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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

July 2, 2013

CMS Issues Reminder of Current Regulations Regarding Access and Visitation Rights in Long Term Care Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a reminder of current regulations and Guidance to Surveyors (Interpretive Guidelines) regarding Access and Visitation Rights. This Guidance reinforces the rights of LTC residents to receive family and non-family visitors. Facilities must provide 24-hour access to all individuals visiting with the consent of the resident. To read more from CMS, click here.

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Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Report and Brief which Explore the Financial Accountability of Nursing Homes

Last week the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation released new a report and brief which explore the financial accountability of nursing homes.  The report provides a short background on nursing facility financing, expenditures and profit margins and an in-depth look at California. The brief then explores two financial policy options designed to control nursing facility costs and improve financial accountability while promoting expenditures on services likely to improve quality care: (1) reimbursement by cost category and (2) a standard medical loss ratio (MLR). To read the report, click here.  To read the brief, click here.

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Funding Opportunity: Support for Demonstration Ombudsman Programs Serving Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees

On June 27, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a Funding Opportunity Announcement designed to support states in providing Medicare-Medicaid enrollees with more person-centered, coordinated care through Demonstration Ombudsman Programs. Through this new opportunity, states can apply for funding to develop independent Demonstration Ombudsman Programs to support their current demonstrations through the Financial Alignment initiative.  These programs will provide beneficiaries with access to new resources and person-centered assistance in resolving issues related to the demonstration. These programs will also monitor beneficiary experience and offer recommendations to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the states, and participating plans on how the beneficiary experience could be improved. To visit the FOA, click here. For more information on the Financial Alignment Demonstration, click here.

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FEMA Paper on Alerting Those in the Community Who Rely on Assistance

Recognizing that alert and warning information is only effective if "received" means understanding how people in our communities choose to receive information. And if the goal is to alert everyone, then it is vitally important not to overlook the approximately 25% of our population who rely on assistance or accommodation in their day-to-day lives. Pushing information to TV and radio is simply no longer enough.

FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is moving quickly toward their goal of making sure alerts and warnings are fully accessible by the whole community. Their multi-platform approach to pushing information through a variety of devices attempts to ensure access to critical information by everyone. But there are still some final hurdles to overcome.

Read FEMA's paper "Alerting the Whole Community: Removing Barriers to Alerting Accessibility."

Find this paper and other emergency preparedness resources on NORC's Issues page.

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PowerUP! Training for Volunteer Engagement

The Aging Network's Volunteer Collaborative invites you to join PowerUP! training and bring a volunteer for free.  PowerUP! training debuts and new volunteer engagement strategy and shows the power of self-directed volunteer teams. The PowerUP! training will take place as part of the n4a Annual Conference in July.

For more information on the training, click here.

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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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