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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

January 28, 2014

Advancing Excellence Announces New Chair and New Vice Chair of Board of Directors

Beverley Laubert, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman for Ohio, past president of the National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs and former Consumer Voice Leadership Council Member was installed as Chair of the Advancing Excellence in Long-Term Care Collaborative Board of Directors for the 2014-2015 term at the January Board meeting.  Marilyn Reierson, Program Manager at Stratis Health was installed as Vice Chair for the same term.  Read more.

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New CDC Webpage on Long-Term Care

A new website is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on long-term care.  The Nursing Homes and Assisted Living (Long-term Care Facilities) website provides information on long-term care topics like clinical staff, resident information and prevention tools as well as other long-term care information.  Visit the website at www.cdc.gov/longtermcare.

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AHRQ to Open Data Submission for the Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database, April 1 to 21, 2014

AHRQ’s Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture is a tool for nursing homes to use to assess provider and staff opinions about the culture of patient safety in their facilities. Nursing homes that have administered the AHRQ survey can register and submit their data to the Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database between April 1 and April 21, 2014. The database is a central repository for survey data from nursing homes that have administered the AHRQ survey. One of the purposes of the database is to produce comparative results to help nursing homes identify strengths and opportunities for improvement in their patient safety culture. For more information on the benefits of participation and database products, participation requirements, and registration/data submission timeline and activities, click here.  To view the 2011 User Comparative Database Report, click here.   The report does not include any information identifying participating nursing homes.

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In California, Proposed Regulations Would Improve Oversight of Assisted Living Facilities

In California, lawmakers unveiled a dozen legislative proposals aimed at stiffening regulations governing the 7,700 assisted living facilities in the state.  The proposed regulations would mandate annual inspections of the facilities, step up mandatory training for assisted living employees and require that California post inspection results online publicly.  For more information, read the article in ProPublica.

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Article Released as a Result of Jimmo v. Sebelius Settlement Agreement

The MLN Matters Article "Manual Updates to Clarify Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF), Home Health (HH), and Outpatient (OPT) Coverage Pursuant to Jimmo vs. Sebelius" has been released.  The article is being distributed as a result of the settlement agreement in the case of Jimmo v. Sebelius. The article is designed to provide education on the updated portions of the "Medicare Benefit Policy Manual."  It includes clarification on the coverage requirements of skilled nursing and skilled therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries.  Read the article.

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LTC Advocacy Groups Discuss Access to Medicare Benefits

On Thursday, January 23rd, members from many long-term care advocacy groups, including Consumer Voice, met at America’s Health Insurance Plans’ Headquarters to discuss the Bagnall vs. Sebelius case as well as the recent Jimmo vs. Sebelius settlement. Toby Edelman, Senior Policy Attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. spoke about the difference between observation status and inpatient status and why Medicare only covers services for inpatients. She discussed current legislation (H.R. 1179 and S. 569 “Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013”) that would change this policy if passed. Additionally, the group talked about the pervasive belief among healthcare providers that a beneficiary has to improve in order for Medicare to pay for the service. Ms. Edelman noted that this idea was discredited by the recent MLN Matters article distributed by CMS and that improvement standards are not used when deciding whether services are Medicare eligible or not. For more information on this issue and Medicare in general, visit the Consumer Voice website here.

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Article in The Gerontologist Co-Authored by AR State LTC Ombudsman

A recent issue of The Gerontologist featured an article co-authored by Arkansas State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Kathie Gately.  "Building a State Coalition for Nursing Home Excellence" describes the successful creation of a state colation for nursing home excellence that united organizations to improve the quality care through the implementation of culture change in Arkansas' nursing homes.   Read the complete article in The Gerontologist, Vol. 54, No. S1, S87-S97.

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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 © 2014.

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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