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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

April 1, 2014

Match Every Challenge of Long-Term Care

Achieving quality long-term care is a 24/7 year-round effort – for both consumers and advocates.  Our goal at Consumer Voice is to match every long-term care challenge with actions to support and achieve quality care.

But to deliver on that promise, Consumer Voice needs support and a generous contribution from every individual who shares our goals and every organization that shares our values and our aspirations.

Consumer Voice has launched our fourth annual Matching Campaign.  Not only will new contributions and increased contributions be matched through a special fund established by the Consumer Voice Governing Board, but we are dedicating the campaign to the theme of “matching the challenges of long-term care.”

Please click here or go to www.theconsumervoice.org and make as generous a contribution as possible.  Or you may mail a contribution to Consumer Voice at 1001 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 425, Washington, DC 20036 – or call us at (202) 332-2275 ext. 204 and we can take your pledge over the phone (M-F, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., EDT).  All new contributions will be matched!

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Congress Passes Bill that Links SNF Payments to Hospital Readmissions

Both houses of Congress have now passed legislation to tie skilled nursing facility Medicare reimbursements to hospital readmissions, starting in 2018.  For more information, read the article in McKnight's.

Consumer Voice and other advocates are concerned that financially rewarding skilled nursing facilities to reduce hospital readmissions may result in residents not being sent to the hospital when  needed and channel Medicare payments away from facilities serving poorer, sicker residents. This is particularly alarming in light of the recent Office of Inspector General report that  one-third of Medicare beneficiaries sent from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities suffered harm that was largely preventable. CV also questions why  a value-based purchasing system would be based solely on one measure when so many other factors – like level of staffing – are critical components of “value.” We will be following these issues closely and advocating for any new measure and system to benefit and not harm skilled nursing facility residents.

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Remembering Curmet Forte

The Consumer Voice is saddened by the passing of long-time advocate Curmet Forte.

Curmet was injured in a softball accident while still a relatively young man and told that he would never be able to walk again. In fact, he did learn to walk, although with difficulty, and lived the rest of his life in long-term care facilities where he became an outspoken, well-known and prolific advocate for other residents.

Over the next quarter century, he was president of the DC Village Residents Council, where he represented residents in advocating for improvements in the facility and ultimately, for residents' rights and protection during the closure of the nursing home under pressure from federal authorities. He was president for many years of the DC coalition of nursing home resident councils, where he advocated for residents and systemic improvements in nursing home care across the District of Columbia; a founding board member of a local consumer advocacy group, WINH (Washingtonians for Improvement of Nursing Homes); and for at least a decade, a member of the board of the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (now the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care). As a NCCNHR board member, he provided the perspective of residents to federal regulators at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Those who worked with Curmet will always remember him for his support of nursing home residents’ rights. For years he organized and chaired the annual Nursing Home Residents’ Rights Month event for DC residents and facilitated residents from Washington-area nursing homes’ participation in the annual Residents Rights Luncheon at the NCCNHR/Consumer Voice annual conference.

Even with increasing disabilities and illnesses toward the end of his life, he spoke up for residents’ rights and quality of care to administrators of the facilities where he lived, nursing home corporate officers, and local and federal authorities. Curmet was known by many as an advocate committed to the rights and protection of people who are largely voiceless in our society.

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Consumer Voice Submits Comments on Proposed Regulations on Emergency Preparedness Requirements

The Consumer Voice submitted comments on proposed regulations on Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers, published 12/27/13 in the Federal Register.

The proposed rule, which covers 17 provider types, would require that providers adequately plan for both natural and man-made disasters; coordinate with emergency preparedness systems at the federal, state, and local level;  and be prepared to meet the needs of individuals receiving care and services.  Each emergency preparedness plan will be required to cover four elements: risk assessment and planning; policies and procedures; communication plans; and training and testing.  See Consumer Voice comments here.

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Ethics Training Program Manuals For Sale from CARIE

CARIE (Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly) is planning an office move at the beginning of June, so they are selling their ethics training program manuals to deplete their stock before the move.  The ethics training manuals are available through a onetime offer of $75 including shipping and handling.  The sale ends May 23rd, while supplies last.  Find more information about the training program on CARIE's Ethics Education webpage.

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Postcards Available from the Got an Hour? Give it Back Campaign

The Got an Hour? Give it Back Campaign has new marketing materials to help draw new volunteers to services that work with older adults.  Access more information on the campaign's website: www.giveitbacktoseniors.org.  Also on the website, find access to a recording of an informational webinar regarding the campaign.  The Got an Hour? Give it Back Campaign offers high-quality downloadable postcards that you can personalize to recruit volunteers within your own community.  Volunteer managers can order cards in bulk for free until the current supply is exhausted.  There is also a new postcard (pictured below) that could be used by LTCOP's to recruit volunteers as it mentions being an advocate. Download the postcards now.

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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