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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

July 16, 2013

Observation Status Resources Available

A fact sheet is available on Observation Stays Denying Medicare Beneficiaries Access to Skilled Nursing Facility Care.  Information is also available in the Center for Medicare Testimony on Observation Status in the June 2013 Senate Finance Committee Hearing.  Both documents are available on the Medicare page on the Consumer Voice website.

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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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Consumer Voice Highlighted in Recent Articles

The Consumer Voice was featured in two recent articles.

An article in McKnight's highlighted Consumer Voice's response to a rule proposed by CMS regarding deemed status procedures.  It reiterated Consumer Voice's opposition to deemed status in general, and for SNFs in particular.  Consumer Voice's letter stated, "Consumer Voice applauds CMS's refusal to grant deemed status to skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities.  We urge CMS to continue this policy and to state its opposition to deemed status for nursing homes in the preamble to its final rules."  For more information, read the article.

An article in Mankato Free Press quoted Consumer Voice's Director of Public Policy Robyn Grant about the use of antipyschotics in nursing homes.  "It's a very prevalent problem - a form of chemical restraint.  These drugs turn people into zombies and families are saying their loved one doesn't even recognize them," Grant stated.  For more information, read the article.

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Coming July 30th - Investigation on Assisted Living Facilities from FRONTLINE and ProPublica

Coming July 30th, FRONTLINE and ProPublica investigate assisted living in America.  In a major investigation with ProPublica, FRONTLINE will examine the operations of the nation's largest assisted living company, raising questions about the drive for profits and fatal lapses in care.  For more information, visit PBS's website.

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Long-Term Care Commission to Hold Public Hearings July 17th

The Long-Term Care Commission - a Congressionally-appointed bipartisan working group tasked with developing recommendations on the future provision and financing of long-term care – has launched its public website at http://www.ltccommission.senate.gov/. On this page, individuals can find information about the commission’s past and upcoming hearings, information pertaining to the commission’s members and staff, as well as how to submit comments and proposals on ways to improve the organization, provision and financing of long-term services and supports in our nation.
As you may know, the commission held its first public hearing on June 27th, 2013;  the testimonies and written transcript from this event can be found here. The commission’s next hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, July 17th, and will focus on populations in need of long-term care as well as care coordination and workforce issues. Please find a full agenda for tomorrow’s hearing below.
Commission on Long-Term Care Public Hearing: Populations in Need of LTSS and Service Delivery Issues
Wednesday, July 17, 2013: 1:30 to 4:30 pm
SDG-50 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Panel 1:  Diversity of LTSS Demand:  Subpopulations and Their LTSS Needs
Witnesses: David Braddock, Ph.D., Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, University of Colorado. H. Stephen Kaye, Ph.D., University of California at San Francisco. Kevin Martone, Technical Assistance Center. Robyn Stone, Ph.D., LeadingAge Center for Applied Research
Panel 2:  Meeting LTSS Needs:  Coordination of Care and Workforce Issues
Witnesses: Randall S. Brown, Ph.D., Mathematica. Josefina Carbonell, Independent Living Systems. Lynn Feinberg, AARP. Joanne Lynn, M.D., Altarum Institute. Carol Regan, Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI)

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Consumer Voice Bylaws Revised

A Committee of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, comprised of members of the Governing Board, Leadership Council and staff, undertook a series of significant edits to the organization's Bylaws (stemming out of ongoing implementation of our strategic plan and efforts to strengthen and grow the organization) and sent these to Voting Member Groups for review and vote in the last month.  The Bylaws changes were approved with 75% of eligible organizations supporting all changes.  

Please click here to read a detailed explanation of the changes.  These changes include a significant shift in the voting process at the Consumer Voice, eliminating the voting membership group structure, and shifting authority over voting to the Governing Board and Leadership Council, as well as a number of other smaller Bylaws changes.  The purpose of these changes is to make it easier to run the organization operationally.  The Consumer Voice will continue many efforts to engage both individuals and groups in the network in this work and welcome any and all suggestions you may have on how to do that effectively.

The Consumer Voice Governing Board and Leadership Council will soon communicate with this network about opportunities for nomination/election to both groups in 2013.

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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