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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

June 18, 2013

A Busy Summer of Advocacy!

We want to make you aware, in advance, that we will need your help soon on two important public policy actions:
1. Comments on Proposed Rulemaking re: the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
The proposed rule was just published TODAY.  Read the rule here.
We will issue an Action Alert soon to collect your comments regarding this rule.
2. Comments on a Petition Requesting a Ban or Standard on Adult Portable Bed Rails
The Consumer Voice, Consumer Federation of America and individual advocate Gloria Black, filed a formal petition with the Consumer Product Safety Commission; CPSC is now accepting public comment.  Read the petition here.
We will issue an Action Alert soon to collect your comments regarding this petition.
Please watch your email for these alerts; your advocacy and participation on these issues is critical.  Both sets of comments will be due around the beginning of August.

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Ombudsman Proposed Regulations Published in Federal Register

In today’s Federal Register is a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to implement provisions of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) provisions of the Older Americans Act.  The proposed regulations are intended to provide guidance and clarity about implementation of the Older Americans Act requirements for the LTCOP.  There is currently wide variation among states in the interpretation and implementation of the OAA provisions.  Areas addressed in the proposed rule include:

  1. Definition of Immediate Family;
  2. Definition of Office of the SLTCO;
  3. Definition of Representatives of the Office of the SLTCO;
  4. Establishment of the Office of the SLTCO;
  5. Functions and Responsibilities of the Office of the SLTCO;
  6. State Agency Responsibilities Related to the LTCOP;
  7. Functions and Duties of the Office of the SLTCO; and
  8. Conflicts of Interest. 

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CMS Releases Guidance on Medicaid Administrative Claiming for the LTCOP

Earlier today CMS released an Informational Bulletin regarding Medicaid reimbursement for some LTC Ombudsman activities.   Through this Bulletin, CMS recognizes that some activities performed by state LTC Ombudsman Programs benefit the state’s Medicaid program, and are eligible for Medicaid administrative claiming.  CMS worked with the Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging (ACL/AOA) and the National Association of State LTC Ombudsman Programs (NASOP) on examples of LTCO activities that are eligible for claiming.  CMS has also provided guidance through a work plan to assist state Medicaid agencies and LTCOPs in developing proposals for claiming.  Additional guidance, including examples of LTCO program activities for which such funding is allowable, is available on the CMS Medicaid website.

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ACL Hosts World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Event at the United Nations

On Friday, June 14th, 2013, the Administration on Community Living (ACL) - in coordination with the United Nations, the Government of Canada, the United Nations NGO Committee on Ageing, and AARP - hosted an event in honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day at the United Nations (UN). The 8th annual WEAAD was officially observed on June 15th, 2013. This event, which Consumer Voice Public Policy Associate Marybeth Williams attended, included presentations from Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee, Canadian Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong, as well as UN staff and ambassadors/UN representatives from the European Union, Canada, and Malawi. Each speaker shared their unique perspective on elder abuse, the work of their nation or union in combating this growing epidemic, and what must be done on a global level to raise awareness of this issue. In her speech, Assistant Secretary Greenlee highlighted the important role of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in helping to detect and prevent elder abuse in our nation’s long-term care facilities. Dr. Elizabeth Podnieks, founder of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, also attended the day’s event and was recognized for her work on behalf of elder persons.
The second portion of the program, which was hosted by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, was presented from the non-governmental perspective and included presentations from representatives of AARP, the International Federation on Ageing, and the NGO Committee on Ageing in New York. The panel highlighted the important role advocates have in pushing for policies that support greater elder abuse awareness. Assistant Secretary Greenlee and Minister Wong gave closing remarks for the event, in which they expressed their continued support for one another’s continued work in preventing elder abuse as well as their desire to see more attention given to this issue on a global scale. The event, which was supposed to be streamed live on ACL’s website on Friday but could not due to a technical error, will be available to view on the ACL website shortly. Consumer Voice will be certain to keep its network informed of how they can view a recording of the event once it is posted.

Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee speaks at WEAAD event at the United Nations on June 14th

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LTCC Selects Bruce Chernof as Chairman, Will Hold First Meeting June 27th

Last week, the Long-Term Care Commission (LTCC) – a bipartisan working group created by Congress to provide recommendations on the future provision and financing of long-term care – selected Bruce Chernof, physician and president and CEO of the SCAN Foundation, as its official chairman. Dr. Chernof was appointed to the commission by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in February of this year. Mark Warshawsky, director of retirement research at Towers Watson and former official of the Treasury Department, will serve as the commission’s vice chairman.  In addition, a previous member of the commission, former Louisiana Secretary of Health and Hospitals Bruce Greenstein (appointed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell) has been replaced by Christopher Jacobs from the Heritage Foundation.
The commission will hold its first meeting on Thursday, June 27th, and any subsequent meetings will be scheduled at the call of the chairman or the majority of the commission’s members. This working group is tasked with presenting its recommendations within a period of six months, which Congress may or may not choose to act upon. Some members of the group have expressed support for extending the amount of time the LTCC has to work upon formulating recommendations. Consumer Voice will continue to keep our network informed on any updates concerning the commission and its work.

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Webinar on Mouth Care Without a Battle

The Pioneer Network and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are holding a webinar entitled "Techniques for Individualized Mouth Care: Mouth Care Without a Battle" on June 27th. This webinar will introduce "Mouth Care Without a Battle," an evidence-based training that combines best practices in oral hygiene with proven techniques to overcome resistance to care among persons with dementia and related conditions.  Webinar participants will receive an overview of new evidence on the link between oral health and other health outcomes; information about available oral health assessment tools; new techniques, products and issues in implementing and sustaining quality mouth care; and principles of effective support and supervision by nurse managers and administrators. Registration is $139 and includes the DVD.

Techniques for Individualized Mouth Care:  Mouth Care Without a Battle
Thursday, June 27, 2013
2:00pm EST

Register now.

NGN Announces Awards to States to Create WINGS Groups

The National Guardianship Network (NGN) announced four awards of incentive grants and technical assistance to states to create innovative, consesnsus-driven Working Interdisciplinary Networks of Guardianship Stakeholders (WINGS).  NGN selected proposals from New York, Oregon, Texas and Utah.  For more information, read the press release.

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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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