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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

May 29, 2013

Consumer Voice Public Policy team, Robyn Grant and Marybeth Williams, attended the Older Americans Summit on May 23rd.

Sen. Sanders Introduces Legislation to Reauthorize OAA at the Older Americans Summit

On May 23rd, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced legislation to reauthorize and strengthen the Older Americans Act. At an Older Americans Summit held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, Senator Sanders and others unveiled the new bill to extend the landmark law that was first enacted in 1965.  "With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, our country's growing population of seniors includes many who rely on these critical programs to help them stay in their own homes and communities."

For more information,
click here.

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Materials Available from "Improving Care by Strengthening the Direct Care Workforce: Why Immigration Reform is Important to Home Care Consumers" Webinar

Over 120 individuals participated in a free Consumer Voice webinar last Thursday, May 23rd, entitled "Improving Care by Strengthening the Direct Care Workforce: Why Immigration Reform is Important to Home Care Consumers". This webinar discussed the topics of immigration reform, long-term care, and the home care workforce; how immigration reform benefits home care consumers; and how immigration reform can be achieved. Speakers included: Robin Shaffert, Policy Director at Caring Across Generations; Julia Feinberg, home care consumer and Member of Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Association; Haeyoung Yoon, Senior Staff Attorney at the National Employment Law Project; Robyn Grant, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy; and Marybeth Williams, Public Policy Associate. Click here to view the materials from this event.

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Consumer Product Safety Commission Dockets Bed Rail Petition Submitted by Consumer Voice, Consumer Federation of America and Bed Rails Activist Gloria Black

Last week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) docketed a petition submitted by the Consumer Voice, Consumer Federation of America, activist Gloria Black, and 60 other organizations urging the agency to protect older adults and people with disabilities from dangerous bed rails. This petition, submitted in April of this year, called on the agency to take all necessary action to protect consumers - including a ban or mandatory safety standards for adult portable bed rails, as well as the recall of bed rails that cause harm to consumers. The Commission voted unanimously to approve the publication of a draft notice in the Federal Register inviting written comments on this petition, along with a petition from Public Citizen asking for a ban on adult portable bed rails. Once published, the public will have 60 days to comment on these two petitions. Following the comment period, CPSC will then decide whether or not to act on the petitions’ requests. Please stay tuned for further information as we await the publication of this notice in the Federal Register. For more information on this issue and the Consumer Voice’s petition to the CPSC, click here.

Reminder: NORC Webinar for State and Local Ombudsmen on Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness: What's an Ombudsman To Do?
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 3:00pm EST

Meeting Description:
NORC is hosting a webinar for State and Local Ombudsmen to gain knowledge, information and resources regarding the role of the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program in advocating for and supporting long-term care residents before, during and after emergency situations.  We will discuss model policies and procedures to guide Long-Term Care Ombudsman processes and activities, and you will also be given the opportunity to provide feedback and discuss your experience, and identify areas for further work.

You will also hear local ombudsmen from across the country discuss how their programs provide emergency preparedness trainings, and creative solutions they have developed around issues that arise during emergency situations.

This webinar is open to State and Local Ombudsmen!
Registration is limited.  To maximize participation, we ask that individuals from the same program please share a phone line and only register one person.  We reserve the right to decline registration requests from multiple individuals from one ombudsman program. The webinar will be recorded and made available on the NORC website. If you have any questions, please contact Alia Murphy at amurphy@theconsumervoice.org.

Register here.

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CMS Releases Guidance on Use of Managed Care for LTSS

CMS has released long-awaited guidance for states and stakeholders on the use of managed care for long-term services and supports (LTSS).

The following excerpts from the guidance mention an ombudsman role:

  • Independent Advocacy or Ombudsman Services are Available at no cost to participants (P. 10): In addition to providing choice counseling and independent enrollment and disenrollment from an entity free of the conflicts described above, states must ensure an independent advocate or ombudsman program is available to assist participants in navigating the MLTSS landscape; understanding their rights, responsibility, choices, and opportunities; and helping to resolve any problems that arise between the participant and their MCO.
  • Safeguards to Prevent Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation and Critical incident management systems (P. 14):
    States must have a system in place to identify, report, and investigate critical incidents that occur within the delivery of MLTSS as well as to track and trend results in order to make systems improvements. As states plan for the process of transitioning their FFS programs to managed care, they must consider what modifications, if any, are needed to their existing incident reporting systems, including those that are electronic in nature. States must clarify roles, expectations and responsibilities for themselves, providers and MCOs in the managed care contract and program descriptions. The SMA must monitor findings as well as MCO compliance efforts. The SMA must maintain overall responsibility for the operation of the identification, reporting, and investigation system and should engage in continuous process improvements.
    States must have systems in place to prevent, detect, report, investigate, and remediate abuse, neglect, and exploitation. These systems as well as roles and responsibilities must be explicit in MCO contracts. MCO staff and providers must be provided with training and education to understand abuse, neglect, exploitation and all prevention, detection, reporting, investigation and remediation procedures and requirements. Individuals receiving services and their families must be provided with initial and ongoing training and education programs on abuse, neglect, exploitation, and reporting. The MLTSS beneficiary support program must be available to assist with these problems, and coordinate with existing state Ombudsman programs that are available to participants.
The National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) has also developed a comprehensive summary of provisions that may be of most interest and use to advocates working with states to design MLTSS programs.

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Consumer Voice and ALCA Holding Free Webinar on Successful Advocacy

The Consumer Voice, along with the Assisted Living Consumer Alliance, is holding a free webinar on successful advocacy.  Discussion will include providing tips on developing your advocacy message in such a way that succinctly frames your issue and gets people's attention.  Consumer Voice Executive Director Sarah Wells and Director of Public Policy & Advocacy Robyn Grant will present.

Successful Advocacy - Crafting and Delivering Your Message
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
3:00pm EST

Register here.

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World Elder Abuse Day is June 15th, Many Resources Available in Celebration

The 8th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is Saturday, June 15, 2013. The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) established WEAAD to raise awareness about elder abuse around the world and foster collaboration among agencies, organizations and communities to prevent elder abuse. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to wear purple and host activities and share information to raise awareness about elder abuse. In addition to the INPEA Elder Abuse Awareness Community Guide Tool Kit (tool kit includes press release templates, awareness activity ideas, guidance for building awareness) other agencies and organizations are hosting events and activities and sharing resources to raise awareness regarding elder abuse, some of these include:

Consumer Voice: The Residents’ Rights Month (October 2013) theme is “Speak Out Against Elder Abuse” and individuals and groups could educate the public about elder abuse for WEAAD by highlighting Residents’ Rights Month and encouraging residents to submit an entry for the 2013 Resident’s Voice Challenge.

NORC: Resources regarding abuse, neglect and exploitation in long-term care are available on the NORC website.

Administration on Aging (AoA):  The AoA Year of Elder Abuse Prevention (YEAP) campaign includes WEAAD logos, YEAP Outreach Guide, fact sheets regarding elder abuse (prevention, warning signs, how elders can protect themselves) and YEAP templates individuals and groups could use to recognize WEAAD.

National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA): Share your WEAAD event on their website to be added to the interactive WEAAD event map.

Ageless Alliance: The Ageless Alliance is hosting the “I Make a Difference” video campaign for WEAAD and invites individuals and groups to submit brief videos explaining how they make a difference for vulnerable elders (instructions are available on the Ageless Alliance website). Ageless Alliance also provides “10 Simple Ways to Make a Difference on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.”

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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