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This issue of The Gazette was made possible by a generous contribution from Maria Greene and Jim Kautz in memory of
Thomas Milten and Nita Crosby Greene,
"Great parents who led by example and taught me to speak up on behalf of others."

September 9, 2014

U.S. Attorney in California Files Complaint Against Nursing Homes for Overmedicating Residents

Last week, the U.S. Attorney's Office filed a civil False Claims Act complaint against two California nursing homes for overmedicating residents. The complaint alleges that, between 2007 and 2012, defendants CF Watsonville, East LLC and CF Watsonville West, LLC, for-profit entities that own the nursing homes, "persistently and severely overmedicated elderly and vulnerable residents of the nursing homes."  The lawsuit is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General.  For more information, read the press release.

The Consumer Voice is actively fighting to end the misuse of antipsychotic drugs.  Visit our website for more information.

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CMS Releases Statewide Transition Plan Toolkit for HCBS Rule

CMS recently released a toolkit to help states develop their transition plans for the Home- and Community- Based Services rule.  The toolkit includes information intended to suggest alternative approaches and considerations for states as they prepare and submit Statewide Transition Plans as required by the HCBS final regulation published January 15, 2014.
For more information, review the toolkit.

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SEIU to Represent Home Care Workers in Minnesota

The Service Employes International Union (SEIU) has won an election that will make it the representative for 27,000 home care workers in Minnesota.  According to the state's Bureau of Mediation Services which oversaw the election, the union won with about 61 percent of the vote.  SEIU President Mary Kay Henry called the vote "an historic first step" for workes who care for the elderly and people with disabilities, and whose work is funded by Medicaid.  She said, "Now more than ever, Americans are not waiting for change, we are coming together and rising up to demand it.  Nowhere is that change more overdue or more urgent than within home care."  For more information, read the article in The Huffington Post.

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Questionnaire on the Nursing Home Survey and Enforcement Process - We Need Your Help!

Consumer Voice is advocating for significant improvements in the nursing home survey and enforcement process, and we’re asking for your help! We need stories from residents and families and examples. It’s the examples and stories that make the problems real and draw attention.  
Please complete this survey by September 15. There are only 7 questions, and we’ve tried to make the survey as easy and straightforward as possible. If you have any questions, please contact Marybeth Williams at mwilliams@theconsumervoice.org.
Thank you so much!  Your examples and stories will strengthen our advocacy efforts! Again the survey can be accessed here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FZFB2M5.

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With Concussion Settlement, NFL Players May Be Eligible for Benefits

Are there retired, professional football players residing at your facility or a facility you visit? A recent class action Settlement may provide benefits to retired, professional football players.  The NFL Concussion Settlement involves head trauma experienced during NFL playing careers that resulted in brain injuries which have caused or may cause long-term neurological problems.  It may provide compensation for conditions including ALS, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia.  In addition to the players, the Settlement also includes immediate family members of retired, professional football players and legal representatives of incapacitated, incompetent or deceased players.  For more information, review this notice.  Please pass this summary notice along to facilities and any retired professional football players and their families.

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12 Reasons to Attend the 38th Annual Consumer Voice Conference

#4: Attend a White House Conference on Aging Listening Session

White House Conference on Aging Executive Director Nora Super has been invited to a listening session during the Consumer Voice Conference.  Join other advocates and attend the listening session on important issues in the aging community.

#3: Meet Elma Holder

Meet Consumer Voice Founder Elma Holder 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 8 more reasons to attend the Consumer Voice Annual Conference...

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Resources Available for CDC's National Preparedness Month; Twitter Chat Tomorrow

Many resources are available online for this year's National Preparedness Month.  This year's theme is "Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare."  Find a list of CDC's online disaster preparedness materials here.  Download the 2014 National Preparedness Month toolkit here and learn more at: www.ready.gov/september.  Plus, follow the CDC's Facebook, Twitter and blog during September for information on National Preparedness Month happenings.  Join the CDC tomorrow at 3:00-4:00pm EST for a Twitter chat on Preparedness for Vulnerable Populations.  Use #CDCPrep to participate.

The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center has a slew of emergency preparedness resources available online including emergency planning checklists, resources for ombudsman and advocates, ombudsman activities, information from other states and ombudsman best practices.  Click here for those resources.

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In this Issue

U.S. Attorney in California Files Complaint Against Nursing Homes for Overmedicating Residents

CMS Releases Statewide Transition Plan Toolkit for HCBS Rule

SEIU to Represent Home Care Workers in Minnesota

Questionnaire on the Nursing Home Survey and Enforcement Process - We Need Your Help

With Concussion Settlement, NFL Players May Be Eligible for Benefits

12 Reasons to Attend the 38th Annual Consumer Voice Conference

Resources Available for CDC's National Preparedness Month; Twitter Chat Tomorrow

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:

Consumer Voice Accountant Alejandra Ona

Calendar of Events

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!

Enroll in Amazon Smile and benefit Consumer Voice every time you shop online.  Signing up is easy.  Simply go to smile.amazon.com and input “NCCNHR” as your charity of choice.

The shopping experience at Amazon Smile, the selection of products and their prices are all exactly the same as on Amazon.com.  Your Amazon Prime discounts are carried over, too.  The only difference is that once you enroll and select “NCCNHR” .5% of every purchase will be donated by the company to Consumer Voice.

Note: A one-touch button is offered for your browser so you easily go to the Amazon Smile website.  For more information about Amazon Smile, click here.

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Wednesday, September 3:
Study suggests that staffing levels may be predictor of quality of life in nursing homes, Read the study.

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Thursday, September 4:
Today's strikes are a turning point in wage/benefit battles for #FastFood, #HomeCare15 workers

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 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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