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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

December 10, 2013

California Consumers and Family Members: Free Webinar About Upcoming Changes for Consumers Who Have Both Medi-Cal and Medicare!

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM PST

Click here to register by December 16th, 2013

Californians - Learn from experts in the field about the changes happening under the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) for individuals who have both Medi-Cal and Medicare. CCI is set to take place starting in April 2014 in eight counties - Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. This webinar will focus on practical approaches to take when making, or helping someone make, a decision about CCI. Find out how to decide what to do and how to compare the plan options to better prepare yourself, a loved one, or someone you serve. This webinar will also explain what to look out for during this time of transition, including continuing care with providers and other rights and protections. Lastly, you'll hear directly from consumers who have been trained to help other consumers learn about these changes!

This webinar is only open to consumers, family members and advocates in California.

Participants will receive an agenda and presentation materials prior to the webinar.

We hope you take the opportunity to register for this webinar today!


  • Amber C. Cutler, Staff Attorney, National Senior Citizens Law Center
  • Randi Bardeaux, A Consumer of Services
  • Jorge Chuc, A Consumer of Services
  • Sara Cirba, Associate for Advocacy and Development, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

*Registration is required.  Click here to register! Registration is limited and is first-come, first-served, so register now!

This webinar is free to California participants as part of our California Consumers for Quality Care, No Matter Where initiative.

Please contact Sara Cirba at scirba@theconsumervoice.org or 202-332-2275 x221 or toll free at 866-992-3668 if you have any additional questions.

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Study Shows Palliative Home Care Model Improves Cost and Quality

A new study from Indiana University School of Medicine says that better palliative care for high-risk seniors in home settings can reduce emergency room visits and save on health care spending.  Researchers found that there are gaps in understanding what works well and actually delivering those services in optimal settings.  "The fields of palliative care and geriatrics have developed a growing body of evidence in support of customized care models aimed at meeting the needs of frail, vulnerable, and seriously ill patient populations.  The problem is not that we don't know what to do - the problem is that we don't do what we know," the researchers said.  For more information, read the article in Home Health Care News.

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New Mexico Nursing Home Company Pays Fine and Changes Practices After Obstructing Efforts of State Ombudsman

Preferred Care Partners Management Group, a company that manages two nursing homes in Santa Fe, has agreed to pay a fine and change its practices after admitting to obstructing the efforts of a state ombudsman that investigates resident complaints.  Sondra Everhart, New Mexico State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, said "The administration making derogatory comments about the Ombudsman or saying "don't talk to Ombudsman, come to me instead" that is obstruction and intimidation."  For more information, read the article in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

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NASUAD Releases Sequestration Analysis

NASUAD recently released a document to explain the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA)'s sequestration procedures in 2014 and beyond.  "Sequestration in 2014" answers frequently-asked-questions and will be updated as additional information becomes available.  Read NASUAD's analysis.

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National Academy of Social Insurance Releases Brief Entitled "Getting the Treatment You Want: Is Anyone Listening?"

The National Academy of Social Insurance released a brief entitled "Getting the Treatment You Want: Is Anyone Listening?" This brief lays out the challenges and opportunities individuals and their families face in the health care system when they try to secure the care they want during advanced illness and at the end of life.  Read the brief.

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AARP Public Policy Institute Releases Report on Family Caregivers and HCBS Programs Under Medicaid

The AARP Public Policy Institute has released a new research report, Listening to Family Caregivers: The Need to Include Family Caregiver Assessment in Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Service Waiver Programs.  The report presents findings from a 50-state survey examining how well the needs of family caregivers are assessed when states evaluate the needs of older people and adults with disabilities who qualify for home- and community-based services (HCBS) programs under Medicaid.  It is the first detailed analysis of family caregiver assessment tools and processes in use by the states in Medicaid waiver programs.  This research was supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Administration on Aging.

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CMS Updates Medicare Manual to Reflect Jimmo v. Sebelius Settlement

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has revised the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual to clarify that skilled care and skilled therapy may be covered even for conditions that will not improve.  The revision comes from the settlement in the Jimmo v. Sebelius case in which Jimmo plaintiffs argued that Medicare was improperly denying claims based on an "improvement standard" where beneficiaries would only receive Medicare coverage for skilled care that would improve their conditions.  Under the settlement, CMS agreed to update the Medicare manual and take other steps to ensure that claims are not denied under the "improvement standard."  For more information, read the article in McKnight's.

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Court Upholds Suicide Fine for Nursing Home

A federal appeals court upheld a $10,000 fine against a skilled nursing facility for leaving a suicidal patient unattended, who then walked out of the facility and killed himself.  The appeals court announced that it was "reasonably foreseeable" that allowing the agitated and injured patient to leave the facility unattended was justification for the fine.  For more information, read the article in McKnight's.

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If you're seeing elderly loved ones during the holidays, know the warning signs of abuse and neglect.

If you are visiting elderly relatives during the holidays, be aware of the signs of neglect or abuse.  The National Center on Elder Abuse has a helpful checklist of warning signs to look out for and discuss with your elderly loved one.  For more information, visit NCEA's website.

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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