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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

January 15, 2012

Consumer Voice Submits Comments to CMS on Revisions to Nursing Home Survey Process

On Tuesday, January 8th, the Consumer Voice was pleased to submit recommendations to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) in response to CMS’s request for input regarding revisions to the nursing home survey (inspection) process. 

 In late 2012, CMS announced that the agency was looking at how it might improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nursing home survey process. According to CMS, they undertook “this initiative in order to better understand all aspects of the survey process and survey agency operations that create the greatest leverage for effective results, as efficiently as possible.”

 Over a period of roughly two months, the Consumer Voice convened a workgroup of long-term care advocates and requested comments from its network on how to improve and strengthen the nursing home survey process. The recommendations submitted by the Consumer Voice to CMS reflect the quality input received from both the workgroup and our network.

 In these recommendations, the Consumer Voice expressed strong opposition to any changes that would weaken the current nursing home survey process and advocated for a number of changes, including revising scope and severity levels to more accurately reflect resident harm; increasing the size and composition of the sample; interviewing more residents and family members; and lessening survey predictability.

 The Consumer Voice will closely scrutinize any potential actions taken by CMS to revise the survey process and will continue to oppose any proposed changes that would endanger residents’ safety and well-being. To read the Consumer Voice’s recommendations submitted to CMS on this issue, please click here.

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Claypool Steps Down from Dual Roles with the Administration

Last week, Henry Claypool announced that he would be stepping down from his dual roles as ACL Principal Deputy Administrator and the Secretary’s Advisor on Disability Policy at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Assistant Secretary on Aging and Administrator for the Administration on Community Living Kathy Greenlee issued a joint statement saying “Henry has been an indispensable health leader within the Department and the Obama Administration for the past four years. He has brought to his work a passion for advocacy, a sharp understanding of policy and a deep commitment to improving the lives of people with disabilities and older adults.”

For more information, read the statement from Kathy Greenlee.

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CMS to Host Call on National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes

On Thursday, January 31st, CMS will host a National Provider Call entitled “CMS National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes.” CMS has developed a national partnership to improve the quality of care provided to individuals with dementia living in nursing homes. During this National Provider Call, CMS subject matter experts will discuss the mission of the national partnership, its goals, quality measures, and ongoing outreach efforts.

CMS National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes
Thursday, January 31, 2013
1:30pm EST

Former Director of Nursing at Nursing Home Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Misuse of Medication

Last week, the former director of nursing at a California nursing home was sentenced to three years in prison for using psychotropic drugs to subdue residents. She was convicted of inappropriately medicating 23 people, all of whom suffered negative health consequences. The facility’s former medical director, who signed off on the orders to medicate the residents, was sentenced to 300 hours of volunteer service, and the former CEO of the Kern Valley Health District was also sentenced to 300 hours of volunteer service.

For more information, read the article in McKnight’s.

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Information on Flu Prevention Available on NORC's Website

With flu season in full swing, visit NORC’s page on the Flu and Other Health Issues for information and resources. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2013 flu season could last until March, and the best prevention to getting the flu is to get a vaccination. For older adults, the seasonal flu can be very serious. According to flu.gov, each year in the U.S., deaths from flu-related causes range from 3,300 to 48,600 (average of 23,600) and more than 200,000 are hospitalized from serious flu complications. Ninety percent of flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people age 65 and older.

Get more information about flu prevention on NORC’s website.

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Protect the Elderly from Dangerous Bed Rails

THANK YOU to those individuals and groups who have signed our petition which calls for safety standards for adult bed rails. Haven’t signed yet? Please take the time to do so today by clicking here. We have a goal of 1,000 signatures and we need your help to reach that goal!

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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 © 2013.

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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