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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

November 19, 2013

CMS Releases Revised Letter Concerning Enforcement Actions for Non-Sprinklered Nursing Homes

On November 15th, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Survey & Certification Group released a revised letter to state survey directors and state fire authorities concerning enforcement actions for nursing homes that have failed to install automatic sprinkler systems. Although all nursing homes were required by CMS to become fully sprinklered by August 13, 2013, this revised letter confirms that, according to the most recent survey data, 827 facilities across the country are still only partially sprinklered while 101 continue to operate without any sprinkler systems at all. Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York have the highest number of non-compliant nursing homes, with 139, 100 and 181 partially sprinklered and non-sprinklered facilities respectively. While non-compliant facilities will continue to be cited, CMS states that it may, in rare cases, lower the severity of citations if facilities are applying extraordinary protections to safeguard residents while they install full sprinkler systems. These protections include enacting a 24/7 fire watch and the posting of fire watch staffing information, as well as conducting monthly fire drills. Click here to read the revised letter. For more information on this topic in general, visit our webpage here.

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Consumer Voice Leadership Council Member Claire Curry Facilitates Discussion on Antipsychotic Medications and Long-Term Care

Claire Curry, Consumer Voice Leadership Council member and Legal Director at the Legal Aid Justice Center of Virginia, recently facilitated a panel discussion on antipsychotic medications and long-term care. This discussion, which was done on behalf of the Community Partnership for Improved Long-Term Care and recorded for a Virginia-based public access channel, featured Dr. Mary Evans, geriatrician and president of the Virginia Association of Medical Directors; Love Berkley, RN and long-term care specialist; and Emily Chewning, a family member whose father was subjected to the inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs. The sixty-minute program focused on the harmful effects of prescribing antipsychotic medications to elderly persons with dementia and also explored appropriate ways to improve the care of these individuals in long-term care facilities. It can be viewed in four parts here.

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Brain Injury Association of New York State Offering Webinar

The Brain Injury Association of New York State is offering a free webinar training entitled "Understanding Life with Brain Injury" on December 12th at 10:00am EST.  The training will provide agencies with a comprehensive training curriculum, assist staff in understanding the experiences of individuals with brain injuries, develop awareness of the daily and life-long challenges for individuals with brain injuries, assist providers in addressing these issues, and more.  Register here.

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Senate Aging Committee Launches Fraud Hotline

The Senate Aging Committee launched a new fraud hotline and senior-friendly website last week.  The hotline will make it easier for senior citizens to report suspected fraud and receive assistance.  It will be staffed by a team of committee investigators weekdays from 9:00-5:00pm EST.  The experienced investigators will directly examine complaints and, if appropriate, refer them to the proper authorities.  Visit the fraud hotline.

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ACL's Center for Disablity and Aging Policy Hosting Webinar on Demonstration Ombudsman Programs Serving Dually Eligible Medicare-Medicaid Beneficiaries

ACL's Center for Disability and Aging Policy is hosting a webinar that will focus on the funding opportunity announcement for the Demonstration Ombudsman Programs (which serve dually eligible beneficiaries of the Financial Alignment Model).  The webinar, to be held on Thursday, November 21 at 1:00pm EST, will provide a program overview, eligibility requirements, proposal evaluation criteria, and examples of successfully funded program models. Register here.

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OIG Releases Report on State and CMS Oversight of the Medicare Managed Care Credentialing Process

The Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services released a report on November 12th concerning state and CMS oversight of the Medicare Managed Care Credentialing Process. This report analyzed six states to determine whether or not states and Medicaid managed care enterprises were compliant with provider credentialing requirements. It found that, out of the six states examined, Medicaid managed care enterprises (MCEs) in five states were not compliant with federal law that forbids MCEs from discriminating against providers serving high-risk populations or individuals needing expensive care. MCEs’ failure to contract with such providers could limit access to needed care for consumers in state Medicaid Managed care plans with chronic conditions and long-term care needs. For more information, read the full OIG report here.

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Recent Data Reveals Nursing Homes are Most Dangerous Workplace in America

According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing homes are now the most dangerous workplaces in America, with workers experiencing higher rates of illness and injury in nursing homes than in any other workplace setting. In 2012, roughly 7% of all full-time nursing home employees in private facilities and 13% of employees in state-run facilities suffered non-fatal injuries on the job. For further information, read a McKnight’s Long-Term Care News article on this topic here.

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Join NYCEAC's "14 Days of Thanks" Campaign

Join the NYC Elder Abuse Center (NYCEAC) in celebrating older adults and combating ageism by participating in the "14 Days of Thanks" social media campaign.  The mission of the campaign is to create a platform for people to honor older adults and acknowledge their contributions.  Get involved in the campaign by sending a picture of an older adult in your life who you are thankful for or a quote describing why you are thankful for an older adult in your life to sdion@nyceac.com.  You can also participate in the campaign via NYCEAC's Facebook and Twitter.  For more information, visit NYCEAC's website.

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CMA Webinar on Discharge Planning & Care Coordination

The Center for Medicare Advocacy is holding a webinar on December 11th at 2:00pm EST entitled "Discharge Planning & Care Coordination: Tips for Advocates."  The webinar will cover key features of Medicare's expanded guidance on discharge planning and highlight provisions of the ACA that can be used as tools to help beneficiaries obtain the discharge planning and care coordination services they need.  The cost of the webinar is $99.  Register here.

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Aging Network's Volunteer Collaborative Holding Informational Webinar on "Got an Hour? Give it Back" Campaign

The Aging Network's Volunteer Collaborative is holding an informational webinar for the "Got an Hour? Give it Back" campaign.  The webinar, to be held on Thursday, November 21st at 12:00pm EST, will provide background, an overview and details on the "Got an Hour? Give it Back" campaign and a Q&A. Register here.

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New York State Department of Health Adds LGBT-Inclusive Questions to Medicaid Assessment Tool

The New York State Department of Health has integrated questions on sexual orientation and gender indentity into its new Uniform Assessment System for New York (UAS-NY), which will be used throughout the state's network of Medicaid community based long-term care services and programs.  The New York State Department of Health included these questions in the UAS-NY based on guidance from SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders).  For more information, read the press release from SAGE.

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Tell Family Members About Our Family Member Focus Group!

This is a reminder that the Consumer Voice is holding the next meeting of the Family Member Focus Group this week to get family members' input and thoughts on issues related to their loved one's long-term care and services. By joining the Family Member Focus Group, participants will have the opportunity to respond and react to ideas and suggestions for changes in long-term care. Participants will also provide Consumer Voice staff with feedback about their experiences with their loved one's care. The feedback we receive will then be used to guide us in our policy work.

Please note that this focus group is ONLY open to family members. Family members' names will not be shared outside the group, and nothing said will affect the services their loved one is receiving.

The next meeting of the Family Member Focus Group will take place by telephone on a toll-free conference line this Thursday, November 21st, 2013 from 3:00-4:00pm ET. Participants will be joined by other family members and Consumer Voice staff. We will ask questions, which participants will receive ahead of time, and then give participants an opportunity to respond.

If you know someone who has a loved one receiving long-term services and supports in any setting, please pass this info along! They can click
here to register for the call. If they have any questions, they can contact Sara Cirba at scirba@theconsumervoice.org or at 202-332-2275 x 221 or toll-free at 866-992-3668.

Thank you for sharing this opportunity with the family members you know!

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OIG Podcast on Monitoring Nursing Home Resident Hospitalizations

OIG held a podcast entitled Nursing Home Resident Hospitalizations Merit Additional Monitoring.  Jeremy Moore, a program analyst for the Office of Evaluation and Inspections in Dallas, is interviewed by Blaine Collins, Deputy, Regional Inspector General for the Office of Evaluations and Inspections.  Click here for the podcast and related report.

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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 info@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