Spread the word » Facebook Twitter

For more information on how you can sponsor an issue of The Gazette, contact rgelula@theconsumervoice.org

August 13, 2014

Documentary Highlighted on Katie Couric's Talk Show Demonstrates the Healing Power of Music

"Alive Inside" is a documentary that follows Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he demonstrates music's ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it.  The film addresses the healing power of music and how it is impacting the treatment of the elderly.  The film visits family members who have witnessed the miraculous effects of personalized music on their loved ones, and offers interviews with experts including renwoned neurologist and author Oliver Sacks and musician Bobby McFerrin.  The documentary won the Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was recently featured on Katie Couric's talk show.  See the talk show segment here.

Back to Top

CMS Finalizes Fiscal Year 2015 Payment and Policy Changes for Medicare Skilled Nursing Facilities

On July 31st, CMS issued a final rule outlining FY 2015 Medicare payment rates for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). The FY 2015 SNF payment rates and other issues discussed in the final rule include:

  • Changes to payment rates under the SNF Prospective Payment System (PPS) for FY 2015
  • Wage index update
  • Change of Therapy assessment policy update
  • Civil Money Penalties

For more information, read the fact sheet from CMS.  The final rule went on display on July 31 at the Federal Register’s Public Inspection Desk and is available under “Special Filings,” at http://www.federalregister.gov/inspection.aspx.

Back to Top

State Fines Maryland Facility for Deficiencies in Care

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has fined Western Maryland Hospital, a state-owned chronic-care hopsital in Hagerstown, $150,000 for deficiencies in the care of long-term residents. These incidences prompted the removal of the facility's chief executive and two medical staff leaders earlier this year.  According to a report by the department's Office of Health Care Quality, a federally mandated, annual survey of the facility found 43 deficiencies, including a failure to report or fully investigate four allegations of abuse or neglect. After the facility's director, hospital's chief medical officer and the medical director of long-term care were removed in June, the health department contracted with Meritus Health to run the state facility for the next six months.  For more information, read the article in the Herald Mail Media.

Back to Top

Free Advocacy Skills Training on August 26th in Arlington, VA

Consumer Voice is offering a FREE state-based, in-person advocacy skills training on Tuesday, August 26th at the Hilton Crystal City at Washington Reagan National Airport. We welcome long-term care ombudsmen, consumer advocates, family members, caregivers, consumer alliances, disability groups, and community and senior organizations. This will be an all day training from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. A free lunch will be provided.

You must register by Wednesday, August 13th to participate in this FREE training. Registration is limited, so make sure to register today. If you are interested in attending or have any questions, please contact Amanda Celentano, Program and Research Associate, at acelentano@theconsumervoice.org or at 202-332-2275 ext 204.

We hope you can join us in August!

Back to Top

Falls Prevention Webinar:

Implementing Effective Falls Prevention Programs in Your Community: Reaching New Audiences, Thursday, August 21 1:30pm EST - The National Council on Aging is holding a webinar on participating in this year's national event on September 23rd.  The 2014 theme is Strong Today, Falls Free Tomorrow.  Learn how to spread the message, launch a comprehensive approach to falls prevention programming in your community, and reach new audiences of older adults.

Back to Top

Geriatrics-Competent Care Webinar Series:

Attend the Geriatrics-Competent Care webinar series hosted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in collaboration with The Lewin Group, Community Catalyst and the American Geriatrics Society.  The webinar series is designed to help health care professionals, health plan staff, consumer advocates and other stakeholders expand their knowledge and skills in the unique aspects of geriatrics care.  The webinar presentations and post-recordings will be available at www.resourcesforintegratedcare.com.

An Introduction to Geriatrics-Competent Care, Wednesday, August 20 12:00pm EST; Call-in number: (800)683-4564 Access Code: 644872 - The first webinar will present some universal competencies that are fundamental to quality geriatrics care across disciplines and care settings.  These include: understanding what is unique about the health and care of older adults; prevention, diagnosis, and management of geriatric syndromes (e.g., incontinence, falls, gait and balance disorders, dementia); care transitions; medication management; maintaining older adults’ function and well-being; working with older adults and families to set care goals; coordinating care with an interdisciplinary team; and providing social services and supports.

Geriatric Assessment, Thursday August 28 12:00pm EST; Call-in number: (866)216-6835 Access Code: 282122 - The second webinar will focus on a rapid geriatrics screen that can be accomplished in a busy clinical setting to identify target areas where a more in-depth assessment is needed to develop a comprehensive, coordinated care plan.  The webinar will also address how to communicate effectively with older adults and their families, home assessment, and identifying community services available to help meet assessed needs.

Back to Top

Support the Consumer Voice while you shop!

You can now shop on Amazon while supporting the Consumer Voice!  Consumer Voice is now listed as a part of AmazonSmile, an easy and automatic way to support Consumer Voice every time you shop, at no cost to you.  The Consumer Voice receives a donation of a portion of the purchase price every time you make a purchase.  All Amazon purchases cost the same as they normally would. 

To shop at AmazonSmile, simply go to smile.amazon.com and input "NCCNHR" as your charity of choice.  For simpler shopping, you can install a one-touch button on your browser, so you can easily return to AmazonSmile to shop and support the Consumer Voice. For more information about AmazonSmile, click here.  Begin shopping now at smile.amazon.com!

Back to Top

Provide a Scholarship to the Consumer Voice Annual Conference

Many advocates are not able to afford to attend the Consumer Voice Annual Conference to experience the best speakers in the field, opportunities to network with colleagues and time to interact directly with long-term care consumers.  This year, we have created a special giving opportunity for Scholarships.  If you are able, please give as many scholarships as you can.  We would be delighted to obtain support for an additional 50 people.  Provide a scholarship by making a donation of $295 x the number of scholarships you would like to give.  Contributors to the Consumer Voice Annual Conference receive many benefits.  For more information about contributing to the conference, click here.

Back to Top

In this Issue

Documentary Highlighted on Katie Couric's Talk Show Demonstrates the Healing Power of Music

CMS Finalizes Fiscal Year 2015 Payment and Policy Changes for Medicare Skilled Nursing Facilities

State Fines Maryland Facility for Deficiencies in Care

Free Advocacy Skills Training on August 26th in Arlington, VA

Falls Prevention Webinar

Geriatrics-Competent Care Webinar Series

Support the Consumer Voice while you shop!

Provide a Scholarship to the Consumer Voice Annual Conference

Seeking Nominations for the Consumer Voice Governing Board

The Consumer Voice is seeking nominations for its Governing Board.  The Consumer Voice Governing Board is charged with management and conduct of the affairs of the organization including approval of an annual plan establishing fiscal, operational and other organizational goals.  Additionally, Board members are responsible for fund development and fundraising, making a meaningful financial contribution to the organization and representing the organization.

Each nominee should provide a CV or resume and a statement addressing their interest in serving on the board, why the individual feels that s/he is qualified and what contributions to the organization and its advancement they feel they can make.

Find more information on the Board nomination process here.

4.1 It CAN Be Done!

As part of our newly launched nursing home staffing campaign, Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care, Consumer Voice is advocating for a minimum of 4.1 hours of nursing care per resident per day.  To show your support of this campaign, individuals can send us a photo with the slogan "4.1 - It CAN Be Done" by tweeting us pictures @ConsumerVoices, posting on our Facebook or emailing your photos to info@theconsumervoice.org.  Get the word out and encourage consumers to participate by sending in their photos too! 

You can join the Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care campaign, learn more about the campaign's goals, access the campaign advocacy toolkit, and take action at: www.theconsumervoice.org/betterstaffing

Most recent supporters:

Consumer Voice Interns Danielle Joe and Molly LeGrand

Calendar of Events

Wednesday, August 20: An Introduction to Geriatrics-Competent Care, 12:00pm EST, Part 1 of Geriatrics-Competent Care Webinar Series

Thursday, August 21: Implementing Effective Falls Prevention Programs in Your Community: Reaching New Audiences, 1:30pm EST, Webinar from the National Council on Aging

Tuesday, August 26: Free Advocacy Skills Training, 9:30am - 4:30pm, Arlington, VA, Consumer Voice's free advocacy skills training; Register by contacting acelentano@theconsumervoice.org

Thursday, August 28: Geriatric Assessment, 12:00pm EST, Part 2 of Geriatrics-Compentent Care Webinar Series

September 13-18, 2014: National Home & Community Based Services Conference, Arlington, VA

October: 2014 Residents' Rights Month, Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care

Monday, October 20: Discussing POLST with Persons with Early Alzheimer's Disease, 3:00pm EST, Webinar in yearly series from the National POLST Paradigm

November 15-18, 2014: Consumer Voice Annual Conference at the Hilton Crystal City in Arlington, VA Register now.

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Friday, August 8:
Consumer Voice interns show their support for the staffing campaign

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Wednesday, August 6:
UNC-Chapel Hill and CEAL Release Toolkit for Person-Centeredness in Assisted Living

Long-Term Care Resources & News

Read past issues of The Gazette here.

Sponsor the Gazette - Consumer Voice is now accepting sponsorship for each weekly issue of The Gazette.  As a benefit of sponsorship, the contributor may honor, remember, or thank an individual or organization.  For more information, contact Richard Gelula at rgelula@theconsumervoice.org

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.

If you did not receive The Gazette through a subscription, but would like to join our mailing list to receive future emails, click here.

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.

Click here to unsubscribe