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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

February 12, 2014

Let Your Voice Be Heard by Becoming a Member of the Consumer Voice

Show your support of the Consumer Voice by becoming a member!  The Consumer Voice offers a 12-month membership program, open to anyone interested in supporting and advocating for long-term care consumers.  You can join as an individual and/or a group.

Membership benefits include:

  • Significantly discounted registration rates for the annual conference (groups can register your staff at the member rate);
  • Discount of 10% off of all Consumer Voice publications;
  • Subscription to our Action Network to receive timely policy updates and opportunites for advcoacy action; and
  • Deeply discounted trainings on long-term care issues

Become a member now!

Save-the-Date: Webinar Regarding Financial Exploitation in Long-Term Care Facilities

Join us to discuss financial exploitation in long-term care facilities and learn how to prevent and respond to allegations of financial abuse. Naomi Karp, Policy Advisor, Consumer Fraud Protection Bureau (CFPB) Office of Older Americans, will explain CFPB’s role in financial protection and education of older adults and share new resources attendees can use with consumers to increase financial literacy and prevent financial exploitation. Ann-Maria Beard, Deputy Director, Office of Supplemental Security Income and Representative Payment Policy of the Social Security Administration will discuss the Representative Payee Program, specifically the responsibilities and oversight of representative payees and how attendees can support the rights of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries and report suspicion of misuse of benefits by a representative payee. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss case scenarios and learn about new consumer facts sheets regarding the prevention, detection and reporting of financial exploitation in nursing home and assisted living facilities produced by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) for the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA).
The webinar will be Wednesday, March 5, 3:00-4:30 ET and registration information will be available soon.

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Consumer Voice Signs onto NASOP Letter to CMS on the Conditions of Participation

The Consumer Voice signed on to a letter from NASOP to CMS on the Conditions of Participation.  The letter makes the following recommendations regarding the proposed rule CMS-3260-P, entitled "Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities and QAPI Program":

  • Revise access and visitation rights as they relate to access by a long-term care ombudsman
  • Include resident rights and admission, transfer and discharge violations on the list of deficiencies indicating substandard quality of care
  • Update the CMS State Operations Manual, Appendix PP guidance related to:
    • A resident's right to access an ombudsman; and
    • Admission, transfer and discharge

Read the letter.

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Materials Available from Advancing Excellence Webinar for Ombudsmen

Advancing Excellence held a webinar for ombudsmen on January 28th.  The webinar provided an overview of the Advancing Excellence campaign for long-term care ombudsman.  Speakers included Beverley Laubert, Becky Kurtz, Lori Smetanka and Dawn Jacobs.  Listen to the recording. View the PowerPoint and the fact sheet.

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Center for Medicare Advocacy's Toby Edelman Talks About Observation Status in Fox News Article

The Center for Medicare Advocacy's Toby Edelman was recently interviewed by Fox News regarding observation status.  Many people in the hospital are not officially considered "in-patients" but rather "under observation." This distinction, which is not always obvious, can be the difference in receiving Medicare payments or not.  "Once they are in the hospital and in a bed for several days, getting care and treatment and medicine and food, (a) wristband, they think they're in-patients. Pople have no idea that they're out-patients," said Toby Edelman. Read the full article.

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NWLC Files Sex Discrimination Complaints Against Long-Term Care Companies

The National Women's Law Center (NWLC) recently filed sex discrimination complaints against four long-term care companies in response to their practice of charging women more than men for the same long-term care insurance coverage simply because they are women.  Read the complaint documents on NWLC's website.

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Voting for Residents of Long-Term Care

As many of you know, 2014 is a midterm election year, and elections will be open in November for all members of the United States House of Representatives, as well as nearly one-third of U.S. Senate seats and a large proportion of governorships and state legislatures. Long-term care consumers and advocates may want to begin preparations for the voting season this year by ensuring long-term care facilities have protocols in place to support residents’ voting rights. In addition, it would be worthwhile for consumers and advocates to confirm whether or not their states have instituted any new voting requirements since the last election. For example, Mississippi has recently issued a new law requiring all individuals voting in the state to show photo identification at the polls (further information about Mississippi’s new requirement can be read here). Consumer Voice will work to keep our network informed of any new state requirements that may impact voting for long-term care consumers in the coming months, and please feel free to reach out to our organization if you have any concerns with a consumer’s right to vote not being upheld.

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CMS Holding Listening Session on Healthcare Service Delivery for Dementia Care

CMS is holding a listening session on February 18th at 1:30pm EST. The listening session is intended to provide stakeholders in the dementia community an opportunity to share their perspectives on what outcomes are desirable, meaningful, and feasible to achieve through healthcare service delivery for dementia care.  The comments expressed during the session will be shared with officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the department charged with managing the National Alzheimer's Plan.  The call-in number is (877)267-1577, meeting number: 993634493#.

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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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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