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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

February 26, 2013

New Mexico House Joint Memorial 36 Passes Unanimously Out of House Health, Government, and Indian Affairs Committee

As a part of our Consumers for Quality Care, No Matter Where initiative, the Consumer Voice worked with New Mexicans advocating for a legislative resolution to study the need for ombudsman program services in the home setting and what it would take to expand the long-term care ombudsman program. This resolution, House Joint Memorial 36, passed unanimously out of the House Health, Government and Indian Affairs committee last week. It was a great first victory towards getting HJM 36 passed. Jackie Cooper of AARP read a moving statement from Julie Sanchez, a consumer who receives services in her home. Committee Members expressed statements of support, including "desperate need," "many want to stay home and not in a nursing facility," "many are served by other programs, and expansion is needed," "keeps people out of the hospital and saves money." In addition, the HJM 36 was also heard on the House Floor last Friday and received a unanimous Do Pass! Again, these have been great first steps towards getting the Memorial passed, and we truly appreciate everyone who took action and contacted the Committee Members with a statement of support.

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Consumer Voice Seeking Individuals with Experience with Arbitration Agreements

We are examining the impact of nursing home and assisted living facility arbitration agreements on residents and families. If you or a family member has experience with an arbitration agreement, please contact Marybeth Williams at mwilliams@theconsumervoice.org or 202-332-2275 ext.225

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Consumer Voice Thanks Senators for Their Efforts to Improve Safety of Bed Rails

On February 21st, the Consumer Voice released a statement thanking Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Al Franken (D-MN) for their efforts to improve the safety of bed rails for long-term care consumers. As you may know, these five senators wrote to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on February 12th, 2013 urging the agency to address the safety concerns with adult portable bed rails. According to a memorandum issued by the CPSC in October of 2012, these bed rail products were responsible for 155 reported deaths and roughly 37,000 emergency department-treated injuries from January 2003 to September 2012. To read more about the safety risks posed by adult bed rails, we encourage you to visit our new webpage on this issue.

 Once again, the Consumer Voice commends these senators for bringing much-needed public attention to this important consumer safety matter. To read our statement of support for their work, click here.

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Consumer Voice Submits Comments to CMS in Opposition to Proposed Regulations Regarding Medicaid Beneficiaries Receiving HCBS

The Consumer Voice was proud to submit comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Thursday, February 21st, in opposition to proposed regulations that would allow states to require co-payments for Medicaid beneficiaries receiving home and community-based services (HCBS). In our comments, the Consumer Voice expressed concern that out-of-pocket costs in the form of co-payments or premiums would discourage or prevent Medicaid beneficiaries from receiving ongoing needed care in their communities. Reducing consumer access to HCBS would likely result in worse health outcomes and greater costs to the health care system. Furthermore, enacting a Medicaid co-payment for home and community based-services could potentially compel consumers to choose between basic living necessities or needed care. It could also force greater numbers of consumers into nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. To read our comments to CMS, click here. Additionally, we would like to thank the members of our network who also took time to submit comments on this important matter, as well as the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) for spearheading this effort. You can read NSCLC’s comments on the proposed regulations here.

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National Resource Center on LGBT Aging Launches New Website Section on LGBT Elder Abuse

The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, along with FORGE Transgender Aging Network, launched a new website section dedicated to LGBT Elder Abuse. This portal brings together information from partner organizations as well as new content to address some of these issues. Resources include “A Self-Help guide for LGBT Older Adults and their Caregivers and Loved Ones: Preventing Recognizing and Addressing Elder Abuse”, “LGBT Community and Domestic Violence: Information and Resources” and more.

Visit the website.

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WA State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Featured in Article About Choosing a Nursing Home

The Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program was recently featured in a news story on choosing the right nursing home. The article, featured on krem.com, included tips from Ombudsman Sharon Niblock for choosing a nursing home.

Read the article and view the video clip on krem.com.

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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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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