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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

November 6, 2012

Consumer Voice to Host a Post-Elections Facebook Chat

If you're interested in how the election results might impact consumers of long-term care, join the Consumer Voice for a free, live chat via Facebook on Thursday, November 8 from 12:00-2:00 pm ET. We’ll be breaking down what the election results could mean for the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid!

To join in the discussion, go to our Facebook page and press the "like" button in the upper right corner of your browser (near our organization's name). If you already have a Facebook account, you can get started right away, otherwise it will prompt you to create one. You'll see our questions right there on the main page. Please feel free to jump in and participate!

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Voting Rights Violations in Nursing Homes

A recent article on ProPublica highlighted how some residents’ voting rights are violated in nursing homes. A survey report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services showed that over the past several years, dozens of nursing homes have been cited for violating residents’ voting rights. Cases were reported in Alaska and California where residents were denied the opportunity to register to vote. Consumer Voice’s Public Policy Director, Robyn Grant, was quoted in the article: “There’s a sense that you go into a nursing home and have no more rights. Many residents take their right very seriously and are proud to have voted in every Presidential election.”

Read the full article on ProPublica.org.

New Resources Available on the NORC Website

The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) has several new resources now available on its website that may be useful to ombudsmen and other advocates.

Issues Pages:

UPDATED Flu and Other Health Issues: With the 2012-13 flu season underway, ombudsmen, residents and their families can stay up to date with the latest health recommendations for long-term care facilities through published items on this site.

NEW! Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI): Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI) is an initiative undertaken by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid studies to expand improvement activities in nursing homes. This page contains resources to help better understand the Quality Assurance Performance Improvement initiative.

NEW! Voting: Resources and information about the involvement of Long-Term Care Ombudsmen Programs in advocating and aiding in the voting process of long-term care residents

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Remembering Advocate Roy Turner

The Consumer Voice is saddened by the passing of Roy Turner. Roy was a trial attorney dedicated to the fight against nursing home and assisted living abuse and neglect. For over 26 years, he advocated for the elderly and injured and resolved hundreds of cases. Roy was a dedicated supporter and member of the Consumer Voice. He was a strong leader in his community for long-term care residents in Virginia and nationwide.

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The National Council on Disability Wants to Hear About Your Voting Experience

The National Council on Disability (NCD) along with the National Disability Rights Network and EIN SOF Communications, Inc. is collecting information about voters’ experiences. Fill out this brief, open-ended questionnaire following your vote. NCD and its partners will collect information about your experiences, including any physical, attitudinal, or other barriers you may have faced when attempting to exercise your right to vote. NCD will issue a report based on the findings of the questionnaire in early 2013.

Access online and hard copy versions of the survey on NCD’s website.

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Long-Term Care Residents and Voting

Among residents of long-term care facilities, studies estimate that one-third to three-quarters of residents who want to vote do vote and nearly all require an absentee ballot. Many residents require assistance when voting, and voting by absentee ballot is among the most common methods to enfranchise the disabled, but absentee balloting is also one of the most common methods of voter fraud. A recent article by Jason Karlawish on newsobserver.com provides information on the issue. Some states have strict rules about who can help residents complete their ballots. In North Carolina, employees of hospitals or long-term care facilities are forbidden from assisting residents to complete their ballots, and only the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian can provide assistance. One solution has been “mobile polling” which is a process where elections officials go to long-term care facilities, provide assistance to the residents who want to vote and then take the completed ballots back to be counted.

For more information about long-term care and voting, read the article on newsobserver.com.

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CMA Holding Webinar on Results of the 2012 Election

The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. is holding a free webinar on Wednesday, November 14th entitled “What 2012 Election Means for Medicare.” Changes will be proposed for Medicare regardless of who wins the election. What those changes look like – and the probability they’ll be implemented – will be influenced by the result of both the presidential and congressional elections. This webinar will look at the short and long-term effect and consequences of the 2012 election on Medicare as well as the Affordable Care Act.

What 2012 Election Means for Medicare
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
2:00pm EST

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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