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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

November 26, 2013

U.S. House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Home Care Final Rule

Last Tuesday the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing, entitled, “Redefining Companion Care: Jeopardizing Access to Affordable Care for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities,”  on the U.S. Department of Labor’s recently-announced reform of the companionship regulations that will extend the minimum wage and overtime protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act to most of the nation’s two-million-plus home care workers.  
Home care workers provide care for consumers that far exceeds simple companionship. In fact, many individuals who receive care and services in their homes could not do so without home care workers. They rely upon workers for help with intimate personal care and for the tasks of everyday life. If not for their workers, many home care consumers would not even be able to get out of bed in the morning or out of their wheelchairs at the end of the day.
Slated to take effect in January 2015, the final rule extends federal minimum wage, overtime and other basic pay protections to most of the United States’ 2.5 million home care workers through the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. It is an important first step toward strengthening and stabilizing the home care workforce and recognizing the vital role played by home care workers.
Between now and the January 2015 implementation date, Congress has a key role to play during this phase-in period, ensuring adequate resources for implementation, supporting and promoting ongoing collaboration between federal agencies and state labor and Medicaid officials, and facilitating education and outreach to help constituents understand and prepare for the rules change.  Highlighting the positive experiences of the 21 states that already cover home care workers under their minimum wage and overtime laws would also enhance implementation of this long-overdue reform.
To read more about the home care final rule, click here.

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National Employment Law Project Holding Webinar on Companionship Rules Change

The National Employment Law Project is holding a webinar on Tuesday, December 3rd at 2:00pm EST entitled "The Companionship Rules Change: Reform's Impact on Workers, States and the Home Care Industry."  This webinar will examine the U.S. Labor Department's companionship rules change, and panelists will describe how the new regulations will change home care workers' rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as state wage laws. Register now.

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Friday Morning Collaborative Holding Webinar on State Oversight and Quality in Managed LTSS

The Friday Morning Collaborative is holding a webinar on Friday, December 6th at 2:00pm EST entitled "State Oversight and Quality in Managed Long-Term Services and Supports."  This webinar will draw upon the expertise of current and former state staff with extensive experience in Medicaid managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS).  It will provide an overview of MLTSS programs in Tennessee and Arizona, highlight oversight capacities and discuss quality approaches related to home and community-based services outcomes.  Register now.

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Consumer Voice to Host Focus Groups for Consumers: Help us spread the word!

The Consumer Voice is hosting two consumer focus groups - one for nursing home residents and one for home care consumers - to get consumers' input and thoughts on issues related to their care and services.

The Nursing Home Resident Focus Group is ONLY open to nursing home residents. The Home Care Consumer Focus Group is ONLY open to individuals who receive long-term services and supports in their home.  

By participating in the Nursing Home Resident Focus Group or the Home Care Consumer Focus Group, participants will have a chance to tell us what they think about ideas for changes in care and services. They will also be able to tell Consumer Voice staff about experiences with their care. The feedback we receive will then be used to guide us in our policy work. Participants' names will not be shared outside the group, and nothing said will affect the services they are receiving.

The Nursing Home Resident Focus Group's call will take place by telephone on a toll-free conference line on Thursday, December 5th, 2013 from 3:00-4:00pm ET. Click here to register for the call.

The Home Care Consumer Focus Group's call will take place by telephone on a toll-free conference line on Wednesdsay, December 11th, 2013 from 3:00-4:00pm ET. Click here to register for the call.

Participants in each call will be joined by other focus group members and Consumer Voice staff. We will ask questions, which participants will receive ahead of time, and then give participants a chance to respond.

If you know someone who would be interested in joining either focus group, please pass this information along! 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 nursing home residents and home care consumers you know!

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National I&R Support Center Holding Webinar on Resources for People with Alzheimer's

The National Information and Referral Support Center is holding a webinar on Tuesday, December 10th at 3:00pm EST entitled "Resources for People with Alzheimer's and Related Dementias and Their Caregivers."  The call will include an overview of the National Alzheimer's Call Center, as well as their numerous available online resources. Register here.

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OIG Report Says CMS Needs New Quality Measure for Nursing Home Resident Hospitalizations

A new report from OIG says CMS needs a new quality measure for hospital admissions from nursing homes.  The report recommends that CMS develop a quality measure that describes nursing home resident hospitalization rates and instructs State survey agencies to review the proposed quality measure as part of the survey and certification process.  For more information, read the report.

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Volunteer Collaborative Holding Two Webinars in December

The Aging Network's Volunteer Collaborative is holding two webinars in December covering risk management and self-directed volunteer team experiences.  "Volunteers & Risk Management: Senior Medicare Patrol Resources We Can All Use!" will be on December 4th at 2:00pm EST, and "PowerUP! It's working! Learn from those who have experienced success with self-directed volunteer teams" will be on December 19th at 2:00pm EST.

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Video on Homeward Bound, Maine's Money Follows the Person Project

Alpha One produced a new video about Homeward Bound, Maine's Money Follows the Person project.  The project is designed to help elderly and disabled adults move from institutional to community settings where they can live independently.  The video features Cindy Bistany's story.  Watch the video.

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Alzheimer's Association and Other Organizations Introduce Public Health Road Map

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), and the Alzheimer's Association introduced the Public Health Road Map.  The document focuses on the role that state and local public health agencies and partners can play in promoting cognitive functioning, addressing cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease, and helping meet the needs of caregivers.  Access the Public Health Road Map.

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Are you using the Consumer Voice Clearinghouse?

In September 2013, the Consumer Voice launched the first-ever clearinghouse for long-term care information geared toward promoting effective advocacy and consumer-directed care.  We know that advocates and others who work with and for consumers of long-term care, services and supports frequently need information quickly to support and enhance their advocacy work. Information-sharing is core to our mission, and the Clearinghouse provides a way to coordinate and compile information.   The Clearinghouse has been updated with new resources.  After registering, find Recently Added Resources on the homepage.

Sign up for free access and start using the Clearinghouse now at:

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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