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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

October 16, 2012

Advocacy Toolkit Available on Consumer Voice Website

In September the Consumer Voice hosted its first ever Advocacy in Action Day. It was an event filled with learning, networking and advocating. The materials from that event are now available as the Consumer Voice releases its Advocacy Toolkit. The toolkit has been created to help advocates, new or seasoned, further enhance and refine their advocacy skills. In the toolkit you’ll find presentations, tip sheets, and an action plan which will help you to take your advocacy to the next level. To access the toolkit, simply click here.

LTCCC Releases Report on Federal Requirements and the Use of Antipsychotic Drugs

The Long-Term Care Community Coalition released a report entitled “Federal Requirements & Regulatory Provisions Relevant to Dementia Care & The Use of Antipsychotic Drugs.” The report provides detailed information on all of the federal regulatory requirements that are relevant to antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes. The information is presented in an easy to use format using the system that nursing home surveyors use to cite for deficiencies, with each of the federal requirements identified by the F-Tag utilized by surveyors.   Each F-Tag description includes a citation to the federal code, the relevant federal guidance and a short narrative on how and why it is relevant in the context of antipsychotic drug use. The report is meant to provide a concise resource on the relevant requirements when issues of antipsychotic drug use arise in nursing homes and to be useful to surveyors, advocates, families and providers.

Access the report here.

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Federal Investigation Finds Aides with Criminal Records Among Those Disciplined

A recent investigation of nursing homes by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General found that background checks flag some, but not all, nursing aides who had records that raised questions about their suitability for work taking care of elderly people. The investigation looked at the cases of 1,611 nurse aides who were disciplined for abuse, neglect and theft at nursing homes in 2010. It found that 19 percent of the aides had prior criminal convictions that would have been discovered by a background check. Charlene Harrington, a nursing professor at the University of California, San Francisco, said, “The first line of defense is to not put someone on the job who’s been convicted of some awful crime.”

Read the full report.

For more information, read the article on Capital Public Radio.

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Go Direct Provides New Resources for Nursing Facilities

People who live in nursing facilities – and their representative payees – must transition to electronic federal benefit payments by March 1, 2013. In order to help administrators comply with this requirement, a new page is now available on GoDirect.org that outlines the steps facilities should take in the remaining months before the deadline. The page also contains information on common situations regarding federal benefits that nursing facilities may encounter and how to help residents convert to direct deposit.

The page features various resources such as:
  • A presentation developed in conjunction with the American Health Care Association (a Go Direct campaign partner)
  • A program overview
  • Newsletter copy for publications to your patients, residents or their families
  •  Documents that outline the most common scenarios for nursing homes
  • Contact list for transitioning federal benefit payments to direct deposit
  • Glossary of relevant key words

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Consumer Voice/NORC Awarded Supplemental Grant for Project on Emergency Preparedness for LTCOPs

The Administration on Aging awarded the Consumer Voice, through the National LTC Ombudsman Resource Center, a supplemental grant for a project on Emergency Preparedness for Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs. The project will gather and identify resources and best practices from around the country, as well as develop model practices, resources, materials, and training for long-term care ombudsman programs regarding emergency preparedness. For more information, contact Lori Smetanka at lsmetanka@theconsumervoice.org.

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Webinar on Integrating Medicare and Medicaid: What's Happening Now, and What It Means for Assisted Living and Other LTSS

Twenty-six states have applied to the federal government to combine Medicaid and Medicare. Under these applications, up to two million dual-eligibles (persons eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare) would be transferred into an integrated Medicaid/Medicare health care system. In most cases, they would receive care through a managed care organization. The changes will be dramatic. The potential benefits are substantial, but so are the potential risks for consumers. At the state and federal levels, consumer advocacy will be vital in assuring that the new systems fulfill their potential and properly protect consumers' rights to quality health care.

Join the Assisted Living Consumer Alliance for a free webinar explaining the dual integration process, with a focus on how the new systems will affect long-term services and supports (LTSS).

Integrating Medicare and Medicaid: What's Happening Now, and What It Means for Assisted Living and Other LTSS
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
2:00pm EST

Register now.

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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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