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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

July 9, 2013

Consumer Voice Submits Comments to CMS Regarding Proposed Regulations on Deemed Status

On Friday, July 5th, Consumer Voice submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on proposed regulations concerning the outsourcing of monitoring and oversight for Medicare health care providers to accreditation organizations (AOs). A workgroup of long-term care advocates was convened by Consumer Voice in June to determine how to best respond to these proposed rules. Our organization’s final comments - which were endorsed by 59 national, state and local organizations - supported CMS’s efforts  to increase oversight of AOs but urged the agency to continue its policy of denying deemed status for nursing homes.

AOs – which are private, non-government organizations – are allowed to set standards, inspect, and take enforcement actions against health care providers. If a provider meets an AO’s standards, CMS may determine or “deem” the provider to be in compliance with federal regulations, and the provider then qualifies for “deemed status.” Deemed status allows the provider to be exempt from CMS’s survey and certification process. Currently, CMS allows “deemed status” for home health agencies, hospice agencies, hospitals and other providers, but not for nursing homes.

Advocates have fought against deemed status for nursing homes in the past, as: it would cause residents to lose important protections and rights they have under the Nursing Home Reform Law; state survey agencies would no longer conduct annual surveys or complaint investigations; enforcement would be weakened; and residents and consumers would no longer have access to nursing home survey reports.
We will be certain to keep our network informed of CMS’s actions related to these proposed rules.

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Virginia Consumers - What You Need to Know About Medicaid Waivers

Medicaid home and community based waiver programs provide support to people with disabilities so that they can live successfully in the community. Currently in Virginia, there are six different waiver programs. Eligibility and supports within each of these programs vary based on needs and restrictions established by the state. Sign up for the Consumer Voice's FREE webinar - "A Webinar for Virginians: What You Need to Know about Medicaid Waivers" - to learn more!  The webinar will take place on Thursday, July 18th, from 2:00-3:30 pm EDT.  To register, either click here or call Sara Cirba at 202-332-2275 x 221.
This webinar will cover:

  • Eligibility criteria
  • Waiver services
  • How to begin the process
  • Other Medicaid benefits
  • An overview of the ombudsman program and how it relates to home care advocacy

During this webinar, you will hear from leading experts in the field.  Participants will receive an agenda and presentation materials prior to the webinar.  Registration is required and is first-come, first-served, so we hope you take the opportunity to register today!  
This webinar is being put on as part of the work we’ve been doing in Virginia with our Consumers for Quality Care, No Matter Where initiative.  For more information about the initiative,
click here.
Please contact Sara Cirba at
scirba@theconsumervoice.org or 202-332-2275 x221 if you have any questions.

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Resident's Voice Challenge 2013 Deadline Has Been Extended!

Submissions are now due on Friday, July 26, 2013
Send submissions electronically to: info@theconsumervoice.org

The Resident’s Voice is an opportunity for residents from facilities across the country to share their ideas about this year’s Residents’ Rights Month theme with other residents, ombudsmen, families, community members and nursing home staff.

Residents are encouraged to think about and respond to the following questions:

  1. Have you ever experienced having to speak out against elder abuse?
  2. Why do you think it's important to speak out against elder abuse?
  3. How can you encourage others to speak out against elder abuse?
  4. What could facilities, families and communities do to make residents feel safe and know that their right to be free from abuse is supported?

Residents can respond to the questions in writing (poems, stories), through art of any kind or with video’s/recordings. We encourage facilities/families to frame resident entries and hang them in residents’ rooms or other areas of the facility.  We also will be displaying selected submissions on the 2013 Residents' Rights Month website.  Send submissions to: info@theconsumervoice.org.

For more information, visit the Consumer Voice's website.

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Join Us for "Involuntary Transfer/Discharge: A Growing Problem We Can Do Something About!"

Join us for a Webinar on July 17

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now.

Concern about involuntary transfer or discharge from a nursing facility is the top issue that long-term care ombudsmen receive complaints about. What are a resident's rights when they are told they must leave a nursing home?  What are the facility's responsibilities?  How can advocates - lawyers, ombudsmen, citizen advocates - help with these cases, both individually and systemically?  During this webinar, the National Legal Resource Center teams up with the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center for a discussion that will include an overview of transfer and discharge provisions of the Nursing Home Reform Law, as well as provide strategies and resources on handling these cases.

Presenters:  Eric Carlson, Directing Attorney, National Senior Citizens Law Center; Mary Ann Parker, Attorney, D.C. Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program; Lori Smetanka, Director, National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center

Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living.  This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center.

There is no charge for this webinar.
If you have any questions email trainings@nclc.org
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Involuntary Transfer/Discharge: A Growing Problem We Can Do Something About!
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT

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Residents' Rights Month Tote Bags, Key Chains and Magnets Now Available for Purchase!

The theme for Residents' Rights Month 2013 is "Speak Out Against Elder Abuse" with the goal of encouraging residents and others to be educated about and speak out against elder abuse. Resources for this year's theme are available on the Residents' Rights Month 2013 page of the Consumer Voice website. In addition, products for Residents' Rights Month 2013 are now available for purchase in the Consumer Voice Store.  This year's products include the following:

Tote bag
$15 (plus shipping and handling)

Key chain
$4 (plus shipping and handling)

$1.50 (plus shipping and handling)

Plus, we're offering discounted packages when multiple products are purchased! Visit the Consumer Voice online store to view available packages and to purchase.

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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