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September 2, 2014

Consumer Voice Holds First Advocacy Skills Training in Arlington, VA

Attendees of the Consumer Voice's first advocacy skills training in Arlington, VA

As part of our Consumers for Quality Care, No Matter Where initiative, the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) hosted its first state-based, in-person advocacy skills trainings for individuals and groups with the capacity to make an impact on policy and contribute to the Consumer Voice's national efforts. The training was attended by over 50 dedicated and energized advocates from the D.C., Virginia and Maryland region. During the training, participants learned how to  craft an effective advocacy message, effectively deliver that advocacy message, and how to grow and support a network.

If you are interested in attending these trainings, the advocacy training sessions will be offered during the Consumer Voice's Annual Conference.  To learn more about the Conference, click here. The Consumer Voice will also be hosting four webinars in the next 12 months where we will cover the skills taught during the trainings - stay tuned!

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New Resource from CMS Helps LTC Facility Staff Work with LGBT Persons

CMS has produced a new resource - a Survey and Certification Tool with an introduction by Secretary Greenlee of the Administration for Community Living.  The focus of the video learning modules is to provide useful information to long-term care facility staff about the power of assumptions and prejudices, both known and unknown, that may make older LGBT people feel fearful and afraid, so that such fears won't cause older LGBT patients to retreat to a “closeted lifestyle” in order to receive necessary long-term care services.  The goal of the modules is to provide concrete examples of conduct that either show openness, tolerance, acceptance, or prejudice.  Each of the modules sets out a set of facts and provides illustrative examples, followed by a short learning test to help staff focus their mastery of module content.  Access the modules.

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Rep. Cummings Requests CMS Briefing on Nursing Home Five-Star Rating System

Last Week, Representative Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) sent a letter to CMS requesting a briefing regarding serious concerns about the current "five-star" rating system for nursing homes.  The letter comes after a New York Times article revealed how some facilities are manipulating the system to mislead consumers about the quality of care they provide.  Rep. Cummings wrote "The quality of nursing home care is an issue of critical importance to our nation's seniors and their families.  It is imperative for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to conduct vigorous oversight of these facilities to ensure that patients are cared for with respect, professionalism and dignity."  Read Rep. Cummings' full letter here.

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Caring Across Generations Will Be Chatting With Us About Grandparent's Day During Facebook First Friday!

On Friday, September 5th, the Consumer Voice will be joined by Caring Across Generations for a Facebook First Friday discussion surrounding Grandparent's Day. We'll be discussing culture change and policy advocacy as they relate to our grandparents.  Click here to join us on Friday, September 5th!

Facebook First Friday takes place the first Friday of every month. It’s a lively and interactive discussion on a number of long-term care topics.  From 9am – 3pm ET, Consumer Voice and Caring Across Generations staff will be chatting on the Consumer Voice’s Facebook wall about issues that matter to you (and us!) the most.  The first question is posted at 9am.  Just pop on and respond as much or as little as you would like (respond throughout the day or just come by one time for 5 minutes and answer a question!).

This is completely FREE and open to anyone in the public who would like to participate.

What do I have to do?   
Just go to the Consumer Voice’s Facebook page ahead of time or on Facebook First Friday and press the “like” button in the upper right of your browser (near our organization's name).  If you already have a Facebook account, you can get started right away, otherwise it will prompt you to create one.
You’ll see our questions right there on the main page.  Jump in and participate!

What’s in it for me?  
Great dialogue with your fellow advocates….and an incentive.  We’ll pick 3 winners based on our top three favorite comments of the day and will reveal the winner on our Facebook page at 3pm ET.  Each winner will receive a Grandparents Day Swag Bag courtesy of Caring Across Generations!

We look forward to speaking with you all on Friday!

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CDC Twitter Chat for National Preparedness Month

Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, electrical outages...whew, disasters happen! But September is National Preparedness Month, and this year's theme is "Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare."  Download the 2014 National Preparedness Month toolkit here and learn more at: www.ready.gov/september.

Follow the CDC's Facebook, Twitter and blog during the month of September for information on National Preparedness Month happenings.  Plus, join the CDC on Wednesday, September 10th from 3:00-4:00pm EST for a Twitter chat on Preparedness for Vulnerable Populations.  Use #CDCPrep to participate.

Emergency Preparedness resources are available from the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center including emergency planning checklists, resources for ombudsman and advocates, ombudsman activities, information from other states and ombudsman best practices.  Click here for these resources.

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12 Reasons to Attend the 38th Annual Consumer Voice Conference

#3: Meet Elma Holder

Elma Holder is the founder of the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (NCCNHR, now the Consumer Voice). In 1975, she organized a group of reform advocates who attended a nursing home industry conference in Washington. That effort, one of the first times in which reformers took their demands for change directly to nursing home operators, led to the formation of NCCNHR.  Meet Elma in November at the Consumer Voice Annual Conference! Elma will be holding two dialogue sessions with conference participants.  Refer to the conference agenda for more information.

#2: Visit Legislators on the Hill

The Consumer Voice's Marybeth Williams, Public Policy Associate, will lead a group of advocates on Hill visits. Register for the conference, then sign-up for the Hill visits by emailing Marybeth at mwilliams@theconsumervoice.org

#1: Get Advocacy Training

Attend the Consumer Voice Annual Conference and experience one of a kind advocacy skills training and acquire important resources and tools.

Find more information and register for the conference.

Stay tuned for 10 more reasons to attend the Consumer Voice Annual Conference...

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CMS Memorandum Emphasizes that a Discharge Assessment Must Be Completed When a Resident is Transferred to a Non-Certified Bed

A recent memorandum from CMS emphasized that skilled nursing facilities must complete a discharge assessment when a resident is transferred from a certified to a non-certified bed, even if both beds are in the same building.  In most states, a nursing home can certify only a portion of its beds for Medicare and/or Medicaid.  If a resident enters a nursing home under Medicare, but then chooses to stay in the nursing home, they must either pay privately or have their care covered by Medicaid.  If a resident chooses to pay privately, it is possible that they will be moved to a different bed - a "non-certified bed" - in a different part of the facility. CMS considers this a transfer, as if the resident is moving to a different nursing home.  The CMS memorandum reinforces that in such a transfer, a discharge assessment must be provided for that resident.  For more information, read the memorandum.

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In this Issue

Consumer Voice Holds First Advocacy Skills Training in Arlington, VA

New Resource from CMS Helps LTC Facility Staff Work with LGBT Persons

Rep. Cummings Requests CMS Briefing on Nursing Home "Five-Star" Rating System

Caring Across Generations Will Be Chatting With Us About Grandparent's Day During Facebook First Friday

CDC Twitter Chat for National Preparedness Month

12 Reasons to Attend the 38th Annual Consumer Voice Conference

CMS Memorandum Emphasizes that a Discharge Assessment Must Be Completed When a Resident is Transferred to a Non-Certified Bed

Special Alert: RN Bill - What You Can Do

On July 31st, Rep. Jan Schakowsky introduced legislation to require nursing homes to have a registered nurse (RN) on duty around the clock, not just eight hours a day.  She noted that hospitals are releasing patients to nursing care with more medical needs than ever – and qualified healthcare is necessary around the clock.  Her Bill, HR 5373, would fix a problem that goes back decades and long before the 1987 Nursing Home Reform law: nursing homes need nurses!

Adequate staffing is critical to achieving quality long-term care – and Consumer Voice is dedicated to that goal.  We are doing all we can to focus on staffing and particularly to support Rep. Schakowsky’s bill.  This is a great opportunity.  Please help us help all long-term care consumers by making a contribution today to our Special RN Campaign.  Your help will make a difference.

4.1 It CAN Be Done!

As part of our 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:

Ohio Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Calendar of Events

Friday, September 5: Facebook First Friday featuring Caring Across Generations, Topic: Grandparent's Day

Tuesday, September 9: Get Prepared to Make Timely Decisions for Your Retirement, 1:00pm EST, Webcast from the US Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration

Wednesday, September 10: Pass It On: Older Adults, Fraud, and the Federal Trade Commission 2:00pm EST, Webinar from the Federal Trade Commission and the National Consumer Law Center

Wednesday, September 10: Preparedness for Vulnerable Populations, 3:00pm EST, Twitter chat from CDC as part of National Preparedness Month, Use #CDCPrep

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.

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.

Support the Consumer Voice While You Shop Online!

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!

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Monday, September 1:
On Labor Day, please join us in honoring all people who provide long-term care services in facilities or via home care.

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Monday, September 1:
This #LaborDay honor all long-term care workers.  They deserve respect, good pay, job security, benefits, paid vacation, healthcare benefits.

Long-Term Care Resources & News

  • www.throwbacksummer.com from Caring Across Generations

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 below. Your contributions and comments are welcome and should be sent to info@theconsumervoice.org. Copyright © 2014.

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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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