May 7, 2014
Consumer Voice Continues Efforts to Support the President's Elder Justice Initiative
Over the past week, Consumer Voice has continued its efforts to support the President’s FY 2015 budget request of $25 million for an Elder Justice Initiative. This initiative would include $13.8 million in funding for Adult Protective Services and would help create an APS National Data System and technical assistance, as well as national demonstration grants to both enhance data systems and develop program standards and evaluation. It would also provide $11.2 million for research, including research on elder abuse screening, and would establish a better knowledge base about elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Actions the Consumer Voice has taken include sending letters to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Subcommittees on Labor-HHS-ED Appropriations requesting their support of this initiative. You can read the letter here. We have also created a fact sheet for consumers on the importance of funding this initiative, which can be found here.
In addition, Consumer Voice has begun to engage our network in advocating for this important initiative. Individuals in states and districts with legislators serving on the relevant appropriation subcommittees received action alerts last week asking them to contact their Members of Congress in support of this request. We have also created an action for individuals in any state or district to send to their legislators in support of the Elder Justice Initiative. You can take the action here, and after doing so please share it with friends, family and colleagues!
Thank you, and please stay tuned for further information on the progress of this request. To keep informed about this issue and any additional actions needed to support the Elder Justice Initiative, join the Consumer Voice Action Network.
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Current Quality Measures Are Unfair to Providers Serving Economically Disadvantaged Populations According to NQF Report
According to a recent National Quality Forum report, nursing homes and other healthcare providers face reduced reimbursements from government programs if they serve economically disadvantaged patients. NQF recommended adjustments to address this problem, but the government rejected the proposals. The National Quality Forum is the main organization that sets healthcare quality standards used by Medicare and similar programs to assess providers. Currently, quality measures are not adjusted to account for the sociodemographics of a provider's patient population, such as patients' income and educational attainment. These factors should be considered because they are related to certain quality measures, such as hospital readmission rates, according to experts convened by NQF. For more information, read the article in McKnight's.
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New Quick Screen for Hospital Observation Status from the Center for Medicare Advocacy
A new, easy-to-understand guide to Hospital Observation Status is now available on the Center for Medicare Advocacy's website. The quick screen reviews observation status, why it matters, and what a patient can do if the hopsital puts them on Observation Status. Read the Quick Screen on CMA's website.
CMS Proposes Clarification of CMP Uses and Approval Process
CMS has proposed clarification of Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs) uses and approval process. The proposed rule provides clarification of statutory requirements under Section 6111 of the Affordable Care Act regarding approval and use of CMPs imposed by CMS against nursing facilities. CMS clarified that states may use federal CMP funds only after obtaining prior approval from CMS and may not use these funds if CMS has disapproved their intended use, or use these funds for purposes other than to support activities that benefit residents as specified in statute. Read the proposed rule in the Federal Register.
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OIG to Cut Back on Medicare Oversight in 2014
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General plans to dramatically curb its activities investigating improper Medicare payments this year because of budget cuts. OIG will reduce Medicare and Medicaid oversight activities overall by 20% in fiscal year 2014. For more information, read the article in McKnight's.
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New Bill Would Expand Program to Keep Younger People Out of Nursing Homes
A new bill introduced last week in the U.S. House of Representatives would make people younger than 55 eligible for a program to prevent unnecessary nursing home admissions. These younger people are not currently allowed to participate in the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) which is running in 31 states. The proposed bill would bring younger people into the program in a budget-neutral manner. For more information, read the article in McKnight's.
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Upcoming Education Opportunities and Events:
- Dartmouth Summer Institute for Informed Patient Choice June 27-27, 2014 Hanover, New Hampshire - The SIIPC conference aims to reach an audience of policy-level delegates; law, medical and ethics leaders; and patient advocates to ensure that patients are aware of, understand, and can make use of evidence pertaining to their wellbeing. SIIPC will draw on the ethical imperative for shared decision making in health care.
- SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands May 5, 2014 - This event is celebrated annually by the World Health Organization, the CDC and other partners to promote and practice good hand hygiene to reduce the risk of infection among patients. This year's theme highlights the importance of hand hygiene to prevent the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.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.