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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

April 16, 2014

CMS Meets 15% Goal for Reduction of Antipsychotic Medications

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that its goal of reducing the use of antipsychotic medications nationally by 15% in long-stay nursing home residents has been met.  According to CMS,  over 18 months, the national prevalence of antipsychotic use in long-stay nursing home residents was reduced by 15.1% (the rate decreased from 23.8% to 20.2%) and every CMS region showed at least some improvement.  Some states showed much more improvement than others; for example, Georgia reduced their rate by 26.4% and North Carolina saw a 27.1% reduction.  Baseline rates varied widely among states and regions; studies are underway to determine which states improved most rapidly to describe the characteristics/infrastructure of those state coalitions and partner organizations.  Incidence in short-stay residents showed improvement as well.  CMS has also shared a recent Survey & Certification Memo that contains an interim report on the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes.

To read the memo, go to:

The Consumer Voice is pleased that this goal, originally set for the end of December 2012,  has been met.  We and  other advocates are urging  CMS to set a much larger goal for reduction by 2015 because far too many residents are still receiving these medications inappropriately.

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CMS to Begin Data Collection for Hospice Quality Reporting

CMS will begin data collection to inform hospice quality reporting.  The Hospice Item Set System, CMS' new system, will support the collection of data required for the Hospice Quality Reporting Program under the Affordable Care Act.  "HIS" will confirm appropriate assessments were made and inquiries or concerns were addressed for patients at the time of their admission for pain, respiratory status, medications, patient preferences and beliefs and values.  For more information, read the article in Home Health Care News.

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Genworth Releases Annual Study on Cost of Long-Term Care

Genworth has released its 2014 Cost of Care Study.  Over the past 11 years, Genworth has been able to recognize and identify trends across the long-term care services landscape.  Overall, while the cost of care among all providers has steadily increased, the cost of facility-based providers has grown at a much greater rate than that for home care.

Cost of care (National Median Rates):

  • Homemaker Services: $19/hour
  • Home Health Aide Services: $20/hour
  • Adult Day Health Care: $65/day
  • Assisted Living Facility: $3,500/month
  • Nursing Home Care - Semi-private room: $212/day; Private room: $240/day

Read the full report.

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Auditors in LA Find Backlog of Thousands of Nursing Home Complaints

According to an audit from the Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller, there is a backlog of thousands of complaints caused by a lack of oversight into nursing home investigations.  The backlog includes 945 complaints that have been open for more than two years.  The county must start investigating a complaint within 10 days, but there is no timeframe for finishing.  The auditors' report recommended managers evaluate the time it takes to complete investigations and set time frames.  For more information, read the article in McKnight's.

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Alzheimer's Foundation of America's New Community Memory Screenings and Awareness-Raising Education Program

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) is inviting healthcare professionals and community organizations to participate in its new Community Memory Screenings and Awareness-Raising Education (AFA C.A.R.E.S.) program.  AFA C.A.R.E.S. promotes the importance of early detection and intervention for memory loss.  AFA will provide a free turnkey toolkit of materials in English and Spanish, including instructions, forms, screening tools, posters, educational booklets and publicity tools to assist offering free, confidential memory screenings to the general public or targeted groups at your organization/facility.  AFA can also help cover the cost of a professional to administer the screenings.  For more information, visit www.nationalmemoryscreening.org or contact Melissa Austen at mausten@alzfdn.org or 866-232-8484.

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Dr. Bill Thomas' Second Wind Book and Tour

Perhaps best known for creating The Eden Alternative and The Green House Project, Dr. Bill Thomas has written a new book, “Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life.” In the book, Dr. Thomas explains how to recognize and navigate the transition to the "far side of adulthood."  He focuses on the Baby Boom generation, exploring its history and recommending a path for new ways of living and working. Dr. Thomas is currently in the midst of a cross-country book tour that he refers to as “non-fiction theater.”  Each city showcases local talent and storytellers. Those travelling to every city along the tour are Janet Taylor, AARP’s Life Reimagined; David Farrell and Susan Frazier, Green House Project; and world renowned musician Samite.  For more information and tour dates go to http://secondwindtour.org/line-up-and-cities/.

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April 16th is National Healthcare Decisions Day

Wednesday, April 16th is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). NHDD is an opportunity to empower individuals to make the best health care decisions and plans for their future care. Organizations nationwide are highlighting the importance of advance health care planning by providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and health care providers, and execute written advance directives consistent with their state laws.

Some advance care planning resources specifically for Alzheimer's Disease include:

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Article by Consumer Voice's Robyn Grant Published in Bottom Line/Personal

An article by Consumer Voice Director of Public Policy & Advocacy, Robyn Grant, was recently published on BottomLinePublications.com.  "Don't Be a Victim of Nursing Home Theft" provides tips for evaluating the risk at a nursing home that current or prospective residents and/or family members are considering or have selected.  The article was very well received by readers and the publisher and is available online here.

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Elder Justice Coalition Webinar on President's Budget Request

On Wednesday, April 23rd at 3:30pm EST, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) is holding an Elder Justice Coalition Advocacy webinar.  The webinar will cover the President's requested $25 million for adult protective services and elder justice research for FY 2015.  Register now.

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Share Your Thoughts About Dementia Care in America

CCAL-Advancing Person-Centered Living is working with the University of Buffalo-Institute for Person-Centered Care on a research project funded by the Retirement Research Foundation.  One of the aims of the study is to gather feedback from a geographically diverse group of people about what they feel is important and/or needed concerning dementia care in America.  The organizations are inviting anyone with knowledge of dementia to take part in a short survey.  The aim of the survey is to develop agreement on priorities for dementia care, research, education, and funding from the perspectives of people living with dementia, family care partners, and advocates for people with dementia. To take part in the online survey, click here.

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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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