contractor labor classifications; 5) provide a caregiver’s Social Security credit for those caring for dependent relatives; 5) provide paid family leave through Social Security; 6) delink citizenship for eligibility for Social Security Income; 7) remove the tax cap, or raise it to cover 90% of wages from the current $110,000 to $180,000. 

The Coalition said that in considering any future policies or programs aimed at helping older adults reach economic security, policymakers and advocates should consider that policies and programs must address past structural barriers that have often prevented diverse elder communities from benefitting. In addition, policies and programs must be culturally, linguistically and age appropriate so that diverse older adults can have meaningful access to them. Moreover, program participation rates and poverty indicators must be collected by age and race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The Coalition concluded by stating that it is more crucial than ever that communities come together to support solutions that capitalize on the strengths of older adults and encourage independence, foster participation, combat prejudice, and endorse solidarity for everyone.

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CMS Increases Payment Rates to Skilled Nursing Facilities

On Monday, July 30th, 2012, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued notice that the agency will increase payment rates to more than 15,000 Medicare-certified skilled nursing facilities that are paid under the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS). The payment rate for SNFs, which is determined by the price of goods and services used to furnish nursing home care, will have an overall net increase of 1.8% beginning October 1st, 2012. CMS estimates that this payment increase will result in approximately $670 million in additional funding provided to skilled nursing facilities.

For more information, read the document on the Office of the Federal Register.

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Residents' Rights Month Products Now For Sale

The theme for Residents' Rights Month 2012 is, "My Voice, My Vote, My Right" with the goal of encouraging residents' right to vote and participation in the political process. Resources about this year's theme are available on the Residents' Rights Month 2012 page of the Consumer Voice website. Posters, mugs and mouse pads are now for sale in the Consumer Voice store.

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Participate in Consumer Voice's August 3rd "Facebook First Friday"

The first Friday of every month, the Consumer Voice hosts “Facebook First Friday,” a lively and interactive discussion on various long-term services and supports topics; please join us for our next Facebook First Friday, taking place August 3rd on the topic - the Affordable Care Act Decision: how it impacts long-term care residents/consumers and tips for education of long-term care residents/consumers. We encourage you to join the August 3rd Facebook First Friday conversation to share your experiences and ideas on the topic. The conversation is open to the public; anyone can pose questions or comments on our Facebook page.

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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